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Is Ice Skating a Sport? Your Burning Questions Answered!

Is ice skating a sport? If you're getting started or thinking of giving it a try and wondering if it's a spot or not, I got your back. There are several reasons why ice skating is considered a sport, and we'll look at them in this post. So, keep reading!

Is ice skating a sport? Ice skating is a sport because participants engage in it for pleasure, competitive reward, and health benefits like fitness. Ice skating is divided into various sports disciplines, including figure skating, ice hockey, ice speed skating, recreational ice skating, Bandy, Ringette, ice cross downhill, and barrel jumping.

A sport is a physical activity that people engage in for a particular reason (s). This definition fits ice skating perfectly because participants can either skate for fun, competitive reasons, or keeping the body healthy.

Is Ice Skating a Sport?

In the rest of this post, we’ll dive deeper to look at the various ice skating sport disciplines. This is going to be interesting, and you don’t want to miss out. So, without much ado, let’s get to it!

Ice Skating Sport Disciplines

Ice skating sport disciplines require special gear. How do I mean, you ask? First, one should wear appropriate clothing and protection, and second, use unique ice skates according to the discipline, as we’ll see in a few.

Lastly, ice skating should only be done indoors or outdoors at an ice skating rink or frozen water bodies like lakes, ponds, rivers, etc. Below is a comprehensive overview of the different disciplines that make ice skating a sport. Let’s dive in!

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1. Figure Skating

Is ice skating a sport?

The success of figure skating is attributed to Sonja Henie, Dick Button, Peggy Fleming, and Dorothy Hamill, who popularized the sport in the 1930s. These pioneers of figure skating started as amateurs but later switched to professional figure skating and went on several tours.

Ice figure skating is an amateurs sport for men and women. The sport can be done in teams or singles and involves performing jumps, spins, spirals, and figurative dances. The assessment is based on precision, balance, and control while performing different tricks.

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Ice dancing differs from the pairs’ performances in some ways. One, it’s prohibited to do body lifts, but instead, specific movements and performances are compulsory. Second, in ice dancing, there are three dances to be performed. The first dances are two compulsory dances, and the second is an original dance. This is performed to predetermined music.

Due to the artistic nature of figure skating, it uses special ice skates designed for this purpose. The blades are concave, creating a two side hollow blade that cuts through the ice. In addition, the toe-rake is saw-toothed to aid in jumps and spins performed by skaters.

Traditionally, men’s skates are black, while women’s skates are white. In addition, they’re made of leather, study, and offer adequate ankle support. Lastly, figure skating is an Olympic winter sport and debuted in the world Olympics held in 1908.

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Other disciplines of figure skating include synchronized skating and theater on ice. Apart from the singles for men and women, pairs, and ice dance, you can also participate in the other figure skating disciplines. There are tons of options, and you’re free to choose any of them.

2. Ice Hockey Skating

Is ice skating a sport?

Ice hockey skating started in the 1880s as an amateur sport, but by the 1900s, it had evolved into a professional sport. The sport evolved from simple sticks and ball games in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in the United Kingdom.

Later, ice hockey was brought to North America. Modern ice hockey skating started in Montreal, Canada, and the first indoor ice hockey game was held in 1875.

Ice skating can be played either indoors or outdoors and is a contact sport involving two teams. Each time comprises six players, each with a stick to shoot pucks into the opponent’s nets to score a goal. There’s one goaltender, three defensemen, and three forwards.

Moreover, the sport is more popular in the United States, Canada, Eastern, and northern Europe. In Canada, it’s the official national winter sport, and North America’s National Hockey League is the highest hockey league for men globally.

It would be best if you had special ice hockey skates, a helmet, protection pads, and wrist guards, and protective gloves to play ice hockey. You also need a left or right-handed hockey stick, depending on which of your hands is the most active. Most importantly, you need to keep warm.

Men’s ice hockey was introduced to the summer Olympics in 1920. Later in 1924, men’s ice hockey debuted in the winter Olympics, and in 1998, women’s ice hockey was also introduced to the winter Olympics.

