This blog is a collection of my thoughts and experiences from ten years as a skate dad. For those of you sitting with your jackets in the bleachers, first I salute you, but second I want to give you an honest sense of what you are in for and what to expect. Ice skating is both a trying and a glorious sport, but it doesn't happen without the special group of folks who cheer, support, and console the participants. This is dedicated to you.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

- etiquette

The local mixed-club events can be a bit frustrating, not so much for the jumble of skills and age groups but rather for the disarray of parental experience in competitive viewing etiquette. Basically you've got a slew of grandparents and non-skating siblings bumbling about in the stands and walkways.

I've never seen this coped with completely gracefully; I wonder if it would help if the USFSA required all their sanctioned events to have an Etiquette Flyer passed out to the non-skating audience. It might read something like this:

"Welcome to the [event name]! This event is sanctioned by the USFSA; for any comments or concerns, please visit us at We would like to remind you that a couple days after the event finishes you may view all results at [club website].

While in attendance we ask that you adhere to these common courtesies:

1. Cell phones on vibrate please. Take your call outside or wait for the next resurfacing. 2. Please wait for the break between skaters before you walk in front of the stands. 3. Please reign in small children; they may crave attention but this moment is really about their big sister on the ice. 4. Refrain from eating in the stands except during the group warmups and resurfacing. 5. No flash pictures. 6. Keep the chatter down. 7. You may yell and cheer when your kid or her club mates take the ice, but during the skating only applause is appropriate. 8. Please be careful climbing and descending the grandstand stairs. 9. It would be really nice if you could stick around through a few flights after your child's event. 10. The far side of the rink is for skaters, coaches, and judges only.

Thanks again for supporting all of our wonderful skaters, and enjoy the competition!"

Is that maybe too much to ask?

1 comment:

  1. A few months ago (at a local event) during some dead space after a flight, a grandfatherly 70-something gentleman arose from his seat ten feet away from me and started to descend the three rows of the grandstand. When he got almost to the bottom he caught his foot under the final bench and fell forward, falling across the aisle and hitting his head on the back side of the dasher boards.

    His elderly wife and his daughter rushed over to help. He was shaken, but not really injured. He sat back down on the bottommost grandstand bench to recover, mostly from his embarrassment.

    After a couple of minutes I turned to him and said "next time maybe just try a single Axel." The stands around us laughed, and he chuckled too. At least he was feeling a little better.

    Please be careful descending the grandstands.