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Carlesa Williams

Does Your Rink Prohibit Inline Skating?

By March 3, 2008

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I love both inline and quad roller sports activities, and most of the rinks and roller sports facilities in my area (Southeastern Michigan, USA) allow both kinds of skates and provide instruction as well as team activities for both types of skating. But, rules and services are not the same at all skating centers. A coach/mom from the East Coast took her daughter, a competitive inline figure skater, to a roller skating center to enjoy a public session and get a little practive, too. She was quite surprised to find out that some roller rinks do not allow inline skating in any form during public sessions. She contacted me for information on the number of skating facilities in the United States that do not allow inline skates... and why.

The Roller Skating Association's Director of Membership Services, Jennifer Wendel, was quick to find an answer for us:
"There are no official statistics or information about inline skates, and how many skating centers allow them. However, we can guess that somewhere between 2-10% of skating centers may not allow inlines today. So, the overwhelming majority does. Originally perhaps the percentage was larger, because rink owners felt the outdoor skates would pick up rocks on their wheels and scratch the rink floors. But now virtually all rinks allow them, because they donít want to send skaters away."
Feedback from other sources suggested that if a rink was promoting safe family sessions, they might be afraid to encourage inline skating because of the speed, stunts and maneuvers of some inline activities. Many roller rinks that have wood or plastic surfaces may have restrictions on inline skates with exposed frame bolts or frame hardware that might damage the floor.

So, if you've tried to skate at one of the few rinks that have prohibited inline skating, try talking to management to assure them that your wheels will be clean and free of debris, that the frame and wheels have no exposed or protruding parts and that all posted safety rules will be followed. You may ease the owner's fears and end up with another safe place to inline skate.

Discuss other ways to win the hearts of rink operators in your Inline Skating Forum!


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