Ice skating in Melbourne is set to become a competitive sport, with the very first competition announced for later this month.
While figure skating and ice hockey are popular sports on the ice, until now, ice skating itself has not been a competitive sport.
The competition will see entrants marked based on their ice skating technique, with points allocated for speed, posture, balance, and gracefulness on the ice. Points will be deducted for any tumbles taken by the skaters.
As the first competition of its kind, there is no precedent set for how the competition should be run and judged. The organisers have decided to appoint three judges, with one skater on the ice at a time. The format has been modelled off that of gymnastics competitions.
The competition will be divided in amateur, proficient and professional categories. While there are no professional ice skaters as of yet, the professional category will be populated by entrants who compete in other ice rink based sports such as figure skating.
Chief judge Rebecca Brown, one of Australia’s foremost ice hockey players, says that she welcomes the competition and thinks it is a good chance for those who lack the aptitude for team sports to show off their skills on the ice.
“Ice sporting events tend to be team based, but it is not for everyone, so this competition will give more people an opportunity to show off their skills,” she says.
“It fills the niche of showcasing ice skating techniques, without all of the complicated tricks required in figure skating. The competition is a lot more accessible than other ice rink sports.”
So far, there are dozens of registrations for the event, and almost one hundred people have purchased tickets to spectate.
It’s not too late to strap on your skates and learn ice skating– there are still limited spaces left in the amateur round.