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Roller Dance and Session Skating Forum Discussions about roller dancing, jamskating, rexing, rink session skating, dance circle skating, and similar types of recreational indoor and outdoor skate dancing .

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Old October 3rd, 2012, 09:15 PM   #41
cass38a
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Skateboards, scooters and strollers are a different story, no anti discrimination laws to prevent the rink just saying "no"

Safety on a skate rink comes from mutual respect for those around you, exactly as it does on the road.
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 09:35 PM   #42
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Hi cass38a,

Quote:
Safety on a skate rink comes from mutual respect for those around you, exactly as it does on the road.
Absolutely !!!!!

The trick is, how do we teach and encourage folks to do that - both in Rinks and on the Road. In a Rink, it's relatively easy, on the open Road - not so much.

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Old October 10th, 2012, 10:41 AM   #43
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Odds Bodkins ! This guy has TOE STOPS in his skates, folks - how quaint ! Now that's what I call really "Living In The Past".....
We don't need such things as floor guards (AKA "Skate Nazis") around here; the necessity of them went out ages ago with the advent of electronic P.A. systems in rinks. In these modern rinks, the session manager or DJ spots errant skaters from the DJ booth and corrects their errors. In the event of an injury, the staff promptly rushes out onto the floor and aids the injured skater. It was long ago determined that the presence of those "Skate Nazis" on the floor made many skaters uncomfortable, causing them to avoid the rink and thereby damaging the rink's business significantly. Even in rinks where skaters are allowed to freely skate against and across traffic, I have yet to see or experience of a collision; we modern skaters have these new-fangled things known as "eyes" in our heads which enable us to see and analyze speed and direction of others - and thereby avoid collisions......
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Old October 10th, 2012, 03:33 PM   #44
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Default From a floorguard's perspective

Here's my take on some of this...

Wheelchairs:

These aren't a problem until they become a problem. We will allow them on the floor so long as they stay to the outside. I mean come on, if a kid in a wheelchair is there with their friends and all their friends are skating, I'm not gonna say "No you can't go out there with your friends." However, if the kid in the wheelchair starts getting farther out in the middle of the floor or just screwing around in general to the point that it endangers the other skaters on the floor, he/she will be asked to leave the floor (just like anyone else causing problems). We have had kids in wheelchairs on the floor before. For the most part it isn't a problem. But we did have one kid that kept stopping in the middle of traffic and knocked a kid down once. The kid that got knocked down was ok and the kid in the wheelchair was warned about it and everything was fine after that.

Floorguards can't perceive the danger on the floor unless they are skating on the floor:

Ok. The floorguards being required to NOT wear skates....that's ridiculous. Now, we were told at one point that we were to stand (on skates) on the ends of middle of the floor. That was more of a liability issue because (and we were told this) the rink's legal consultant or whatever said that it was a liability to have the floorguards skating around because if one of us fell and got hurt we could do the whole worker's comp thing. Well, that lasted about a week. We found we could see what was going on on the floor better by not skating around, but the issue was we couldn't get to the outside of the floor during busy sessions to get to people that were causing problems.

During slower sessions, if there's something that needs done behind the skate counter (i.e. Repairs to rental skates), then we will stand back there and work on that stuff while watching the floor. A good floor guard can look at the floor from anywhere, on or off the floor, and be able to tell what's going on. Obviously this isn't the same when there's 300 kids on the floor, but when there's 30 it's a little different. We will have our skates on while working behind the counter so if there is a problem on the floor we can get out there and take care of it right away.

Floorguards with phones:

Absolutely not. When we get to the rink, our phones come out of our pockets and go on a shelf in our check room. If you're on your phone, you're not doing your job (says the man posting this while at work ). We don't allow anyone else to be on their phones while on the skating floor so we aren't on ours either. Besides, two of us have Verizon and Verizon doesn't get service in our rink anyway.

