Niagara Speed Skating - St. Catharines

Niagara Speed Skating Club | Short Track Speed Skating

Our Training

Training / Safety Notes (PDF)
It is the Skaters or Parents/Guardians of Skaters responsibility to ensure the following Training / Safety notes are reviewed and understood prior to any practice training session. We want everyone involved to enjoy the sport of Speed Skating and awareness can go a long way in achieving this.

1. Protective Equipment

In keeping with Speed Skate Canada By-Laws (Red Book sections D3-100 & D4-100), Members are required to adhere to the following protective equipment while participating in practices at Niagara Speed Skating Club.

Club Officials, Coaching Staff, supporting Parents, Volunteers, and Assistants who are non-practicing and non-competing, while on the ice you are required to:

  • wear a helmet that is ASTM F 1849 certified or CSA approved (specifically, speed skating, hockey, snowboard, skateboarding helmet). Helmets must be securely fastened under the chin at all times. Note, bike helmets or vented style helmets are no longer acceptable.

NSSC skating members, training and competing members, as well as visiting Skaters from other Clubs, are required to wear (top to bottom safety protection):

  • Head Protection as described above AND
  • Eye Protection – Shatter resistant glasses held in place by a strap. Lens MUST be CLEAR and non-tinted AND,
  • Neck Protection - made of Kevlar, Dyneema, or ballistic nylon either integrated into the skin suit or a separate bib style neck guard securely fastened. Protection MUST cover the lower half of the full circumference of the neck and all soft tissue below the chin to a point extending below a line joining the armpits at the front of the body AND,
  • Hand protection - full leather gloves or a synthetic glove which offers an equal or superior level of cut and puncture resistance to leather must be worn AND,
  • Knee Protection - full frontal knee coverage providing complete coverage of the patella. Made of puncture resistant (e.g. Kevlar or Dyneema) and impact absorbing (e.g. high-density foam) material. Protection may be worn over a skater’s skin suit or it can be integrated in the suit AND,
  • Shin Protection - hard plastic or built-in cut and puncture resistant material with some impact energy absorption. Full frontal shin coverage is from within 2.5 cm of the top of the boot to within 2.5 cm of the bottom of the knee protection. Protection may be worn over/under a skater’s skin suit or it can be integrated in the suit.
  • Ankle Protection - when no cut resistant suit is worn, a cut and puncture resistant anklet made of Kevlar or Dyneema must be worn on both legs, covering the legs from the tops of the boots to 10cm above the tops of the boots.
  • Skates and blades – speed skates with closed tubes and both rear and front tips of the blades rounded to a minimum radius of 1 cm.
  • Rest of Body Protection - All skin below the mid-line of the neck must not be bare.

Note: Non-Members wishing to participate in a single practice before joining as Full Members are required to wear; head protection, hand protection, and knee protection as indicated above.

For those Training and Competing Members who are participating in Speed Skating sanctioned competitions, you are required to wear ALL the protective equipment of a regular Skating Member as indicated above as well as the additional following requirements:

  • Head Protection – speed skating helmets must be ASTM F 1849 certified AND,
  • Rest of Body Protection - Skaters participating in events sanctioned as SSC Championships and/or as Selection/International competitions must wear cut resistant clothing meeting or exceeding the minimum standards established by the ISU.

Competitors should review the SSC Red Book periodically to ensure compliance with Protective Equipment. The Red Book includes all the Short Track Protective Equipment requirements and there are no additional OSSA imposed requirements at the time of this writing.

The following pictogram may assist you in understanding the requirements for Protective Equipment.
Protective Equipment

2. For NSSC practices
  1. Skaters are expected to be on time and ready for practice. PLAN to arrive 30 minutes before ice time to help with the setup of safety mats. Be punctual and prepared to be on the ice at the start of practice.
  2. Plan to dress in athletic wear which allows free movement. Wear a zippered top coat or jacket that can be easily removed during practices following on-ice warm-ups.
  3. Bring a refillable water bottle or drink for on-ice hydration breaks. Skater MUST NOT cross the active track for drinks until instructed by the Coach to ensure the track is clear.
  4. Wipe and dry the skate blades clear of ice and water to prevent rusting following each practice. Remove the hard-plastic skate guards (only used for walking) and store the blades in blade socks or soakers between practice days and while storing them at home.
  5. Practice sessions may include Skaters of all ages and abilities. Adults may skate during the same ice-time as younger Skaters, however, the grouping of Skaters will be determined by the Coaches for training purposes.
  6. Parents/Guardians are welcome to come on the ice to support the Coaching Staff to ensure everyone has a fun, safe and enjoyable time during practices. Please speak to the Administration if you would to participate in this supporting roll.

3. Ice safety during practices

Safety mats must be located around the boards covering the turn exits during all practices unless otherwise directed by the Coaching Staff. Refer to the attached diagram for details. Ideally, there should be a minimum of one (1) full mat between the blue line and the center red line to start the line up.

Assistance from parents/guardians prior to and immediately following practice is REQUIRED in moving the safety mats to and from storage.

  1. All skaters must abide to the instruction of the coach(es) while on the ice.
  2. All doors entering/exiting the ice surface MUST be closed prior to any skating activities. Ensure the doors are closed behind you or ask for assistance.
  3. Skaters are to skate in a counter clockwise direction (turn left) round the track unless directed otherwise.
  4. There will be a drink breaks called during the practice to allow Skaters to hydrate.
  5. DO NOT cross the track while the track is occupied by skaters. Remain in the center of the track and advise a Coach if you need to leave the ice surface for any reason.
  6. DO NOT enter the track from the boards until the group on the track has completed their exercise and the Coach indicated the track is clear.
  7. A whistle sound indicates the end of an activity. Skaters are to slow their speed and return to the center of the Track. The waiting group shall wait until the track is clear before beginning the next track exercise.
  8. While a group is using the track, it is important to avoid veering out into the track area from the center ice area to avoid a collision.
  9. Speed skating is fun, at times, Participants may participate in games, however it is important to keep the blades down on the ice to avoid accidental cuts and scrapes.
  10. Consider a restroom break prior to lacing up skates.
  11. Adults must accompany minors at practices and competitions. Parents are encouraged to skate as well.

The real race is with YOURSELF! Remember to have fun and keep it fun for everyone involved!

Minimum Board Pad Protection for Practices

Typical setup for Safety Mats. Start with 1 full mat length between the center red line and the exit turn blue line as shown above and place the remaining mats along the boards to an area behind the goal.

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