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Olympic size rink vs NHL size rink


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#1 jmiami

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 12:54 AM

Enjoying the World Hockey Championships on TV from Switzerland. I gotta say I am always struck by how big the Olympic size rinks look. Damn near like a football field. Kind of cool, as there is more room for offensive maneuvering. But the NHL size rinks have their own pluses as well. Tighter space means quicker pace and more bang-up.

I played on a bunch of Olympic size rinks when I lived in Holland for a year as a kid, but that was so long ago that I can't remember enough to compare to the NHL size rinks I play on now.

It kind of fascinates me that hockey is perhaps the only major sport which has two different sized playing surfaces at the elite level, and that players seem to move back and forth between the two with ease.

I'm curious if anyone has played on both surfaces lately and cares to share notes as to which they like better and why.

Also curious to know as spectators(TV, or live) who likes watching the game on one surface vs the other, and why.

#2 JR Boucicaut

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 01:13 AM

This season we've mainly been on the Olympic rink - I think we only played a couple on the Pro.

Much quicker game on the Pro - everyone seems to be sluggish on the Olympic ice as there's so much more ice to cover.

#3 jmiami

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 01:23 AM

This season we've mainly been on the Olympic rink - I think we only played a couple on the Pro.

Much quicker game on the Pro - everyone seems to be sluggish on the Olympic ice as there's so much more ice to cover.


Wow, I didn't even know there were Olympic size rinks in US (besides Lake Placid). Sounds like you are in a multi-rink facility. Why do they have an Olympic rink there? Just for the hell of it? Or perhaps for figure skating?

#4 adam14

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 03:47 AM

Enjoying the World Hockey Championships on TV from Switzerland. I gotta say I am always struck by how big the Olympic size rinks look. Damn near like a football field. Kind of cool, as there is more room for offensive maneuvering. But the NHL size rinks have their own pluses as well. Tighter space means quicker pace and more bang-up.

I played on a bunch of Olympic size rinks when I lived in Holland for a year as a kid, but that was so long ago that I can't remember enough to compare to the NHL size rinks I play on now.

It kind of fascinates me that hockey is perhaps the only major sport which has two different sized playing surfaces at the elite level, and that players seem to move back and forth between the two with ease.

I'm curious if anyone has played on both surfaces lately and cares to share notes as to which they like better and why.

Also curious to know as spectators(TV, or live) who likes watching the game on one surface vs the other, and why.


I played on olympic ice all season, and its easier going from NHL size to Olympic size than it is to go from Olympic to NHL. more room, equal zones, i like it better. more room

#5 JR Boucicaut

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 11:22 AM

This season we've mainly been on the Olympic rink - I think we only played a couple on the Pro.

Much quicker game on the Pro - everyone seems to be sluggish on the Olympic ice as there's so much more ice to cover.


Wow, I didn't even know there were Olympic size rinks in US (besides Lake Placid). Sounds like you are in a multi-rink facility. Why do they have an Olympic rink there? Just for the hell of it? Or perhaps for figure skating?


Or SLC...LOL

Yeah, we have two sheets at RDV Sportsplex in Orlando - one Olympic, one NHL-spec.

#6 Eddie20

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 11:36 AM

It kind of fascinates me that hockey is perhaps the only major sport which has two different sized playing surfaces at the elite level, and that players seem to move back and forth between the two with ease.


Baseball varies quite a bit though, at least the outfield. The fences are all at different lengths from home plate, plus they can be all sorts of different heights. Some fields even have their own specific rules for when the ball goes in certain places (for instance, when a ball gets caught in the Ivy at Wrigley).

At least with the NHL/Olympics, the rinks are all the same per league. Some NHL teams aren't playing on olympic rinks.

#7 K9 Unit

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 11:40 AM

It kind of fascinates me that hockey is perhaps the only major sport which has two different sized playing surfaces at the elite level, and that players seem to move back and forth between the two with ease.


