Sam Jacks

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Samuel Perry Jacks (April 23, 1915 – May 14, 1975 in Glasgow, Scotland) was the Canadian inventor of the sport of ringette and floor hockey. He was posthumously inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

Jacks moved to Canada with his family in 1920 and his first exposure to sport was in 1935 when he was the assistant physical director at the West End YMCA in Toronto. One year later, he would invent floor hockey.[1] He created the first set of rules for floor hockey, an achievement later recognized by the United Nations.

From 1940 to 1945, he served with the Canadian Forces as a member of the 1st Parachute Battalion. After his military service, he met Agnes and they were married. They had three sons, Barry, Bruce and Brian. They lived in Toronto and Jacks worked at the West End YMCA in Toronto. In 1948, he was asked to become director of parks and recreation for the city of North Bay, Ontario. He was instrumental in developing the first Northern Ontario Playground Hockey Association (NOPHA) which encouraged youth to play hockey on outdoor rinks. He then invented the sport of ringette because for a long time he saw that females needed a team sport to play on the ice rink.


Ringette is a Canadian sport game which was first introduced in 1963 in North Bay, Ontario by Sam Jacks,[2] who worked at the Department of Parks and Recreation. The first-ever ringette game was played in Espanola, Ontario in the winter of 1963-1964.[3] Developed originally for girls, ringette is a fast-paced team sport played on a hockey rink in which players use a straight stick to pass, carry, and shoot a rubber ring to score goals(points) Jacks' invention of ringette will be one of four sports featured on the Canadian Inventions:Sports series to be issued by Canada Post stamps on August 10, 2009.[4]

Each year, Jacks' wife, Agnes, continued to be a strong supporter of the sport, attending Provincial Championships in many of the Provinces and, of course, the Canadian Ringette Championships each April until she died in April 2005. The Sam Jacks Trophy is awarded to the World Champions. The trophy currently resides with Finland.


  • Head coach, Junior Olympic Floor Hockey Team which competed in the USA and finished third. (1947)
  • President of the Society of Directors of Municipal Recreation of Ontario (1963)
  • Ringette Hall of Fame, (1988)[5]
  • Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, (1995)
  • Ontario Achievement Award
  • The Citation for Outstanding Contribution and Dedication to Recreation
  • Induction into the North Bay Hall of Fame


  1. ^
  2. ^ Immodest and Sensational: 150 Years of Canadian Women in Sport, M. Ann Hall, p.90, James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Toronto, 2008, ISBN 978-1-55277-021-4
  3. ^
  4. ^ Canada Post Stamp Details, July to September 2009, Volume XVIII, No. 3, p. 18
  5. ^

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