Madison Speed Skating Club - Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join the Madison Speed Skating Club?

Just come to practice and we'll get you started. Look at the practice schedule for the time and location of our next practice. Fill out a waiver and US Speedskating 1-Day form (we pay the $1 for you) and bring it with you. We would also appreciate you sending us an E-mail to let us know you'll be coming, especially if you will be borrowing skates. Please show up 30 minutes early, and seek out a coach for instructions on getting ready for the ice.

Where are do you skate?

Short track ice practices for the 2011-2012 season will be at the Oregon Community Sports Arena. Weather permitting, outdoor practices will be held at Vilas Park or Tenney Park. See the schedule for details.

When do you skate?

The speed skating season is September through March. See the schedule for detailed times.

How do I stay in touch with the club?

You should join the Google Group that we use as our E-mail list. You need to sign up for a free Google account, but you can use your current E-mail address. Either choose "E-mail" to get each message as it is sent, or if you wish to reduce inbox clutter, you may choose "Digest E-mail" and the E-mails will be compiled into no more than one E-mail per day.

How competitive is the club?

We serve all levels of skaters, from novices to Olympians. No skater is too young or old. Some of our skaters choose not to compete, and a few have won gold at the Olympics.

What equipment do I need?

  • Skates:
    • We have loaner speed skates available. Check with us to see if we have your size.
    • If you have your own skates, bring them as a backup. You may use any kind of skate.
    • We have access to the rink's rental skates if we can't find speed skates that fit you.
  • Helmets, long sleeves, long pants and gloves are required.
  • Sweat pants are fine, running tights are preferable. Dedicated club members and competing athletes wear the Madision Speed Skating Club skinsuit.
  • At the skater's discretion, knee pads, shin guards, elbow pads, wrist guards, neck protection, ankle protection and eye protection can be a good idea.
  • For competition: helmets, knee pads, shin guards, neck guards and gloves are usually required, and no skin may be showing below the neck.

Does the club have equipment to rent or borrow?

Yes, we do. We have skates, helmets and pads available to borrow during our ice practices, free of charge. Come early if you need to borrow equipment. We may not have skates available in every size, however, so you should contact the club so we can check our inventory for you. Club skates may only be used during club practices, and may not be taken home. The only exception is for a competition, and they must be returned at the next practice.

What if I want to use the club skates to practice on my own?

Then it's probably time to buy your own skates. To faciliate members acquiring their own equipment, the club will sell our skates to Madison members for $150, and will buy them back at any point in the future for $100. Less will be offered if they are no longer in good condition, subject to the coach's judgement.

How do I get a Madison skinsuit?

Club orders for new skinsuits will be sent out periodically, when there is enough member demand. Information will be sent out to the club E-mail list at that time. Used skinsuits are also available to borrow from the club with a $25 deposit.

How much does it cost to skate with the club?

For the regular season resuming this fall, you can purchase a 1st-year membership, an 8-week Learn-to-Speedskate package, or pay a per-session drop-in rate. Fundraising is an intergral part of the club, and most members will work at our concession stand at the UW Badger home football games to significantly lower their fees. See the 2011/2012 fees pamphlet for detailed information.

What if I can't afford the dues?

Fear not! Our club has scholarships available on a case-by-case basis. We especially do not want to turn any children away. If paying the dues are a problem, please contact a club board member.

Whom do I contact about club dues?

Feel free to contact any of our board members.

Does the club do short track or long track speed skating?

Both. All of our practices and competitions in Madison are short track, which uses an 111.12m track marked on a hockey rink. However, many of our club members travel together to the the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee to practice and compete at long track, which requires a 400m skating oval.

I don't have a car, how can I get to practices?

Many of our members would be happy to carpool. Just send a message to the E-mail list asking for a ride.

Do I need to join US Speedskating or the Wisconsin Speedskating Association?

Yes, because our insurance coverage comes from these umbrella organizations, our members must join both US Speedskating and the Wisconsin Speedskating Association. To enter most competitions, you must be a US Speedskating member for the same reason. WSA membership is included in the Madison Speed Skating Club dues, but USS membership is not. New skaters paying the drop-in rate have 1-day memberships for both WSA and USS included in the drop-in fee.

Does the club do inline speed skating?

Yes. Traditionally the main focus of the club is ice. However as inline speed skating grows in popularity more of our members do both disciplines. Many of our members do inline training during the summer, and some of our members do inline competitions.