Rules to play speed skating

Armband colours
1. Skaters in the outer lane wear a red armband and skaters on the inner lane wear a white armband. .....
Blade
2. The part of the blade that comes in contact with the ice forms a straight line. Mens speed skating blades are generally 42 46 cm long. The longer the blade, the faster the skate up to a point where length would become an obstacle. The underside of the blade is only about 1mm thick. .....
Glasses
3. Glasses protect skaters eyes from the wind and ice chips. The lens reduces glare and improves visibility of the track. .....
Clap skate
4. Unlike conventional skates, the heel of the clap skate blade is not attached to the boot, and the toe of the blade is affixed to the boot with a hinged apparatus. At the end of each stride, as the skater picks up the skate, the blade briefly disconnects from the heel of the boot, thereby keeping the blade on the ice longer and increasing the skaters pushing power. When the blade has fully extended, a spring mechanism mounted on the front of the boot snaps the blade back up to the boot, resulting in the clapping sound that gives the skate its name. .....
Racing suit
5. Skaters wear skin tight racing suits with hoods to decrease air resistance. Racing suits must conform to the natural shape of the skaters body. Insertion or attachment of forms or devices to create a different shape is not permitted. .....
Early pioneers
6. The Dutch were arguably the earliest pioneers of skating. They began using canals to maintain communication by skating from village to village as far back as the 13th century. Skating eventually spread across the channel to England, and soon the first clubs and artificial rinks began to form. Passionate skaters included several kings of England, Marie Antoinette, Napoleon III and German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. .....
Early competition
7. The first known skating competition is thought to have been held in the Netherlands in 1676. However, the first official speed skating events were not held until 1863 in Oslo, Norway. In 1889, the Netherlands hosted the first World Championships, bringing together Dutch, Russian, American and English teams. .....
Olympic history
8. Speed skating appeared for the first time in 1924 at the first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix. Initially, only men were allowed to participate. It was only at the Lake Placid Games in 1932 that women were authorised to compete in speed skating, which was then only a demonstration sport. It was not until the 1960 Games in Squaw Valley that womens speed skating was officially included in the Olympic programme.

The events almost always follow the European system, which consists of skaters competing two by two. At the 1932 Olympic Games, the Americans organised American style events, i.e. with a mass start. This decision brought about a boycott by many European competitors, which allowed the Americans to win the four gold medals. This system would give birth to short track speed skating, which was added to the Olympic programme in Albertville in 1992. .....

Womens competitions
9. In the 1930s, women began to be accepted in ISU speed skating competitions. Although womens races had been held in North America for some time and at the 1932 Winter Olympics in a demonstration event, the ISU did not organize official competitions until 1936. However, Zofia Nehringowa set the first official world record in 1929. Womens speed skating was not very high profile; in Sk .....
Technical developments
10. Artificial ices entered the long track competitions with the 1960 Winter Olympics, and the competitions in 1956 on Lake Misurina were the last Olympic competitions on natural ice. 1960 also saw the first Winter Olympic competitions for women. Lidia Skoblikova won two gold medals in 1960 and four in 1964.

More aerodynamic skating suits were also developed, with Swiss skater Franz Krienb .....

Professionalism
11. After the 1972 season, European long track skaters founded a professional league, International Speedskating League, which included Ard Schenk, three time Olympic gold medallist in 1972, as well as five Norwegians, four other Dutchmen, three Swedes, and a few other skaters. Jonny Nilsson, 1963 world champion and Olympic gold medallist, was the driving force behind the league, which folded in 1974 for economic reasons, and the ISU also excluded tracks hosting professional races from future international championships. The ISU later organised its own World Cup circuit with monetary prizes, and full time professional teams developed in the Netherlands during the 1990s, which led them to a dominance on the mens side only challenged by Japanese 500 m racers and American inline skaters who changed to long tracks to win Olympic gold. .....
Short track
12. A skater can be disqualified if they cross track another skater by cutting off another skater while changing his or her own lane. After two false starts, the skater is disqualified. A disqualified will be given last place in their heat or final. A skater can be disqualified if he or she deliberately impedes another skaters way to slow the skater down. .....
Long track
13. Races are run counter clockwise. In all individual competition forms, only two skaters are allowed to race at once, and must remain in their respective lanes. Skaters must change lanes every lap. The skater changing from the outside lane to the inside has right of way. In the only non individual competition form, the team pursuit, two teams of each three skaters are allowed to race at once. Both teams remain in the inner lane for the duration of the race; they start on opposite sides of the rink. .....
Equipment
14. Short Track All short track skaters must have speed skates, a spandex skin suit that is kevlar and cut proof, protective helmet, protective eyewear with strap,hard shin pads, specific skating gloves, knee pads (in suit), neck guard (bib style) and ankle protection. Optional equipment is a kevlar suit to protect against being cut from another skaters blade.

Long Track For long track skaters the same equipment should be worn as short track racers but with the exception of a helmet, shin pads, knee pads, and neck guard which are not required. The suit also does not need to be kevlar. Most long track skaters also wear a hood that is built into the suit. .....

