Six Ice Sports
You might think that ice sports are limited to the winter season, but artificial ice rinks are open all year round. Learn about six cool ice sports in our post today.
What are the most popular ice sports?
Ice sports usually don’t have too much coverage or packed stadiums. Regardless, they’re fascinating and are sports that won’t leave you indifferent. Among the most popular ones are:
1. Ice hockey
When we hear “ice sports”, we automatically think of ice hockey and the players wearing special clothing. Ice hockey first started around the end of the 19th century and the first competition dates back to 1875. Two teams of six players (five players and one goalie) face off on the rink.
The players move the puck with their hockey stick and try to score it in the net of the opposing team. Each game has three parts, 20 minutes each, and two 5-minute breaks.
2. Ice skating
The performances of ice skaters, individuals or pairs, in the Olympic games or other international competitions are truly breathtaking. But ice skating didn’t always have an artistic flair; it first started as a solution to move from point A to B during the wintertime in Finland.
As a sport, it first started in the 18th century in continental Europe. Soon after, the International Skating Union formed in 1892, Holland.
Ice skating rinks measure 60 meters in length and 30 meters in width. The skaters use ice skates that are equipped with blades and boots to ensure gliding and traction, respectively.
3. Ice sports: bobsleigh
Bobsleigh is one of the most impressive sports in the Olympic Games and it first started in the Swiss Alps at the end of the 19th century. The first bobsleigh club dates back to 1897 while the first competitions took place in 1914.
Today, there are three forms of bobsleigh that vary depending on the number of members on a team: two, four or six. The track is completely made of ice and is full of tricky areas and turns.
To set off, the members run alongside their bobsleigh and jump in. Some descents can reach 93 miles per hour!
4. Ice sports: skeleton
Skeleton is another sled-based Olympic sport. It’s actually the oldest sled sport around (another example of sled sports include bobsleigh). While it first started in St. Moritz, Switzerland at the end of the 19th century, it became an official sport in Germany later on.
Skeleton starts with an explosive take off to gain speed. In order to perfect the method, players don’t only have to train sufficiently, but they also require special footwear that allows them to stay in control even on the ice.
The pilot lays down on their stomach on top of their sled, staying as still as possible in order to become aerodynamic. The pilot shifts their weight to left or right, in order to change direction.
Curling is a team sport that requires extreme precision. It’s similar to bowling, except that it takes place on an ice rink.
Each team has four players. The players must glide eight 44 pound granite stones along a stretch of 45 meters. After one player throws the stone, the sweeper walks alongside and sweeps the ice ahead to help it glide further. Depending on where the stone lands on the target at the end of the stretch, the team wins more or fewer points.
6. Ice sports: Luge
Luge, as seen in the featured image of this post, is the third sled-based Olympic sport. While the sport has been around for quite some time, luge started in the 19th as an official sport. The first international competition took place in 1883, Switzerland.
The luge sled is a small metal structure, which used to be made of wood, with sharp blades on the bottom. The sled doesn’t have any brakes. The pilot is responsible for changing the direction, using his or her own weight to do so.
To wrap up our post, other ice sports include brandy, ringette, and long- and short-track speed skating. Which would you try?It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
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- El hockey sobre hielo argentino ya tiene a sus representantes para los Juegos Olímpicos de Lausana 2020. Agosto de 2019. Diario La Nación. https://www.lanacion.com.ar/deportes/el-hockey-hielo-argentino-tiene-sus-representantes-nid2278931
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