The name given to a group of skaters entered in a category. There may be one event per category or several events per category depending on the number of total entries. Each event is independent of the other events within the category.
Defined as a loss of control by a skater with the result that the majority of his/her own body weight is on the ice being supported by any other part of the body other than the blades. e.g. hand(s), knee(s), back, buttock(s) or any part of the arm.
The visible tracing on the ice that is executed on one foot. A step is counted each time there is a change of foot.
Helmet Use - Information for Clubs, Coaches and Parents
On July 1, 2011 Skate Canada implemented a Helmet Use policy. This policy was implemented as a proactive safety measure to help protect members in the early stages of the CanSkate program that are learning how to skate. Skate Canada believes it is an appropriate time to implement such a policy to help prevent future injuries to its members that are learning how to skate. In the development of the policy Skate Canada consulted various groups of individuals including parents, and the policy was approved by the Skate Canada Board of Directors earlier in 2011.
Skate Canada is proud of its CanSkate program, the best learn-to-skate program in Canada, and we will continue to develop policies and programming that create a better and safer learn-to-skate experience for our skaters. If you would like more information on helmet use and injury prevention we recommend you visit Think First.
Coaches, clubs or skating school should not dictate that a skater should not wear a helmet.
- Skaters working on STAGE 5 and below, a well as all skaters in the CanPowerSkate program, MUST wear CSA approved hockey helmets.
- Skaters working on STAGE 6 or higher may choose to continue to wear a helmet at their discretion. The skater, parent/guardian have the final say as to whether or not the skater will or will not wear a helmet.
- Coaches are in charge of ensuring what a skater wears on the ice is safe. This applies to clothing, hair, skates etc.
How should the hockey helmet fit?
- A hockey helmet should fit snug to prevent any shifting and maximize protection. Make sure the chinstrap can be adjusted so it gently makes contact under the chin when fastened.
- For an adjustable helmet, open it to the largest setting and gradually begin to downsize the helmet until a comfortably snug fit is achieved. The helmet should rest on the head so that the rim is one finger width above the eyebrow and making contact with the top of your head.
- Although most helmets are lined with protective foam, some helmets will feel better than others. Try on different brands of helmets for fit and comfort.
- All CSA certified helmets have a sticker indicating their certification.
Why only hockey helmets?
- Hockey helmets are designed to help protect against head injuries occurring on ice, whether from a fall or collision. A bicycle helmet, for example, is designed to protect against head injuries should a fall occur while riding a bicycle. It is important to ensure that when a skater is on the ice, they are protected with equipment designed for their sport or activity.
Are face masks required as well?
- Face masks are not mandatory; however young skaters may benefit from the added protection.
Are used hockey helmets acceptable?
- Hockey helmets and face protectors sold in Canada must meet safety standards set by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). If the CSA sticker is not present, throw the product away. Hockey helmets must have labelling with the date of manufacture and have a chin strap. CSA takes the position that the life span of a helmet is not easy to determine and so CSA does not give expiry dates for hockey helmets. CSA advocates that “consumers should exercise good judgement s to the suitability of a hockey helmet for play. Helmets that are cracked, have loose fitting or missing liner pieces, or that have been subjected to a severe blow should be replaced. For a hockey helmet to function effectively, it must be in very good working order and worn properly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.”
Can a parent sign a waiver absolving the club from any liability and allow their child to participate without a helmet?
- No. The requirement to wear a helmet is a Skate Canada Policy and all clubs and members must abide by our policies. Therefore in order to participate in the CanSkate program all skaters who have not achieved Stage 5 in the CanSkate program or who lack good balance and control must wear a CSA approved hockey helmet while on the ice.
Why has up to and including Stage 5 been selected as the benchmark for helmet use?
- Skaters who lack good control/balance when skating forward, backward and have difficulty stopping, as well as maneuvering around obstacles on the ice are at a higher risk of being unable to control a fall, regardless of their age.
- The CanSkate program has been developed to introduce basic skating skills to beginners in a safe and sequential manner. The learning progressions leading to and included in Stage 5 allow skaters to gain the necessary skills (balance, agility, and control) required to safely participate on the ice. While it may be likely that many Stage 5 skaters can skate reasonably well, ice surfaces can be very unpredictable and there is always a risk of falling, no matter what stage a skater is at. CanSkaters participate in a group environment with other skaters on the ice of different levels who may fall and cause other skaters to fall.
This is an additional cost for parents. Does Skate Canada provide any incentives or fee reductions for CanSkate members having to purchase a helmet?
- Most hockey helmets retail for approximately $50. Many CSA approved hockey helmets are adjustable and could be used for many years of skating both within the club and recreationally outdoors during the winter months. Skate Canada does not currently offer incentives for parents.
I am a coach. What do I do if there is a skater on the ice that should be wearing a helmet, but is not?
- The helmet policy is not optional for clubs therefore should a skater who, according to our policy must wear a CSA approved hockey helmet, arrives at the rink and wishes to go on the ice without a helmet, he/she must be refused entry onto the ice surface.
- Coaches are aware of this new policy and coaches should not be put into a situation where a skater who must wear a CSA approved hockey helmet is on the ice without the proper helmet. If this happens, the coach should escort the child off the ice as he/she does not meet the Skate Canada helmet policy requirement to participate in that program. Coaches must ensure the safety of the skaters at all times therefore if a skater is on the ice without an approved hockey helmet, this is a safety concern that must be addressed.