3. Ice Speed Skating

Ice speed skating involves contenders racing fixed distances in short and long tracks. Therefore, the different types of ice skating include long track speed skating, short track speed skating, and marathon speed skating.

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If you’ve come across speed skating or short track skating, here’s what they mean. The international skating union calls long track speed skating ‘speed skating’ and short track speed skating ‘track skating.’ So, they mean the same thing!

In addition, the sport can be done indoors and outdoors in ice skating rinks. There are top international ice skating rinks in the United States, Canada, Germany, China, Poland, Russia, Italy, and Japan.

To engage in ice speed skating, you need special gear, including inline ice speed skating boots, a skating suit, and a helmet for head protection. Compared to other ice skating disciplines, ice speed skating boots have a much longer blade with a thin edge. Besides that, the skates are lightweight, have curved blades at the toes, and are low cut.

If you’re familiar with other inline skating disciplines, you’ll know that ice speed skating is similar to inline speed skating in terms of skating techniques. The main differences are in the types of skates and the skating venues.

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Lastly, ice speed skating is in the winter Olympics and has been part of the winter games since 1924. Some of the iconic speed skating personalities in the US are Chad Hedrick, Joey Cheek, Cathy Turner, and Katherine Reuter. If you’re looking for inspiration, you can follow them.

4. Recreational Ice Skating

is ice skating a sport?

Recreational ice skating is mostly done for fun and health benefits. One can do recreational ice skating indoors or outdoors in ice skating rinks. Also, frozen roads, open spaces water bodies like lakes, rivers, and ponds are cool places for recreational ice skating.

So, if you love the outdoors, there are unlimited options. On the other hand, indoor skating in rinks is a great option for those who love skating indoors. To participate in recreational ice skating, you need the right skates—one that fits well.

In addition, you need to wear the right clothing to protect yourself from the cold. Lastly, you need to wear protective gear like a helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads. The sport is fun and comes with tones of health benefits like improved heart health and overall fitness.

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Figure skating, ice hockey skating, ice speed skating, and recreational ice skating are the predominant and more popular disciplines of ice skating sport. In the next sections, we’ll look at the other ice skating disciplines and how you can be part of them.

5. Bandy

Bandy is a contact sport and similar to ice hockey with some slight differences. Unlike ice hockey, Bandy is played using a ball instead of a puck. Besides that, the ice skating sport is played on a vast ice field. Like ice hockey, you have to wear the correct gear, including a helmet, to protect your head.

6. Ringette

Ringette is a contactless ice skating sport and has some similarities to ice hockey. In both, the players use a stick to play inside an ice skating hockey rink. Moreover, the two sports use the same type of skates, and a team comprises six members.

That being said, there are also some notable differences between Ringette and ice hockey. Ringette is mainly played by women and uses a blue hollow rubber ring.

7. Ice Cross Downhill

This is a competitive and extreme ice skating sport played downhill on a walled track. The sport is associated with high drops and sharp turns. If you’re familiar with ski cross, the two sports are similar in many ways. However, the main difference comes about in ice skating shoes.

8. Barrel Jumping

Barrel jumping is a discipline of ice speed skating. In Barrel jumping, speed skaters build up speed to jump over a series of barrels and are judged based on the number of barrels they jump over. Like other ice skating disciplines, one needs the right protective gear, especially a helmet and padding.

Is Ice Skating a Sport? Wrapping Up

Is ice skating a sport? Absolutely yes! Ice skating is done for fun, health and fitness, and competitive reasons. Some of the ice skating disciplines include figure skating, ice hockey skating, ice speed skating, recreational ice skating, Bandy, Ringette, ice cross downhill, and barrel jumping.

Hope you found this post helpful!

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Navick Ogutu
Navick Ogutu

Navick is a full-time freelance writer, blogger, and internet marketer. By day, he creates content for multiple sites including Over the weekend, he goes out skating with friends.

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