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Atlantic Attack Ringette Team.jpg
Women playing ringette in Canada's
National Ringette League (NRL)
Highest governing bodyInternational Ringette Federation
First played1963; 59 years ago (1963)

Canada Espanola, Ontario, Canada

Team members
VenueCanada Standard Canadian ice hockey rink with ringette markings
World GamesNo

Ringette is a non-contact winter team sport[5] using ice hockey skates, straight sticks with drag-tips and a blue, rubber, pneumatic ring designed for use on ice surfaces. The sport is played on ice hockey rinks using both the ice hockey markings and some markings specific to ringette; the objective is to score more goals than the opposing team.[6] Ringette is among a small number of organized team sports created exclusively for women.[7]

Barring any penalties, teams have a total of six skaters on the ice at one time, one of whom is a goaltender. Body checking is not allowed whatsoever at any age level, boarding qualifies as a penalty, and fighting has a zero-tolerance policy. High-sticking is penalized. In ringette, there is no icing or offsides. A shot clock was introduced into the sport in the 21st century to stop teams who were in the lead from running out the clock.[8]

Created in Canada for girls in 1963 by Sam Jacks and Red McCarthy,[7] the sport is most popular in Canada and Finland with both countries forming the top international teams, (Team Canada and Team Finland) on a regular basis. Half-a-dozen other countries currently participate and organize in the sport with over 50,000 participants registering annually, with the largest community of 30,000 registered players (in 2018) found in Canada.[9][3]

Ringette has spread to the United States, Finland, Sweden, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and unofficially to the United Arab Emirates.[10] The premier international competition for ringette is the World Ringette Championships (WRC), The annual Canadian Ringette Championships serve as Canada's premiere competition for the sport's elite amateur athletes. The sport is also a part of the Canada Winter Games program.[11]


Ringette players use ice hockey skates and a straight stick to pass and shoot a blue, hollow, rubber ring. The stick is a long rectangular shaft made of either wood or a composite material with a tapered end and a drag-tip which is often replaceable. The sport uses an ice rink for its playing surface and is played on either an indoor or outdoor ice surface.

Ringette officially uses ice hockey rinks with lines and markings specific to ringette added. A ringette rink is similar to but different from those used in ice hockey. At major venues such as the World Ringette Championships, the ice only includes markings used exclusively for the sport of ringette. The goal nets used in ringette are identical to those used in ice hockey (6 ft by 4 ft.), however the goal crease used in ringette is larger and players cannot enter the crease. The ringette rink uses five free pass circles, each of which has a bisecting line. There is no offsides rule in ringette and no icing. In 2000, a 30-second shot clock was introduced to prevent players from running out the clock, improve the flow of the game and increase the speed of play, but was only introduced in the Canadian Junior (U16), Junior Belle and Belle (U19), and Open (18+) divisions in 2002.[12] In the WRC and the National Ringette League, games consist of four quarters which are 15 minutes each in length.

The absence of body checking as a strategic component is one of the sport's distinctive features. There is no intentional body contact in ringette though incidental contact does at times occur. Body checking and boarding are forbidden and qualify as a penalty. Fighting is also forbidden in ringette and has a zero-tolerance policy. The only type of checks allowed are stick checks which are performed by either using the stick in a sweeping motion to knock the ring away from the ring carrier or by raising the ring carrier's stick upwards by lifting or knocking it, followed immediately by an attempt to steal the ring. Sticks may not be raised above shoulder height and high-sticking is penalized.

There are six players on each side consisting of five skaters (one centre, two forwards, and two defenders) and one goaltender.[13] The game objective is to outscore the opposing team by shooting the ring into the opposing teams goal. Ringette goalies have the added responsibility of putting the ring back into play in three different game situations: one after stopping a shot on net, one when a defensive player passes the ring to them, and the other during a goalie ring (a free pass made by the goalie from inside the goal crease). In each of these three situations the goaltender has five seconds to throw, push or pass the ring to another player. The goalie can pass the ring to a teammate beyond the blue line using the stick. Goalies are the only players allowed to play the ring with their hands but are only allowed to do so from within their goal crease, which only they can enter.

