Re-opening rinks with social distancing

Jozet

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,100
Contact tracing is performed by public health offices. Mostly like at the county level.
Right, but rinks can help that by keeping track of who is on sheets of ice, crossing paths in lobbies and locker rooms. It would be in a rink's interest to do this and be meticulous; you'd only want to limit staff and coach and skater quarantines to specific people and limit the times an entire rink might need to be shut down for 2 weeks.

This is what schools are preparing for -- on again, off again lockdowns. It will be the same for rinks, gyms, etc., I would think.
 

her grace

standing with Mariah
Messages
3,611
Texas Governor Abbott issued an order yesterday that "skating rinks" can open on May 22. A lot of rinks already opened yesterday because they considered themselves "indoor exercise facilities." I don't expect any of these rinks to close for the next 3 days, especially since Abbott has made it clear that his orders can be ignored with impunity. :shuffle:
 

overedge

G.O.A.T.
Messages
27,507
Some examples of what rink openings may look like. These links are from Sugarland in Houston. Nothing is going to be 100% protective, but as a parent and skater, these kinds of rules/procedures make me feel more confident/comfortable, rather than less.

Freestyle rules

http://www.sugarlandice.com/figure-skating.html

For Learn To Skate

http://www.sugarlandice.com/learn-to-skate-times--info.html
This has nothing to do with the rules (which I agree are very well thought out) but I was delighted to see Mark Janoschak is this rink's director of skating. I loved his competitive skating.
 

bladesofgorey

Well-Known Member
Messages
215
imo that's the safest and most sensible plan I've seen and all rinks should follow it until our numbers in the US start going (and staying) way, way down.
 

Jozet

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,100
imo that's the safest and most sensible plan I've seen and all rinks should follow it until our numbers in the US start going (and staying) way, way down.
We just had a meeting at our rink and are using it as our template. Very good place to start.
 

Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
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22,882
Just throwing a few things in the mix here.

While they are suggesting masks, this is not a failsafe measure. In fact with skating, how many times do people wipe and blow their nose in a session? Skating is notorious for tissue use. Masks have to be moved with hands which have wiped noses.

Skaters wear gloves to keep their hands warm. If you are using tissues you are spreading bodily fluids on your gloves as well.

Then keep in mind once you have blown your nose you have whatever over your hands which you can then wipe over surfaces such as the barrier, seats, etc.

I don't see any measures as totally failsafe because there is always going to be residual everywhere.
 

Jozet

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,100
Just throwing a few things in the mix here.

While they are suggesting masks, this is not a failsafe measure. In fact with skating, how many times do people wipe and blow their nose in a session? Skating is notorious for tissue use. Masks have to be moved with hands which have wiped noses.

Skaters wear gloves to keep their hands warm. If you are using tissues you are spreading bodily fluids on your gloves as well.

Then keep in mind once you have blown your nose you have whatever over your hands which you can then wipe over surfaces such as the barrier, seats, etc.

I don't see any measures as totally failsafe because there is always going to be residual everywhere.
These are good points. At our rink, the thought is to get skaters from their car, directly to the ice, no bags. They can bring a water bottle, but you're right, there's a lot of nose-blowing. I think some rinks are taping off individual areas where bottles can be placed -- tissues, too, or keep/put them in your pockets? The less stuff in rinks the better.

Staff would need to wipe down top of boards, for sure. Our rink has a new spray thing that takes a few minutes to spray down big surfaces, some miracle chemical that kills the ***** in 10 minutes.

No one will be sitting anywhere unless injured, so hopefully the get in-get on-get off-get out will reduce time to touch stuff. Maybe have hand sanitizer right at rink door to use as soon as getting off ice.

But yeah, it's going to take a lot of habit-breaking. And no, nothing is going to be 100% effective at protecting. We are going to have coaches on ice be in charge of monitoring their students (no free-for-all freestyle at first; you must be there by invite of your coach), so hopefully that will help keep the younger kids in line. They are going to have to be doing a lot of this kind of thing at school, as well, but I guess we get to train them first.
 

Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
Messages
22,882
These are good points. At our rink, the thought is to get skaters from their car, directly to the ice, no bags. They can bring a water bottle, but you're right, there's a lot of nose-blowing. I think some rinks are taping off individual areas where bottles can be placed -- tissues, too, or keep/put them in your pockets? The less stuff in rinks the better.

Staff would need to wipe down top of boards, for sure. Our rink has a new spray thing that takes a few minutes to spray down big surfaces, some miracle chemical that kills the ***** in 10 minutes.

No one will be sitting anywhere unless injured, so hopefully the get in-get on-get off-get out will reduce time to touch stuff. Maybe have hand sanitizer right at rink door to use as soon as getting off ice.