DJs "floorguarding" from the DJ booth:

I absolutely hate this. The DJ is there to play the music. The floorguards are there to monitor the floor and the crowd. Yes, if it's a super busy session and there's an issue like a fight or something that we can't see from the floor and the DJ catches it then the DJ needs to alert the floorguards over the P.A., but the DJ should not be the one telling people to slow down or anything. IMO, the only reason the DJ needs to keep an eye on the floor is to make sure the music he/she is playing is keeping the people skating and not off the floor bored. There's few things I hate more than going to a session and having the DJ talking over the music to tell a skater to slow down.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 04:24 PM   #45
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Hi, Iggy what do you think of people with camcorders/ cameras on the floor I saw a lot of this last Sun. and at 8 wheels if I want to take videos or pics of the events I stand on the sides to do it.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 05:05 PM   #46
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Hi, Iggy what do you think of people with camcorders/ cameras on the floor I saw a lot of this last Sun. and at 8 wheels if I want to take videos or pics of the events I stand on the sides to do it.
Technically, we don't allow taking pictures or video while skating. However, if it's a slow session and there's a parent skating with their kid and taking pictures or videos of their kid (especially if it's a kid having their birthday party there) I won't say anything. At an event like 8 Wheels I don't have a problem with it.

I think it's a judgement call that the floor guard needs to be able to make (this along with some other rules). If it's a busy session and kids are trying to take pictures and not paying attention to what they're doing, then no. If it's a slow session of parents and kids, or something like 8 Wheels where everyone knows what they're doing and knowing that it's a big event, I don't have a problem as they're not in the middle of traffic getting in the way.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 11:55 PM   #47
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Hi rinkraptor,

Interesting comment of
Quote:
“how quaint ! Now that's what I call really "Living In The Past"
In the Rinks I've attended over the last 60+ years, most folks have had Toe Stops on their Skates and still do - so perhaps not so “Quaint” ??

Quote:
We don't need such things as floor guards (AKA "Skate Nazis") around here; the necessity of them went out ages ago with the advent of electronic P.A. systems in rinks.
Rinks have always had Sound systems, just better ones over the last 60+ years – but that certainly has not negated the need for Floor Guards, at least from my continuing observations.

Quote:
In these modern rinks, the session manager or DJ spots errant skaters from the DJ booth and corrects their errors.
I certainly agree that this is one option for the DJ to do, but hopefully the Floor Guards would be able to catch most folks – and the DJ would only be a “Back Up”.

Quote:
It was long ago determined that the presence of those "Skate Nazis" on the floor made many skaters uncomfortable, causing them to avoid the rink and thereby damaging the rink's business significantly.
Perhaps if the Floor Guards were poorly trained and/or had poor “People Skills”, then that might come into play – but that would be a Rink Management issue. I've seldom seen that, and certainly not to the extent of “damaging the rink's business significantly”. Mostly, I just see ineffective Floor Guarding.

Quote:
Even in rinks where skaters are allowed to freely skate against and across traffic, I have yet to see or experience of a collision; we modern skaters have these new-fangled things known as "eyes" in our heads which enable us to see and analyze speed and direction of others - and thereby avoid collisions......
WOW !! That's definitely NOT what I have observed in all the Rinks I've attended. Wish it was.

It seems that your Skating experience has been very different than mine – with regards to Floor Guards, and for the last comment - exceedingly different.

Hi Iggy,

Great write up.

I pretty much agree with you about the Wheelchairs and Floor Guards - (except that a Guard on the Floor can always more quickly protect and assist a Fallen Skater – or intervene in a scuffle).

As to the Phones, I only recommend carrying them as an Emergency concern, Not to be used otherwise.

As to the DJ issue, sometimes the Floor Guards may not see the situation, and it's more effective / safer for the DJ to “pause” the music and say something. Talking over the music simply isn't necessary.

Great discussion gentlemen.

