6 tips for anyone who wants to try ringette

Checking in at number 54 on the ParticipACTION 150 Play List, ringette is a fast-moving team sport that was invented right here in Canada. If you’re looking to join in on the fun and friendship, Ringette Canada has some suggestions to get you started.

HELLO, HELMET

A helmet with a face mask is a key piece of safety equipment. For added protection, the openings in the “cage” of a ringette helmet are triangular instead of square. To keep their hair out of their face, many ringette players wear a bandanna (also called a “skull cap”) under their helmet.

SMARTY PANTS

Ringette players wear long pants instead of the combination of shorter pants and socks typically seen in hockey. Underneath the pants and jersey, though, the gear is essentially the same. Make sure you have all the right pieces of protective equipment before heading out on the ice.

STICK AROUND

Ringette sticks are not just sawed-off hockey sticks; they are custom-made for the sport. Make sure the stick you’re using is the correct size for you. If it is too long or too short, it could interfere with your progress and put unnecessary strain on your body. The test: when standing on skates, the stick should fit comfortably under your armpit.

AN ICE INTRODUCTION

Skating is a must-learn skill for ringette. You may want to start with skating lessons before trying the basics of the game. Remember, if you’re new to skating, it’s normal to fall! It’s good to practice falling and getting up – and the quicker, the better. Ringette is a fast-paced game, so it’s an advantage if you can recover swiftly and re-join the play.

PASS IT ON

Next, you’ll need to learn how to pass and receive a ring. Although receiving the ring can be tricky at first, practice following it with your stick as it comes toward you. In ringette, a player cannot carry the ring over the blue line – it must be passed across. So, don’t pass up a chance to practice this important skill.

RINGETTE RULES

At first glance, ringette may look similar to hockey, but there are some ringette-specific elements – like the 30-second shot clock – that make the games action-packed. In addition, only three players from each team are permitted in the offensive or “free play” zone, resulting in plenty of movement, creativity and tactical play as they rotate in and out. For impressive goal-scoring highlights and an overview of the rules, check out this video from the Ringette Canada website.

If you’re ready to take a shot at ringette, contact your local association about upcoming “try it” events or visit www.cometryringette.ca.