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Finland: On top of the world

April 19, 2013

In the sport of ringette that is.

It can be said that when Finns try out new sports and then start playing them in Finland, they want to become the best at it. And it’s true, Finns play dozens of different sports and do figure in the world rankings of some of them.

Ringette has always been targeted as a sport for girls and women partly because of the no contact rules. But I beg to differ. I vaguely recall seeing an article in Helsingin Sanomat ages ago featuring a bunch of older men playing ringette. I believe it was in Pori. Ringette is a great sport for adults who do not want to play contact hockey.

Trust me, ringette is not as easy as it looks. And to all the men out there who guffaw and think that women who play ringette are a bunch of pansies… I challenge you line up against them in a game. You’ll likely spend a lot of time in the penalty box and you’ll get your butts whipped. Really. The game is not meant to be physical, it is a game of skill.

The Finns are good at it for a reason. Girls get lots of practice time and they begin with skills early. I can vouch for that having been on the ice this past season with the Little Miss’ team. Not only that, they have been on the ice virtually every weekend since the end of August and their ice time continues until the end of this month – that’s eight months! When I played ringette, we had less time than that and by the time I was a teenager, we no longer had practices in house-league ringette, only games. I have also seen some of the practices of the older girls and they work hard, so it is no surprise to me that Finland has some of the best ringette players in the world.


And speaking of the best, Susanna Tapani was recently lauded at the women’s World Hockey Championships in Ottawa. Not only does she suit up for Team Finland in hockey, she also represents Finland’s national ringette team. The 20 year-old has been called the best ringette player in the world! On a club level Tapani represents Raisio in ringette and the Espoo Blues in hockey. I’d say she’s rather busy! You can read more about her here.

The birthplace of ringette is North Bay, Ontario and was created by Sam Jacks 50 years ago in order to keep girls active in the winter. And this year North Bay will be hosting the world championship tournament. Finland has won every world championship tournament since 2004 (it is held every three years). See more on the North Bay tournament here.

Wanna know more? Learn the basics of the sport.

p.s. I stopped playing ringette when I was 18, but I am looking to come out of retirement in the fall. I just hope I can keep up! :O

p.s.s. Three of my younger cousins play ringette and they have all accomplished a lot in the sport. One is looking to come and play SM-liiga ringette some day. Another plays for the Richmond Hill Lightning of the Canadian National Ringette League and has even represented Ontario at the Canada Games. The third has had a slight setback on the health front, but she is already back to the game and playing like crazy. All three of them have even been in Finland to play in the summer installment of the Lions Cup tournament.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. anonymous permalink
    April 20, 2013 8:36 pm

    You can watch apparently watch at least some of the matches here.


  1. Sports for kids – sports for you? | Life in Finland (and beyond)

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