Training is important - but so is having fun! Building a community through social gatherings is vital to building friendships which then keep skaters in the sport longer. Skaters need to feel supported by a community when the training gets tough or skating goals are not being met. Here are a few ideas of different activities for coaches, skating directors or club officials for some fun games to play on the ice. These are great ways to create memories!
We took a basket of scarves and told teams of two to do whatever they wanted with the scarves and anything else they could find... the idea was for the skaters to tell a story in 1-2 minutes.
Obstacle courses are a fun way to encourage speed and agility. You can safely use pool noodles for limbo, cones to create a zig-zag course and hockey sticks to jump over.
We've also used balloons filled 2/3 of the way with air and had teams race to pop their ballon at the end of the obstacle course - teams have to pop the balloons by sitting on them.
You can also use balloons in a volleyball game and have each team of five skaters volley the balloon from one end of the ice to the other.
Balloons are also great to put between a skater's knees and make them race with 2 feet / skates on the ice to the next skater. They pass the balloon to the next skater like a baton in a relay race.
Parachutes are a great training tool and fun to have in a race.
Another game you can play is tic-tac-toe with 9 hula hoops and hard guards and gloves. Have 2 lines of skaters race (power pulls, swizzles, whatever is appropriate for their ability) and toss either their guard or their glove onto the tic-tac-toe board. Once 3 guards and gloves are down then the next skater has to move their team's guard or glove into an open spot to make a line to win the tic-tac-toe game.
Interpretive is also a fun non-competitive activity. Put on different selections of music from different eras (60's, 70's, 80's, 90's), genres (blues, country, polka, waltz, tango, march) and styles of music (Americana, Spanish, ballad, rockstar). Maybe have a coach announce a move (for example: spiral) and have all skaters do their own version of a spiral. This can be great for building stamina too.
Themes are also fun for social events. Here are a few ideas: hippy, disco, crazy hair, neon, sports (baseball, hockey, soccer), cartoon character, Elvis, Michael Jackson, super heros, crazy hat, team spirit, 4th of july, and come as your favorite skater.
Props can also be fun for games on the ice! This day the skaters interacted with the chairs and created slides and spins on the chairs.
Another fun game for various levels of skaters is "add on". In this game each skater adds an element to the end of a string of elements. Small groups of 2-5 skaters works best and everyone should be at approximately the same ability. Example: Skater 1 does a sizzle; skater 2 does a sizzle and adds on a bunny hop; skater 3 does a swizzle, bunny hop and adds on a 1 foot spin; etc. Game ends when someone falls or can't remember the string of elements correctly. This is a great way to get skaters to practice elements they know with speed / flow and different entries.
If you have more ideas for fun games to play on the ice that you'd like to share with everyone please email and we'll add them to this page.