A player cannot carry the ring over a blue line in either direction. The ring must be passed over the blue line to another teammate. The blue line rule was introduced early in the sport's development by Red McCarthy when the girls ice hockey team he was working with noticed checking was difficult. Without the ability to use the body to check an opponent as a means of stopping their progress and due to the fact that it was more difficult to separate a ring carrier from a ring than a hockey player from a puck, a new rule needed to be introduced. The blue line rule had the additional effect of forcing players to create more plays and passes and created a better sense of team play.

The start of every game begins with a free pass from the free pass circle at centre ice. During the rest of a game, free pass circles are used for restarting the game after a goal or a violation. Players may not enter the circle unless they are the player making the free pass. The player making the pass may not exit the circle before passing the ring and must not cross the bisecting line.

Physical contact[edit]

There is no intentional body contact[14][15][16] in ringette though incidental contact does at times occur. Body checking and boarding are both illegal and qualify as penalties, a feature of the sport dating back to its inception. Fighting is not allowed in ringette and has a zero-tolerance policy.[14][15][16] At the international level, the level of allowable body contact may differ.[citation needed]

Unlike female ice hockey, rough play is avoided in ringette, helping ringette circumvent the associated problems confronting modern female ice hockey as once noted by Dr. Cal Botterill of the University of Winnipeg:

And don't think women's hockey is any different than men's hockey. I wrote a letter to the NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] after Jennifer graduated to tell them they'd better police their sport or it will turn out just like the men's game. It's going down the same road. If they don't start calling infractions in the women's game with much more authority, there will soon be far more thugs in women's hockey than talented players.[17]

— Scott Taylor, "Hockey violence skates offside", Winnipeg Free Press

Body checking is not allowed whatsoever at any age level regardless of the competitive level in question. This feature dates back to the early 1960s when the new sport's basic rules were being formulated. Ringette's foundational design was influenced by rules and concepts derived from basketball, and an early 20th-century Canadian variant of floor hockey,[18][failed verification] which excluded body contact. The floor hockey variant involved had been codified by Sam Jacks in 1936.[citation needed]

Ringette rink[edit]

Typical layout of an ice hockey rink surface

Playing area, size, lines and markings for the standard Canadian ringette rink are similar to the average Canadian ice hockey rink with certain modifications.[19][20][21][22] A ringette rink has a width/end zone of 85 feet (26 m), and a length of 200 feet (61 m). The rink utilizes most of the standard ice hockey markings used by Hockey Canada but with additional markings including 4 free-pass dots in each of the end zones, 2 free-pass dots in the centre zone, and a line demarcating a larger goal crease area which is shaped in a semi-circular fashion. Two additional free-play lines (also known as a "ringette line" or "extended zone line") are also required, with 1 in each end zone. Since ringette rinks are essentially ice hockey rinks with additional lines and markings, some lines and markings used in ice hockey are not used in ringette while new ones such as the "Free Play Line" are added.

Ice rinks with exclusive lines and markings for ringette are usually only created at venues hosting major ringette competitions and events. Early in its history, ringette was played mostly on rinks constructed for ice hockey and broomball and was mostly played on outdoor rinks since few indoor ice rinks were available at the time,[23] though the first indoor ringette game took place in Espanola, Ontario, in 1963.


Official ringette ring; Ringette players officially use ice hockey skates; Fully equipped ringette players; Goalie using a ringette goalie trapper a.k.a. "Keely glove"

The sport of ringette uses a specially designed blue rubber pneumatic ring made for play on ice. Some ringette rings are also available in pink[24] but aren't typically used in official game play.

Ringette sticks[2] are straight and do not have a blade of any kind, but do have drag tips at their end. Ringette sticks must conform to specific rules including those which determine the acceptable measurements for the taper and face of the stick. The stick and the tip must also meet the minimum width measurements.

Required equipment for ringette is similar to ice hockey. Ringette players, including goaltenders, use ice hockey skates and ice hockey goalie skates. At all levels, ringette players must wear a pelvic protector, essentially the female equivalent of a jockstrap, known colloquially as a "jill" or "jillstrap".