Harold
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Old October 11th, 2012, 04:20 AM   #48
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Actually Skatervideoguy, I was just having a little fun there with my rather sardonic, glib reply (though I really was amazed that there are still a lot of folks in other locales using toe-stops - hardly anyone around here has them any more as they get in the way of our jamskating). I used to get really distressed at the increasing lack of floor guarding and disorderly traffic patterns here in NC, sometimes even to the point of doing a bit of vigilante floor guarding myself at times - and ticking off an occasional parent. The wild hockey kids would set me off worse than any others.... But then I came to realize that I was getting nowhere but into a tizzy over such things, as I noticed that none of the other jamskaters seemed to be perturbed at all by conditions in these rinks. I also observed that no matter how I might try to plow under / knock down the traffic pattern violators, they always managed to stay out of my way and escape punishment. So eventually I was able to become oblivious to the foibles of errant skaters and just simply skate harmoniously with them, and my enjoyment of skating increased greatly as a result. And in my current home rink, there has not been a single incident to justify need for a traditional floor guard since I began regularly skating there in 2001.
As for the "skate nazi" floor guards, yes, I had indeed seen instances of some running skaters away from rinks. Back in the late 70's I myself once stormed out of a rink in anger because one told me I could not skate backwards during an "all skate" - and I let the management know about it on my way out, telling them that neither I nor my fellow skaters in my hometown would ever bring them our business until that foolishness was cut out. 50% of a typical shuffle routine of mine consists of backwards skating. When I returned to that rink years later, it no longer had floor guards and the session was enjoyable. A more recently built rink (circa 2000) in nearby Smithfield had to get rid of its floor guards because they were literally about to put the rink out of business. A lot of skaters around here do not like to have an authority figure watching them when skating.
All this is not to say I don't miss the more orderly traffic patterns of the long past, but there is no point in pining away over it !
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Old October 11th, 2012, 01:47 PM   #49
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Hi rinkraptor,

Quote:
I was just having a little fun there with my rather sardonic, glib reply
Glad to hear it, although I meet folks that actually think in some of those ways.

I get the Toe Stops issue, as I did some Toe Work back in the 60's (with out Stops) that got me the nick name Crazy Legs. When I took on Free Style and Jumps - I put in the Stops, and I've used them ever since. Every so often I'll pull them to try again - and only succeed in Face Planting. The Jam Skating folks do these days is amazing to me - and with my lack of flexibility and coordination, I can't touch those skills.

As to the Chaos we encounter, that's an issue of Management not providing Session Structure (as mentioned in an earlier post), whether there are Floor Guards or not. Although in some States, their "Rink Protection Laws" kind of require Floor Guards to be on Duty.

As to your encounter on the "Backwards Skating", I suspect that had more to do with the Management's Floor Rules against "Backwards Skating" - and thus the Floor Guard was "following Orders". I've only been in a couple of Rinks that had such Rules - and some still do - as attested to by some fellow SkateLogers.

Quote:
A more recently built rink (circa 2000) in nearby Smithfield had to get rid of its floor guards because they were literally about to put the rink out of business.
That was clearly a "Management" issue with regard to their Training and supervision - or a lack thereof.

Quote:
So eventually I was able to become oblivious to the foibles of errant skaters and just simply skate harmoniously with them, and my enjoyment of skating increased greatly as a result.
I believe this is what many of us long time Skaters have had to do.

Quote:
And in my current home rink, there has not been a single incident to justify need for a traditional floor guard since I began regularly skating there in 2001.
That is GREAT !! I've seen very few sessions at any Rink have that kind of stability. You're quite lucky.

Harold
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Old October 11th, 2012, 04:44 PM   #50
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We do our best to avoid the "Skate Nazi" thing, and I think we do a pretty good job of it. Every now and again I'll catch one our younger floor guards being a bit of a hard azz to a teenager or two and I'll have to grab him and settle him down, but 99% of the time things are cool. We all talk to the adults, we pick on the kids (all in fun), we let the good skaters skate and only say something to them if they get going too too fast in a session crowded with beginners. We try to keep it pretty loose, but still in control.

But some nights (like last night ) you get one of those groups that has no common sense and you need to flip on that "Skate Nazi" a little bit in order to keep things under control.

There's a lot of judgement involved when being a floor guard. I was floor guard when I was in Jr. High, so I never really understood that then. But now that I'm 32 and back doing it again, I realize how much really is involved. From being able to judge the crowd, judge the skaters' individual ability, communicating with people, dealing with kids and adults......the list goes on.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 06:21 PM   #51
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Hi Iggy,

Quote:
We do our best to avoid the "Skate Nazi" thing, and I think we do a pretty good job of it. Every now and again I'll catch one our younger floor guards being a bit of a hard azz to a teenager or two and I'll have to grab him and settle him down, but 99% of the time things are cool. We all talk to the adults, we pick on the kids (all in fun), we let the good skaters skate and only say something to them if they get going too too fast in a session crowded with beginners. We try to keep it pretty loose, but still in control.
Great for you !!

