Ringette: a truly Canadian sport, invented in North Bay, Ontario, by Sam Jacks, in 1963.
Predominantly played by girls: 30,000 players across Canada, on 2,000 plus teams! (Source: Ringette Canada)
How to Play The Game
Ringette is a game of speed, finesse, strategy, fluid skating style
and fosters team play.
Ringette is played on a standard ice rink so long as it has a free play line in both zones. Five skaters and a goalie are on the ice for each team.
Straight sticks, using a specially designed tip on one end, are used to pass the 6″ hollow rubber ring between team mates. (Note: Most common recommended height for Ringette sticks: while on skates the stick extends to arm pit level. Many players may even prefer shorter sticks. By contrast hockey sticks are at chin level height)
Sticks are made from a range of hi-tech materials. Tips are typically ribbed. Wood sticks provide premium flex to enhance shooting. Sticks may be made from specialty woods , fiberglass, foam core, composite, carbon or aluminum.
Play is started by a Free Pass at centre ice. On the referee’s whistle, the player “taking the free pass” has five seconds to pass the ring out of the circle to a team mate… and the game is on!
No face-offs, no offsides, constant motion, and a 30 second shot clock are part of why Ringette is so often referred to as the Fastest Game on Ice!
There are no face-offs in Ringette …….. any stoppage in play results in a free pass to re-start the game.
There are no offsides in Ringette …….. a player cannot carry the ring over a blue line in either direction. The ring must be passed over the blue line to another teammate. That teammate is permitted to skate ahead of the ring carrier and already be across the blue line before the ring crosses it.
Players cannot carry the ring the full length of the ice (no ring hogs). As the ring must be passed over each blue line to another player it means more players must be involved in the game. This makes Ringette a truly team oriented sport. The constant passing makes Ringette players very adept at play-making and exceptionally skilled at skating.
Ringette features the “goaltender ring”, where the goalie has five seconds to throw the ring to a teammate, when the ring enters the crease. Entering a goalie’s crease with a skate or stick is forbidden. The Ringette Goalie crease is larger than a standard hockey crease (see Rink Markings).
Further, the action in a Ringette game is enhanced as a 30 second shot clock is utilized to maintain the flow of the game (used at almost every level except Bunny). The ring must hit the goalie or be shot on net within 30 seconds or it becomes the other team’s possession. Talk about fast paced action!
Free play lines define restricted areas in the deep offensive and defensive zones. Teams are allowed no more than 3 skaters at a time in these areas, so over-crowding is minimal.
There is no intentional contact allowed in Ringette.
Ringette cages offer more protection than most standard Hockey cages. The masks must have triangular or tight horizontal bars to prevent the stick from penetrating.