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Parent & Player FAQs

A: Ringette players in Calgary aged 5-18 participate in ringette through their local association. NW Ringette is the home association for families in Calgary’s northwest, and part of the northeast and southwest areas of the city. Two other associations, BowView Ringette and South Calgary Ringette, represent the other parts of Calgary.
A: Northwest has athletes playing in Active Start (U7), U10, U12, U14, U16 and U19 this year. We have more than 400 athletes from 350 families playing in 2022-23.
A: Ringette looks different at different ages and skill levels. It is modeled on principles of Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) which promotes age and developmentally- appropriate sport activity to match your athlete’s needs.
  • In Active Start (U7), athletes will play 3-on-3 cross-ice games.
  • In U10, Step 1 and Step 2 athletes will play 3-on-3 half-ice games. Arenas use bumpers or space at center ice to separate games that happen at the same time.
  • In U10 Step 3, athletes play 5-on-5 full-ice games , are introduced to shifting "on the fly”, the ringette zone is utilized, and there are additional rules for passing.
  • Beginning in U12, athletes play full ice games , and the shot clock is introduced.
A: Athletes learn the most and enjoy sports best when there is "competitive equity,” meaning they are on a team and playing at a level which matches their age and skill. Evaluations are used to determine which level is the best fit for your athlete:
  • For athletes aged 5-6, all players participate in the Active Start division. Teams are balanced equally based on skill.
  • For athletes aged 7-9, players participate in the U10 division. Step 1 athletes are typically aged 7-8, and are building basic skating skills and learning the game. Step 2 athletes can be aged 7-9, and are mastering basic skating and ringette skills. Step 3 athletes are typically aged 8-9, have mastered basic skating and ringette skills, and are ready to play full-ice.
  • For athletes aged 10-13, players participate in the U12 and U14 divisions. Beginning in these divisions, athletes will play in C, B or A levels, determined based on their skill and ability.
  • For athletes aged 14-18, players participate in the U16 and U19 divisions. At this time, there are only B or A levels for this age group. Placement is determined based on their skill and ability. For more information on evaluations, please reach out to the evaluation coordinator for your child’s division.
A: Teams are formed immediately following evaluations, based on the skill and abilities of the athletes as determined by the evaluators. The number of teams formed in each level within a division is not predetermined; it will be adjusted to reflect the skill and ability of the athlete pool. Teams within the same level are balanced equally based on athlete skills. Most often, head coaches are a parent of one of the athletes on a team.
  • In Active Start, U10 Step 1, and Step 2, team sizes typically range from 9-13 athletes.
  • In U10 Step 3 and above, team sizes typically range from 11-15 athletes.
A: Coaches will reach out to families immediately following team formation. Expect to have at least one ice time within 2-3 days of the last evaluation skate for your division. One of the first things that will happen during your team’s first few weeks is a mandatory parent meeting, where your coach will review their goals, philosophy, and plan for the season. Parents will sign up for their team volunteer roles at or before this meeting. Teams will also typically choose their team name and often have their first team social event of the season within the first 2-3 weeks of the season.
A: NW Ringette and Ringette Calgary follow the Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) guidelines for our athletes. You can expect ice times and activities to vary by age group and team
  • Active Start and U10: 15 regular season games - 1-2 ice times a week and team off ice activities
  • U12 - U19: 15 regular season games - 1-2 ice times a week and team off ice activities and tournaments

Off-ice activities can include social gatherings, crafts, other physical activities, and more. Studies show that early social connections between teammates is a critical factor in an athlete‘s commitment to sport, particularly for female athletes. The type and frequency of these events will be discussed at your parent meeting.

At this time, NW Ringette does not have set ice times for any age group. Approximately 80% of our association’s contracted ice is on weekends, and the majority of ice time each month for all levels is on weekends. For the Active Start, U10 and U12 groups, weeknight practice ice occurs most often on Monday and Wednesday evenings, but ice times may be scheduled any night of the week. For U14, U16 and U19 groups, weeknight ice is more common, and more variable. We also strive to schedule ice times earlier in the day for Active Start, U10 and U12 levels, and use later ice times for older athletes.

While we try to release as much of the practice and game schedule as early as possible in the season, practice ice allocation in January-March is unpredictable based on post-season games. During this time, be prepared for bi-weekly or weekly updates to practice schedules.
A: Games for all teams begin in October (Session 1), with Session 2 start dates ranging from late November - January. The regular season ends earliest for our older athletes, in preparation for their post-season play. Athletes U12 and below will end their regular season in late February/early March (dates TBD).

A League black-out for all teams will take place over Thanksgiving weekend, and will occur Oct. 7-9. Winter break will be December 19-January 1.

The post-season begins in late January-early February for U14-U19 athletes, and in March for U12 and below:

  • For Active Start and U10, teams will participate in a wind-up Friendship Tournament in March (date TBD).

  • For U12, teams will participate in City Championships and will be given the opportunity to play in a Regional Championship tournament. Both will take place between March 6-26.

  • For U14 and above, teams will participate in City Championships and Provincials. These start as early as January 23 (U16A/U19A) and go as late as March 24-26.

A: Travel requirements vary by division.
  • For Active Start and U10 athletes, all regular season games take place in Calgary.
  • Athletes in U12 and above are part of the Chinook League, which includes Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane, Indus, Strathmore, Foothills, Rockyford, Lethbridge, and Medicine Hat. There are typically 5-6 out-of-town regular season games each year. Your team may play one double-header in either Lethbridge or Medicine Hat once per season.
A: All Calgary teams are guaranteed acceptance and typically participate in the Esso Golden Ring Tournament (EGRT), which takes place January 20 - 22, 2023.