But yeah, it's going to take a lot of habit-breaking. And no, nothing is going to be 100% effective at protecting. We are going to have coaches on ice be in charge of monitoring their students (no free-for-all freestyle at first; you must be there by invite of your coach), so hopefully that will help keep the younger kids in line. They are going to have to be doing a lot of this kind of thing at school, as well, but I guess we get to train them first.
I think the main thing is to do a full risk assessment and work out every possible combination and permutation of every little thing that can go wrong. Then use that to guide the measures in place.

I tried posting a link to some really good information for workplaces but with the blockage on FSU the link wouldn't work.

Go to www.worksafe.tas.gov.au. Then follow the various links to Safe Workplaces Framework. There is a really good checklist for workplaces on there.
 
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spinZZ

Member
Messages
60
Just throwing a few things in the mix here.

While they are suggesting masks, this is not a failsafe measure. In fact with skating, how many times do people wipe and blow their nose in a session? Skating is notorious for tissue use. Masks have to be moved with hands which have wiped noses.

Skaters wear gloves to keep their hands warm. If you are using tissues you are spreading bodily fluids on your gloves as well.

Then keep in mind once you have blown your nose you have whatever over your hands which you can then wipe over surfaces such as the barrier, seats, etc.

I don't see any measures as totally failsafe because there is always going to be residual everywhere.
I agree with you. I read over the Park City rules cited above. One key provision wouldn't work for me at all: you can't bring anything (including water and tissues) to park by the boards or in the hockey boxes. Everything has to stay in a designated spot in the lobby. I've never been to Park City, so I don't know how big it is, and how quickly you can get from the ice to the lobby and back.

I typically need to drink water every 10 min or so; and I probably blow my nose at least 4 times in the course of an hour. At my rinks, if I need to return to the lobby each time for water and tissues, I'd probably lose at least 10 - 15 min for an hour session under normal circumstances, probably more under strict social distancing protocols (no quick dashes back-and-forth).
 
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spinZZ

Member
Messages
60
Staff would need to wipe down top of boards, for sure. Our rink has a new spray thing that takes a few minutes to spray down big surfaces, some miracle chemical that kills the ***** in 10 minutes.
There are many disinfectants that will kill off the viruses in 10 min or less. That's not a problem. One practical problem is whether a strong disinfectant will attack and degrade the surface (being cleaned), especially upon frequently repeated use. The major problem though is that most disinfectants kill off the viruses only for the short duration during which they are applied, with no residual long-term protection. So a freshly decontaminated surface gets recontaminated the instant an infected person touches it, or coughs or sneezes on it. That's the big challenge.
 

Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
Messages
22,882
I agree with you. I read over the Park City rules cited above. One key provision wouldn't work for me at all: you can't bring anything (including water and tissues) to park by the boards or in the hockey boxes. Everything has to stay in a designated spot in the lobby. I've never been to Park City, so I don't know how big it is, and how quickly you can get from the ice to the lobby and back.

I typically need to drink water every 10 min or so; and I probably blow my nose at least 4 times in the course of an hour. At my rinks, if I need to return to the lobby each time for water and tissues, I'd probably lose at least 10 - 15 min for an hour session under normal circumstances, probably more under strict social distancing protocols (no quick dashes back-and-forth).
You could a skater risk assessment with questions like "How many times do you blow your nose in an hour" :)
 

MacMadame

Staying at home
Staff member
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33,768
Of course these guidelines aren't going to work for everyone. People have some choices though. They can stay home or they can adapt to the new rules. They can also try to get the rules changed if they think they won't work for a majority.

I do like the idea of having a place on the boards for each person on the ice for a tissue box and water bottle. Marked off like the places in the lobby for their other stuff or replacing the places in the lobby.
 

overedge

G.O.A.T.
Messages
27,507
You could do a skater risk assessment with questions like "How many times do you blow your nose in an hour" :)
The first thing I thought of when I read this was, when you do a really fast spin and boogers or snot fly out of your nose. Talk about a public health threat, even when there's not a p******c.
 

spinZZ

Member
Messages
60
The first thing I thought of when I read this was, when you do a really fast spin and boogers or snot fly out of your nose. Talk about a public health threat, even when there's not a p******c.
Over the course of two decades or so, I've had a nosebleed several times while I was spinning. I ended up with a circular array of red dots frozen onto the ice around me. Showed my spins weren't travelling too much.:rolleyes:
 

spinZZ

Member
Messages
60
Of course these guidelines aren't going to work for everyone. People have some choices though. They can stay home or they can adapt to the new rules. They can also try to get the rules changed if they think they won't work for a majority.

