In ringette, the following rink markings are required for game play. Descriptions of each marking follow the diagram.
The ring must completely cross this line inside the net in order for a team to score a goal.
Only the goaltender is permitted in the goal crease, and only the goaltender can play a ring that is in, or touching, the goal crease. The goal crease in ringette is larger than the goal crease in hockey.
Free play line
Only three players from each team (goalkeepers excluded) are allowed in the area between the free play line and the end boards. Players can rotate in and out of this “free play zone,” producing a lot of movement and creativity. If a team pulls its goaltender, it can field four skaters in a free play zone.
The ring must be passed over each blue line. It cannot be passed across both blue lines at once without being touched by a player in the centre zone. There is no offside in ringette, so players are allowed to skate ahead of the ring carrier and cross the blue line ahead of the ring.
Divides the ends of the ice occupied by each team.
Free pass circle
Play starts and re-starts with a free pass in a free pass circle. Only one player from the team awarded the free pass can enter the circle once the whistle is blown. That player has five seconds to shoot or pass the ring outside of the circle. No other players can enter the circle during this time.
The free pass occurs at centre ice to start the game and to re-start play after a goal. Following a penalty, violation or other stoppage, play re-starts in the free pass circle closest to where the infraction occurred or where the ring was last played.
The ring is placed on one of these dots to start play during a free pass. The ring will be placed on the dot closest to the goal of the team awarded possession of the ring. The ring can be moved off the dot by the player taking the free pass once the whistle is blown, but that player cannot leave her team’s half of the circle without first passing or shooting the ring completely outside of the circle.
Defensive zone positioning
The lower part of the diagram shows a typical player placement in the defensive zone: the goaltender in the crease, two defenders and the centre forming a “defensive triangle” in front of the net, and two forwards outside the free play line, ready to rotate in or assist their defenders when the ring leaves the free play zone.