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Author Topic: Track boundary markers  (Read 6664 times)

Offline Jessticular Fortitude

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Track boundary markers
« on: January 13, 2009, 03:09:29 pm »
Never satisfied with plain ol' cones that slide and fall over if you just look at them wrong, I'm always on the lookout for innovative, cheap, easy and obviously QUICK solutions to the neverending problem of marking the boundary of the track during practices/scrimmages (anytime that isn't a full production bout).

For those of you who don't have a rink to yourselves and therefore have to mark the track every time you want to use it, how do you lay out that boundary? Via Twitter, @hannah_grenade mentioned using mousepads instead of cones. I think that's pretty brilliant.

What do you use, and how well does it work? How long does it take to make a decent skewed oval shape? Do you just mark the turns or the whole track?
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Offline Johnny Zebra

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Re: Track boundary markers
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2009, 03:18:23 pm »
When I was at Charm City, we went two years before we had painted lines on our practice rink. The ref crew got really good at laying down a continuous masking tape line in 5-7 minutes for the once-a-week scrimmage practices, with preset marks on the floor and two ropes of set length (and later a track roller that someone built). We had a gross of cheap masking tape (bought in bulk) that came up really well after practice, and discovered that 2 rolls would cover all but about a 3-foot gap. So the cost was about $2.50 a scrimmage for tape, and never took more than a few minutes to lay down -- though it take a little while to get good and fast at it -- the first time I tried to do it was a disaster!

For ref training, I very much liked having uniform lines to make boundary calls -- I think it's important.

~j.z.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2009, 03:21:27 pm by Johnny Zebra »
===============
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Offline Ballistic Whistle

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Re: Track boundary markers
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2009, 03:20:48 pm »
Previously we were using cones, which suck for tripping over. Then, for a short while we used our left-over masking tape from bout days to mark out only the inside arcs. Only doing it roughly, you can get them down damn quickly and it definitely cut down on cone trippage.

Our league has just invested in the No Trip Track stuff they sell at Rink Rash, which is essentially mouse pad material cut into small sections. It's great for not tripping over, however ours is red (I think that's the only colour it comes in) and it doesn't stand out on our surfaces due to all the other painted lines. This means that you have to lay down about three times as many of these as you do cones and that takes about three times as long. While you don't need to adjust them as often as cones, it's much harder to do. Cones can be kicked back into position, these need to be moved by hand, which sucks.

So, essentially what makes them good is they don't move as easily, but that's also what makes them suck.

Offline ttjustice

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Re: Track boundary markers
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2009, 04:23:53 pm »
One of our longtime skaters (and innovators) Foxy Force came up with the idea to use what looks like rubber drawer liner.  The type that is made from (for lack of a better term) interwoven rubber- you see it used in toolboxes sometimes.  She cut it up into approximately 4" squares so we can just throw those down.  You can skate over it no problem, it will move if kicked but at least you won't trip over it.

We have a "jig" made out of a couple of boards and  clothesline wire to do the curves with, however we don't use it now because we were lucky enough that the rink we scrimmage at resealed their floor and they were nice enough to allow us to mark the track outline with a thick black sharpie (small dashes) on the floor before they resealed it.  We then just put down a 1/4" rope and use clear, very cheap, packing tape to hold it down.
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Offline L8R SK8R

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Re: Track boundary markers
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2009, 04:46:08 pm »
What we do, and have been doing for a while, is packing taping a length of rope down to mark the inside curve. We have black duct tape for the straightaways that the rink lets us keep there permanently. For the outside curve we use rubber jar openers, the things you use when the pickle jar top won't come off. They're not preferable but they stay down pretty well and can be seen.

I've heard tell, though, that we may be lucky enough to have our own track painted when they reseal our floor.
At another league I helped out doing that, except we drew 2.5" circles about 4-5 feet apart and they drop cones on top. (They're a much newer league with little cash flow for materials)

To draw curves we have a plastic chain with important distances measured along it with tags (7' 1/2", 10', 12' 6", 26'6") and there's an old skate axle at the end. One person holds the axle on a mark on the floor, someone else pulls the chain and we tape underneath the marks. Its the best system I've seen used anywhere yet, and I've set up tracks at 4 leagues now.

Offline Jessticular Fortitude

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Re: Track boundary markers
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2009, 04:55:52 pm »
These are good suggestions. Nashville already has taped lines down on the track that can be kept there, but we all need a boundary that can be both seen AND felt. Cones get kicked over really easy just from normal skating. I liked the mousepad material idea because I would think you can feel that pretty well under your skate, and it shouldn't keep straying from the boundary. That's the sort of thing I'm looking for- what can we use that can be seen and felt and can be picked up again easily? Sometimes we do tape a rope down on the inside track, but I'm looking for something even easier for the lazier types.... like me. During bouts we go all out with ramps over rope lighting, but for practices something quick and simple that can just be thrown down is best. OK, continue.
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Offline L8R SK8R

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Re: Track boundary markers
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2009, 05:13:51 pm »
What I ultimately hope for is a permanent painted track, and then we'll just tape our ropes right on top of the curved lines (no need for taped straightaways for scrimmages), and it takes 10 minutes tops for two people to tape over a line, five minutes for 4. A taped down rope is ultimately better than mousepad material or cones since it more bout-like.