I do like the idea of having a place on the boards for each person on the ice for a tissue box and water bottle. Marked off like the places in the lobby for their other stuff or replacing the places in the lobby.
Of course, if them's the rules, we can choose to take 'em or leave 'em. But some here thought these rules were great, a model to emulate for other rinks.

When you come up with rules, you should distinguish between "needs" and "wants". If you don't satisfy the needs for a sufficient number of skaters, the business will flop. When rules are proposed, there should be a preliminary walkthrough for feedback. Otherwise, you can end up with unintended, though not unexpected, consequences. As one example, look what happened in the NJ parks about a week or so ago. Parks were opened, but facilities, including restrooms, were closed. When the cleanup crews came round after the first weekend, guess what disgusting ?!? (literally) was left on the grounds by the visitors?
 
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Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
Messages
22,882
Over the course of two decades or so, I've had a nosebleed several times while I was spinning. I ended up with a circular array of red dots frozen onto the ice around me. Showed my spins weren't travelling too much.:rolleyes:
Sorry this is a gross one.

A coach I had years ago said when she was training they had competitions to see how big a blob of snot would come out of their nose during a spin. And when they stopped it would hit the side of their face.
 

overedge

G.O.A.T.
Messages
27,507
A coach I had years ago said when she was training they had competitions to see how big a blob of snot would come out of their nose during a spin. And when they stopped it would hit the side of their face.
When IJS was implemented, some of us suggested extra +GOE for how far the ribbon of snot went when it came out of your nose during a spin :lol:
 

Debbie S

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,044
Skating Club of Boston's reopening guidelines are posted here: https://scboston.org/re-opening-guidelines/

The actual procedures are in PDFs. 15 people (skaters + coaches) on the ice and they are requiring masks everywhere in the building, including the ice. Coaches will have their own socially-distanced spot at the boards. Skaters limited to 2 sessions/day.

These seem very sensible to me. Of course, the issue that exists for every location is what about asymptomatic carriers. But masks and distancing should mitigate that.
 

overedge

G.O.A.T.
Messages
27,507
An article I read today said that several Canadian amateur sports federations feel that responsibility - and liability - for avoiding the v*r*s is being pushed down to the individual team/club. And they are not happy about it, because they are not public health experts, as well as being volunteers who are already overworked. Also it could be very $$$$ for a club or team that got sued if someone caught the v*r*s at their facility or during one of their events.

One example is that the national amateur baseball federation has issued club guidelines for re-opening. The guidelines say the only people that can be in the dugout during a game are the team members and the coach(es). But the guidelines also say that each team is responsible for sanitizing the dugout before they leave. Obviously pre-teen or teenage kids and their parents are not experts on how to adequately clean a sports facility to get rid of any v*r*ses.
 

Jozet

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,100
There are many disinfectants that will kill off the viruses in 10 min or less. That's not a problem. One practical problem is whether a strong disinfectant will attack and degrade the surface (being cleaned), especially upon frequently repeated use. The major problem though is that most disinfectants kill off the viruses only for the short duration during which they are applied, with no residual long-term protection. So a freshly decontaminated surface gets recontaminated the instant an infected person touches it, or coughs or sneezes on it. That's the big challenge.
Right. This is why most rinks aren't opening locker rooms, are removing all benches, don't want anyone setting anything down anywhere as much as possible. The less cleaning needed, the more likely they will be to stay open.

It may mean just your water bottle, keep your tissues in your pocket. It's not going to work for everyone, and I'm guessing some people will just wait until loosening restrictions to skate again, while others will find a way to work with the stricter rules. We know parents are going to complain about not wanting to just drop off their kids; the answer to that is going to be, "You'll have to wait." Will some people stop skating or move on to other sports? Probably. Will some rinks close completely? Probably. The rinks that can hold on and find the skaters who are willing to work within the restrictions will be the last ones standing.
 

Jozet

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,100
An article I read today said that several Canadian amateur sports federations feel that responsibility - and liability - for avoiding the v*r*s is being pushed down to the individual team/club. And they are not happy about it, because they are not public health experts, as well as being volunteers who are already overworked. Also it could be very $$$$ for a club or team that got sued if someone caught the v*r*s at their facility or during one of their events.

One example is that the national amateur baseball federation has issued club guidelines for re-opening. The guidelines say the only people that can be in the dugout during a game are the team members and the coach(es). But the guidelines also say that each team is responsible for sanitizing the dugout before they leave. Obviously pre-teen or teenage kids and their parents are not experts on how to adequately clean a sports facility to get rid of any v*r*ses.

I really think there will be no hockey this year because of this.

