Sam Jacks

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Samuel Perry Jacks (April 23, 1915 – May 14, 1975 in Glasgow, Scotland) was a Canadian inventor, creator of the sport of ringette and floor hockey. He was posthumously inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.[1]


Jacks moved to Canada with his family in 1920 and in 1935 became the assistant physical director at the West End YMCA in Toronto. A year later, he invented floor hockey.[2] He created the first set of rules for floor hockey, an achievement later recognized by the Youth Branch of the United Nations.[3]

From 1940 to 1945, he served with the Canadian Forces as a member of the 1st Parachute Battalion. After his military service, he met his future wife, Agnes CM.[4] They married, lived in Toronto, and had three sons together, Barry, Bruce and Brian.

Jacks initially worked at the West End YMCA in Toronto but in 1948 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.

Jacks's most well known achievement was his invention of the sport of ringette. Ringette was created to both address and remedy two ongoing problems: the observation and criticism regarding the Northern Ontario Recreation Directors Association (NORDA)'s tendency to place most of its time, resources, and focus on running sports programs aimed at the male population to the exclusion of the female population, and the association's continual lack of success in gaining and maintaining participation in the two winter based team sports available to girls at that time: broomball and girls ice hockey.


  • Head coach, Junior Olympic Floor Hockey Team which competed in the USA and finished third (1947)[3]
  • President of the Society of Directors of Municipal Recreation of Ontario (1963)[3]
  • Ringette Hall of Fame, (1988)[5]
  • Canada's Sports Hall of Fame (2007)[1]
  • Ontario Achievement Award[3]
  • The Citation for Outstanding Contribution and Dedication to Recreation[3]
  • Induction into the North Bay Hall of Fame[3]


  1. ^ a b Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. "Sam Jacks". Canada's Sports HoF. Archived from the original on 2018-04-12. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
  2. ^[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d e f Ringette HoF Bio, Ringette HoF Bio. "Sam Jacks - Bio". Ringette Canada. Ringette Canada.
  4. ^ Order of Canada, Order of Canada. "Agnes Jacks". GG - Order of Canada. The Governor General of Canada.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-03-14. Retrieved 2008-03-31.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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