Enjoy 10 times the short track speed skating

©1993 NAOC TM NAOC 7-056

What is the competition in short track speed skating?

The history of the short track speed skating

Short track speed skating started in the UK with the idea that the ice hockey or figure skating rink may also be used for speed skating.

The first world competition was held in 1938. The first official Olympic competition was in the Albertville Olympic Games in 1990. It is a new event that Nagano is the third time to be performed officially.

In every match the course changes

Short track race

In the race several skaters start at the same time and compete the order of arrival.

The top skaters (usually the first place, second place) are qualified to go to the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and the finals.
The skaters are given only a short break of 20 minutes between each race. In that sense, the body character with quick recovery from fatigue is advantageous.

The race track

In 30 meters by 60 meters ice rink, oval track of 111.12 meters in length is used for the race.
Only the start line and the finish line are displayed without any other visible lines. The track is created by placing seven blocks at the curve. Particularly the curve portion of the ice track becomes rough after the race, so the course is changed after the race.
The course blocks are moved and the corner lane is shifted 1 meter each time, as seen in Fif.1.

Race events

There are individual competition in different distances and the relay competition in the unique style.

Individual competitions for both man and women are 500 meters, 1000 meters, 1500 meters, and 3000 meters.
Relay competition for women is 3000 meters and for men is also 3000 meters but final race for men is done in 5000 meters.
In the Olympic Games, relay in 500 meters and 1000 meters are also official race for men and women.

What decides the victory or defeat?


Short track race is full of danger because four to six people skate together.

So, you must wear a helmet and gloves for safety. You also wear the pad on the shin and knee (though you can't see) under the uniforms so that you don't hurt. Skate shoes are reinforced in order to glide a small track in a very fast speed and the blades are fixed a little on the inside than the standard position of normalshoes.

How to win

In the tension lasting 500 meters race, the skaters always check the opponent's speed and the posisition from right after the start.


The race full of tension and thrill is the charm of the short track speed skating.

In addition, tactics in the race is very important.
Ability to dash and disorder the opponent in the middle of the race, the ability to forsee the race, and the adaptability to the changing race situation are necessary to win the short track speed skating race.

Techniques for around the curve

The start

In the track and field, out-course runner starts ahead of the in-course runner. But in the short track speed skating, the skaters make a single line at the start.

In other words, out-course skater must slide the longer distance to go into the corner than the in-course skater. Out-course is certainly a disadvantage.


The skaters of the Olympic level go round the course in about 9 seconds.

They do the cornering in the average speed of 43 kilometers per hour.
Skaters put the whole body weight onto the thin, razer like side edges tilting the body to about 30 degrees with respect to the ice surface. Advanced techniques are required in order to go around the curve compensating the large centrifugal force.

Withstanding the speed

Centrifugal force

Why the top skaters of the world can go around the corner so fast when the centrifugal force tries to flick the body outside?
Because the skater produces a centripetal force to counter the outward force by inclining the body inward. Thus the skater can withstand the fast speed.(See Fig.2)