How Do They Put Ice In A Hockey Rink

How Do They Put Ice in a Hockey Rink
Ice is a crucial component of any hockey game, providing a smooth surface for players to glide on. But have you ever wondered how they actually put ice in a hockey rink? Here are five supporting facts to shed some light on the process:

1. Multi-layered base: Before the ice can be added, a multi-layered base is created in the rink. This typically consists of a concrete or asphalt foundation, followed by a layer of insulation, and a series of pipes.

2. Cooling pipes: The pipes in the rink are strategically positioned in a grid pattern across the entire surface. These pipes are where the coolant, typically a mixture of water and ethylene glycol, circulates to lower the temperature.

3. Frost-resistant materials: To prevent the pipes from cracking due to the freezing and thawing process, the pipes are made of frost-resistant materials such as copper or aluminum. These materials can withstand the extreme cold temperatures without compromising the structural integrity.

4. Flood and freeze method: Once the base is prepared, the ice-making process begins. Using a Zamboni or similar machine, a thin layer of water is evenly spread across the surface. This process is repeated multiple times, typically with a 30-minute freeze time between each layer, to build up the ice thickness gradually.

5. Painting and markings: After the ice has reached the desired thickness, the rink is ready to be painted and marked. This involves applying white paint for the playing surface, as well as red and blue lines to demarcate different areas of the rink. These markings must be done carefully to ensure they adhere to regulations and are visible to players and referees.

FAQs about How They Put Ice in a Hockey Rink:

Q1. How long does it take to make ice in a hockey rink?
A1. The process of making ice can take anywhere from a few days to a week, depending on factors such as the size of the rink, the ambient temperature, and the type of cooling system used.

Q2. What temperature is required to make ice in a hockey rink?
A2. The temperature needed to make ice typically ranges from 14 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 to -7 degrees Celsius). This temperature ensures that the water freezes quickly and creates a solid ice surface.

Q3. How often is the ice resurfaced during a hockey game?
A3. The ice is typically resurfaced, or “flooded,” between periods of a hockey game. This process involves a Zamboni machine removing the top layer of ice, cleaning the surface, and laying down a fresh layer of water that will freeze into a smooth playing surface.

Q4. Can different types of ice affect the game?
A4. Yes, different types of ice can impact the game. Some rinks may have softer ice, which can slow down the puck and make it more challenging for players to skate quickly. Harder ice, on the other hand, may result in faster gameplay.

Q5. How often does the ice in a hockey rink need to be replaced?
A5. The lifespan of the ice in a hockey rink varies depending on usage and upkeep. Typically, ice is replaced annually or as needed if the surface becomes damaged or worn out.

Q6. Are there any environmental concerns with making ice in hockey rinks?
A6. The coolant used in the pipes of hockey rinks is usually a mixture of water and ethylene glycol, a common antifreeze solution. While it is generally considered safe for the environment, spills or leaks should be properly cleaned up to avoid contamination.

Q7. Can the ice in a hockey rink be reused?
A7. In some cases, the ice from a hockey rink can be converted into reusable water. Specialized equipment can melt down the ice, filter it, and treat it to make it safe for other uses, such as irrigation or cooling systems.


Creating ice in a hockey rink involves a multi-step process that includes building a foundation, laying cooling pipes, flooding the surface with water, and allowing it to freeze over time. The ice’s thickness determines when it is ready for painting and marking. Maintenance, resurfacing, and occasional replacement of the ice are necessary to ensure optimal playing conditions.