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Rockefeller Center ice rink


An ice rink is a frozen body of water where people can skate or play winter sports. Some of its uses include playing ice hockey, figure skating exhibitions and contests, and ice shows.

Name origins

Rink, a Scottishmarker word meaning 'course', was used as the name of a place where another game, curling, was played. The name has been retained for the construction of ice areas for other sports and uses.

Natural ice rink



Many ice rinks consist of, or are found on, open bodies of water such as lakes, ponds, canals, and sometimes rivers; these can only be used in the winter in climates where the surface would freeze thickly enough to support human weight. Rinks can also be made in cold climates by enclosing a level area of ground, filling it with water, and letting it freeze. Snow may even be packed to use as a containment material.

Artificial ice rink

A typical mobile ice skating rink near the Spanish Costa Brava


In any climate, an arena ice surface can be installed in a properly built space. This consists of a bed of sand, or occasionally a slab of concrete, through (or on top of) which pipes run. The pipes carry a chilled fluid (usually either a salt brine or water with antifreeze) which can lower the temperature of the slab so that water placed atop it will freeze. Such rinks were developed in the late nineteenth century, the first being the Glaciariummarker in London. This methodology is known as 'artificial ice' to differentiate from ice rinks made by simply freezing water in a cold climate, indoors or outdoors, although both types are of frozen water. A more proper technical term is 'mechanically frozen' ice.

Construction

Simple drawing of the main components of an ice skating rink


Modern rinks have a specific procedure for preparing the surface:

  • With the pipes cold, a thin layer of water is sprayed on the sand or concrete to seal and level it (or in the case of concrete, to keep it from being marked).
  • This thin layer is painted white or pale blue, for better contrast; markings necessary for hockey or curling are also placed, along with logos or other decorations.
  • Another thin layer of water is sprayed on top of this.
  • The ice is built up to a thickness of 2-3 centimetres (approx. 1.2 inches) by repeated flows of water onto the surface.


Operation

Periodically after the ice has been used, it is resurfaced using a machine called an ice resurfacer (typically manufactured by either the Zamboni corporation of southern California or the Resurfice Corporation of Ontario, Canada ). For curling, the surface is 'pebbled' by allowing loose drops of cold water to fall onto the ice and freeze into rounded peaks.

Between events, especially if the arena is being used without need for the ice surface, it is either covered with a heavily insulated floor, or melted by heating the fluid in the pipes.

A highly specialized form of rink is used for speed skating; this is a large oval (or ring) much like an athletic track. Due to their limited use, speed skating ovals are found in much fewer numbers than is true of the more common hockey or curling rinks.

Those skilled at preparing arena ice are often in demand for major events where ice quality is critical. The level of the sport of hockey in Canadamarker has led its icemakers to be particularly sought-after. One such team of professionals was responsible for placing a loonie coin under center ice at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utahmarker; as both Canadian teams (men's and women's) won their respective hockey gold medals, the coin was christened "lucky" and is now in the possession of the Hockey Hall of Famemarker, after having been retrieved from beneath the ice.

Rink size

Speedskating

In speedskating, the official Olympic rink size is 30 x 60 meters for short track, and 400 meters for long track.

Bandy

In bandy, the rink size is x .

Ice Hockey

There are basically two rink sizes in use (as below), although there is a great deal variations in the dimensions of actual ice rinks. Historically, earlier ice rinks were smaller than today.

National Hockey League (NHL) - Canada & USA

Official NHL rinks size at x The dimensions originate from the size of the Victoria Skating Rinkmarker in Montrealmarker, Canadamarker.

International/Olympic Ice Hockey

Official Olympic/International rinks have dimensions of x .

See also



Gallery

File: Icebox.jpg|Typical ice box with rolled up ice floor and main headersFile: Suelofrigorífico.jpg|Supervisor rolling out the ice floorFile: Suelo frigorífico pista de hielo WWIP.jpg|The ice floor completely rolled outFile:WWIP Planta enfriadora para pista de hielo.jpg|The chiller and the buffertank connected to the ice rinkFile:WWIP Buffertank para pista de hielo.jpg|Filling up the buffertank with cooling mixtureFile:WWIP Principal colectors.jpg|The main headers of an ice rinkFile:WWIP Terminal colectors of ice rink.jpg|The small headers at the end of the ice rinkFile:WWIP Vallado pista de hielo.jpg|Installation of the dasherboard of a mobile ice rinkFile:WWIP Supervisor haciendo hielo en pista de hielo.jpg|Supervisor spraying water and making iceFile:WWIP Colectores congelados en una pista de hielo.jpg|The frozen main headers of an ice rinkFile:WWIP Ice skaters.jpg|Leisure skating in open aire in city centerFile:WWIP Pista de hielo en centro ciudad.jpg|Typical out door ice skating rink in city centerImage:Ice ring in Kharkov.JPG|A big ice rink in Kharkovmarker

References

  1. Martin C. Harris, Homes of British Ice Hockey
  2. Zamboni web site [1]
  3. Olympia Resurfacers web page [2]
  4. [3] Advanced Ice Technology by WWIP
  • [85995]The beginners guide to ice skating.


External links




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