Created in Canada, the amateur winter sport was initiated as a civic recreation project in Northern Ontario for youth during the 1960s with girls as its focus.[7] Girls had few sports of their own and typically it was male players who were the driving force behind the growth, development and popularity of organized sports. Girls broomball and ice hockey programs did exist at the time but both programs had been observed to be unsuccessful.[7]

The early development of the sport is believed to have initially been influenced by a variety of floor hockey games which were played in a style used during the early half of the 20th century, most notably Sam Jacks's Floor Hockey.[25] His game used bladeless sticks and poles and did not use a ball or a puck, but instead used a flat felt disk with a hole in the centre. These floor hockey games were adopted, organized and practiced by many existing Canadian youth clubs and organizations. Floor hockey had also been adopted by public schools for youth gym classes.[26][18]

Play action in the spring of 1986 during a floor hockey game, part of a tournament for Cub Scouts held in Cap-Rouge, Quebec City, 50 years after Sam Jacks codified its first set of rules.

Samuel Perry Jacks is the Canadian credited for the initial idea which inspired the development of the ice skating sport of ringette, believed to have been influenced in part due to both his experience and creation of the youth game of floor hockey.[27] Jacks was responsible for helping form the Society of Directors of Municipal Recreation of Ontario (SDMRO)[25][28] and became its first President. Jacks was the Director of Parks and Recreation in the city of North Bay, Ontario when he invented ringette in 1963.[27] Ringette was created in the hopes of maintaining female participation in winter sport, under the existing authority of the SDMRO and the Northern Ontario Recreation Directors Association (NORDA).[25][7]

For as long as Municipal Recreation has existed there has been, with some justification, a concern that our sports tended to be male orientated.

Over the years attempts have been made to discover or create a new winter court or rink game for girls. Broomball was such a game, and for some time girls' Ice Hockey had a certain success. Neither of these games seemed to have the acceptance of the female population as indicated by lack of growth.

Ringette is a new attempt to provide a winter team sport, on skates, for girls.[7]

— Ringette Rules (A Game on Skates for Girls), Society of Directors of Municipal Recreation of Ontario (1965-1966)

As time went by Sam had many teams in West Ferris and surrounding areas playing on outdoor rinks and using boys skates. He never doubted for a moment his game would flourish. He drove his friends crazy promoting it. Eventually his game was tried out in an arena further north, and by 1965 Sam's basic rules were refined. As you all know, various changes have taken place over the years.[29]

— Mrs. Agnes Jacks, wife of Sam Jacks and Ringette Ambassador

The first ringette game was played in the fall of 1963 in Espanola between a group of girls ice hockey players from Espanola High School (Espanola, Ontario), under the direction of McCarthy along with Lauren Van Volkenburg. North Bay did not have enough ice time available to experiment with the new sport, but McCarthy was the arena manager in Espanola.

On January 21, 1965, ringette was introduced in North Bay, Ontario at Kiwanis Playground with teams from Kiwanis and Police zones participating. Attempts were being made to form a four-team league.[30] On May 31, 1965, a set of rules for the sport of ringette developed by Mirl Arthur "Red" McCarthy were presented by NORDA to the SDMRO. The group then published the first set of rules for the new sport under the SDMRO title.[7] By 1965–66, NORDA decided that they had carried the game about as far as it could go. The SDMRO was chosen to develop and organize it further on a larger scale in Northern Ontario. Three years later in 1969 the first provincial governing body for ringette was formed in Ontario, called the "Ontario Ringette Association".[31] Manitoba created their first ringette team, the "Wildwood", two years after the sport was first introduced in 1967 to the province in Fort Garry, Winnipeg.[31][32]


By 1973, an agreement was worked out between the Society of Directors of Municipal Recreation of Ontario (SDMRO) and the Ontario Ringette Association (ORA) where the copyright to the Official Ringette Rules would be held by the ORA. Finally, in 1983 in agreement with the ORA, these rights were acquired by Ringette Canada. Today, the Ontario Ringette Association goes by the name, "Ringette Ontario". In 1974 representatives from a number of Canadian provinces organized a steering committee to help create a national sporting organization to better administrate the sport nationally. In November of the same year, Ringette Canada was founded. The next year, ringette received its first major television exposure during a Hockey Night in Canada intermission feature film.

The West Ferris Arena, today called the West Ferris Centennial Community Centre,[33] was built in 1967, four years after the birth and invention of the sport in 1963. The arena, surrounding ball fields, and tennis courts are together called the Sam Jacks Recreational Complex.[34][35]

After Jacks died in May 1975, his wife Agnes Jacks CM promoted the game and acted as an ambassador for the sport until her own death in April 2005. She was awarded the Order of Canada.


