Ringette is a Canadian sport that was invented in 1963 in North Bay, Ontario by the late Sam Jacks. There are currently over 27,000 players on nearly 2,000 teams across Canada with over 2,400 officials and 5,000 coaches. Internationally, it is played in half a dozen other countries around the world. Ringette has been designated a Heritage Sport by Sport Canada and as part of the Sport for Life movement, ringette is well advanced at adapting Sport Canada's Long Term Athlete Development model. For more information, please refer to the Ringette Canada Web site at
Ringette, like hockey, is played on ice with skates and sticks. Each team consists of six players - two defenders, three forwards, and a goalie – with an objective to score goals. But the resemblance to hockey ends here.
The stick is straight. The object being pursued by players is a rubber ring, not a puck. There is no intentional body contact. There are two 20-minute periods. And the rules of ringette make it a wide-open and dynamic sport.
The emphasis is on play-making and skating skills. Players cannot carry the ring across the blue lines on the ice. Only three players from each team, plus the defending goalie, are allowed in the end zones at the same time, which keeps the play open, puts a premium on sharp offensive moves, and requires defending players to skate close to their opponents. These features of the game demand the development of keen skating skills that give ringette players fantastic skating speed and agility.
Ringette is a fast paced, non-contact ice sport combining speed and strategy
It is played on a standard rink
Five skaters and one goaltender are allowed on the ice at one time
A free pass (similar to the start of a soccer game) is used to start play
Any stoppage in play results in a free pass to re-start the game, usually in the nearest free pass circle
The ring must be passed over each blue line to another player, which means all players are involved in the play
If the ring lands in or on the goal crease the only player who can touch it is the goalie
Neither team is allowed to enter the goal crease, not even by just their stick itself
Teams are allowed no more than 3 skaters inside the Free Play Line, so over-crowding is minimal
The following picture illustrates the equipment required when playing ringette: