What is Ringette?

Ringette is a unique winter ice sport played primarily by females, but is open to all. This non-contact sport has players using a straight stick and a hollow rubber ring. Ringette rules require individuals to pass over each blue line, thus encouraging team play.

Ringette is now played across Canada, including the Northwest Territories. Ringette boasts a total registration of 50,000 players across Canada and is played internationally in Estonia, Finland, Sweden and the United States. The sport has also been introduced to Japan, Australia, Czechoslovakia and Switzerland.

The Game

As with any sport, the rules that govern play can be extensive. The following is a list of the major playing rules:

  • Fast paced, non-contact ice sport

  • The game can be played on either indoor or outdoor rinks or inside a gym

  • Teams consist of between seven and eighteen players, with five skaters and one goaltender allowed on the ice at one time. In certain situations, however, the goaltender can be pulled and replaced on the ice by an extra skater

  • A free pass (the ringette equivalent of a face off) is used to start play. The free pass starts inside one of the five free pass circles on the ice surface

  • In addition to the goalie, each team is allowed three skaters inside the Free Play Line at any one time · Every player is required to pass the ring over each blue line. Two blue line passes are not permitted

  • The goal crease is a semi-circle with an eight foot radius.Only the goalie is allowed inside the crease. Once the ring comes to a stop with in the goal crease, the goalie has five seconds to put the ring back into play

History of Ringette

In 1963 the late Sam Jacks of North Bay, Ontario, created the game of ringette so that girls in his community would have a team sport to play during the winter months. His widow, Mrs. Agnes Jacks, still serves as the sport's ambassador at the Canadian Ringette Championships and at many international events. Recently, Ringette Canada has developed an athlete scholarship that bears her name.

The sport of ringette was introduced to BC in 1976, with the British Columbia Ringette Association being established in 1979.  In 2013 Ringette celebrated it's 50th anniversary.