Ice skating, the activity and sport of moving on an ice surface while wearing shoes with blades attached (skates). Ice skating has given rise to two different sports: short-track speed skating and speed skating, both of which feature skating races. Figure skating requires performing various jumps, spins, and dancing moves. The most popular team skating sport is ice hockey.

In addition to accommodating a range of winter sports that often call for an enclosed space, natural ice surfaces are also used by skaters who require ice tracks and trails for distance skating and speed skating. Ice rinks, ice hockey rinks, bandy fields, the ice tracks needed for the sport of ice cross downhill, and arenas are all examples of artificial ice surfaces.

Ice skating has become a part of numerous organized sports since the 19th century. Team sports involving a flat, sliding puck are played in ice hockey, bandy, rinkball, and ringette, as well as ringette. A distinctive artistic team sport derived from figure skating, synchronized skating. Among the sports for individuals are figure skating, ice cross downhill, speed skating, and barrel jumping (a form of speed skating).

Physical mechanics of skating

Because the molecules of the layer of ice on the surface are looserly bonded than those of the mass of ice beneath, ice can be traversed by a skate. These molecules are lubricating because they are in a semiliquid condition. The molecules in this “quasi-fluid” or “water-like” layer are far more mobile than the molecules deeper in the ice, albeit they are less mobile than liquid water. The slippery layer is one molecule thick at roughly 157 °C (250 °F), and it gets thicker as the temperature rises.

It had long been thought that the reason ice is slippery is because a thin layer melts when something presses on it. The theory was that when an ice skate blade presses down on the ice, a thin layer melts, lubricating the blade and the ice. The term “pressure melting” was first used to describe this theory in the 19th century. Refer to Regelation. Skaters frequently skate on ice that is colder than 3.5 °C, yet pressure melting cannot explain why this is the case.

Regardless of where the water layer originated, skating is more harmful than gliding. On virgin ice, a skater leaves a clear trail behind, and to make skating more enjoyable, skating rinks need to be constantly resurfaced. It implies that plastic, not elastic, deformation is what the skate is doing. Due to the sharp edges, the skate particularly tears through the ice. Thus another component has to be added to the friction: the “ploughing friction”. The computed frictions match the measured frictions in actual ice skating to the same order. Because the pressure in the water layer rises with velocity V and lifts the skate, the plowing friction reduces with velocity V. (aquaplaning). As a result, skating at high speeds (>90 km/h) is conceivable because the total friction caused by the water layer and plowing only marginally rises with V.

Inherent safety risks

The difficulty of the ice, the construction of the skate, and the skater’s skill and experience all affect how well someone can skate. Many short track speed skaters have been paralyzed following massive falls when they crashed with the boarding, notwithstanding the rarity of significant damage. If a helmet is not worn to guard against serious head injury, a fall could be fatal. Accidents happen infrequently, but there is a chance of becoming hurt in a collision, especially when skating in pairs or during hockey games.

Falling through the ice into the chilly water below is a big risk when ice skating outside on a frozen body of water. Shock, hypothermia, or drowning can all be fatal. The weight of the skater’s ice skates and heavy winter clothes makes it difficult or impossible for them to get out of the water, and as they battle to get back on the surface, the ice keeps breaking. Additionally, if the skater loses their bearings when submerged, they could be unable to locate the ice crevasse through which they have fallen. Although this can be fatal, it is also possible that the quick cooling will result in a state that allows someone who has fallen into water to be revived for up to hours.

Long Track Speed Skating — On a 400-meter oval track, two ice skaters compete in races over distances ranging from 500 to 10,000 meters.
Short Track Speed Skating — 4-8 skaters competing in a race around an oval ice track in the direction of the finish.
Ice Cross Downhill — an extreme kind of winter racing that pits competitors against one another head-to-head on a downhill track.
Figure Skating — a style of creative ice skating in which competitors perform routines on the ice. includes the sports of synchronized skating and ice dancing.
Synchronized Skating — a discipline of figure skating where teams of 8 to 20 skaters execute performances on an ice rink.
Ice Dancing — one of the ballroom dancing-inspired figure skating competitions
NHL sports: bandy, ringette, and ice hockey

Communal activities on ice:

A number of recreational and sporting activities take place on ice:

Ice skating

Fen skating – a historical practice of ice skating in the English Fenland that comprised competitions and races held in towns and villages throughout the Fens
Tour skating – Outdoor long-distance recreational and competitive skating on unrestricted natural ice surfaces
Speed skating – Short track and long track variations of the sport of ice skating, which pits competitors against one another over predetermined distances.
Barrel jumping – a type of speed skating where competitors jump over a line of several barrels.
Figure skating – Men’s singles, women’s singles, pairs skating, ice dancing, and synchronized skating are among the winter sports featuring a variety of disciplines.
Bandy – a non-contact team sport played on a big ice field that is similar to ice hockey but uses a bandy ball.
Ice hockey – fast-paced, physical team sport typically played on a dedicated ice rink that uses vulcanized rubber pucks
Rink bandy – a kind of bandy that is playable on a regular ice hockey rink.
Rinkball – a non-contact team sport that combines aspects of ice hockey and bandy with a bandy ball.
Ringette – a team sport without contact that utilizes a rubber pneumatic ring in place of a ball or puck.
Ice cross downhill – Featuring downhill skating on a walled track, severe competition

No skating

The following sports and games are also played on ice, but players are not required to wear ice skates.

Ice cricket – a version of English cricket played in chilly winter weather
Spongee – a non-contact variation of ice hockey played on outdoor ice rinks that is played as a team sport outside.
Broomball – a team sport played on ice hockey rinks that involves kicking a ball with paddle-equipped sticks through the goal posts of the opposing team.
Moscow broomball – a team sport played on frozen, water-filled outdoor courts at the Russian embassy that involved a ball and ice hockey equipment.
Curling – a team sport utilizing lanes, “rocks,” and a target
Ice stock – Team sport using lanes and a target called “ice stock”
Crokicurl – an outdoor team game played with “rocks” on a hexagonal playing field with goal posts

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