Ringo Rules

Created: Friday, 10 February 2012


1. The goal of the game is to score 15 points, defending one’s own half of the court. And pitching the ring – from one’s own half of the court or from outside but within the limits of the centre line – above the ringo line – so that it falls on the opponent’s half. If the opponent equalizes at 14:14, the aim is to become two points ahead. From 14:14 score – serve is changed after each point. When the score is 16:16, the 17 th point wins the game.

2. Each party scores a point for every error committed by the opponent party.


3. Ringo is played with hollow rubber ring with a decompression vent, riffled on top and bottom surfaces, with an external diameter of 17 cm (registered design) and a weight of 160-165 grammes. It is stable in flight and does not cause finger injuries to children and adults.


4.  The team ringo (doubles and triples) is played on court 9 m wide by 18 m long (as the standard volleyball court is). The ringo line (i.e. a rope or a tape) at least 1 cm wide, with colour ribbons at least 25 cm long attached to it every 20 cm, is attached at the height of 243 cm.

5. The proportions of the court for the game of singles depend on the player’s age (category). They are as follows:

  • categories 1 and 2 – KIDS (girls and boys under 11 years of age): 6 m  wide by 12 m long. The ringo line is stretched 200 cm above the ground,
  •  categories 3 and 4 – YOUNGSTERS (11-13 years of age): 7 m  wide by 14 m long. The ringo line is stretched 224 cm above the ground,
  • categories 5 and 6 – CADETS (14 and 16 years of age): 8 m  wide by 14 m long. The ringo line is stretched 200 cm above the ground.

And ringo line is stretched 243 cm above the ground with regard to all higher age categories.

  • categories 7 and 8 – JUNIORS (17-19 years of age): 8 m wide by 18 m long.
  • category 9 – OPEN LADIES CLASS (women 19-29 years of age): 8 m wide by 18 m long.
  • category 10 – OPEN GENTLEMEN  CLASS (men 19 -35 years of age): 8 m wide by 18 m long.
  • category 11 – AMAZONS (women 30-39 years of age): 8 m wide by 16 m long. This proportions apply to all the succeeding categories of singles.
  • category 12 – OLDBOYS (men 36-45 years of age)
  • category 13 – SENIOR LADIES (women 40-49 years of age)
  • category 14 – SENIOR GENTLEMEN (men 46-55 years of age)
  • category 15 – VETERAN LADIES I (women 50 and more years of age)
  • category 16 – VETERAN GENTLEMEN I, (men 56 and more years of age)
  • category 17 – VETERAN LADIES II (women 60 and more years of age)
  • category 16 – VETERAN GENTLEMEN II, (men 66 and more years of age)

All higher age categories should be composed in 5 years interval. No younger participant except OPEN CLASS is allowed to start in higher age category.

  • Categories 19 (schoolgirls’ doubles) and 20 (schoolboys’ doubles) embrace youth no older than 15.
  • Players from 16 years falls into category 19 (women’s doubles), 21 (men’s doubles) or 22 (mixed triples).
  • Category 23 (family triples I) embraces children under 16 and parents of any age, who play one or two rings; category 24 (family triples II) – children of 16 years of age or older and parents of any age , who play two rings; category 24 – discretionary triples in wheelchairs and category 26 – discretionary triples of mentally disables who play one or two rings according to separate rules; category 27 – women’s family triples (mother, daughter and granddaughter) and category 28 – men’s family triples (father, son and grandson) who play one or two rings.
  • Category 29 of mixed schoolchildren’s triples (under 16 years of age) who play two rings; category 30 – mixed school doubles under 16 years of age; and category 31 – mixed doubles starting from 16 years of age.
  • Disregarding the weather, ringo is played outside, on a portable ringo court designed by Włodzimierz Strzyżewski. It can be played indoors on the volleyball court, using the ringo lines. The court’s surface must be safe, the court lines should be painted in a colour contrasting with the surface.
  • The centre line called “the border of Peace” must not be violated on the ground or in the air – under penalty of a loss of a point.

 § 4. SERVE

14. Depending on the standard, the ringo game may be refereed by one person or by the head referee and two count referees. The head referee takes decisions and determines the finaf score. At the start of the match players draw lots for choice of the feld. Play is started with serve from beyond the end line but within the boundaries of the side line. The trespassing of the end or side line during serve causes a loss of a point.

