Skaters do it in-line

Opinions are like bearings for inline skaters. We’ve all got them; we push them hard and they’re a part of what makes us roll. Some are smooth as swiss chocolate; others have been cracked open and squeak like a mofo. In the end, they get us to our point, and online inline skaters like to make their points loud and clear. Pace line etiquette is a topic that sparks some excitement as it turns out.


I set out to get some feedback from dedicated skaters on rules of decorum for indoor pace lines to create a short list of “Do’s and Don’t’s” that could be used to make “practice” pace line skating safer and more civil. Well, the trail to hell is paved with good intentions, and there ain’t no stop signs or speed limits when you turn some topics loose on the online, inline skating community. Anything goes in the ether, and it usually does. Fringe fanatics like us with narcissistic tendencies thrive in online forums, where we’re free to be our inner Emperor, only a flaming post away from imposing our dogma on the inline faithful.

What follows is a compilation taken from a hearty discussion on the matter at hand, use it as you see fit. Or, not.

“We’ve upped our manners, so up yours!”


Pleasant words, agreeable manners and safety for indoor inline skaters.

  • It is good form to announce your intention to pass someone in the line ahead of you. “OVER!” works most of the time. “MOVE IT FAT ASS” is only a last resort.
  • If you have dropped from the pace line, wait until you are lapped and join in at the rear of the pack. You don’t try to jump into the middle of the pack.
  • If someone who has dropped tries to jump back in line in front of you, and you have not dropped yet, kick their skates out from under them and roll right up their rear.
  • Regarding the previous point, another alternative is to use your arm to block their re-entry by laying it up on the skaters back in front of you.
  • If you are going to quit then get out of the way.
  • Don’t go wide on the corners because the pace slowed.
  • If you make a bad pass move to the back without being told to do so.
  • If it’s a pace setting pace line, keep a steady pace.
  • If a “move” has the potential of causing you or someone else to fall, don’t do it.
  • Have and show respect for yourself, your sport and your teammates.
  • Shut up & skate.

If you haven’t yet read the post that led to this list, it’s here. The online discussion was…interesting to say the least, like a game of telephone gets interesting when the last in line needs to spill the beans and reveal the collective retard in the room. Some highlights, somewhat edited:


  • People who consider themselves to be exceptions to the rules won’t obey any rule you come up with. Just block them out.
  • Anyone that is struggling or already been dropped/quit from either an indoor lapping paceline or overtaken by a passing outdoor paceline should be viewed as someone to be in front of.
  • Even if you’re hanging on for dear life sometimes you need to push yourself and make that move as long as you can do it safely and intelligently.
  • As soon as that gap opens just a little it should become second nature to just take it. If you’re wondering, “gee whiz, I wonder if they’re gonna close that back down” then you’re thinking about the wrong things and letting someone else race their race instead of you racing your race.
  • Anything that would be called foul by a referee you should not do, anything else is a good practice.
  • This is not a tickling competition, this is speedskating now PICK IT UP!
  • You workout hard to make your competitions easy.
  • You have to put in the hard work to achieve excellence. There aren’t any shortcuts.
  • If you are faster and stronger you belong in the front, if you get dropped, you don’t belong in between the people who haven’t got dropped yet.

Thank goodness I have a thick skin, or I’d be as tender as a rink-rashed hiney with all of the inference and innuendo of some of the more colorful replies to my simple, humble query. If I were that kind of crybaby, I know just how I’d handle it…

Hammer time.

…and it’s all legal till a ref calls you for it, right?!

12/23/09 Training: Late afternoon practice, spent an hour rolling the 110’s indoors. Wow – that was brutal. So this is what everyone else is rolling these days, huh? Seems like a lot of work to get them going, but once you do, there’s a definite pick up in speed. They’re a lot heavier than my other set up, so being aware of lazy steps is absolutely critical. I don’t know if I’ll stick with this. Lot’s more to feel out with this.

12/24/09 Training: Day off. Get my Christmas cookies on!

12/25/09 Training: 40 minutes on the slideboard at the invitation of HorseyPants. I guess she can see where I’ve been hiding all of the Christmas cookies she made.

12/26/09 Training: 2 hours at the rink on Saturday morning with David, John & the kids. Took it easy, working the 110’s indoors.

12/27/09 Training: 2 hour indoor practice – 100 laps, plyos, isolated pushes. Was a tough practice because of personal reasons, some of which will be making it into a future post on how to keep kids interested.

12/28/09 Training: Day off. I’ve taken more days off this month that I have in like three years.

12/29/09 Training: 1 hour indoor practice. Sessions cut short because the rink is open for extended Christmas Vacation hours. Was a good practice. The kids help me find ways to keep them interested in coming back!


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