What is Ringette (Richmond Hill Ringette)

PrintWhat is Ringette


Ringette is a Canadian game that was first introduced in 1963 in North Bay, Ontario.

It is an exciting, unique winter ice sport, played mainly by females but open to all and at all ages. Everyone gets to play on a team and everyone gets to play regardless of their skill or ability. Ringette is very inclusive.

Like basketball (but played on ice), Ringette is a non-contact sport. Players use a straight stick with a specially designed tip and a hollow rubber, blue ring. Ringette playing rules require players to pass the ring over each blue line in order to advance the play, creating excellent team participation.

Ringette is played across Canada from the Northwest Territories to Prince Edward Island. BC Ringette boasts local leagues and associations on Vancouver Island, throughout Lower Mainland, the Thompson-Okanagan, and Northern BC. Internationally, Ringette is played in Finland, the United States, Sweden, France and the United Arab Emirates with teams being formed in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Ringette has some very distinct differences to other ice sports. In fact, while it looks a bit like hockey, it more closely resembles lacrosse or basketball in terms of its offensive and defensive play. Ringette uses a rubber ring and sticks with specially designed tips. The objective is to score on the opponent by shooting the ring into the opposing net..

  • There are two periods of 15 – 20 minutes depending on the age of the players. Most games last approximately 1 hour. The pace is very fast therefore players get lots of ice time in this hour.
  • Teams consist of between 7-18 players. 6 players from each team are allowed on the ice at one time; 1 goalie (regular hockey goalie stick); 2 defence; 2 forwards; and 1 centre.
  • The players wear full protective equipment like hockey players but ringette uses a unique stick and face mask.
  • Ringette players wear jerseys but wear long pants instead of short pants and socks like hockey players do.
  • The goalie uses regular goalie equipment but in ringette some goalies use a unique catching glove.
  • Ringette is played on a regular ice surface and uses the 2 blue lines but not the centre line. It also uses 2 additional free play lines which create zones unique to ringette.

Ringette ice rink

Playing the Game

  • A straight stick is used to pass, shoot, and control an eight inch rubber ring.
  • Intentional body contact is not permitted.
  • Play is started by a Free Pass, similar to a start of a soccer game. The player with the ring has five seconds to pass or shoot the ring out of their half of the free pass circle.
  • Any stoppage of play will result in a Free Pass to begin play again. Most defensive Free Passes are replaced by a Goaltender Ring. In this instance, the goaltender has five seconds to place the ring in play, usually by throwing the ring to a teammate.
  • Unlike hockey, the ring must be over each blue line. This encourages passing and team play and results in very quick transitions with more players being involved in the play and in setting up goals.
  • Free Play lines that run across the top of the defensive/offensive circles define a restricted zone in the defensive/offensive areas. The game is kept fast moving and wide open as no more than three skaters from each team can enter the zone. The defensive players, usually the two defensemen and the centre, create a zone type defence, called the triangle. The offensive players try to penetrate the triangle in order to get a good close shot on goal.
  • Like basketball and lacrosse, in most divisions of Ringette, there is a shot clock that forces the teams to get a shot on goal which keeps the game moving quickly.
  • 30 second shot clocks are introduced at the U12 level. The shot clock is reset after a shot on goal or following a change in possession.
  • The closest concept to an off-side is a direct pass across two blue lines. This is not permitted and will result in a free pass for the other team. The centre red line has no relevance in the game and can be ignored.
  • If the ring lands in or on the goal crease the only player who can touch it is the goalie. No skaters, including their sticks, are allowed to enter the crease area at any time.

Required equipment includes:

  • CSA certified hockey helmet with compatible CSA certified type 5 or 6 mask affixed
  • Neck protector - BNQ approved
  • Mouth guard (optional)
  • Chest and shoulder pads
  • Elbow pads
  • Protective gloves
  • Ringette girdle
  • Ringette pants
  • Knee pads
  • Shin pads
  • Skates
  • Ringette stick
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Printed from rhringette.com on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 11:07 PM