What is Ringette?
Source: Ringette Canada
Ringette is a Canadian invention that has become one of the fastest team sports on ice. Sam Jacks, a recreation director and sports enthusiast from North Bay, Ontario, invented the sport in 1963 when he saw the need for a winter team sport for girls. Interestingly enough, Sam Jacks was also responsible for the development and introduction of floor hockey in 1936.
Since the early 1960s, the sport has continued to grow and currently boasts nearly 30,000 registered players on nearly 2000 teams, with over 8000 coaches and over 1500 officials. While it is primarily a female sport, there are currently over 700 males playing ringette across the country.
Ringette, like hockey, is played on ice with skates and sticks with six players per team on the ice at once. The objective is to score goals by shooting the object of play into the opposing team’s net at either end of the rink during stop-time periods of play. But this is where the comparisons between ringette and hockey really end. The stick is straight. The object being pursued by the players is a rubber ring, not a puck. There is no intentional body contact. 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.
Does my child have to know how to skate?
NO! Among the many benefits of our sport is that Ringette players become very good skaters. With no offsides and no intentional rough body contact, players develop their skating skills early either as team members in one of our entry level Team Programs, or in our Learn to Skate Program for younger children, appropriately nicknamed the Bunny Program. We offer one hour Learn to Skate sessions for young players 4 to 6 years old. Entry Level teams in our U10, U9 and U8 age divisions.
When does it start?
Our Bunny Program runs from October to March. Participants are contacted approximately two weeks ahead of time. Players get lots of individual attention and progress at their own rate. The sessions are non-competitive and fun. Every player wears a Bunny program sweater and enjoys being part of the ‘team’.
For the rest of our players, the season starts in September and lasts until late March. Your daughter will be on a team with girls of the same age and skill. Skill levels range from Recreational to Competitive AA. Age Groups for players playing on a team in a League start at U8, division and move up through the divisions as they grow, U9, U10, U12, U14, U16 and finally U19.
The bunny program is purely a learn to skate program until Christmas. It is geared mainly for children with little or no skating skills at all. While there are kids as young as 4 in the program, the vast majority are 5, and 6 year olds. There are some 4 year olds that will turn 5 and some 6 year olds that will turn 7 before the season is over.
After Christmas they start to add a few ring handling skills to the mix and by the end of the season they will play some games (cross ice games with one to three games going on at once on the big ice surface). Their season ends with a huge Bunnyfest event, where all Bunny programs from the area get together to play games and participate in fun off ice activities.
The U-8, U-9 and U-10 Novice Age Division (9 and under), is the first age group of formal teams that play in a league.
The U-8 and U-9 Novice teams are for beginners and have many players who have never played or skated before. They are mostly 7 and 8 year olds with a few 6 year olds that parents felt that the Bunny Program might be boring for them, such as players that have already participated in the bunny program for a few years and parents and coaches agree they are ready to advance. The instructors in the bunny program and the coaches in the Novice Program are very honest and straightforward about the skating skill level of the girls and earnestly try to place them in the program they think will do them the most good. U-10 are mostly 9 year olds and exceptionally good 7 and 8 year olds.
The U-12 Petite Age Division in the NCRRL is split into three different skill level U12 Petite Provincial Blue, U12 Petite Provincial Red and U12 Regional. The Petite Provincial divisions are for competitive level teams. Our U12 Regional teams are balanced teams that play games in the NCCRL.
*ALL AGE GROUPS* Teams could travel to Kingston or Upper Ottawa Valley to play games as these communities are also part of the NCRRL.
Team placement is decided by a group of evaluators and the selection process is governed by a set of criteria. During the first few ice sessions, the coaches and evaluators will be looking at players with a view to assigning them to teams. It is important that the girls attend all of these initial ice practices so they can be evaluated and placed on the team that best suits their experience and playing ability. For competitive teams there is a tryout process. Being on a competitive team requires more ice time, more money and, particularly, more commitment from the players and parents. These sessions are critical so please ensure your daughter attends all of them.
What equipment do they need?
Source: Ontario Ringette Association
Required equipment for Ringette is as follows:
Ringette Stick - generally lightweight composite or hollow wood, with metal or ridged plastic tips. Heavily splintered sticks are not permitted.
Hockey Skates - goalies may choose to use goalie skates
Shin Pads - worn under the pants (or goalie pads)
Protective Girdle - with a ‘cup’ or a ‘jill’ to protect genitals
Ringette Pants - covering pants
Hockey Gloves - ringette gloves have been phased out due to a lack of hard padding
Helmet with Ringette Facemask - must have a triangle bar pattern-either full or half with a plexiglass shield for the eyes; square bars are disallowed because the stick tip can fit through the spaces
Shoulder Pads - in some associations/provinces, shoulder pads are optional after U12. In Ontario, shoulder pads are necessary until 18+, other provinces may vary.
Wrist Guards - optional
**CRRA Plays in the NCRRL. **Mouth guards are recommeded for all levels of play within the NCRRL**
How much does it cost to register?
Cost changes each season and contingent on the level of play you register for.
*See Registration page for information about fees.
What does my registration fee pay for?
The registration fees pay for regular ice time for games and practices, referees, insurance, team equipment and sweaters, training for coaches, managers and referees, fees to Regional and Provincial Ringette Associations and other administrative costs such as postage, printing, advertising to name a few.
How and when do I register?
Notices will be posted in local newspapers, here on this page, and on the Front Page of the CRRA Website as well as on our various social media pages. You can also register to our news letter for monthly news and updates.
Can I register after formal registration is over, or after the season starts?
Yes, provided space is still available on established teams. Contact the Phone Number below or the email address for immediate answers. If there isn’t space on one of our established teams at your daughter’s age group or level, we will assist you in finding a place for her to play. It’s almost never too late! And it’s certainly NEVER too late to ask. . .
Do you have more Questions?
Phone or E-mail Comments or Questions about CRRA’s Programs to the Registration Coordinator
Additional Information for New Parents
The Clarence Rockland Ringette Association (CRRA) is operated entirely by volunteers. Our CRRA volunteers act as coaches, team managers, executives, fund raisers, scorekeepers and tournament organizers. Our executive and volunteer contact list is provided here for your information.
Policies and Procedures
Clarence Rockland Ringette has a well established set of Policies and Procedures for how to deal with things that come up year after year such as Coaching Selection, Ice Allocation, Out of Area and Financial Administration.
For example, each year issues arise with regard to players being asked to play up in an older age group.
We believe that if it is in the best interest of the players that if the circumstances justify it, players should be given the opportunity to be moved during the course of the year to a team at a higher level. This usually occurs when a player clearly demonstrates that she is of a caliber that justifies such a move. As well, in some situations, there are insufficient numbers to field a team at a particular level. In those circumstances we will look to neighboring Associations for players. On occasion, neighboring Associations are unable to field a team and request that we attempt to accommodate players from their jurisdiction who cannot be placed on a team at their level of play. In those circumstances, we will accept such players who demonstrate the necessary skills and if there are not enough Clarence-Rockland players of a similar caliber trying out for the team.
As well, there are policies to deal with, Discipline, Harassment, and Appeals should they ever become necessary.
Parent involvement in Coaching Philosophy and Team Administrative Matters
Once the teams are selected, the coaches will meet with the parents to discuss the coaching philosophy for the team and administrative matters such as tournaments to be entered during the season, fund raising for tournaments and extra ice time and other issues of team concern. Parents are encouraged to ask questions and communicate their suggestions to the coaches.
We are always looking for volunteers to grow our executive board as well as fill bench staff positions and other volunteer duties such as fundraising etc.