Hall of Famer
Inducted in 2007
Director of Parks and Recreation for the city of North Bay
Introduced Sport of Ringette
Sam Jacks was born in Scotland, but his family emigrated to Canada in 1920. He started his professional career in recreation in 1935 as the assistant physical director at the West End YMCA in Toronto. A year later, he created the game of floor hockey and codified its first set of rules, an achievement later recognized by the United Nations. Jacks was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, 1st Parachute Battalion in charge of sports for southwest England (1940-45). He met his wife, Agnes, toward the end of the war and in 1946 they moved to Toronto where he got a job at the YMCA. In 1948, Jacks was offered a job as director of Parks and Recreation for the City of North Bay, Ontario. He spent countless hours over many years encouraging kids to use the abundant natural outdoor rinks to play hockey and exercise, and he started to experiment with a version of hockey for girls. In 1963, he finalized the game and a first set of rules, calling the sport ringette. After two years of development, he recorded a new set of rules which are the basis for today's version of the game. Jacks died before ringette became internationally successful in the 1980s. The world ringette championships were started in 1990 in Gloucester, Ontario. The winning team receives the Sam Jacks Trophy, and the most recent winner was Finland which defeated Canada at the 2004 Championships in Stockholm, Sweden. These two countries have won all ringette world titles. The 2007 championship will be held in Ottawa in November. After Jacks's untimely death in 1975, his wife continued to promote the game globally.