A defender`s job when playing one versus one is to channel.

Channeling is what you do when you try to force an opponent away from the front of your own net.

Sometimes defenders have to channel for a long time (from the blue line all the way in on a fast break) and sometimes they channel in a small space (when they step up in the triangle).

Either way, your job is the same: to use good body positioning to control where the ring carrier can skate.

Like most skills in ringette, channeling has a lot to do with skating.

In fact, the world`s best defenders are excellent backwards skaters because it helps them to channel effectively.

However, channeling is also about using your body in a LEGAL way to control the ring carrier. Too many ringette players do not understand what is legal and what is not when it comes to body contact.

When you are channeling in a small space, you must learn to use legal body contact.

Most top defenders do this by staying very low to the ice and using a closed fist to apply pressure to the ring carrier`s body. The best place to make contact with the ring carrier is right on her hip (where you can control her center of balance). Check out this clip. Watch Laura Warner close the gap between herself and the forward with the ring WITHOUT letting the ring carrier in behind her and WITHOUT making illegal body contact:

To master channeling in a small space you must practice playing defence without a stick. The next time your ringette team does 1 v1 drills or practices the triangle, ask your coach if you can do it without your stick. Practicing this way forces you to maintain great body position and use your body LEGALLY to channel the ring carrier!


Your friend,
Lisa B.