The number of tournaments a team may participate in is determined by the coach and families at the parent meeting. Teams apply for their preferred tournaments, but are not guaranteed acceptance in any (except EGRT). Teams are limited on the number of tournaments they can participate in during the regular season.

In addition, NW Ringette hosts the NW Ringette Rumble tournament in November each year for U14 and above teams. Depending on the number of teams participating, most NW teams in these divisions participate in this tournament. This year, the Rumble will take place on November 5-7, 2022.

The below describes the range that teams have participated in over the last several seasons:

  • Active Start teams may choose to participate in another tournament during the year. This would typically be a local tournament in or near Calgary, with no out-of-town accommodations required.
  • U10 and U12 teams typically choose to participate in 1-2 or more additional tournaments during the regular season. Generally, at least 1 tournament is out-of-town within Alberta, requiring accommodations. For U12, teams may choose to participate in the Regionals tournament, which may be out-of-town.
  • U14-U19 teams typically choose to participate in 2-3 or more additional tournaments during the regular season. Generally, 2 tournaments are out-of town, requiring accommodations. Teams may choose to participate in out-of-province tournaments. Teams often choose to participate in provincial playdowns and provincial tournaments; these are often out-of-town as well.

Most commonly, ringette tournaments run Friday to Sunday, with at least one game during the day on Friday. Be sure to plan accordingly.

A: Encouraging all athletes to try new things and play in goal is an important part of ringette. NW Ringette loans out goalie equipment for teams and goalies, including sticks, pads, blockers, gloves, keelys, and some chest protectors for older players.
  • In Active Start, all athletes will rotate through the goalie position in each game for at least one shift. Goalies play with a goalie stick, but do not use any other special equipment.
  • In U10, all athletes will rotate through the goalie position during the season, and will participate in at least one practice and one game as a goalie. Goalies will wear pads, sticks, blockers and gloves. Once all players have tried this position, those interested in playing again may do so. Athletes in U10 may not play more than 25% of the season as goalie.
  • In U12, we continue to encourage as many players as possible to play as goalie. Goalies will wear pads, sticks, blockers and a keely or trapper, and may choose to play with a chest protector. Although athletes may choose to be dedicated goalies in this division, athletes in U12 may not play more than 75% of the season as a goalie.
  • In U14 and above, athletes may choose to play full-time or part-time as a goalie. Goalies will wear pads, sticks, blockers and a keely or trapper, and a chest protector.
A: LTAD principles indicate that overall athlete development in all positions is necessary until later stages of youth sports. The only position an athlete can declare in U12 and U14 is goalie. Players are expected to play all positions, even if they have a preference for a certain position. Playing all positions helps to build a better understanding of the game and a more complete skill set. Beginning in U16, athletes may begin to specialize more in one position but may still be asked to play multiple positions as needed.
A: YES! Playing multiple sports is important in all stages of athlete development and is highly encouraged by our association. Based on a 2022 Ringette Calgary survey, the average number of additional sports ringette athletes played ranged from 3 in Active Start to 1.9 in U12.
A: Each athlete‘s family is required to volunteer for both the NW Ringette association and their athlete’s team. Once teams are formed, families must also volunteer for at least one team role. These typically include (but are not limited to) the following:
  • Head coach or assistant coach
  • Team Manager
  • On-ice assistant
  • Social Coordinator
  • Fundraising Coordinator
  • Treasurer
  • Tournament Coordinator
  • Jersey family
  • EGRT volunteer
  • Minor officials

The specific volunteer requirements for your team will be discussed at your parent meeting. There is more information on the Volunteer Requirements for Northwest Ringette

A: Teams raise funds for the season to pay for tournaments, social activities, practice jerseys, and more. Typically, these funds are raised through an initial cash call ($50 or more per player) and team fundraising activities throughout the season. The team budget and strategy on how to raise team funds is determined at the mandatory parent meeting. NW Ringette organizes an association-wide sale of grocery gift cards in October, with all fundraising proceeds going to the teams. Teams often choose to do additional fundraising, such as bottle drives or sales, to reduce the total cash call required.
A: Participation in the RIS for Parents Program is required by Ringette Calgary, and must be completed by October 31st of the current season. Certification in this program is valid for 3 ringette seasons. The cost of the program is minimal; NW Ringette does not subsidize this program. Note that this IS transferable from other sports.
A: Our website and social media sites are great resources for our families:

Other important websites include: - Ringette Calgary - Ringette Alberta - Ringette Canada

There are many other great sites with information about ringette!

Ringette Alberta has produced a number of short videos with basic information about the game, early game strategies and techniques: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx0Yyv-Iwy-mZJPFUPf8xZQ/videos

Ringette Canada also has some good video resources, and offers live streaming of games for high-performance teams throughout the season, including the National Ringette League teams (including the Calgary RATH!) https://www.youtube.com/c/RingetteCanadaRinguetteCanada

If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out to webmaster@nwringette.com

Quick Links

Ringette Calgary Website Ringette Alberta Website
Alberta Tournaments Ringette AB Portal
City Championships Provincials
Ringette Calgary Website Ringette Alberta Website Alberta Tournaments
Ringette AB Portal City Championships Provincials