There are a number of random policies and rules that I think are important enough to remind all our members in the spirit of keeping our community safe and equitable for all. I have tried to keep this light and positive, but these are very important reminders. Thanks very much for taking them to heart.
Dogs in the Facility
In the spirit of inclusion, the Club recently softened its rules about dogs in the facility, and will now allow them with certain restrictions. I am a great dog lover myself, and I was pleased to support the softening of these rules. But there are some Club members who, with good reason, are afraid of dogs, and their concerns must be fully respected. If you are bringing your dog in the Club facility per the newly established guidelines and rules, they must be in a closed animal carrier at all times. Unfortunately, open bags of any sort or style are not allowed out of respect for everyone in our community. We know there is nothing cuter than a little dog peeking over the top of a shoulder bag. But the answer is still no.
Dogs in the Parking Lot
I was horrified to see dogs running around in the Club parking lot off-leash last week. I can’t think of anything more dangerous for the dog, let alone the liability if someone were to get bit by an anxious or scared dog. For your dog’s safety alone, you cannot have your dog off-leash on the Club property. Ever. Have you seen how fast some of our members drive while talking to their skater in the back seat and checking their texts?!
EV Parking Spots
We still have signage to install that restricts parking in these spots to a 4-hour maximum, and for cars that are actively being charged. The spots are not there as a convenience for Doris-Day style parking for members with EV cars (our younger members can google that one). They are there for members with EV cars wanting to charge their vehicle. The Club received rebate money from the Commonwealth for installing these EV stations, and part of our commitment is that the spots are available to any member of the public needing to charge their vehicle. We need to keep our commitment and make sure we keep these spots as open and accessible as possible.
15-Minute Parking Spots
These are in the front of the building and are clearly marked with the white bags and red lettering over the permanent sign underneath. These spots are designed for members or visitors having quick business at the Club, including waiting to pick up their skater. They were not designed for the members thinking the incredibly-convenient spots were designed just for them. If you park there long-term, you are not acting equitably to our other members who would actually appreciate the convenience of a close parking spot for their quick business. I hope this won’t be the case, but we may need to start fining folks who abuse this policy. Thank you for not letting it go that far.
- Only coaches may video while on the ice. Skaters may not. If their coach asks them to, they still may not. Club rules supersede coach requests each and every time. Coaches may request exceptions to this rule from the Club’s On-Ice Director, Simon Shnapir, if they can demonstrate why it can be done safely.
- Parents and skaters may video skaters while off the ice and not standing directly at the boards.
- Not standing directly by the boards is also a Club safety rule because it encourages visual and verbal distractions for skaters on the ice. Please step back and watch from a safe distance.
Headphones and Earbuds on the Ice
They are not safe. I’m not sure that requires any further explanation, but I will try. Even with just one earbud in the ear, you are not fully sensitized to the skaters and skating around you. It’s also close to impossible for other skaters to know that you may be performing to choreography or even running your whole program. Nor is it fair to the other skaters who are already giving way to the skater performing choreography or programs to the house sound system. Nor is it fair to the skater who has patiently waited their turn to have their music played to share the ice to someone else performing or practicing to their own music. And let’s not forget how easily earbuds fall out even when you are not moving. Lost white earbuds on white ice have already presented their own hazard.
Working with Choreographers
The above restrictions on headphones and earbuds also apply when working with a choreographer. But a choreographer or coach may work with you while playing portable music over the air from their phone or other portable devices.
Talking Over the Boards
Please do not talk over the boards to your skater. It is not safe and we have a Club rule against it. If you need to speak with your coach, we already know that they would prefer you make an appointment or not do it while they are in an on-ice lesson. They tell us this all the time. It’s an easy rule to forget, and I need to be reminded myself sometimes when I have something quick to say. I will do better if everyone else will also do better.
Updating Club Mask Policy
For ALL of our many events this coming season, we are planning for a policy of everyone in masks all the time, except for skaters while on the ice. Coming out of the upcoming Cranberry Open, we are currently planning to update the Club mask policy to require everyone not on the ice to wear a mask at all times. We will also include that skaters under 12 need to wear a mask at all times. It is frustrating and annoying for us all. Perhaps more so to those who have been vaccinated. But the safety of the entire Club community must come first, and new research indicates that even the vaccinated can transmit the Delta variant of the virus. This virus respects no boundaries whatsoever, including our sport. (Insert the frustrated, frown emoji. Or maybe one of the deep-orange emojis.) Please expect to see a follow-up communication on this.
Thanks everyone. With kindness and respect or all, we will have an equitable and safe community for all.