Owen Sound Ringette Association: Ringette Basics

Monday, July 8
How to Play the Game of Ringette

Ringette can be played on most standard ice rink so long as it has a free pass line in both zones. Five skaters and a goalie are on the ice for each team, unless of course there are penalties being served. The object is to score goals on the net of your opponent. How you do that, however, is where Ringette becomes unique. A straight stick, similar to the shaft of a hockey stick with no blade and a tip on the end, is used to pass an 8" hollow rubber ring between team mates.

Play is started by a Free Pass. The ring is placed on the dot in the centre ice circle closest to the own team's goal. On the referee's whistle, the player "taking the free pass" has five seconds to pass the ring out of the circle to a team mate... and the game is on! Any stoppages in play will result in a free pass to re-start the game. Some defensive free passes are replaced by a "goaltender ring," where the goalie has five seconds to throw the ring to a teammate.

Rules restrict any one player from carrying the ring the full length of the ice (no ring hogs). The ring must be passed over each blue line to another player which means more players can be involved in setting up goals.

Free play lines define restricted areas in the deep offensive and defensive zones. Teams are allowed no more than 3 skaters at a time in these areas, so over-crowding is minimal. Exceptions to this rule are only when two or more penalties are being served by one team, or if the goalie has been pulled for an extra attacker.

Ringette is such a fast paced game because at more competitive levels, a 30 second shot clock is utilized to maintain the flow of the game. The ring must hit the goalie or be shot on net within 30 seconds or it becomes the other team's possession.

There is no intentional contact allowed in Ringette, with all the rules geared towards safety. When contact does occur, however, penalties are assessed. The most common are slashing, tripping, and interference and are usually unintentional as players focus on checking the ring from an opponent's stick or skating to get a loose ring first. Most penalties are 2 minutes, but a 4 minute Major is assessed for actions that are deemed intentional or particularly rough.

Monday, July 8
Ringette Equipment

Ringette Equipment Includes:
-CSA approved helmet & ringette face mask
-BNQ approved neck protector
-elbow pads
-protective gloves
-shoulder pads
-hip/tailbone/genital protection (girdle & 'Jill')
-shin guards with hard knee protection
-hockey/ringette skates (no picks)
-uniform jersey (jersey for games supplied by OSRA)
-hockey/ringette pants
-ringette stick
-mouth guard (optional)

Goalie Equipment:
-goal pads
-chest protector
-goal stick

Goalie Equipment Optional:
-goal skates
-arm pads

Monday, July 8
Ringette Stick

-maximum length of the stick is to the height of the underarm with player on skates
-both ends should be smooth, free from cracks or splinters
-no added tape within the lower one-third of the length of the stick
-may be made of wood, plastic or aluminium, and/or any other similar material approved by Ringette Canada
-for stick dimensions and other details, visit Ringette Canada - section 4 (equipment).