First Rule Of All: Don't hang around in one place. This is called camping out, or hogging the circle. Yeah, this means you, you hockey adult learner practicing your back and forward crossovers on a hockey circle for 30 minutes.
Let me explain, just because your coach teaches you on a hockey circle there's no reason that you have to spend your entire practice time on one. Try alternating back and forward crossovers down the rink. That get's you moving. I can assure you, that once you pass the pre-Bronze adult test you will never skate crossovers in a circle again. Get your butt moving. That's how you'll learn to skate.
Second Rule of All: Don't hog a spot on the boards. Need some support on the boards for a new element? Sweetie, you don't own the boards. Move after you've done a few. And when you move check traffic by looking both ways!
Third Rule of All: Yes, even as a beginner you can skate in the center. But the law of survival demands you keep your eyes open when you do this. There will be people jumping into the center and wanting to spin there. Be respectful of the other skaters--go to the center to work, not to chat. Don't hog the line, the circle or the center. Leave that up to the teenagers. If you're a regular, or you look like you have power/skills/or are a serious skater, they'll generally give you room (but when you get to that point, you won't need this post. Just relax, that day will come when the teenagers will give you space.)
Fourth Rule of All: Don't swear in an ice rink. You can't say the D word, or the F word, or the S word around kids. It doesn't matter that the kid's parents are slack jawed yokels that can't string a sentence together without using the F word as a non-specific intensifier, you're not supposed to swear.
Corollary: If the F word slips out after a crash, no one will notice because the music is so loud. Your coach will look shocked though.Fifth Rule of All: Don't skate drunk. Yep, I've seen it. One woman was doing drunk baby toe loops during a holiday skate, then she came over and clutched at Dance Coach while babbling about not being drunk. "Old girlfriend?" I asked drily after she skated away. He shuddered, "Never saw her before."
Corrollary: If you say "I'm not drunk," you are. And the good looking coach is not your old boy friend.Sixth Rule of All: Enjoy your skate. It's easy to become obsessed or frustrated with some element, or lack of progress. Take some time off and do stuff you like. If you're reading this blog, you're not going to the Olympics, you're skating for fun. Have some.
Seventh Rule of All: Even if all you can do is skate and stop, you're in the top 50% of all the skaters on public. It's your job to look out for them. Be aware of your surroundings. Don't skate backwards unless you can look behind you, or have a spotter. When entering traffic, look both ways. Don't stare at the ice while you're skating, look ahead at the other skaters, so you can avoid them. It's a lot like driving. Drive Defensively. Skate Defensively.
Eighth Rule of All: Well, this isn't so much a rule, as a suggestion. If you're a regular at a rink, learn the rink guard's and desk staff's names. Be nice to them.
Public skate is for the public. Just about the only enforced rule is to follow the direction of traffic. For all the rest you're on your own!