Speedskating 101

This page gives you a basic rundown of several important things to know as a Member of US Speedskating. More details may be given in other places on our website, and links will be provided for easy access. If you still have questions about any of the topics discussed here please contact us at membership@usspeedskating.org

I. Equipment

Safety Equipment - both disciplines and various events.

ISU Communication #2636

Additional Equipment - highly recommended and at times necessary. 

Sharpening and Blade Care - Coming Soon.

Where can I buy equipment? 

II. Rules and Regulations

US Speedskating (USS)

International Skating Union (ISU)

III. USS Resources

USS Membership Categories

Yearly Event Outline - Coming Soon

Safe Sport

How to Obtain an Official School Release Letter for Competitions

Mentor Program

This program was developed with the AAC to help support Jr. Development, Jr. National, and NTP athletes. Our mentors are experienced athletes, officials, coaches and/or professionals in their career field. We hope that experienced athletes, coaches, and officials in each club will continue to help all skaters as current resources do not allow us to provide each athlete with a mentor. If you would like to be a mentor, please contact us at membership@usspeedskating.org 

IV. Insurance

*You must have your own Primary Health Insurance to access our Excess Secondary Policy

  • USS Insurance
  • Travel Insurance for supported international competitions
  • National Medical Network

V. Training and Competition Tips



Travel Information

VI. Injury Prevention and Identification

VII. Progression Breakdown - US Athlete Development 

Speed skating is a sport that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. It combines fun and fitness and most importantly, friends. The skating community is very supportive of one another and encourages every skater, no matter what level, to do their best.

Learn to Skate (LTS) / Speed Skate (LTSS)

  • These programs will be focused on basic skills, technique, and having fun.
  • Ask your local rink if they offer Learn to Skate and/or Learn to Speed Skate classes.
  • Learn to Skate USA has speed skating materials available.


  • Find a Club near you and join in on the fun!
  • Clubs are a great place to skate recreationally and/or progress into competitive skating. 
  • Most Clubs have programs/sessions set-up to help you find success with whichever route you chose. 

Youth (younger than 13 as of July 1st)

  • In this age group the focus will mostly be having fun and staying active
  • Competing in local and regional meets is a good way to apply your training and gain experience 
  • Long Track and Short Track Age Group Nationals are good goals to shoot for

Junior (13-19 as of July 1st)

  • Training should be more consistent if you plan to compete, and as always have fun.
  • Competing is more common at this age, just remember that people develop at different rates. 
  • Qualifying for and skating Long Track and/or Short Track Junior Nationals can be a good goal.  

Senior (20+ as of July 1st) 

  • We hope you are still having fun, and competing or maintaining healthy lifestyle habits. 
  • Qualifying for and competing in U.S. World Cup Qualifiers and US Championships can be good goals.
  • If you are skating recreationally maybe try a time trial or a club race in your area.  

Masters (30+ as of July 1st)

  • We hope you are still having fun, and competing or maintaining healthy lifestyle habits. 
  • Participating in Masters Camps and Competitions are great ways to meet people and stay involved.
  • Becoming an Official or an Officer for your Club or Association are also good ways to stay involved.

Development Teams

  • ASE - Long Track or Short Track at the Pettit National Ice Center (Milwaukee, WI)
  • FAST - Long Track or Short Track at the Utah Olympic Oval (Kearns, UT)
  • ISU Transition - Long Track or Short Track at the Utah Olympic Oval (Kearns, UT)

Elite - National Training Program (NTP) - Long and Short Track

  • Located in Kearns, Utah at the Utah Olympic Oval
  • Access to world-class training facilities 
  • Access to NTP coaches, trainers, doctors, dietitians, psychologists, and more

VIII. Suggestions for Supportive Parenting 


Being a Positive Sport Parent

IX. Extra Info

Proudly representing the fastest human-powered sport in the world, US Speedskating is a non-profit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Skating Union (ISU) as the governing body for the sport of speed skating in the United States. Our mission is to be one of the premier speed skating organizations in the world through excellence in leadership, development and performance. To date, US Speedskating has won 88 Olympic medals, making it the most successful winter sport in the U.S. In addition to its elite programs, US Speedskating is responsible for the grassroots development of speed skating.

Long Track

  • Olympic event since 1924
  • The fastest, human powered, non-mechanical sport in the world
  • Skaters race counter clockwise on a 400 meter oval
  • Athletes compete in pairs and change lanes to equalize distance
  • Competition is against the clock - fastest time wins

Short Track 

  • Olympic event since 1992
  • Often referred to as NASCAR on ice 
  • Skaters race counter clockwise on an Olympic sized hockey rink 
  • Athletes compete in individual and relay races done in a pack or mass start 
  • Competition reduces the field through elimination races until the final round