“AA” Information and Frequently Asked Questions



The Spruce Grove Ringette Association has historically chosen to host AA level teams within its association for U14, U16, and U19 but it is no way a guarantee.  These teams are an integral part of the association and adhere to SGRA’s values, goals, policies and procedures.  Any exceptions will be listed here.

The objective of the SGRA AA ringette program is to build strong, confident athletes that are committed to hard work, achieving personal and team goals and teamwork. Through dedication, commitment and a passion for excellence, SGRA strives to prepare our athletes for the opportunity to compete at the highest levels in the sport for their age division.  Hosting AA ringette teams is contingent on a thorough review of past season’s teams, win/loss records, UAA scores (U14 only), current evaluation scores, and other association data to ensure viability in declaring an AA level team annually.


COVID-19 Disclaimer:

As SGRA navigated their way through AHS protocols to ensure a safe return to ringette with COVID-19 this past season, SGRA committed to selecting AA team sizes in accordance with these guidelines. With this in mind, SGRA focused on ensuring that all divisions had the appropriate amount of athletes on each team to allow viable teams to participate in 2020/21 season, as a result of this - AA teams looked slightly different than past years.

As COVID-19 restrictions or protocols with team play are unknown at this point for the 2021-2022 season, SGRA endeavors to remain hopeful to a return to normalcy and a successful return to the AA program but there is no guarantee that we will be able to host a team at every level.

This document and all it entails is based on a normal return to ringette. Any updated information from AHS and the potential of restrictions will be updated in accordance to those AHS guidelines.



How will the Pursuit of Excellence program impact AA programing in the future?

Ringette Canada has been developing the POE program since 2016. Ringette Alberta has been working through these developments and acquiring stakeholder insight and feedback since 2019 and based on this feedback, a Draft Implementation Plan was presented on February 25, 2020. You can access it here.

The Pursuit of Excellence program is designed to support the following outcomes:

  • support the development of athletes with long-term high performance goals
  • help individuals fulfill their potential, whatever that may be
  • help individuals learn and live the athlete lifestyle for future benefit within or outside ringette

Pursuit of Excellence is for athletes who wish to participate in a program that:

  • offers universal program standards designed to help athletes become their best
  • requires all involved (athletes, parents, coaches and support personnel) to commit to and maintain a high-quality, science-based, long-term development process
  • provides meaningful competition with similarly skilled athletes

For more information and background on the upcoming program, please follow the link: Pursuit of Excellence in Ringette: Review and Recommendations, access it here - (POE Review & Recommendation’s) Prepared by Tim Berrett (Ph.D.) and submitted to Ringette Alberta, this report assesses the proposed introduction of the Pursuit of Excellence in Ringette stream in the province of Alberta (May 2020)

For the 2020 season - Ringette Alberta introduced mandatory fitness testing for all AA level athletes to determine baselines in building the POE program for the official rollout in 2022.

The proposed introduction to this program will be for U14 level players in 2022 and will likely see dramatic changes to association level AA starting with U14 and then U16 and U19 in successive years. This program will be voluntary. More information will be shared as it becomes available.


Current 2021 - 2022 AA Programming FAQ’s

Why should my child consider trying out for AA ringette?

At this time, participation in SGRA’s AA level is voluntary.  Your child will have the opportunity to:

  • participate at the highest level available for his/her age group;
  • have the challenge of playing against other top ringette athletes in Alberta (Potential Health Zone) and Canada; 
  • receive experienced coaching and instruction;
  • travel within Canada and play against other top ringette athletes; and
  • To learn valuable, transferrable life skills, such as responsibility, dependability and time management.

What is the financial commitment?

Each SGRA player pays an SGRA registration fee set out in the registration information.  These fees pay for regular ice, membership fees, referees, insurance, etc.

An additional financial commitment for AA will vary amongst the AA teams and age level.  There are some basic costs such as additional practice ice, regular dryland training and mandatory team apparel (e.g. gear bag and hoodie). 