Baseball varies quite a bit though, at least the outfield. The fences are all at different lengths from home plate, plus they can be all sorts of different heights. Some fields even have their own specific rules for when the ball goes in certain places (for instance, when a ball gets caught in the Ivy at Wrigley).

At least with the NHL/Olympics, the rinks are all the same per league. Some NHL teams aren't playing on olympic rinks.


oh ye for sure baseball...fenway, also the twins stadium you have the get it over the big wall for a home run

i definately prefer nhl size...pace is much quicker, and more hitting =D
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#8 TBLfan

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 11:41 AM

Yeah, plus in baseball you get things like slanting ground, stand deck poles, overhanging stands, short walls, brick walls. I'm waiting for the oil slick and pop-up wall to make their way into the baseball outfield.

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#9 K9 Unit

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 11:46 AM

how the about the old style bullpens...i love watching the outfielders run after a foul ball and having to deal with pitching mounds there lol
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#10 TBLfan

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 11:52 AM

...and catchers/pitchers. They need motes and random 2' deep holes. The Tigers could go Gladiator-style and chain a tiger to left-center. It would make the game more interesting.

Some say that I only know two facts about ducks. ..And both of them are wrong.
and that due to a nuclear accident I may have more than 50 pairs of hands...


#11 Law Goalie

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 12:02 PM

That's half the fun of the men's leagues around Toronto - you go from full regulation at the Ricoh to Olympic at UCC and then all of a sudden you're playing in a parking space like Bill Bolton. As a goalie, I absolutely hate it, but it really does make the game more interesting.

#12 K9 Unit

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 12:58 PM

...and catchers/pitchers. They need motes and random 2' deep holes. The Tigers could go Gladiator-style and chain a tiger to left-center. It would make the game more interesting.


rofl definately would brighten up the game somehow
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#13 dcdot377

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 12:59 PM

Law is right. As a goalie it feels really awkward switching back and forth between the two.
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#14 xstartxtodayx

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 03:44 PM

I know NCAA sized ice is larger than NHL but not sure if it's true international/Olympic sized; can anyone clear that up for me?
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#15 JR Boucicaut

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 03:57 PM

I know NCAA sized ice is larger than NHL but not sure if it's true international/Olympic sized; can anyone clear that up for me?


Nope, NCAA calls for a 200x85 size rink, if the building allows it.

One of the exceptions is Colorado College, who skate on an Olympic-sized sheet at WorldArena.

#16 TBLfan

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 04:00 PM

At tournaments they skate on Olympic-sized ice too, if need-be. The lines aren't always NHL-spec so they might look bigger with all that room behind the goal.

Edited by TBLfan, 09 May 2009 - 04:00 PM.

Some say that I only know two facts about ducks. ..And both of them are wrong.
and that due to a nuclear accident I may have more than 50 pairs of hands...


#17 tony1233

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 04:06 PM

I played and officiated on both rinks this past season and boy.. what a difference! I enjoyed playing on the NHL sized rinks better but, I enjoyed officiating on the International size rinks. Playing on the Olympic size took away a whole lot of my game away from me lol. Since I'm not so skilled it made me look shittier playing there, and not being in the best shape ever sure didn't help lol

#18 Hockeyman11385

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 06:39 PM

...and catchers/pitchers. They need motes and random 2' deep holes. The Tigers could go Gladiator-style and chain a tiger to left-center. It would make the game more interesting.


rofl definately would brighten up the game somehow


Don't forget the random hill out in center field in Houston (I think). Plus the wall out in left is really strange. I would hate to be an ump there and try to call HR's.
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#19 shooter27

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 07:13 PM

I know NCAA sized ice is larger than NHL but not sure if it's true international/Olympic sized; can anyone clear that up for me?


Nope, NCAA calls for a 200x85 size rink, if the building allows it.

One of the exceptions is Colorado College, who skate on an Olympic-sized sheet at WorldArena.