Which is a problem. There aren't many rinks that can exist on figure skating alone. Someone is going to have to convince hockey parents that it's OK for their kids to practice through spring 2021 without games and tournaments. Frankly, I think it's GREAT to just have practices. And I'm hoping when hockey does come back, it's non-checking (for myriad reasons, but number one is checking increases injuries by 60%). But a lot of parents and kids are convinced that without the games, there's no point. Honestly, I think more kids would be willing to get back to the ice even without games, but parents need that vicarious confirmation of their sports prowess via their kids.
 

overedge

G.O.A.T.
Messages
27,507
I really think there will be no hockey this year because of this.

Which is a problem. There aren't many rinks that can exist on figure skating alone. Someone is going to have to convince hockey parents that it's OK for their kids to practice through spring 2021 without games and tournaments. Frankly, I think it's GREAT to just have practices. And I'm hoping when hockey does come back, it's non-checking (for myriad reasons, but number one is checking increases injuries by 60%). But a lot of parents and kids are convinced that without the games, there's no point. Honestly, I think more kids would be willing to get back to the ice even without games, but parents need that vicarious confirmation of their sports prowess via their kids.
But but but my kid is never going to get to the NHL if all they do is practice and never play games!!!
šŸ˜µ
 

Debbie S

Well-Known Member
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12,044
USFS has posted guidelines for competitions here: https://www.usfigureskating.org/news/article/considerations-competitions-and-events

Honestly, I don't see how any comp, much less Regionals, could be held under those recommendations...only using officials from in-state, limiting group and practice ice size, officials bring their own headsets, longer breaks between events to sanitize the judges stand. No locker room use. And the rec for not serving food to officials doesn't make a lot of sense....if there's no hospitality area, are judges supposed to crowd the snack bar with parents/skaters? Or drive to a restaurant and get takeout?

Judges and officials tend to skew older, and most aren't going to want to go to a comp in the foreseeable future anyway. There are a couple of national-level judges (1 is world-level) in my club who told one of our club officers that they don't want to go to any comps as long as the you-know-what is an issue.

And yes, USFS is indeed pushing responsibility to the clubs. Obviously, it's the club's choice to hold a comp, so yes, they take that responsibility, but clubs/comps are run by volunteers, who are not medical or public health experts. Who is going to manage the screening process and do the sanitizing?
 

spinZZ

Member
Messages
60
Skating Club of Boston's reopening guidelines are posted here: https://scboston.org/re-opening-guidelines/

The actual procedures are in PDFs. 15 people (skaters + coaches) on the ice and they are requiring masks everywhere in the building, including the ice. Coaches will have their own socially-distanced spot at the boards. Skaters limited to 2 sessions/day.

These seem very sensible to me. Of course, the issue that exists for every location is what about asymptomatic carriers. But masks and distancing should mitigate that.
Now this looks like a well-thought-out set of rules. Though I realize that other rinks may not have a suitable configuration to emulate them (my home rink, e.g., has only one consolidated entrance and exit).

The set of rules satisfy what I would consider to be minimum skaters' requirements to be viable:

(a) Restrooms will be available. You really can't expect skaters to always hold it until they get home. You're courting accidents of an embarrassing nature if you don't provide restrooms. I'm not familiar with the SCOB rink. But this crisis will finally force restrooms to be configured and equipped to provide more stringent contamination control. I like the ones with separate entrances and exits, no doors on the entrances and exits, and contactless fixtures (toilet flushers, sink faucets, soap dispensers, towel dispensers, and hand dryers). We are constantly exhorted to "Wash your hands!", but in most restrooms, recontamination is unavoidable, since you need to touch dirty faucet handles and door knobs after you wash your hands (some people try to mitigate this situation by using a paper towel when turning faucets and door knobs; but not really a good fix, especially if paper towels are not dispensed).

(b) You will have an assigned seat inside, so you can sit and lace up. I've seen other proposed rules in which skaters are expected to be dressed up and laced up before they enter. Dressed up is reasonable and viable, but laced up is not unless someone else is driving and can drop you off at the entrance (even that would lead to congestion at the entrance, which the rink would like to avoid). Depending on the distance between your parking spot and the entrance, it may just not be viable to lace up in the car, and walk to the entrance on your blade guards (especially if it rains or snows).

(c) Assigned space on tables or bleachers near the ice for you to park some personal items (I like their suggestion for skaters to bring towels to cover a surface). Tissues can be stowed in pockets if needed. But water bottles can't. As I mentioned in a previous post, I don't think the Park City rule for stowing water bottles in the lobby, and running on-and-off ice for water, is viable. If skaters don't have ready access to water by the ice, I think many will simply try to push through without it ... and end up severely dehydrated. The SCOB rules also acknowledge that it's good to have a place by the ice to park your blade guards. That's a thoughtful consideration. Not essential, but you wear down your edges faster if you need to leave your blade guards in the lobby and walk with bare blades across the grungy matting.
 
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