Quote:
But some nights (like last night ) you get one of those groups that has no common sense and you need to flip on that "Skate Nazi" a little bit in order to keep things under control.
Those type of Groups are always fun to "Rein In".

Quote:
There's a lot of judgement involved when being a floor guard. I was floor guard when I was in Jr. High, so I never really understood that then. But now that I'm 32 and back doing it again, I realize how much really is involved. From being able to judge the crowd, judge the skaters' individual ability, communicating with people, dealing with kids and adults......the list goes on.
That's for Sure !!

Glad you're back at it.

Sure be nice to be 30 ish again, and back on my Stilt Skates - but age has it's benefits.

Harold
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Old October 11th, 2012, 08:27 PM   #52
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Floor Guards What should they be doing?

NOT making things worse.

Some don't know how to stay out of the way and do their job.

Gotta mention the bonehead who during the fast backward skate, got on the floor going forward and ran into me while I was going backward looking over my inside shoulder. WTF? Here he is going forward, I am going backward looking to the inside and he positions himself so that I plow right into him as I am going by. Never could quite figure that one out. At least he did not last long as a floor guard.
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Old October 12th, 2012, 12:59 PM   #53
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I have done some floor guarding myself from time to time way back in the day, and never would admonish any skaters as long as they were skating in the correct direction, not standing around in traffic areas of the floor, or skating way outside their ability or in a manner that clearly endangered others. I have always been big on skating safely and harmoniously with others, and have never been called down by any floor guard for doing anything dangerous (just that one time when they didn't allow backwards skating on an all skate). But now I would much rather deal with a little chaos than have my skating suppressed by ridiculous, totalitarian rules. Case in point, on another occasion I had a rink owner tell me to confine my freestyle jumps to the center of the floor. In this particular case, it was far more dangerous to execute the jump in center floor due to the other skaters unpredictably zipping in and out of there than it was to do so in light traffic (only while there was plenty of room around me to execute it safely). Naturally, I took my business elsewhere..... Not one of the several other rinks I skated (including one that had regular floor guards) had any problem with my judicious inclusion of jumps in my routines, nor were any other skaters ever endangered by them. That particular rink owner had a reputation for being a bit slug-nutty, having already run off my friend Doc Sk8 by telling him that he could not hold hands with his own wife except on a couples skate.
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Old October 12th, 2012, 01:43 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rinkraptor View Post
...never would admonish any skaters as long as they were skating in the correct direction, not standing around in traffic areas of the floor, or skating way outside their ability or in a manner that clearly endangered others.
This is how I do it. Every once in a while I get told by management to tell someone to slow down or something when I think they're fine. Then I usually have to say something, but I'll usually tell them "Hey I know you're under control, but my boss wanted me to tell you to slow down."

Quote:
Originally Posted by rinkraptor View Post
That particular rink owner had a reputation for being a bit slug-nutty, having already run off my friend Doc Sk8 by telling him that he could not hold hands with his own wife except on a couples skate.
Wow. Just..........wow
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Old October 12th, 2012, 02:12 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
This is how I do it. Every once in a while I get told by management to tell someone to slow down or something when I think they're fine. Then I usually have to say something, but I'll usually tell them "Hey I know you're under control, but my boss wanted me to tell you to slow down."
As far as speed is concerned, the criteria around here for excessive speed was "if you pass more skaters than pass you, you are going too fast." But I would loosen up some on that in light traffic, as long as the skater was under complete control and giving others (especially beginners) adequate room. And I would fiercely protect beginners as a mama bear would her cubs !
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Old October 12th, 2012, 03:05 PM   #56
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Hi rinkraptor,

Quote:
Case in point, on another occasion I had a rink owner tell me to confine my freestyle jumps to the center of the floor.
This has been a common rule in most Rinks, I've attended.