There are a bunch of college teams, both D1 and D3, that use Olympic size surfaces. They're extremely popular in the WCHA. Off the top of my head you've got:

D1
Colordao College - World Arena
Minnesota - Marriuci Arena
Alaska Anchorage - Sullivan Arena
St. Cloud State - National Hockey Center
Minnesota State - Alltel Center
New Hampshire - Whittemore Center
Alaska Fairbanks - Carlson Center
Northern Michigan - Berry Events Center

D3
Middlebury College - Kenyon Arena
Bowdoin College - Watson Arena
Norwich University - Kreitzberg Arena
Skidmore College - Saratoga Springs Ice Rink
Southern Maine - USM Ice Arena
Neumann College - Ice Works Skating Complex
Adrian College - Arrington Ice Arena
St. John's College - National Hockey Center (see St. Cloud above)

There are also a bunch of schools that have hybrid sizes - the Kohl Center at Wisconsin is 200' x 97' and Tate Rink at Army is 200' x 90' for instance

Edited by shooter27, 09 May 2009 - 07:17 PM.


#20 starsfan71

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 07:54 PM

There was a sweet Olympic sized rink at Nytex in North Texas, then they turned it into a volleyball court.
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#21 jmiami

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 10:00 PM

Thanks for all the responses. Regarding major sports with different playing dimensions. I did indeed forget about baseball. And while we're at it, golf.

I'm amazed at all the colleges mentioned by one poster who have Olympic rinks. You would think that having that as your home rink would give you an advantage over visiting teams who come to play you who are not used to playing on that size rink. But maybe not. I wonder which transition is easier, NHL to Olympic, or vice versa.

And does anyone know of any Olympic rinks in NYC metro area? I really want to play on one now.

#22 chilaxin12

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 11:25 PM

I know NCAA sized ice is larger than NHL but not sure if it's true international/Olympic sized; can anyone clear that up for me?


Nope, NCAA calls for a 200x85 size rink, if the building allows it.

One of the exceptions is Colorado College, who skate on an Olympic-sized sheet at WorldArena.



There are a bunch of college teams, both D1 and D3, that use Olympic size surfaces. They're extremely popular in the WCHA. Off the top of my head you've got:

D1
Colordao College - World Arena
Minnesota - Marriuci Arena
Alaska Anchorage - Sullivan Arena
St. Cloud State - National Hockey Center
Minnesota State - Alltel Center
New Hampshire - Whittemore Center
Alaska Fairbanks - Carlson Center
Northern Michigan - Berry Events Center

D3
Middlebury College - Kenyon Arena
Bowdoin College - Watson Arena
Norwich University - Kreitzberg Arena
Skidmore College - Saratoga Springs Ice Rink
Southern Maine - USM Ice Arena
Neumann College - Ice Works Skating Complex
Adrian College - Arrington Ice Arena
St. John's College - National Hockey Center (see St. Cloud above)

There are also a bunch of schools that have hybrid sizes - the Kohl Center at Wisconsin is 200' x 97' and Tate Rink at Army is 200' x 90' for instance



In Hockey East Rinks are as follows
Kelly Rink- BC 200' X 87'
Agganis Arena- BU 200' X 90'
Alfond Arena- Maine NHL Size
Mullins Center- Umass 200' X 95'
Lawler Arena- MerrimacK NHL Size
Whittemore Center- UNH 200' X 100'
Matthews Arena- Northeastern 200' X 90'
Schneider Arena- Providence NHL Size
Tsongas Arena- UMass-Lowell NHL Size
Gutterson Fieldhouse- Vermont 200' X 90'

4 NHL Sized Rinks, and 6 Various sized rinks.
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#23 cptjeff

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 12:46 AM

I know NCAA sized ice is larger than NHL but not sure if it's true international/Olympic sized; can anyone clear that up for me?


Nope, NCAA calls for a 200x85 size rink, if the building allows it.

One of the exceptions is Colorado College, who skate on an Olympic-sized sheet at WorldArena.



