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Ice Racing Rules for Beginners


Ice racing
for young skaters

Use this useful summary of ice racing rules when you are explaining rules to parents or spectators.

Download and print [pdf 96 kb]

This is a brief version of the ISU Rules that govern this sport - by Andrew Morgan.

  1. All races are skated in an anti clockwise direction, in a safe and fair manner.
  2. Any skater may overtake another skater at any time during the race.
  3. The skater overtaking will be responsible for any accidents or interference, as long as rule No. 4 has not been broken.
  4. The skater being overtaken cannot interfere with a skater overtaking them.
  5. No skater may shorten the distance of the race by one or both of their skates going on the inside of any track markers.
  6. No skater should deliberately skate in front of another skater and interfere with them (this is called Cross Track skating).
  7. No skater should stop another skater from skating their race fairly by pushing, impeding or blocking them.
  8. No skater should receive from, or give assistance to, another skater.
  9. No skater shall kick out with their skates, especially at the finish line, in a way that could cause danger for other skaters or themselves.
  10. A race is declared finished once the last skater crosses the finish line. No skater may take off any equipment until they have left the ice. (see equipment list below.)


The race starter gives these commands:

  1. First command "Go To The Start"
    All skaters move up to stand at their starting dot on the starting line.
  2. Second Command "Ready"
    All skaters move intro their starting position and must stay still until the gun is fired, or whistle blown, to indicate the start.

    Note: If a skater moves any part of their body before the gun is fired, it is called a False Start. Each skater is allowed one false start in each race. A second false start will result in disqualification from that race.
  3. The whistle is blown or the gun is fired. All skaters start to race.


  • All skaters MUST have all their equipment on before they get on the ice for a race
  • A helmet (with no sharp points)
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Shin guards,for example, similar to soccer guards
  • Long sleeves and long legged clothing
  • Knee pads - soft or hard shell
  • Neck protection
  • All skates must have closed ends and the blades must have rounded ends.

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