There are currently two off-ice variants of ringette, gym ringette and in-line ringette.

Gym ringette[edit]

The off-ice floor variant of ringette is called "gym ringette" (or "floor ringette") which was developed in Canada as a floor variant of ringette in the 1990s, largely by Ringette Canada.[citation needed][36][37] It is meant to be played as a stand-alone activity or as a form of dryland training to help players develop ringette skills which are transferable to the ice sport.[38]

In-line ringette[edit]

Ringette can be played off-ice using wheeled skates. In-line ringette, or "roller-ringette", is played off-ice using in-line skates and/or roller skates. Currently the only wheeled ringette variant with an organizing body exists in Argentina and was established in the latter half of the 2010s by an organized group of Argentinian in-line skaters and enthusiasts.[39][40][citation needed]

International governance[edit]

The International Ringette Federation (IRF) is the highest governing body for the sport of ringette.[41]

In 1986, the first successful attempt to organize a group dedicated to the promotion and development of the sport of ringette globally resulted in the creation of the World Ringette Council. The sporting body was also determined to establish an elite level of international competition for ringette.

The World Ringette Championships were held for the first time in 1990. The following year in 1991 the World Ringette Council changed its name to the International Ringette Federation (IRF) possibly to avoid confusion due to the fact that it had the same acronym as the world event.[42]

Today, Canada, Finland and Sweden are members of the International Ringette Federation (IRF). Historically, Canada and Finland have been the most active ambassadors in the International Federation. Canada and Finland regularly travel across various countries to demonstrate how ringette is played. Canadian teams have demonstrated in countries including Japan, Australia, Iceland, and New Zealand.

In 2012, the International Ringette Federation announced new promotional activities in Norway, Slovakia, as well as in South Korea.

Olympic status[edit]

Ringette as a sport is currently not recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and therefore does not have a spot in the Olympics.[3] The IOC asked Canada to stage a Heritage games event for the sports of ringette, broomball, and lacrosse, during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, but the three sports were unable to meet the objective and the event never materialized.[43]

The sport of ringette has what is known as a relatively narrow profile because the sport is played predominately (in an organized form) by girls and women in only four nations: Canada, Finland, Sweden, and the United States. In addition, the Olympics have a firm rule, that no new sport seeking Olympic admission will be allowed into the Olympics unless it is played by both females and males at the international level, and also requires each sport to have an international organizing body which organizes international championships for both boys and girls and men and women.

It is because ringette has not obtained Olympic status that in Canada the sport does not receive federal financing.[44]

Outreach efforts by officials in both Canada and Finland to have the sport recognized by the International Olympic Committee for inclusion have not been successful, since the sport is active in few countries.[45]

World Ringette Championship[edit]

The World Ringette Championship is the premier international ringette competition between ringette-playing nations. The tournament is organized by the International Ringette Federation. In the beginning, the World Ringette Championships were held every other year, but have been held every two or three years since the 2004 edition was hosted in Sweden. The winning national senior team is awarded the Sam Jacks Trophy. The winning national junior team is awarded the Juhani Wahlsten Trophy. The President's trophy is awarded to the winner of the President's Pool.

Ringette World Club Championship[edit]

Initially organized by the International Ringette Federation as a separate tournament from the WRC the Ringette World Club Championship, an international ringette competition organized by the International Ringette Federation, no longer exists. It featured the top teams of the Canadian National Ringette League (NRL), the Finnish Ringeten SM-sarja league (now called SM Ringette) and Swedish Ringette Dam-SM. The World Club Championship was held in 2008 and 2011.

Czech Ringette Challenge Cup[edit]

Traditionally held in Prague, Czech Republic, the Czech Ringette Challenge Cup is the only tournament of its kind in Central Europe. The last tournament was held 19–21 July 2019. It was the 16th annual Czech Ringette Challenge Cup.[46]

Ringette by country[edit]


2007 WRC Team Canada goal by #87 Ashley Peters (Forward)
Bourassa Royal playing against the Montréal Mission during the 2011–2012 NRL season

Ringette is played in all ten Canadian provinces and the Northwest Territories and involves an average of 50,000 participants a year. Ringette began in Canada in 1963 when it was first conceptualized by Sam Jacks. The national sporting body governing the sport of ringette in Canada is Ringette Canada.[47] The national body promotes the sport and has its own national hall of fame, the Ringette Canada Hall of Fame, which was established in 1988.[48][49] In Canada, boys and men rarely play ringette since numerous other winter team sports options for them exist such as ice hockey, broomball, and bandy.