Other costs will be coach and team decisions, decided at the beginning of each season.   Variables that affect cost include:

  • Number of tournaments, both home and away, that a team decides to participate in (including any post-provincial play). Teams previously participated in tournaments such as:
    • U14: 2 local tournaments and 1 out of province tournament
    • U16: 2 local tournaments and 2 out of province tournaments
    • U19: 2-3 local tournaments and 2 out of province tournaments
  • additional training added to their own program (goalie instruction, power skating, instructor led fitness);
  • additional team bonding functions or additional team apparel;
  • Costs for non-parent coaches, if applicable (e.g. apparel, travel, accommodations); 
  • Participation in post-Provincial play at Western Canadian Ringette Championships (WCRC) or Nationals if applicable.

In addition to the SGRA registration fees, the estimated team “seed money” for the season will be:

  • U14AA - Up to $1,200 per athlete (in 2-3 installments). If the team qualifies for Western Canadian Ringette Championships (WCRC), it may be $1,500 more, depending on location of event.
  • U16AA - Up to $1,200 per athlete (in 2-3 installments).  If the team qualifies for Canadian Ringette Championships (CRC), it may be $1,500 more, depending on location of event.
  • U19AA - Up to $1,200 per athlete (in 2-3 installments).  If the team qualifies for Canadian Ringette Championships (CRC), it may be $1,500 more, depending on location of event.

These costs can be significantly reduced through team fundraising and sponsorship.  

What is the time commitment?

Like the financial commitment, the time commitment can vary from team to team and between age levels.  A good guideline is as follows:

  • two on-ice practices per week of 60 to 75 minutes;
  • one dryland session per week of 60 to 75 minutes;
  • approximately 15 to 20 league and exhibition games;
  • participation in tournaments, up to the tournament maximums outlined in SGRA’s tournament policies (by age division).

Coaches are required to follow Ringette Canada’s Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) principles with respect to practice and playing time.



Who organizes the tryouts or athlete evaluations?

Tryouts are organized by the SGRA Evaluations Coordinator and SGRA Director of Player Assessment & Development, in consultation with the SGRA Board and the appropriate Division Directors.  

What is the tryout/evaluation process?

The AA evaluation and tryout procedure will be similar to and integrated into to the evaluation process at the same age division with the exception that AA tryouts begin before other levels.  Independent evaluators will be contracted to assist with the AA evaluation process. See the SGRA website for more details.

Is there a fee to try out for AA?

Yes - there is a cost to try out for all players. Please contact our registrar to complete registration process for try-outs. (registrar@sprucegroveringette.com)


Are athletes permitted/encouraged to play other sports during the ringette season?


SGRA recognizes athletes are required to balance many commitments.  These commitments often include family, school and other sports.  SGRA expects and supports family and school commitments take priority over ringette.

  • At U14AA & U16AA, SGRA encourages players to play other sports.  The coach (s) will work with the family and the athlete to balance ringette with other sports.  
  • At the U19AA level, the athlete will likely be expected to make ringette a priority sport during the ringette season.

Will an athlete that is rostered to an U14, U16, or U19 AA team in a previous season be automatically placed on an AA team every season following?


No, all athletes who wish to try out for the AA program will undergo the SGRA evaluation process which adheres to the Evaluation Guide and Team Selection policy. The group of athlete’s evaluating changes season by season, therefore the outcome will be different.


Can a player try out for a position or are they all evaluated as one group and then assigned positions when they are placed on a team?


A player can put their position preference on the registration form (and is encouraged to). Coaches have the discretion to have a player tryout at a different position than indicated. In the end, the coaches will have final say in what position they feel the player would be best suited.


Does SGRA allow players to try out who do not reside within the boundaries?


To balance the development of SGRA athletes and creating viable teams with the ability to compete with other AA programs across the province, SGRA will place a limitation on how many athletes may be selected from outside SGRA boundaries (“import players”).  Please contact the applicable Division Director or Director of Player Development & Assessment (technical@sprucegroveringette.com) for more details.