There are a bunch of college teams, both D1 and D3, that use Olympic size surfaces. They're extremely popular in the WCHA. Off the top of my head you've got:

D1
Colordao College - World Arena
Minnesota - Marriuci Arena
Alaska Anchorage - Sullivan Arena
St. Cloud State - National Hockey Center
Minnesota State - Alltel Center
New Hampshire - Whittemore Center
Alaska Fairbanks - Carlson Center
Northern Michigan - Berry Events Center

D3
Middlebury College - Kenyon Arena
Bowdoin College - Watson Arena
Norwich University - Kreitzberg Arena
Skidmore College - Saratoga Springs Ice Rink
Southern Maine - USM Ice Arena
Neumann College - Ice Works Skating Complex
Adrian College - Arrington Ice Arena
St. John's College - National Hockey Center (see St. Cloud above)

There are also a bunch of schools that have hybrid sizes - the Kohl Center at Wisconsin is 200' x 97' and Tate Rink at Army is 200' x 90' for instance



In Hockey East Rinks are as follows
Kelly Rink- BC 200' X 87'
Agganis Arena- BU 200' X 90'
Alfond Arena- Maine NHL Size
Mullins Center- Umass 200' X 95'
Lawler Arena- MerrimacK NHL Size
Whittemore Center- UNH 200' X 100'
Matthews Arena- Northeastern 200' X 90'
Schneider Arena- Providence NHL Size
Tsongas Arena- UMass-Lowell NHL Size
Gutterson Fieldhouse- Vermont 200' X 90'

4 NHL Sized Rinks, and 6 Various sized rinks.


Kelly rink- 200x 87? Really? Two extra feet? Seems rather pointless. Why not give the front row a little extra footroom instead?

#24 Too Old

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 08:26 AM

Our local rink is Olympic too. Harder on old farts like me, lol. A fair amount of extra ground to cover.

#25 shooter27

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 10:26 AM

I know NCAA sized ice is larger than NHL but not sure if it's true international/Olympic sized; can anyone clear that up for me?


Nope, NCAA calls for a 200x85 size rink, if the building allows it.

One of the exceptions is Colorado College, who skate on an Olympic-sized sheet at WorldArena.



There are a bunch of college teams, both D1 and D3, that use Olympic size surfaces. They're extremely popular in the WCHA. Off the top of my head you've got:

D1
Colordao College - World Arena
Minnesota - Marriuci Arena
Alaska Anchorage - Sullivan Arena
St. Cloud State - National Hockey Center
Minnesota State - Alltel Center
New Hampshire - Whittemore Center
Alaska Fairbanks - Carlson Center
Northern Michigan - Berry Events Center

D3
Middlebury College - Kenyon Arena
Bowdoin College - Watson Arena
Norwich University - Kreitzberg Arena
Skidmore College - Saratoga Springs Ice Rink
Southern Maine - USM Ice Arena
Neumann College - Ice Works Skating Complex
Adrian College - Arrington Ice Arena
St. John's College - National Hockey Center (see St. Cloud above)

There are also a bunch of schools that have hybrid sizes - the Kohl Center at Wisconsin is 200' x 97' and Tate Rink at Army is 200' x 90' for instance



In Hockey East Rinks are as follows
Kelly Rink- BC 200' X 87'
Agganis Arena- BU 200' X 90'
Alfond Arena- Maine NHL Size
Mullins Center- Umass 200' X 95'
Lawler Arena- MerrimacK NHL Size
Whittemore Center- UNH 200' X 100'
Matthews Arena- Northeastern 200' X 90'
Schneider Arena- Providence NHL Size
Tsongas Arena- UMass-Lowell NHL Size
Gutterson Fieldhouse- Vermont 200' X 90'

4 NHL Sized Rinks, and 6 Various sized rinks.


Kelly rink- 200x 87? Really? Two extra feet? Seems rather pointless. Why not give the front row a little extra footroom instead?


Why is the Kohl Center in Wisconsin 200' x 97' instead of full Olympic size? Its not space constraints because the building was built for Wisconsin hockey within the past 10 years. Everyone wants to be a little unique.

Edited by shooter27, 10 May 2009 - 10:28 AM.