Canada selects two national ringette teams for international competition: Team Canada Junior and Team Canada Senior. At the university and college level ringette players have the opportunity to play their sport in several provinces. The National Ringette League[50] (NRL) is Canada's semi-professional ringette league for elite ringette players aged 18+.

At the end of every ringette season, Canada's elite ringette players compete in the Championnats Canadien d'Ringuette/Canadian Ringette Championships, commonly called "the Nationals", which also includes the final competition for the National Ringette League. The tournament was created in order to be able to determine the Canadian champions in the age divisions of Under-16 years, Under-19 years, and previously for a former division known as "Open" which was replaced by the National Ringette League in 2008.

While ringette was invented in 1963, the Canada Games, a nationwide multi-sport event, wasn't established until four years later in 1967 in Quebec City. Ringette became a part of the Canada Winter Games (CWG) program in 1991.[51][52] A number of provinces organize province-wide, winter-based, multi-sport competitions either annually or biannually. These events are typically referred to as provincial "Winter Games". However, ringette is not included in every provincial winter games program and it depends on which province is involved. Several local cities and regions also have their own annual competitions.

Cross-sport participation is not uncommon among Canada's ringette playing athletes, with some of Canada's national level ringette players having also played bandy for the Canadian women's national bandy team.[53][54][55][56]


Juhani "Juuso" Wahlsten in 1962. Wahlsten is known as the "Father of Ringette" in Finland

The most recent figures have recorded over an estimated 10,000 ringette players registered to play ringette in Finland.[57] Players participate in 31 ringette clubs. Several cities have important clubs: Naantali, Turku, and Uusikaupunki. The national organization for the sport of ringette is Ringette Finland.[58] The National Association of Ringuette of Finland (Ringette Finland) was created in 1983.


In 1979, Juhani Wahlsten, also known as "Juuso" Wahlsten, introduced ringette in Finland and is considered the "Father of Ringette" in the country.[59] In 1979 he invited two coaches, Wendy King and Evelyn Watson, from Dollard-des-Ormeaux (a suburb of Montreal Quebec, Canada) to teach girls of various ages how to play ringette. Wahlsten first introduced the new sport to a group of players in Turku during hockey practice, then created some ringette teams in the area.[60] The first recorded ringette game in Finland took place on January 23, 1979, and became the first ringette game to be played anywhere in Europe. Finland's first ringette club was Ringetteläisiä Turun Siniset and the country's first ringette tournament took place in December, 1980.

The Ringette Association of Turku was established in 1981 with several Canadian coaches going there to help teach, establish and design the training, and administration for its formation. The ski national week then organized an annual tournament to bring together all the ringette teams. Its 1985 tournament included several hundred girls making it impossible to combine into a single event all the age groups and all the categories of players. A number of different Canadian ringette teams visited in the winter of 1986 and helped increased the popularity of the sport in Finland.

Notable among Finnish ringette coaches is Antero Simo Tapani Kivelä, a retired Finnish ice hockey goaltender who played for Finland's national ice hockey team making 58 appearances overall, as well as appearing at the 1980 Winter Olympics.[61] Kivelä coached several ringette teams in Finland after he finished his playing career in ice hockey, which included being the head coach for ten seasons of ringette club, LuKi -82, in Finland's semi-professional ringette league, SM Ringette (formerly called SM-sarja).[62]

Finland national ringette team[edit]

Finland has two national ringette teams: Team Finland Senior and Team Finland Junior. Both teams compete internationally at the World Ringette Championships (WRC) on a regular basis. Both the senior and junior teams have competed in every one of the World Championships with the seniors first appearing in 1990 and the juniors first appearing at the World Junior Ringette Championships in 2009.

Semi-professional ringette league[edit]

The Tampere Ilves (Lynx) and Lahti ringette teams warming up during the 2021–22 season of SM Ringette (Ringeten SM-sarja [fi]) Finland's semi-pro ringette league.