Quote:
Not one of the several other rinks I skated (including one that had regular floor guards) had any problem with my judicious inclusion of jumps in my routines,
I've seen this to be pretty common too (kind of allowed), when there isn't a heavy crowd.

Quote:
That particular rink owner had a reputation for being a bit slug-nutty, having already run off my friend Doc Sk8 by telling him that he could not hold hands with his own wife except on a couples skate.
Now that's "Quaint" !! A few Rinks I attended back in the 60's had that Rule, along with no "Shirt Tails out", no "Tank or Tube Tops", no Long Hair on boys, and no Jeans. They were quite strict on Appearances, but no so much on Skate styles, so Skating was still great fun - if you could live with the Dress Codes. That only went on for a couple of years, then most grew up a bit.

Harold
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Old October 13th, 2012, 06:23 PM   #57
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Quote:
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Case in point, on another occasion I had a rink owner tell me to confine my freestyle jumps to the center of the floor.
That is we do at the rink that I work at. The center area was for backward skating and flea hopping.

I always found it funny when people from other rinks would bring thier kids in who were just learning to skate and the first thing they would do was take the kids into the middle, because that was were they put them at whatever rink they used to skate at. Its kinda like putting the playground on the grassy strip of land between the interstate... good luck trying to get there.

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Old October 14th, 2012, 12:20 AM   #58
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At my Holiday NJ rink there was a guy that go there he always will have his pants halfway down like they do in the streets now a days the guards made him get off the floor +1 for the guards there.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 11:27 PM   #59
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Hi Gypsyjuggler,

Quote:
The center area was for backward skating and flea hopping.
Does this mean you folks Do Not allow "Backwards" and "Sideways Skating" on the Main Skate area ?? But just in the Floor Center ??

Quote:
I always found it funny when people from other rinks would bring thier kids in who were just learning to skate and the first thing they would do was take the kids into the middle, because that was were they put them at whatever rink they used to skate at.
If a Rink has a small Practice Floor Area (only our largest Rink has one here), then I get that. Some Rinks are large enough to allow folks to use the Far End of the Skate Floor Area for the learners. Otherwise, for the smaller Rinks - the Floor Center seems to be the other place to be - if not up against the Wall/Rail (if the Rink even has a wall/rail). Where do your "learners" go ??

Hi Holiday Guy,

Quote:
he always will have his pants halfway down
That's usually a "Dress Code" issue that some Rinks have spelled out, otherwise - a "Good Taste" issue that Management might have in the General Rules posted. If it's either, first time out should have been enough, rather than letting him (or others) keep doing it over time.

Harold
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Old October 30th, 2012, 02:17 AM   #60
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Hi Gypsyjuggler,



Does this mean you folks Do Not allow "Backwards" and "Sideways Skating" on the Main Skate area ?? But just in the Floor Center ??



If a Rink has a small Practice Floor Area (only our largest Rink has one here), then I get that. Some Rinks are large enough to allow folks to use the Far End of the Skate Floor Area for the learners. Otherwise, for the smaller Rinks - the Floor Center seems to be the other place to be - if not up against the Wall/Rail (if the Rink even has a wall/rail). Where do your "learners" go ??
No backwards or sideways skating in the main skate area... We send you into the center area.

For the beginners (usually little kids), here is what we recommend: They skate along the railing on the one straight-away from one floor opening to the next, with traffic, so they can hold onto the rail. When they get to the other opening, theu get on the off rink side of the rail and follow it back to the first opening. This way, they always have something to hold onto, and parents that are not on skates can walk along with them (as long as they stay on the off rink side of the rail).

As they get comfortable with being on skates (which for most kids take very little time) they can try going around the rest of the rink along the wall.

Say what you will about this set up, but we have had very good results with it, the parents like it and the kids learn to skate.

As for the "Skate Nazi" comments (not sure at this time who made them) we don't make the kids do this... We explain it to the kids and the parents when we see that they need some help, and throughout the session I make a point to check on the kids and parents to make sure they are doing ok and often give them an encouraging word.

Gypsyjuggler
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