- A coach cannot be reprimanded for enforcing Skate Canada Rules and Policies within a club.
- Coaches should encourage and positively reinforce the use of hockey helmets in the CanSkate program
What other tips could you provide regarding prevention of falls and head injury?
There are several ways to avoid head injury, in addition to wearing a helmet. The following are some basic guidelines:
- Use quality equipment - skates with good support, proper fit, laced correctly and sharpened regularly help the skater maintain control on the ice - therefore less chance of falling
- Dress appropriately - no scarves, overly bulky snowsuits, or hair in the face as this may restrict movement, vision
- Warm up and cool down appropriately - to avoid muscle strain and stress on the joints
- Use skill progressions to prepare for more difficult moves; coach must ensure that beginners are taught proper way to fall and get up
- Ensure coaches have valid first aid certification
- Group activity and practice areas must be well-supervised; during skill circuits and drills, skaters should be travelling in one direction to avoid collisions.
- Use pylons to mark any holes or cracks on the ice.
- Teaching aids must be safe and appropriate for the level of skater.
- Ensure sufficient space between skaters while executing skills.
- The number of skaters on the ice should be appropriate to the size and skill level of the skaters, the size of the ice surface and the nature of the activity.
- Enforce on-ice safety rules:
- get up quickly after falling down
- look in the direction of travel when skating backwards
- no pushing, playing tag or other horse play
- no gum, candy on the ice
- keep rink doors closed during sessions
- stops should be done a safe distance from the boards
- keep first aid kit accessible
My club is planning to host a Bring a Friend Day and there will be participants on the ice whose skating skill level may not be known prior to the session beginning. What should our club do?
- In order to ensure the safety of all the skaters all "friends" must wear a CSA approved hockey helmet, no matter their skating ability. This will also ensure the coach(es) will be able to begin the session promptly engaging the participants which will provide a positive and fun experience for everyone.
How can I identify a hockey helmet that is CSA approved? Where will the logo appear on the hockey helmet?
- The CSA approved logo will be found on the back of the hockey helmet affixed to the outer shell of the helmet. For more information about CSA standards visit www.csa-international.org
When should an incident report be completed?
It is at the discretion of the individual responsible at the time of the incident whether or not an incident report should be filled out. From a safe sport perspective it is better to over report than under report especially if insurance claims can stem from the incidents.
Please keep in mind anytime a skater falls and bumps their head, an incident report must be completed in case they may suffer from a concussion. An incident report must also be completed if a skater sustains any other injury. This information is useful and required when dealing with insurance claims stemming from the incident.
Skate Canada strongly encourages you to also report any incident that might help us improve the overall safety in the organization.
What is the purpose and benefits of an incident report?
- To record details of an unusual event that occurs at the facility, such as an injury.
- Guarantee insurance compliance.
- This tool will allow us to effectively collect and analyze incident information related to skating.
- Detect trends by club such as bad ice, poor lighting, and ventilation issues.
- This information will allow us to proactively implement preventative measures and best in class safety programs.
What is involved in using this tool?
Once the online incident report form is completed and submitted – (by a club board member, skating school administrator or coach), an email confirmation (including a copy of the incident report form) is automatically sent to the person that submitted the form for the clubs records.
How you can help us promote this tool?
Should you witness an incident/accident at your local club, please make certain that the Skate Canada’s Online Incident Report Forms is completed and submitted to us within 30 days of the incident.
Share and promote the use of the Online Incident Report with your affiliated clubs and fellow coaches.
Safe Sport Fee
Skate Canada places great importance on creating a fun and safe environment for our skating family, especially children and youth. We create this atmosphere as a reflection of our safety culture that extends throughout the organization. Our goal is to position ourselves as the Safe Sport leader in Canada and the world.
Skate Canada has always strived to create a positive sport environment built on the values of fairness, excellence, inclusion and fun. We are proud to support the True Sport movement and its principles including: Go For It; Keep It Fun; Play Fair; Stay Healthy; Respect Others; and Give Back.
Sport can also be a high-risk environment for misconduct, including bullying and harassment, physical and sexual abuse and mental and physical injury. Our sections, clubs, skating schools, coaches, registrants, parents and all other stakeholders expect best-in-class safety programs that will address the full spectrum of issues. The complete Safe Sport framework we have developed does this. Implementation will begin in the 2016-2017 registration season with the framework and specific initiatives for this season available to all via the Info Centre by August 1, 2016. (Insert link to Safe Sport Framework)
For us to follow best-in-class standards and ensure sustainability of the Safe Sport initiative, a fee of $3 per registrant, which includes skaters, , coaches, club/school board members, officials and on-ice volunteers, will be implemented for the 2016-2017 registration season. This fee is to be collected by clubs and skating schools in conjunction with the $32 registrant fee and the $0.65 accident insurance benefit. Payment of this fee by clubs and skating schools will be collected by Skate Canada in the normal course.
This is a critical step in the development of the Safe Sport program and Skate Canada’s dedication to providing a safe and fun environment. Additionally, we will be in a position to provide increased resources and support to clubs, schools, coaches and sections. All fees collected will be used exclusively to support this initiative. A framework progress report will be provided to all stakeholders periodically.