About ringette

Ringette Questions & Answers

What is ringette?

Ringette is a fast-paced team ice sport.

The goal of a ringette game is for one team to outscore their opponent. A goal is scored when the ring crosses the goal line into the net.

Ringette is often compared to ice hockey because they are both team ice sports where there are five players and a goalie per team on the ice at one time. There are also officials to make sure the rules of the sport are followed.

Strategies of ringette are similar to other team sports such as hockey, basketball, and lacrosse. Ringette is unique because players must pass over blue line markings on the ice surface. Also, body contact is discouraged and penalized, and players have only 30 seconds to get a shot on their opponents net.

The result is a face-paced game where athletes must be agile skaters, excellent passers, and strong shooters. Because players have superior stick control over the ring, goaltenders must develop to be patient, quick and agile in order to make saves.

Who plays ringette?

Ringette is played by girls and boy, women and men, around the world.

A game initially conceived as a female sport, ringette is predominantly played by girls and women. The popularity of ringette is growing amongst boys and men too.

Today, co-ed ringette is offered by ringette associations across Canada, and there are female or male-only options for competition.

The youngest players entering ringette are 3—4 years of age, while adults can enjoy the sport for life at any age.

Ringette players enjoy the ability to skate and participate in a competitive team sport, while having fun, staying healthy, and making friends.

How many people play ringette in Canada?

In Canada, there are 31,168 people who play ringette. The breakdown by province is:

British Columbia: 2,167
Alberta: 6,522
Saskatchewan: 1,520
Manitoba: 2,563
Ontario: 9,498
Quebec: 5.707
New Brunswick: 1,334
Nova Scotia: 1,040
Prince Edward Island: 817
Newfoundland and Labrador: 0
Northwest Territories: 0
Yukon Territories: 0
Nunavut: 0

What is the history of ringette?

Ringette was started in 1963 in North Bay, Ontario, Canada by recreation director and sports enthusiast Sam Jacks.

The game was invented as a team ice sport for girls, with rules intended to foster team play, inclusion, safety, and fun.

Since 1963, the sport has grown and developed into one of the fastest team sports on ice. Ringette players are known to be agile, fit, and strong. Competitions are fierce, and opportunities abound.

Ringette began in Finland in 1979, and Sweden in 1980. The sport has become very popular in those countries, with over 40 clubs in Finland.

How long has ringette been played in British Columbia?

Ringette started in British Columbia in 1973 with the first games played at the Aldergrove Arena (Langley, BC).

Trudy Cuthbert and Eileen Carpenter brought the new sport dubbed “Ring Hockey” to the province after learning about it on a television program. They had 200 girls signed up the first season.

Today there are 2,167 ringette players in BC. The Lower Mainland Ringette League is the largest league in the province, composed of 10 member associations:

  • Burnaby Ringette Association
  • Chilliwack Ringette Association
  • Coquitlam-Moody Ringette Association
  • Delta Ringette Association
  • Fraser Valley Ringette Association
  • North Vancouver Ringette Association
  • Port Coquitlam Ridge Meadows Ringette Association
  • Richmond Ringette Association
  • Surrey White Rock Ringette Association
  • Vancouver Ringette Association

What are the rules of ringette?

There are some unique rules and equipment in ringette, which sets it apart from ice hockey —a sport it is often compared to. Some basic rules include:

  • Players must pass over the two blue lines on the rink surface.
  • Goaltenders have five seconds to pass or throw the ring to teammates.
  • Only goaltenders are allowed in the net crease.
  • Players have 30 seconds to shoot on goal, timed by a shot clock.
  • There is no body contact allowed. Examples of penalties include hooking, tripping, interference, body contact, boarding, high sticking, delay of game and slashing.
  • There are only three offensive players, three defensive players and a goaltender allowed in an offensive zone at any one time. This is marked by a special red ‘ringette free play line’ on the ice surface.

Learn more about the rules of ringette on Ringette Canada’s website. Learn about specialized rink markings on Ringette BC’s website.

Which countries play ringette?

The international teams competing at the 2019 World Ringette Championships include Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden, and USA.

Ringette has been played in Sweden, Russia, and France.

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