15. The ring may be served on the head referee’s command. He makes sure that the two teams are ready and then raises his arm. He either commands a START or blows a whistle and lowers his arm. If in a team game, after  the command to START, one of the rings reached the centre line, whereas the other team did not pitch their ring yet, the latter loses a point.

16. Captain serves first, in the matches of singles, the serving player is changed every 3 points, in a game where two rings are played – every 5  or 5+1 points, in a regular sequence.

17. When two rings are played, a fall of any of them (an error) causes a loss of a point. The ring that fell on the surface must remain there until the play with the other ring ended.

18. If in the game of singles, after serve the ringo ring touches the ringo line (net) and falls into the opponent’s half of the court, serve is repeated with no loss of a point. An other successive “net”, however, involves a loss of a point already. In the game of doubles, the “net” by one of the rings does not interrupt the play with the other ring or cause a loss of a point, irrespective of the number of successive “nets”.

19. If during serve or exchange of pitches, the rings collide, punished with a loss of a point is this team on whose half of the court the ring fell or this team whose ring fell outside the court.

20. If the referee did not notice whose ring fell outside, no team scores a point.


21. The ring should fly more or less parallel to the surface or with its circumference facing the opponent’s half of the court. In no moment of its flight, may the ring remain in the vertical position.

The united command “VERTICAL” by the head referee and the relevant court referee (linesman) interrupt the game. The erring side loses a point. If the opinions of the head referee and the linesman differ, no side scores a point.

22. The criteria of VERTICAL are established by the head referee before the competition starts:

(1)   if the ring deflects 45-135 degrees from the surface, or

(2)   if the ring flies more or less square to the surface, this way gaining speed.

23. The adopted criterion must be announced before the start.

1). The ring’s rolling round its perpendicular or horizontal axis by 180 or more degrees (“somersault”) causes a loss of point. The ring that touched the ringo line and fell on the off the ground when pitching the ring causes a loss of the point.

2). The ring may wobble, yet, in variant 1, it must not oscillate more than 45-135 degrees; in variant 2, it must not fly more or less square to the surface.

3). The pitched ring must be rotating in whichever direction. To pitch the ring with no rotation causes a loss of a point.


25. When pitching the ring, pitcher must touch the ground with at least a part of his/her food. To take both feet off the ground when pitching the ring causes a loss of points.

26. He ring may be pitched from the spot or when taking the permitted braking steps if one of the pitcher’s feet touches the ground.

27. The technique of the pitch is discretionary, with this reservation however that the pitch started must be continued in the same direction. To stop the ring’s flight or to change its direction (a feint) causes a loss of a point.


28. The ring may be caught with either hand but must be returned with the same hand.

29. The ring that slipped from the catching hand for the first time, must then be catch with the same hand. One’s team-mate, as the person only beginning to catch, may use either hand. Two team-mates may catch the ring together, but only one of them may throw it back.

30. Two rings may not be caught in one hand.

31. The ring may be caught even with only one finger.


32. Caught over and over should be discarded immediately. Intentionally keeping wheels referee whistle or command signal "stop" and the punishment of losing a point, subject to sections. 39, 40, 41, 42

33. In multiplayer games in case of an intentional detention ringo ring, the referee signals the whistle or command "stop" and punishes the side (team) lost a point. Resumes a game 'Service' without playing the second lap.


34. In a game with two rings, once the first ring went out of play, following two successive lobs (one by each of the teams), the head referee issues a command “RINGO STOP”, and interrupts the game. The second ring scores no point. The game is resumed with servicing two rings.

If both rings are still in play, and teams are exchanging lobs – the head referee does not interrupt the game, but counts them aloud for each party: “one” and “two!”

The third pitch of each side must be an offensive pitch. If it happens to be a lob caught by the opponents, the head referee gives a command, RINGO STOP and awards a point to the party to have defended this third pitch.

If the defenders failed to catch the third lob, the point is awarded to the throwing party.

Serve is not recognised as a lob irrespective of the throwing technique.


35. In order to give equal chance (considering the light and wind) to everyone, after one of the sides scores 8 points (or 8+1 if two rings are played), players change fields.