Finland has a semi-professional ringette league called SM Ringette. SM Ringette[1], formerly known as Ringeten SM-sarja [fi] or the Finnish 'Ringette Championship Series', is the semi-professional ringette league in Finland and the country's highest level of ringette competition.[63][64][65] SM-sarja is a common abbreviation for Suomen mestaruussarja, "Finnish Championship Series". The league has been in operation since the 1987-1988 winter season. The Ringette Championship Series was administered jointly by the Finnish Rinkball and Ringette Association in the past.

In 2021–2022, the league entered its 34th season with nine teams playing in the championship series: Kiekko-Espoo, Helsinki Ringette, Tuusula Blue Rings, Lahti Ringette, NoU Ringette, RNK Flyers, Laitilan Jyske Ringette, Tampere Ilves (Lynx), and LuKi -82.


Most Swedish ringette associations are located in the Mälardalen region.[66] There are programs of "twin towns" between the Swedish ringette association and Canadian associations for the development of the sport within the Swedish population. In Sweden more than 6,000 girls are registered to play ringette annually.[67]

Ringette was introduced to Sweden in the 1980s.[67] The first ringette club was Ulriksdals, in Stockholm. Most Swedish ringette associations are located in the Mälardalen region. There are programs of "twin towns" between Swedish ringette associations and Canadian ringette associations for the development of the sport within the Swedish population.

The national federation of ringette of Sweden was established in 1990.[66] Sweden's elite league, Ringetteförbundet, was established in 1994, and the Swedish Ringette Association, Svenska Ringetteförbundet, was formed the same year. The Swedish Ringette Association is now an associate member of the Swedish Sports Confederation.[68] The association's office is located in Solna.

Sweden national ringette team[edit]

Sweden has a national representative ringette team who compete regularly at the World Ringette Championships (WRC). Sweden has occasionally formed a junior national ringette team, but it is the senior national team which has made the most international appearances.

Semi-professional ringette league[edit]

The elite ringette competition in Sweden is Ringette Dam-SM (Ringetteförbundet). SM stands for, "Swedish Championship", (svenska mästerskapet). The elite league was established in 1994, the same year the Swedish Ringette Association was formed. Several junior teams and numerous amateur teams are connected with these 7 semi-pro clubs. The league groups together seven semi-professional women's clubs: Kista Hockey,[69] IFK Salem,[70] IK Huge,[71] Järna SK,[72] Segeltorps IF,[73] Sollentuna HC,[74] and Ulriksdals SK.[75]

United States[edit]

The two national sporting organizations for ringette in the USA are USA Ringette[76] and Team USA Ringette.[77][78] In the early years of the sport in the USA,[79] ringette was played in various places in Michigan during the mid-1970s and 1980s and was most popular in Alpena and Flint. After the sport fizzled out in the area and the local association disbanded around the late 1980s, a revival later occurred and the Michigan association is operating again in the state today. In the mid-1970s ringette was introduced to Minnesota. During the same period the sport was established in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Viroqua and Onalaska, Wisconsin.

USA National Ringette Team[edit]

The national ringette team of the USA competes regularly at the World Ringette Championships and made its first international appearance in 1990 at the first World Ringette Championships (WRC). Notable in the success of Team USA's development is coach Phyllis Sadoway who was head coach for Team USA at the WRC from 2004 to 2013, and was inducted as a coach into the Ringette Canada Hall of Fame in 2012.[80][81]


Ice hockey[edit]

Although ringette is younger than ice hockey by more than half a century, it has had an unintentional influence on ice hockey at certain points in its history including a minor effect on men's professional ice hockey and a larger impact on girl's and women's ice hockey.

The "ringette line" began to have a potential impact on men's professional ice hockey in 2012 in regards to the American Hockey League with several professionals including Toronto Maple Leafs general manager, Brian Burke considering its possible application in ice hockey to correct certain areas of concern about the game.[82]

A number of case examples exist where the use of a ringette concepts and its rings have been used in ice hockey practices dating back to the late 1970s when then Toronto Maple Leafs head coach, Roger Neilson used ringette and rings to add variation to his team's practices.[83] After observing this, the coach of the Czechoslovakia men's national ice hockey team, Karel Gut, took notes on the game, went home, and made some of his own modifications in order to apply it to a training system that doubled as a training aid for Czechoslovakia's university ice hockey teams.

