Skate: Short Track is performed on a 111m oval opposed to a 400m long track oval. As a result, there are differences in the skate. Short Track blades range from 40-80cm in length. The blades are also slightly wider (1.3 mm) than a long track blade so that they can withstand the stress of turning. The blades are also bent which makes it easier for the skaters to turn left and there is a greater rocker than a long track blade. The off set of the blades can be adjusted allowing the skater to lean in the turns without hitting the side of the boot on the ice.
The boot is slightly higher cut than a long track boot and made of fiberglass molded to the shape of the foot. Many skaters have gone to a custom boot that has been designed from a mold taken from the athlete’s actual foot.
All speed skates are hand sharpened by the skater using a specially designed sharpening jig or vice. Sharpening takes from 10-20 minutes to complete. Skaters may sharpen their blades after every race to ensure maximum sharpness.
Protective gear: Every skater wears protective gear, which includes a short track helmet fastened under the chin, cut resistant gloves, kneepads, a neck protector, shin guards and protective eyewer. Their clothing must also be cut resistant.
Skin suit: To minimize air resistance, speed skaters wear tight fitting spandex suits. Aerodynamic strips are also placed on the legs and arms to reduce friction caused while skating. With safety of the skater in mind, Kevlar cut resistant suits have been developed and are even mandatory at higher-level meets.
ISU: The ISU (International Skating Union) is the international governing body for competitive ice skating disciplines, including figure skating, synchronized skating, speed skating, and short track speed skating. Founded in 1892, it is one of the oldest international sport federations. The ISU was formed to establish standardized international rules and regulations for the skating disciplines that it governs, and to organize international competitions in these disciplines.
500m Four and a half laps
1000m Nine laps
1500m Thirteen and a half laps
3000m Twenty-Seven laps
5000m (Men’s relay distance) Forty-Five laps (not skated at the Canada Games where both men and women skate a 3000m relay)
Short Track Racing: This style of racing is fast paced and exciting to watch. There are normally 4-6 skaters on the start line depending on the distance skated. All races are skated in a counter clockwise direction. Unlike long track speed skating, little emphasis is on time. Finishing position in a race is all that matters. Many heats are often needed to eliminate the weaker competitors before quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals can take place. Only the top two or three skaters from one round will make it to the next.
Seeding: Skater’s personal best times are submitted prior to a competition in order for them to be seeded into the first distance. After the first distance, they are seeded into the next distance based upon the points awarded in the previous distance. The higher a skater placed in the previous distance, the easier the preliminary in the next distance.
Photo Finish Equipment: A system that records the order of finish in such a way that it can be reproduced immediately after the race concerned.
Relay Races: Relay races usually involve four teams of four skaters per race. Each skater must take at least one turn out on the track. Normally the skaters will exchange turns in rotation, with those not on the track either resting, covering the skater on the track, or preparing to receive an exchange, all on the inside of the track. In order to complete an exchange, the skater on the track needs to only tag the incoming skater. However, in order to maintain momentum, the incoming skater will position himself in basic speed skating position and receive a push from behind.
In the event of a fall, a covering skater may tag the fallen skater and continue the race. A gun will sound indicating three laps are remaining, which means that each team may only complete one more exchange. One skater must complete the final two laps, except if the skater falls.
Did not Finish (DNF): Usually due to an injury the skater was not able to finish the race.
Did Not Skate (DNS): The skater did not go to the start line.
False Start: A short track skater is only permitted one false start. If the same skater false starts a second time, they are disqualified.
Un-sportsmanlike Conduct: Acting in a manor not befitting an athlete or role model. This includes swearing at another competitor or official, kicking your feet, striking other skaters or officials etc. This infraction leads to a yellow or red card.
Equipment: Not wearing the proper safety equipment, losing or removing equipment during the race, or exposure of skin other than on the face of neck.
Impeding: Pushing, blocking, or otherwise deliberately causing an impediment for another skater.
Off Track: Shortening the distance to be skated with one or both skates on the left side of the curve, marked by track marking blocks.
Shooting the Line or Kicking Out: Driving the lead foot ahead to reach the finish line faster, resulting in the rear foot lifting off the ice and creating a dangerous situation for others.
Assistance: Permitting to give and/or receive assistance during a race. This will not apply to the push the Skater receives from their teammate in a relay event.
Penalty: Skaters receive a penalty for any of the infringements stated above. A skater / team receiving a penalty is disqualified in the relevant race in which the infringement occurred and will be excluded from participating in the next round of the distance concerned.
Yellow Card: If an infringement of the Racing rules is deemed by the Referee to be an unsafe, harmful or hazardous offense, a yellow card will be shown to the infringing skater. The skater / team will be disqualified from that race and excluded from participating in the next round of the distance concerned. Any skater who is shown two yellow cards in the same competition will be sanctioned by a red card and will be excluded from participating in the rest of the competition
Red Card: In the case of an infringement which is deemed by the Referee to be intentionally dangerous or grossly negligent, the skater will receive a red card automatically and will be excluded from the rest of the competition.