Offline Crotch Rock-It

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Re: Track boundary markers
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2009, 06:27:19 pm »
We practice at an older skating rink with a pretty beat up painted concrete surface.  Since the surface was already scuffed, the owner let us put tiny little marks with a Sharpie every 3~4 feet around the curves of the track layout.  They aren't noticeable amongst the natural scuff marks.  At every practice we lay out ropes using the marks as a guide, and then we secure the rope with tape every 3 feet or so.  It's quick and works great, but you've got to find a rink owner willing to let you put permanent marker on his floor.

Offline Matt the Knife

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Re: Track boundary markers
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2009, 04:24:21 pm »
As Ballistic has mentioned, the non-slip Rink Rash track is good, and far more compact for storage/carrying than cones. It's essentially thin (8"x2") strips of mouse pad. However we found they were a bit dull and hard to spot in their natural dark red colouring, so added fluresent tape to them so they stand out. No problems since, a fully worthwhile investment.

On the more bout based tape laying side, our ref Deadly Nedly came up with the genius idea of using a box-sealing tape dispenser, with which we can lay down the tape track in a matter of minutes with perfect curves.

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Offline Darkjester

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Re: Track boundary markers
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2009, 04:59:25 pm »
My Former team uses the same neoprene type material that mousepads comes from, but they bought the 'drawer' liners, cut them into 5" squares. They use a 'string' with markings at the various necessary feet on it.. 1ft.   20ft 25ft ( I believe, its been a looong time since I practiced with them and helped them set up their track). They create both the inside and outside curves for corners 1-2 and 3-4  then use the string to 'lay' their line while a skater skates by and drop the remaining pads down for the straight aways.

They use the 1ft marking on the rope to that after they set the 'center' line for the track, they can move over 1 ft, for the wider edges on the 2 wide corners.

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Offline Crash Test Ref

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Re: Track boundary markers
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2009, 01:24:13 pm »
It's great for not tripping over, however ours is red (I think that's the only colour it comes in) and it doesn't stand out on our surfaces due to all the other painted lines.

Couldn't you just change the colour wih coloured tape, if that's the biggest problem?

I really liked the track that Toronto used when I visited.  They made it out of those long flexible plastic things that are designed to cover power cords running along office floors and the like.  Each one is quite long, and they just cut it and curved it to follow the bend.  With a rope underneath for support, they have an inside boundary that is almost an inch tall, about 3 inches wide, and can be skated on safely. 

Advantages:
1.  Skaters can feel it and react before they are out of bounds, because it's both tall and wide.
2.  Good grip for skates.
3.  Highly visible.

Drawbacks:
1.  Takes longer to lay down than rope alone.
2.  Higher initial cost than tape.
3.  Harder to transport or store than tape and rope.
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Offline Matt the Knife

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Re: Track boundary markers
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2009, 04:28:34 pm »
It's great for not tripping over, however ours is red (I think that's the only colour it comes in) and it doesn't stand out on our surfaces due to all the other painted lines.

Couldn't you just change the colour wih coloured tape, if that's the biggest problem?


That's precisely what Leeds have done, it's now bright orange - no excuse for the girls anymore!
Matt the Knife
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Offline Crotch Rock-It

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Re: Track boundary markers
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2009, 10:27:05 pm »
It's great for not tripping over, however ours is red (I think that's the only colour it comes in) and it doesn't stand out on our surfaces due to all the other painted lines.

Couldn't you just change the colour wih coloured tape, if that's the biggest problem?

I really liked the track that Toronto used when I visited.  They made it out of those long flexible plastic things that are designed to cover power cords running along office floors and the like.  Each one is quite long, and they just cut it and curved it to follow the bend.  With a rope underneath for support, they have an inside boundary that is almost an inch tall, about 3 inches wide, and can be skated on safely. 

Advantages:
1.  Skaters can feel it and react before they are out of bounds, because it's both tall and wide.
2.  Good grip for skates.
3.  Highly visible.

Drawbacks:
1.  Takes longer to lay down than rope alone.
2.  Higher initial cost than tape.
3.  Harder to transport or store than tape and rope.

New Orleans uses a transparent version of the power cord cover with rope lights inside it instead of rope.  Very cool looking.

 

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