Isn't there a privacy act to protect people from having their pictures taken by strangers? I know one can get into trouble taking pictures of children in the public and worse still if the pictures are published. Should talk or write to the management of the rink to ensure rules are enforced to ensure safety and privacy of others using the rink.
One time I showed up to skate a public session right after Jojo Starbuck performed. An older man asked for her autograph. Then (bless his heart) he saw me wearing my attire and asked if I was a skater. I said yes and he asked for my autograph too. I said, "Sure, but I'm not famous." He said oh, and walked away.
Recently (at a regular indoor rink) a mom flagged me down while I was working on my Moves and offered me money to teach her daughter. I told her that I couldn't because I was trying to practice. Why did she think I was there, to just hang out? Also, I could get in trouble for taking money and not being a licensed coach. It was awkward.
I got paid $100 once from a guy who wanted me to help his kids for an hour. I had been doing kids parties and the rink would get skaters (whether coaches or more experienced skaters) to assist with them. However when I realised he was just after a baby sitting service so he didn't have to watch the kids, the next time he turned up I tried to avoid him. When he did speak to me I told him I couldn't do it because I had to practise. He then got someone else to do it. She did it for 15 minutes and told him the same thing.
When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.
Shoot, I'd take $100 to babysit someone's kids on the ice for an hour. You won't get in trouble for acting as a coach if you are babysitting. Some parents don't like to offend their kids by using the B word, so they ask people to "help" their kids with things (this applies to all situations, not just skating).
I think there is a difference between "helping" someone skate and teaching someone to skate. I and other people I know of work with people who have disabilities who we take to activities including skating. So when we go skating with them, we are indeed getting paid to help those clients skate, and by necessity that usually requires some amount of instruction, but it does not count as professional coaching, does not involve the formalities of professional coaching, and does not avail us to the privileges that professional coaches have. (FYI, I was an instructor about 25+ years ago when I could still skate).
We can do practically anything in public sessions if there is enough space. The center ice is coned off for freestyle skating. There will be people doing freestyle in the center and in the corners in public sessions. There are also always private freestyle lessons going on in basically every public session.
I've seen safety signs that read skaters were not allowed to hold anything in their hands while on the ice, and the list of forbidden things to hold included cameras, cell phones and children. I imagine the idea is that people should have their hands free when they fall.
My general assessment of poor safety standards at many rinks is that guards are usually teenagers or early twenty-something guys who can't conceptualize that a 200 lb clown crashing into some kid or senior citizen on ice could (and does) result in very serious injuries. Most guards, I would say, are very immature and/or not very bright, and one has to ask could they find any other kind of job.
As for the management structure of most rinks, the owner or owner's usually have sunk a couple million dollars into the place, but it doesn't generate enough revenue for them to spend much time there. So management finds some older guy who is willing to work for $15-$20/hour to run the place. What kind of story comes with someone in their 40s or 50s who is willing to work for that kind of money? You may not want to ask. Change will only come when the insurance companies realize they're loosing too much money.
Me: *walks into rink for 4pm practice*
*spots birthday party of about 20-30 shrieking squealing 11-12 year old girls*
*puts skates in for sharpening and walks back out*
I need to work on my new Artistic program. But that would have been a waste of time. I hate birthday parties on the afternoon practices.
I think it's great how you stood up to those idiots. I'm very impressed with how you were able to get that guy to delete what he had on you. Please keep up the good work on behalf of all of us. Same goes for everyone else here. We have just as much right as the rules will allow.
I don't like public skate very much but sometimes it's all I've got. For crowded sessions I use the technique of 'little-tiny-jumps'. See how many loop, double loops you can string in a row. Or backspin loop, backspin. It's fun and it's good for technique.
There's a group of 'mature' ice-dancers here that think they own the ice sometimes. They claim the line anytime us freeskaters try to line up a jump or spread out for a good long, stretchy forward change backward spiral. I don't mind sharing 50-50 and I've told them so, but it's like they have memory problems. Then they stand around in a little group about half-way between center ice and the boards, and critque one another. That's were most of us want to place our jumps and spins. It's like they know it. One of them keeps bugging me to be a partner. Says I should get back to dancing now, because some day I'll be too old to learn. Hah! I'll ice-dance after my knees blow out.
Any ideas on how to handle them?
Other times it's the hockey bo-bos that cause trouble. If one of them asks me to show them something, I usually show them a two-foot spin. "Sweep the table." It's amaizing how that can keep small minds entertained for hours.
Skate on brave ones!