36. The ring held in hand must not touch the holder’s (save the fore-arm of the catching hand) or his/her partner’s body, the ground, the ringo line (net) or the area above it. Ring must be caught at least with 1 finger.

37. The receiving party may change his/her grasp of the ring as long as the ring touches hand.


38. Players take whichever position they want in their half of the court. Everyone pitches for himself, without serving the ring to partners. A deliberate tossing of the ring under the pretence of dropping it causes a loss of a point. The ring may be caught and pitched also from outside the court, but then the ring must pass over the ringo line, within the boundaries of the centre line set up for a given category (6, 7, 8 or 9 m).Failure to obey this condition causes a loss of a point.


39.  When catching the ring on the spot, the catcher may make a step forward and take one foot off the ground. He/she must not set this foot on the ground again until he/she returns the ring.

40. In any other situation, the catcher may only take a foot off the grount and must not set it again until he/she returns the ring.

When leaping towards the opponent’s half of the court, the player may land on both his/her feet or on one, and set the other foot before the first one. When landing of both feet, the player may take one foot off the ground, but may not set it again until he/she returns the ring. If he/she lands on one foot only, the other one may be set in front, but before the pitch this foot must be moved behind. Then, any foot may be taken on the ground but must not be set back until the ring is returned.

One the catcher touched the ring, he/she must not gain speed or get deliberately closer to the opponent’s half of the court under the pretence of “braking steps”. Otherwise he/she loses a point. Only three actual braking steps towards the other half on of the court (3 contact of the feet with the ground) are allowed.

41. However, parallel to the centre line or when taking oneself away from it, once he/she touches the ring, the player may take any number of braking steps, and next turn towards the opponent’s field and take food off the ground when pitching the ring.

42. If the player catches the ring in the air, and lands on his/her back, he/she may rise to both his/her feet, and take one off before returning the ring. If the players lands with his/her face back to the centre line, when rising to his/her feet, he/she may turn towards the opponent’s field, and take a foot off the ground when turning the ring.

43. To shuffle one’s foot or feet after the last permitted foot movement was made – (“suwanie”) causes a loss of a point.


44. Every time a point is scored, the head referee announces the result aloud and points uot the winning team.

45. The players may voice their reservations only to the last result announced.


46. Ringo competitors are classified according to:

(1)   the number of victories won;

(2)   the result of a direct match between the players who scored the same number of victories;

(3)   in case of three or more players (teams) with the same number of victories won, the bigger number of wins in matches between those interested, and if those are even – the difference of points scored and lost decides;

(4)   if the difference of these points is nil, the difference of points scored decides;

(5)   if the parties interested scored the same number of points, decides the better score of points won and lost at a given stage of the match (cup-tie, cup final);

(6)   if the difference of points is nil (Pt. 47.5), the bigger number of points scored in the entire cup decides;

(7)   if even these are even, the repeat direct match between all the interested parties decides.


47. On pain of being prevented from the contest, contestants must appear in an aesthetic sports gear and footwear (no track-shoes or football shoes) or barefoot.

48. The contestant’s wear may carry the name and the sign of the club,  town, or country he/she represents. All other marks, for example of sponsors, may be placed on the contestant’s dress or body only with the approval of the respective national ringo federation-in case of a national contest, and of the international Ringo Federation – in case of international competitions. The same applies to advertisements put around the playing fields.


49. Organizers of a given contest may introduce, at their own discretion, the following into the rules:

  • Victory with a 15 point score. In that situation, when the score is 14:14, the head referee must announce “14:14. The last and decisive point.” If two rings are played, the fall of the first  decides. If the referee is unable to find which ring fell first, he/she voids the action and repeats the command until the ultimate decision can be taken.
  • An obligation to service with left and right hands successively. Every player serves twice, once with the left hand, and once with her/his right hand.
  • Division of the ringo court halves into two other halves – from the centre line to the end line: on the right-hand side of the field the ring may be caught with the right hand only, on the left – with the left hand.
  • Counting as fault each touch of the Ringo ring with ringo line during the serve and the whole game.

50. Depending of the number on contestants, the Head Referee may introduce a cup-tie, group-selection or a mixed system, until one or two victories are won, also till 8, 10 or 12 points.