What is Ringette?

A truly Canadian winter sport, ringette was developed by Sam Jacks in 1963 in North Bay, Ontario. The game is played on ice with straight sticks and a hollow ring with the goal of shooting the most points. Due to no face-offs, no offsides, and constant motion, ringette is often referred to as one of the fastest games on ice!

How to Play The Game

Ringette is a game of speed, finesse, strategy and fluid skating.

Ringette was invented in North Bay, Ontario by Sam Jacks in 1963. Sam observed that girls did not have a winter team sport and wanted to fill that gap. Ringette has now become one of the fastest team sports on ice. While the sport is predominantly played by females, there are males who enjoy it as well. Today, ringette is played by thousands across Canada as it’s popularity continues to rise. 

Ringette is a game of speed, finesse, strategy, and fluid skating. It fosters team play and coordination among players. It is played on a standard ice rink with a free play line in both zones. Each team has five players and one goalie on the ice at a time.    

The sticks used in ringette are straight with a tip on one end used to pass the 6” hollow rubber ring between players. Sticks can be crafted from specialty wood, fiberglass, composite, carbon, or aluminum. Ring-Jet sticks are made from premium wood to provide the best flex while shooting, which helps improve shot speed and accuracy. The recommended height for ringette sticks is for the top of the stick to extend to armpit level or shorter when wearing skates. The ringette helmet cages offer more protection than standard hockey cages, the cage must have tight horizontal or triangular bars to prevent the stick from going through.   

No face-offs, no offsides And constant motion are part of why Ringette is one of the Fastest Team Sports on Ice!

The game begins with a free pass at centre ice. On the referee’s whistle, the player who takes the free pass has five seconds to pass the ring out of the circle to a teammate to begin the game. There are no face-offs or offsides in ringette. Because there are no face-offs during the game any stops in play result in a free pass to re-start the game. A player cannot carry the ring over a blue line in either direction, instead, the ring must be passed over the blue line to another teammate. That teammate is permitted to skate ahead of the ring carrier and receive the ring after it crosses the blue line. The ring must be shot at the net within 30 seconds or the other team gains possession of the ring.  

Players are not allowed to carry the ring down the full length of the rink. It must be passed over each blue line to another player to ensure more players are involved in the game. The continuous passing fosters skilled playmaking and makes ringette a highly team-oriented sport. Free play lines define the restricted areas in the deep offensive and defensive zones. Teams are allowed no more than three players at a time in these areas to avoid overcrowding. 

The “goaltender ring” gives the goalie 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.  

There is no intentional contact allowed in ringette.