By 1976, there were only 101 female ice hockey teams in the Canadian province of Ontario.[84] Prior to the 1990s in Canada, the development of women's ice hockey had failed and growth stagnated. In the 1980s Canadian ringette had more than double the amount of female ice hockey players. In 1983 (twenty years after ringette was created) there were over 14,500 ringette players in Canada. That same year the number of players registered in the female category of ice hockey in Canada, was a mere 5,379 which was less than 40% of ringette's numbers.[85] Female ice hockey only began to experience significant growth after body checking was removed from female ice hockey, which was mostly removed in Canada by 1986.[85]

After the removal of bodychecking from the women's ice hockey game beginning in Canada in the 1980s, female ice hockey's growth became strongly influenced by ringette and its players. Both sports use ice hockey skates which made ringette players attractive prospects to help grow Canada's female ice hockey system which was substantially smaller than the ringette system. Aggressive recruiting efforts by those involved in ice hockey began, determined to attract ringette players to ice hockey. Campaigning efforts premised upon unchecked claims of sexist, patriarchal oppression were successful, with a substantial number of ringette players from Canada's already existing ringette system brought on board by various organizations including high schools, Canadian universities, and Hockey Canada, helping fill out Canadian female ice hockey's small base.[85]


Ringette remains one of the few organized sports worldwide where all of its elite athletes are female rather than male. Many women's sports are variants of male dominated sports and are meant to serve as the female equivalent.

Media in Canada as well as in some parts of the ringette community itself, increasingly avoid calling ringette a girls' sport in spite of its heritage.[7][86] Others claim there is a "stigma" against males playing ringette.[87][88]

In 2021, CBC Radio (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) produced a report on the subject of a teenage ringette goaltender who identified as male who had competed in ringette in the Canadian province of Quebec.[89]

Because ringette has not obtained Olympic status, in Canada the sport does not receive federal financing.[44]

Notable international players[edit]




Popular culture[edit]

Canada Post issued four stamps in a series entitled Canadian inventions: sports featuring four sports with Canadian origins: ringette, basketball, five-pin bowling and lacrosse.[92][93] The commemorative stamps were issued on August 10, 2009. The stamp featured well-worn equipment used in each sport with a background line drawing of the appropriate playing surface.

The sport was featured on an episode of the children's show Caillou.

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ a b "Ringette sticks". Shopify.
  3. ^ a b c "Why isn't ringette in the Olympics?". ringette.ca. Ringette Canada. 16 August 2021.
  4. ^ Butler, Nick (4 February 2018). "New sports face struggle to be added to Winter Olympic Games programme, IOC warn". Insidethegames.biz. Dunsar Media. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  5. ^ Smith, Madison (13 July 2021). "Every sport is male sport". The Critic.
  6. ^ Maxymiw, Anna (4 November 2014). "Girls on Ice". The Walrus. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h "Ringette (A Game on Skates for Girls) Rules 1965-66". Ringette Calgary. Society of Directors of Municipal Recreation of Ontario/Ringette Canada.
  8. ^ "History - National Ringette School". nationalringetteschool.com. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  9. ^ "Ringette Canada reaches record registration numbers, announces new president and board appointments". ringette.ca. Ringette Canada. 7 November 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  10. ^ Pennington, Roberta (3 October 2014). "Ice game hit with desert youngsters". thenationalnews.com. The National News.
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  12. ^ "History of Ringette". RingetteCanada.ca. Ringette Canada.
  13. ^ "The Rules of Ringette". National Ringette School. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Girls suffer sports concussions at a higher rate than boys. Why is that overlooked?". Washington Post. 10 February 2015.
  15. ^ a b Mac Shneider (14 February 2018). "Why women's ice hockey has a higher concussion rate than football". Vox. Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  16. ^ a b Sanderson, Katharine (3 August 2021). "Why sports concussions are worse for women". Nature. 596 (7870): 26–28. Bibcode:2021Natur.596...26S. doi:10.1038/d41586-021-02089-2. PMID 34345049. S2CID 236915619.
  17. ^ Taylor, Scott (12 March 2004). "Hockey violence skates offside". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
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