Ice Rules

Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society

PSC & HS strives to create a fun and safe atmosphere in order to allow skaters to achieve their goals in a respectful, safe, and positive environment. These rules help identify what is expected of our PSC & HS coaches, skaters, parents, and their guests when interacting with coaches, skaters, volunteers, staff, and the facilities at all times, on and off the ice.

All rules are subject to change by the PSC & HS Board of Governors.


General Safety Rules

  • All skaters must sign in at the office before stepping onto the ice.
  • It is everyone’s responsibility to maintain the ice surface. All skaters are responsible for patching holes when the Zamboni starts to warm up.
  • Anything that would result in damage to the ice surface, surrounding matting or practice areas is not permitted. This includes creating or kicking holes in the ice that are not normal consequences of toe-assisted jumps.
  • Skaters must leave the ice immediately when the Zamboni comes onto the ice.
  • After a resurface, wait for the ice to dry before entering the ice surface.
  • No food or gum is allowed on the ice or around entry areas of the ice.
  • Only figure skates may be used. Exceptions to this rule include Basic Skills, Family and Public sessions, as well as hockey skills classes.
  • Judges and coaches are the only persons allowed on the ice without skates.
  • Nothing is to be left on the ice surface. Clothing, scribes, etc. may be left on the floor or benches adjacent to the ice, but are to be removed at the end of each session.
  • No one should hang from the railings or impede the function of the maintenance crew.
  • Cones are to be used only during group lessons, some private lessons, or for support of beginning skaters.
  • Skaters may not push, pull, grab or purposely bump into other skaters. Games such as “Snap (or Crack) The Whip” or any form of tag is not permitted.
  • Skaters cannot make or throw snowballs.
  • Do not congregate on the ice surface. If you want to have a discussion with a fellow skater, move off the ice.
  • Coaches are to teach from the edge of the ice except when skating with or demonstrating to their students, when using the harnesses, during patch sessions, or with beginning skaters.
  • iPods, iPhones, headsets, walkmans, and external wireless/wired speakers are not allowed on any session.
  • Adults are not permitted to carry children when skating.
  • Helmets are required for skaters who have not passed Basic Level 2.

Session-Specific Rules

  • Skaters must be test qualified for each session. Please refer to the ice schedule for criteria for each session.
  • Family Sessions: Jumps and spins are not permitted beyond those practiced on the Junior C level.
  • Mixed Sessions may include dance, skating skills and singles.
  • During Mixed sessions with Patch/Compulsory Figures , the entire ice surface may be used for Mixed skating, if no skaters have begun to practice figures after the first 15 minutes of a session.

Compulsory Figures Rules

Compulsory figures—commonly referred to as “figures, ” is a discipline of skating where skaters trace circular patterns using one foot at a time, demonstrating their mastery of control, balance, flow, and edge to execute accurate and clean tracings on the ice. Skaters are allocated a section of the ice, known as a “patch,” to practice these elements. A session devoted to the practice of figures is referred to as a “patch session.” Though figures are no longer a part of competitive figure skating,  the discipline was eliminated in 1990 for the development of Moves in the Field. PSC&HS is one of the few ice rinks in the U.S. that continues to offer daily patch sessions for the practice of figures.

When skating on patch there are some general rules that skaters and coaches are expected to follow:

  • Patch spaces are first-come, first served.
  • Patches are marked by the white lines located along the sides of the rink, and single patch is a space between two of the marks.
  • Go around the perimeter of the rink to find your patch. Use the white line as a line of travel to cross the rink,  never skate across a patch section, particularly one that is not your own.
  • Refrain from having loud conversations or playing music during patch sessions.
  • Scribes are permitted for use only during patch sessions; for safety reasons, they must be removed from the ice immediately after the session has concluded.

On-Ice Right of Way

The following establishes the right-of-way (ROW) for all sessions:

  1. Music
  2. Lesson
  3. Active patterns
  • Programs will be played in rotation If a skater elects to not skate their program when it is their turn, their music will go to the end of the rotation.

– Everyone yields to the skater with the music on except when a skater is repeating their program or sections of a program multiple times. Skaters who are repeating their music should not expect the ROW to apply.

-Skaters who have already done their program multiple times should yield to those who have not gone.

  • Skaters who are not on a lesson must yield to skaters who are on a lesson.
  • Be aware of and accommodating to skaters doing Moves in the Field patterns.

Ice Etiquette

Ice etiquette rules are in effect at all times.

PSC & HS defines etiquette as maintaining a positive attitude, not to mention an awareness and sensitivity to the actions and feelings of others.

We encourage skaters to:

  • Realize skating is not solely about winning: Sports are about developing technical skills, mental/physical conditioning, learning discipline, and doing your best.
  • Work with others in a respectful and cooperative manner: Treat your skating colleagues, coaches, staff, and parents as you would like to be treated.
  • Encourage and support your fellow skaters to strive for their best.
  • Develop an awareness of the on-ice environment around you: Be attentive to other skaters as outlined in this document, and communicate to avoid on-ice accidents.

The following behaviors are viewed by PSC & HS as negative and reflect poorly on us:

  • Yelling at others for reasons other than to prevent a collision.
  • Making negative comments about other skaters and members of our community.
  • Using inappropriate language toward others in a disrespectful manner: Cursing and other foul language is not tolerated.

If this type of behavior is witnessed, it should be immediately addressed by coaching staff or ice monitor in a professional manner.

Revocation of Skating Privileges

If the Director of Skating or Ice Committee finds there is an identifiable pattern of behavior and disciplinary action with a skater over a period of time, the individual(s) will be reviewed by the Executive Committee. Failure to abide by the rules may result in the offending skater’ privileges being revoked.