Ice Protocol for Races



  • Ice Thickness   
  • Ice temperature
  • Humidity  
  • Air temperature

Ice thickness:

  • Measure the thickness of the ice, it should be a maximum of 30mm (1-1 ½ inches).   
  • The ice surface should be flat.
  • Prepare a diagramed map of the sheet of ice to chart thickness.
  • Have test holes at the following areas:
    •  Both blue lines
    • Middle of the track
    •  Entrance block , apex block, exit block at both ends 

Ice temperature:

  • 20-21º F. No more than 22º F.   
  • The pad temperature (the area inside the pump room) should be 15-16º F.   
  • It is always easier to warm up the ice than it is to cool it down.  Indoor ice freezes from the concrete floor & up.   
  • The Pad temperature should be turned down the night before the meet to 15-16º F or lower.   
  • Compressors should run at 100% throughout the competition to maintain consistent ice tempurature as watering and resurfacing can change conditions rapidly.

Water Temperature:

  • The water put onto the ice should be aproximately 28º F.

Building Air Temperature:

  • 50-60 degrees F.
  • A colder building does not make better ice conditions.  It only makes cold spectators & skaters.


  • As low as possible.
  • 30-40% is optimal
  • Humidity attacks the ice.  It also is a heat absorbent (BTU).   
  • There should be no frost on the ice.  Frost is indicative of too much humidity.

Zamboni Driver:

  • Zamboni driver will make or break the ice conditions.
  • Dry Shaves are important for making the ice surface level.
  • Needs to be aware of schedule of events and any changes.
  • Communication with Officials and Ice Stewards is important.

Ice Stewards

Strenuous job

  •  Recommended 1-2 hour shifts
  •  Everyone needs to know their specific role
  •  Communication with Officials is important

2 on each side

  •  chaser
  •  placer
  •  water bucket
  •  squeegee
  •  change the tracks

Track Changes

  • Should be done in 30-40 seconds
  •  Quick not frantic


  •  Water should be thin, but not so thin that it freezes instantly
  •  Opposite direction of skater’s path
  •  Aim water in towards turn
  •  Push slush all the way to the outside and away from the crash zone

Off Ice:

  •  1 water filler at each side

Sequence between races:

  • Change track
  •  Dry squeegee on recently used track
  • Water down the new track
  •  Water down the old track
  • Squegee the old track to mend the ice. (opposite direction of the skater’s path)

NorCal Speedskating

Editor login