TYPES OF SPEEDSKATING
- Has been an Olympic event since 1924
- Considered to be the fastest, human powered, non-mechanical sport in the world
- Skaters compete on a 400m oval and race counter clockwise
- Long track consists of two types of races, pack and metric
- In pack, all skaters are spread out across the start line and form a line or “pack” as they race around the oval
- In metric, skaters compete in pairs and change lanes once per lap to equalize distance
- Held on Olympic sized hockey rink
- Skaters race counter clockwise
- Pack or mass start
- Individual and relay races
- Competition reduces the field through elimination races until the final round
- Short track is often referred to as NASCAR on ice
- Mostly held on natural lake ice
- Most common distances are 10K, 25K and 50K
- Skaters can use long track skates or Nordic blades
- Can be done indoors and outdoors in good weather
- Races for quad or inline skates
- Not an Olympic sport, but represented at the World Games
LEVELS OF SPEEDSKATING
Speed skating is a sport that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. It combines fun and fitness and most importantly, friends. The skating community is very supportive of one another and encourages every skater, no matter at what level, to do their best.
1. LEARN TO SKATE OR NOVICE PROGRAMS
Many local clubs will host a Learn to Skate program to introduce the community to the sport. With the focus on fun, new skaters will learn about equipment & how to use it, basic rules and drills.
2. JOIN A LOCAL SKATING CLUB
From here, skaters can continue through recreational skating as a means to maintain a healthy, fit lifestyle by attending practice sessions as often as they would like as outlined by their local skating club. If a skater is interested in competing, then the following would be a path worth investigating.
3. AGE GROUP SKATING
The unique aspect of our sport is every single skater has begun their journey at a local club. Many Olympians will return to skate at the same practice session as the younger skaters. New skaters will work in the center of the ice performing basic drills and fine tune their technical skills. They may start to compete with their peers at local meets when ready.
Your skater may decide to challenge themselves and goals become bigger. Training will become more focused & intense to reach set goals and race times. Most skaters will follow programs that have been designed by coaches to help an athlete to reach their full potential.
Some skaters show their talent, dedication and commitment to reach the elite level of the sport and will strive to earn a spot on a National Team, World Team, Olympic Team or all the above. It takes many hours of practice, training and competition to reach this level.
Yes, even at the masters’ level (age 30 and over) many still compete locally, nationally and internationally!