Officiating and Judging
15. As chief official in a speed skating competition, the referee oversees the draw for racing pairs, decides when to resurface the ice, monitors the races, and ensures the orderly progression of the competition. Other officials are: the starter, who ensures a fair start for all competitors; the timers, who provide manual backup to the electronic timing system; the judges, who determine the final placings of each pair; and the track stewards, who maintain the lane markers and watch for infractions to the rules. The lap recorder keeps track of the laps remaining in each race, indicates the number to the skaters, and rings a bell to warn of the start of the last lap. The recorder keeps track of race results and compiles the final race standings. Starting commands are simple. The skaters approach the start on the command, .....
Racing Rules
16. Only one false start per pair is allowed before athletes can be disqualified from the race. They are not allowed to skate inside their individual lane markers. The inside skate may cross the lane line when entering a corner, providing the gliding skate, the one bearing the skaters weight, remains outside. Skaters must cross over on the backstretch of every lap. The skater moving from the outer lane to the inner lane has the right of way when both skaters exit the corner simultaneously. .....
Coaching
17. Coaches work closely with the skaters during races, particularly the longer distances, using pre planned schedules to help the skaters maintain consistent lap times. Before racing, skaters select a time that they feel they can skate, based on the weather, ice conditions, their physical capabilities, and the times the other competitors are skating. The key to a good long track performance is to skate each lap at the same speed. By comparing split times, which are taken each time the skater completes a lap, coaches can let the skaters know how they are doing. Coaches stand at the side of the track near the top of the backstretch and communicate verbally and with hand signals. Sometimes the coach simply calls out the lap time and the more experienced skaters convert it into a final time. .....
Technique
18. Force is maximized in speed skating by adopting the crouched position which reduces air resistance and which is characteristic of the sport. The lower the crouch, the more the leg can extend to the side during the push, lengthening the time spent applying force to the ice. With conventional, fixed blade speed skates, good technical speed skating is almost soundless except during the start because the push is delivered through the middle of the skate, not the toe. The new clapskate, however, permits skaters to push with their toe, thus utilising their calf muscles more efficiently and generating more speed. Clapskates also prevent the tip of the blade from digging into the ice and more importantly, they let the blade stay in contact longer with the ice. .....
Collisions
19. To avoid collisions, right of way is given to the skater switching from the outer to the inner lane during crossovers. If there is a collision, the skater leaving the inner lane is held responsible, unless the skater in the outer lane obstructs the other competitor. .....
Cutting the lines
20. Skaters are not allowed to cross the inner line of the curve at either end of the oval as defined by movable blocks placed on the ice to shorten the distance of the race. A violation of this rule may result in disqualification. .....
Disqualifications
21. Skaters may be disqualified from a race for the following violations:Making two false starts Crossing lines that divide the lanes Not changing lanes at the crossover point Interfering with other skaters during the lane change In the team pursuit competition, if an individual skater is disqualified for a violation of the rules, his or her entire team is disqualified. .....
Falls
22. Skaters that fall during the race can get up and continue the event. If a skater falls just before the finish line, the time is recorded at the moment the competitors skate crosses the line. .....
Fresh starts
23. Skaters can re skate a race when they are victim to a serious interference, including the fall of an opponent or an obstacle on the track. If this happens, skaters are allowed 30 minutes to rest before repeating the event. The best time in the two heats will be used for the athletes final score. .....
Interference
24. If a skater cannot stay in the inner lane within a curve because he or she is traveling at such a high speed, the athlete may cross into the other lane as long as he or she does not interfere with the competitor in the outer lane. The skater must then return to the inner lane or he or she will be disqualified. .....
Events
25. In speed skating one of six sports to have been a part of every Olympic Winter Games athletes race over artificial ice at speeds up to 60 km hr (37mph). Athletes often skate in a hunched position to reduce air resistance.Two athletes skate in each race, but they are competing against the clock and not each other. Each competitor is assigned his or her own lane and must skate counter clockwise around the rink, changing lanes at the crossover point in each lap.The skater with the fastest time of all competitors wins the event. In the 500m, the athlete with the fastest total time from both races wins.Twelve events are being competed at the 2010 Vancouver Games. With noted exceptions, all events are contested by both men and women:s .....
Race Distances
26. 500 meters (4.5 laps)
This is the shortest race, so many false starts occur as athletes are anxious to get off the starting line and sprint to the finish.
1,000 meters (9laps) Strategy comes into play as skaters position themselves for the sprint in the final few laps.
1,500 meters (13.5 laps)
Strategy and endurance are key as this is the longest race in the competition. .....
Strategy
27. Strategy is different for each athlete in each distance. They rely on the knowledge of their own strengths and the strengths of competitors to strategize. Depending on their skills, a skater may, for example, sprint in a long race to tire competitors or they may choose to hang back and position themselves to sprint the final laps of the race. In the heat of competition, however, much planning goes out the window and athletes must think on their feet. .....
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