For the 2021-2022 Playing season, The Spruce Grove Ringette Association will accept all athletes interested in trying out for AA teams at each Division offering a AA team this year as long as they have been registered prior to the cut off for AA tryout registration posted on the SGRA webpage.

For those import players trying out for AA teams, acceptance on a team roster will be based on the following criteria:


  • For the U14AA Playing Division - Any import player trying out for the Spruce Grove Ringette Association who does not have a “suitable” team on which to play within their home association, the player must rank in the top 20% of all players evaluating in the final evaluation skate for If an import player who does have a “suitable” team in which to play within their home association, the player must rank in the top 10% of all players evaluating in the final evaluation skate for their respective player division.
  • For the U16AA & U19AA Playing Division’s - Any import player trying out for the Spruce Grove Ringette Association who does not have a “suitable” team on which to play within their home association must rank in the top 25% of all players evaluating in the final evaluation skate for U16AA and U19AA. If an import player who does have a “suitable” team in which to play within their home association, the player must rank in the top 15% of all players evaluating in the final evaluation skate for their respective player division.
  • Import goalies for U14, U16, and U19 Divisions will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • Final decision and acceptance of import players will be made by the Evaluation Oversight Committee in consultation with the respective head coach.
  • Any selected ‘import player” will be subject to Ringette Alberta Policies with regards to player releases and all applicable principles outlined within those policies.
  • The SGRA supports the growth and offering of a competitive stream of ringette and equally wants to see every athlete registered with the Spruce Grove Ringette Association have the opportunity to play at the appropriate level. As such, we will take all necessary precautions and consider all available facts to ensure the best decision is made for both the Spruce Grove Ringette Association and the athlete trying out.


All import players interested in trying out with an SGRA team need to be registered with their home association prior to evaluations with any other association. This is to ensure there is proper insurance coverage for applicable athletes. If a player is selected by a SGRA team, a formal request of release from the respective home association must be made.

How will coaches be selected?

Coaches who are interested in coaching AA are to submit their interest via the registration process (if child is playing within SGRA) or via email to the Director of Coaching Assessment and Development (if their child does not play within SGRA) by the deadline specified on the SGRA website.

Interested coaches will then complete a coaching application by the deadline indicated on the SGRA website.  Prospective coaches will then be interviewed by a selection committee if applicable, consisting of the Director of Coaching Assessment and Development, Director of Player Development & Assessment, and appropriate Division Director. Once the Head Coach has been selected, the committee may recommend assistant coaches based on registration information. (Another Division Director or Vice-President may step in where certain parties are not available or a declared conflict of interest exists)



How will teams be selected?

Please refer to the 2021-2022 Evaluation Guide amendment for player evaluations.

An Oversight committee, consisting of the Director of Player Development & Assessment, Coordinator of Evaluations and appropriate Division Director or Director of Coaching Development & Assessment, will review all scores submitted for each of the athletes for each team.  Once the Oversight committee has reviewed each list, final selection will commence with the selected Head Coach or designated Assistant Coach if the Head Coach is not available. Coaches’ children are not automatically accepted on the team.  The Oversight committee will need to provide reasonable justification for any import players.

Players not selected to an AA team will go through the remainder of the evaluation process within their division with no consideration of scores taken from AA tryouts.

How many AA teams are there?

For the 2021-2022 season, SGRA may host a single team in U14AA, U16AA, and an U19AA age divisions based on the evaluation scores from the current tryout period, review of past season’s teams, win/loss records, UAA scores (U14 only), current evaluation scores, and other association date including a comparison to local associations within the league.


All potential teams will play in their own respective age divisions within the Black Gold League.

Who do I contact for more information about AA ringette?

There will be an opportunity to hear more about the AA Program prior to tryouts beginning end of August - September 2021. Check the appropriate division page on the SGRA website for more information.

SGRA U14 Director - U14dir@sprucegroveringette.com

SGRA U16 Director - U16dir@sprucegroveringette.com

SGRA U19 Director - U19dir@sprucegroveringette.com

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