Right-sized Nets FAQs

Ringette Alberta has offered to subsidize local ringette associations wishing to use right-sized nets to aid in the recruitment and retention of young goaltenders. We hope the following FAQs will help you understand the background, rationale and next steps in the use of these nets.

No. Ringette Alberta offered to pay 50% of the cost of the nets for those associations wishing to use them. Using the right-sized nets this season is voluntary.
Too early to tell. Together with our members, Ringette Alberta will assess the use of the right-sized nets before making that decision.
Ringette across the country has the perennial issue of an insufficient supply of goaltenders. There is a belief that more closely matching the size of the net to the size of the player will help.

Here are some of the reasons why right-sized nets are being given a chance:
• Increased chances of success for children who do try goaltending. More success means that children will be more likely to want to give the position a try and their parents to support their child’s decision. A net that is more closely matched to the child who is guarding it is likely to give that child a fighting chance of stopping a shot.
• A reduction in the potential for blow out games leads to more fun for everyone.
• An increase in the flow (and fun) of the game with fewer stoppages of play thanks to fewer goals.

There are many other sports that have introduced right-sized equipment and programming. Here are just a few:
• Soccer uses a modified field, a right-sized net and smaller soccer balls.
• Hockey has many examples of using smaller nets and a modified game.
• Team Handball uses smaller nets and smaller balls.
• Basketball varies the height of the net and uses a smaller ball.
• Volleyball varies the height of the net, uses “three ball” and other game modifications.
• Tennis uses modified balls, court and nets.

The offer from Ringette Alberta was made in the summer. Some associations had concern with coordinating with facility owners on storage, may not have had budget room or other logistical concerns.
Ideally, more notice would have been preferred but since using the right-sized nets is voluntary, no association was forced to make a decision that it wasn’t comfortable or prepared to make. In June 2015, there was a conversation involving many local ringette association representatives (not all) about the introduction of right-sized nets. Subsequent to that, a request was received by Ringette Alberta to fund the nets on the assumption that, if Ringette Alberta could help, many associations would choose to use the right-sized nets in the 2015-16 season.

So, Ringette Alberta left the decision up to the local associations, made the financial offer and provided information to all associations about the mechanics of how the nets would be used. Ringette Alberta felt it better to support the voluntary use of the nets rather than impede associations willing and / or able to give it a try.

finland small nets

Yes, this is something Ringette Alberta will likely try to include in its 2016-17 budget provided there is merit in doing so.
In league games, the home team’s net sized should be used. For example, if Team A’s association has chosen to use the right-sized nets and Team A is the home team, the game between Team A and Team B will use the right-sized nets.
In tournaments, the tournament host will make the decision. The tournament listing on Ringette Alberta’s website will include whether or not right-sized nets will be used so teams know before applying to participate in the tournament. For exhibition games, the teams will agree.

Use the large nets for that game. Since both teams are using the same sized net, it is fair for both teams.
• Active Start where readiness supports using any nets at all
• Fundaments – U10 Step 1
• Fundamentals – U10 Step 2
• Learning to Train early – U10 step 3
No matter when a game or equipment modification is phased out and new conditions phased in, there is a period of adaptation. Having the rights adapt successfully is certainly a concern but it may be less of a concern than some assume it may be.

Children at this age are relatively malleable compared to their older counterparts and adults. Because of where they are in their growth and development they are very capable of adapting quickly. The introduction of the shot clock at U12 is example of the rights being able to make a fairly seamless transition to from no shot clock at U10 to using the shot clock at U12.

There is a high probability that teams will experience large and small nets over the course of the season, therefore, when many players make the transition to U12 next season, they aren’t likely to be seeing the large nets for the first time.

If there is a major concern about the rights being able to adapt, the coaches are free to introduce the large nets in practice.

Most importantly, Ringette Alberta will be working with our member associations to determine if a switch for the Step 3 teams is appropriate at some point this season. If so, when this transition takes place will be made universally and everyone will be provided the same information.

finland small nets

There isn’t likely to be a 100% definitive indication of success or failure however there are some indications that may be useful to make this decision:
• total number of goals
• flow of the game
• willingness of children to try the position
• anecdotal feedback
• learnings from other sports

There are some hard numbers that may be collected however much of the decision will be made based on the conversations with appropriately qualified individuals from Ringette Alberta’s membership.

Step Nets Storage