Ice Etiquette and Safety Guidelines

Skating is basically an individual sport, and activities during most practice sessions are fairly unstructured. Some basic on ice rules must be observed for safety and to ensure that everyone can make effective use of their ice time. Sunset Skating Club has its own set of rules, and you should be sure to know and follow them. All skaters above JD level are required to read, sign and return the Skaters' Code of Conduct when registering.

While the club has grown significantly in the past year, the number of ice sessions has not, so there will be times when junior skaters will be sharing the ice with more advanced skaters. These rules will help everyone have a satisfying and safe time while on the ice.


First and foremost is courtesy. Respect the rights of other skaters and be constantly aware of who is around you. If you seem to be surrounded by skaters of significantly greater or lesser skills, be especially careful! Strive to avoid collisions!

All skaters, coaches, parents and volunteers are to be treated with respect.

Do not interrupt coaches when they are giving lessons.

Follow Session Criteria as described on current Season brochures

Abide by Session Designations: No dance, skills or prolonged stroking exercises will be allowed on Freeskate sessions.

Abide by Ice Session Criteria: skate only on sessions for which you qualify. Requests for exceptions may be made in writing to the Board.

Priority / Right Of Way

The "right of way" goes first to the skater in a harness, then to the soloist (whose music is playing), then to the skaters in a lesson. The skater performing the program must also keep an alert eye open. Note that there are usually multiple lessons at the same time. Other skaters must avoid undue interference with the skaters who have the "right of way". Skaters who are having the "right of way" must also remember to keep an alert eye open to avoid collisions and may respectfully remind others of "right of way" eg "excuse me", except when both skaters have equal "right of way".

Dangerous Singles Moves

When you are practicing elements like camel spins and back spirals be especially aware of the danger your exposed blade poses to other skaters. Recognize that once you've started the element it will be hard for you to see those around you. Take a good look at your expected "space" before you start the element, and abort it if it looks like you could cause a problem. Other skaters are expected to give the skater free manoeuvring room once performing such an element.

Lutz Corners

Because of the nature of the Lutz jump, it is most commonly performed in opposite corners of the rink. These corners are informally called the "Lutz Corners". Strive to avoid long-term practice activities in these corners, and be especially aware of your surroundings when you are in them. The approach to a Lutz is long and blind. The skater doing the Lutz is not likely to see you.

Falls and Injuries

If you fall, get up quickly. Other skaters will have a much harder time seeing you when you are down low on the ice. Don't stay there any longer than you have to. While falling, keep your fingers away from your blades. Learn to fall properly so that you can protect your head as much as possible. Learn to keep "loose" when you fall and this will help you to avoid breaking things.

If you see someone else is that has fallen and may be injured, don't just drag them off without being certain that doing so won't hurt them further. If you suspect that someone is seriously hurt, the best thing to do is, 1) have someone stand "guard" over them to make sure that other skaters avoid collisions with them, and 2) get a qualified adult to come and help them.


As you skate more, you'll get to the point where you'll recognize that a practice session has a certain "rhythm" to it. People tend to do pretty "expectable" or "predictable" things, and you can usually pretty much guess where somebody else is going, based on what they're doing when you see them (the normal approaches to each jump or spin are pretty recognizable). Try not to skate or behave in a way that would surprise other skaters. If you're standing near the boards, don't enter the flow of skaters without checking to make sure you're not going to get into someone else's way. Be especially alert for reverse direction skaters.

General Expectations

  • Be aware of other skaters' positions at all times, especially before entering the ice or starting from a stopped position. Be especially alert for reverse jumpers.

  • Look in the direction of travel when skating backwards.

  • Refrain from standing around and visiting on the ice. This wastes expensive ice and presents an additional hazard for other skaters to avoid.

  • No skaters may push, pull, grab or purposely bump into other skaters. Games such as Snap the Whip or any form of tag cannot be played. Skaters cannot make or throw snowballs. Kicking or digging holes in the ice, except as a normal consequence of toe jumps, is forbidden.

  • No food or drink on the ice (this includes chewing gum).

  • No large hair barrettes, hair baubles, or jewellery.

  • Skaters should avoid skating in the centre of the rink as this impedes on the other skaters' ability to perform their programs.

  • Skaters may request solo music up to twice per session, unless played in lesson. This rule may be relaxed for sessions that are not busy.

  • When the buzzer sounds and the Zamboni doors open the session is over. Stop skating, help patch holes if requested and clear the ice quickly.

Helmet Use

All CanSkaters must wear a CSA approved hockey helmet on the ice.