How Do They Put Ice On A Hockey Rink

Ice is put on a hockey rink through a multi-step process that involves meticulous planning and execution. Here are five supporting facts about how they put ice on a hockey rink:

1. Layering the base: The process starts by creating a solid foundation for the ice. Multiple layers of sand and gravel are laid down, followed by a layer of insulation called a “sandwich board” or “heating pipe network” to keep the ice from melting.

2. Installing the piping system: A complex network of pipes is then laid over the insulation board. These pipes are responsible for circulating cooled glycol or brine, which helps freeze the surface of the ice evenly.

3. The Zamboni effect: To create a smooth and level ice surface, a thin layer of water is sprayed onto the rink. Then, a Zamboni machine is used to resurface the ice. The warm water from the Zamboni melts the uneven ice, and the machine’s shaving and resurfacing action ensures a level playing surface.

4. The cooling system: Once the initial layer of ice is formed, a chilling system connected to the piping network is activated. This system circulates cold brine or glycol at sub-zero temperatures through the pipes, which continuously freezes the water on the rink’s surface.

5. Building up the thickness: Over a series of multiple repetitive processes, thin layers of water are sprayed and allowed to freeze, gradually building up the thickness of the ice until it reaches the desired depth (typically around 1.25 inches or 3.2 cm).


1. How long does it take to put ice on a hockey rink?
Answer: The process of creating ice for a hockey rink can take up to several days, depending on the size of the rink and environmental conditions.

2. What temperature is the ice kept at during a game?
Answer: During a game, the ice is kept at approximately 22 to 26 degrees Fahrenheit (-5 to -3 degrees Celsius) to maintain its optimal playing condition.

3. How often is the ice resurfaced during a game?
Answer: The ice typically gets resurfaced during each intermission, creating a fresh playing surface for the teams.

4. Can the ice quality affect the game?
Answer: Yes, the quality of the ice can significantly impact the playability of the game. Smooth and well-maintained ice allows players to skate faster and handle the puck more effectively.

5. What happens if the ice gets damaged during a game?
Answer: If the ice gets damaged during a game, the maintenance crew will come onto the ice and repair it with the necessary tools, such as a shovel or a Zamboni machine, to ensure a safe playing surface.

6. How often is the ice completely replaced?
Answer: The ice is typically replaced every season or as needed, depending on the wear and tear it receives. This process involves melting the existing ice, repairing any underlying issues, and building a new ice surface.

7. Can the ice-making process be affected by the weather?
Answer: Yes, weather conditions such as temperature and humidity can impact the ice-making process. Extreme heat or high humidity can make it challenging to freeze the ice uniformly, requiring additional measures to create a suitable playing surface.

Creating ice for a hockey rink involves laying down a solid foundation, installing a piping system, resurfacing the ice, and maintaining a cooling system. The entire process can take several days, and the quality of the ice is crucial for optimal gameplay. Adverse weather conditions can present challenges in maintaining the ice quality, but proper maintenance and repair can ensure a safe and enjoyable playing surface.