How thick is the ice in a hockey rink? The ice hockey game is a trendy sport all over the world.
It is played on an ice rink, and the players use skates to move around the rink.
I cover in this blog how thick the ice is in a hockey rink, how it stays frozen, and how the ice hockey rink is made. So, let’s get to it!
How Thick is the Ice in a Hockey Rink?
How thick is the ice in a hockey rink? The ice on a hockey rink can be anywhere from 0.75 inches to 1.5 inches thick, but the average thickness is 1 inch.
Since hockey players use hockey skates to move around the rink, the ice needs to be very thin so players can move hassle-free with speed.
Ice hockey rink thickness will always range between these values.
But, the figures change when playing hockey on a frozen water body like a pond or lake.
For safety purposes, hockey players are advised to only skate on frozen water bodies at least 4 inches thick.
Why Ice Hockey Rinks Should Have Thin Ice Surfaces
Hockey rink ice surfaces should be thin because hockey is a fast-paced sport.
- If the ice surface were too thick, players would have to skate at an extremely slow pace or use skates specially designed for skating on thick ice. This would make the game much less enjoyable for spectators and put players at an increased risk of injury if they fall while skating on thicker ice surfaces.
- Also, a thick ice surface would make it difficult for hockey goalies to make saves. Goalies must be able to see the puck and react quickly to save shots on goal. If the ice was too thick, a goalie might be unable to reach it in time.
What Determines Ice Hockey Rink Quality and Thickness
The quality of the ice hockey rink is determined primarily by the thickness of the ice surface.
Below are the factors that affect ice hockey rink thickness.
Quality and quantity of water
The quality of the ice hockey rink is also affected by the quantity and quality of water used to make it.
You need between 12,000 and 15000 gallons of water (alkaline salts water and soft water) for a high-quality top of the ice hockey rink.
Water and air temperature
Air and water temperatures also affect ice rink quality. Colder air can make the ice hard, while warmer water can cause it to melt more quickly.
Rink refrigeration system
Refrigeration is also necessary to keep the ice at a suitable thickness. Colder temperatures cause the ice to freeze faster, while warmer temperatures can make it melt more quickly.
The professionalism of the rink’s builders and ice resurfacing contractors can also affect the quality of the ice hockey rink.
Rink owners and operators who are inexperienced or do not take proper care of their rinks may produce an inferior surface that is difficult for players to skate on.
Types of Ice Hockey Rinks
The two primary types of hockey rinks are NHL standard or International standard hockey rinks. Below are the details!
- NHL (National Hockey League) Rinks: The NHL standard hockey rink is the most common type of ice hockey rink in use today. It has a playing surface about 1 inch (2 cm) thick and measures 200 feet by 85 feet with a corner radius of 28 feet.
- International Hockey Rinks: The International hockey rink is used in international ice hockey competitions like the Olympics. It has a playing surface about 1 inch (2 cm) thick and measures 196.9 feet by 98.4 feet with a corner radius of 27.9 feet.
How Ice Hockey Rink is Made
Layers of ice are used to create hockey rink surfaces.
The first layer is a super-thin coat applied immediately onto chilly concrete and hardens almost instantly.
After the final layer has frozen, a thin film of ice is applied to it, measuring a modest fraction of an inch.
Hockey can then be played once these layers have been placed to the required thickness.
Also, the second layer is painted white for fans and players to detect where the puck is at any time.
More Reading>> What is a Crease in Hockey? Answered!
How Thick is the Ice in a Hockey Rink? FAQs
What is under the ice in a hockey rink?
A layer of insulation and a heated cold concrete layer is beneath the ice in a hockey rink.
This prevents the ice from freezing, which may cause it to swell and shatter.
How many layers of ice are on a hockey rink?
An ice hockey rink has about 8-10 layers of ice. This is approximately 0.75-1.5 inches of ice thickness.
How long does it take for a hockey rink to freeze?
It typically takes around two days for a hockey rink to freeze to the required standard.
This is because the ice surface must become smooth and free of cracks before hockey can be played on it.
How Thick is the Ice in a Hockey Rink? | Wrapping Up
In summary, an NHL hockey rink is typically 1 inch (2 cm) thick and measures 200 feet by 85 feet with a corner radius of 28 feet.
The International hockey rink has a playing surface about 1 inch (2 cm) thick and measures 196 feet by 98.4 feet with a corner radius of 27. 9 ft.