Competition Helpful Hints

What to Bring

  • Your skating equipment , running shoes
  • Lots of Healthy snacks, a lunch and drinks:  There is a canteen, but the food is generally not so good for you, and will not let you maintain your energy through the day. (Reward yourself at the end of the day!). Lunchtime and break times are generally short, and so you won’t have time to run out for food.
  • Tight fitting clothes for racing : you don’t want to be snagging your own clothes on your skates, so spandex pants or jogging pants with elastics at the ankle are ideal. You don’t need a skin suit – but our club colours are navy and silver, so you can try to match that if you want to.  You also don’t need to stay very warm on the ice for your short races, so generally a t-shirt+long sleeve shirt is enough for your race.  Bring a jacket that you can zip off just before the race and other warm clothes for watching racing.
  • Spare socks and clothes (including underwear) for racing and hair dryer:  The ice is maintained throughout the day by putting water on the track so often falls result in very wet clothing.  A hair dryer will dry spandex quickly, but not cotton.
  • A pen and paper to write down your times.
  • A blanket to sit on in the stands – cold on your bum
  • A good attitude

The Day

  • Arrival: Find the changeroom that our club has been assigned to. We’ll be sharing with another club, but it is nice for us to be all together. Stake out a spot, then check out the arena.
  • Figure out your racing group : You will be seeded into a group for racing. That group will be assigned a warmup slot, and the racing schedule will outline the order of the races by group. I will likely be given the numbers that you need to wear on your helmet that day for the races, and we’ll have a brief meeting to get the day started, after the coaches meeting.
  • Warmup : At the beginning of the day, there will be a chance for an on ice warmup. Get on the ice during your time slot, and do some slow laps (maybe 5 laps, a few times). The do a few laps a little faster (1 lap fast, 3 times). Practice a few starts.
  • Warmup before races : Just before you get your skates on, feel free to take a little jog around the rink and stretch your muscles by jumping and skipping. This will help you be relaxed and limber for your races.
  • Waiting : there is lots of waiting! It’s important that we cheer for our friends in their races, and keep a close eye on your race. However, stay in warm areas as much as possible too. Spending all day in the cold rink will drain your muscles. The shorter races go faster than the longer ones, so give yourself enough time to get your skates on before your race. The race won’t wait for you.
  • Announcer: listen to the announcer for play by plays, schedule changes, important notices about lunch times etc!
  • The clerk of the course: The clerk will be run by a volunteer who calls out group names – by the time the clerk calls your group, you should have your skates and equipment on (warmup jacket still on), and you just move to the bench beside the rink with the other skaters in your group. The clerk will let you know what position you need to start in on the line.
  • Results and Schedules : Will be posted in places that you can read. Schedule may change, so pay attention. Results from races will be posted. It will tell you what final you made, if you advanced to the next race etc.
  • Coaches Box: I’ll come to see you as much as possible, but I’ll likely be stationed in the coaches box for the day. I’ll cheer from there, and you’ll all know where to find me if you have questions. Plus, the referee will consult with me if there is anything about your race that he wants us to know.

Racing and Rules

  • The start:   Get on ice and line up on the blue line, in the position that the clerk of the course told you
  • Skaters go to the start! Move to the red line, but stay standing
  • Ready! Take start position, keep skates off red line, and stay still
  • Gun blast signals start of race! Go!
  • If you hear a whistle or another gun blast before you get through the first corner, the referee is starting the race over (maybe there was a false start, or something funny happened).  Go back to the starting line.
  • If you move before the gun goes, or your blades are over the start line, you can get a “false start”. Two false starts will result in a disqualification, and you won’t be allowed to skate the race. This sometimes happens – we’ll just learn from it!
  • Other reasons that you could be disqualified from a race:
  • Going inside the blocks
  • Pushing or shoving – this is a non-contact sport!
  • Lap counting: a big sign showing laps to go will be on the side of the finish line
  • Last lap: when the lead skater has one lap to go, you will hear a BELL
  • If you fall: GET UP AND FINISH THE RACE! In short track, you never know what can happen (others may fall too)… so you want to be able to finish in the best possible position.