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Archive-name: sports/skating/welcome
Last-modified: 03 Aug 2002
Version: 2.014
Posting-Frequency: Monthly

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                                 Welcome to


This document is maintained by and Copyright Canada 1997-2002 by Charles
MacDonald of Stittsville Ontario. The document was originally created by and
is copyright 1995-1997 Robert B. Schmunk of Skate City. The current
maintainer thanks Robert for his permission to use this work. Both Robert
and myself would also like to thank George Robbins for his contributions to
this FAQ and to the skating newsgroups.

Vendors of CD-ROM compilations who wish to include this file in a CD-ROM may
do so on the condition that a sample of the finished product is provided to
the author. The document may otherwise be freely distributed in electronic
format provided that this copyright notice is attached, and the document is
provided intact and without charge except for the actual delivery cost
(e.g., normal connect-time charges). All print rights are strictly reserved.

Some portions of this document are based on material from an older document
by George Robbins ( and permission for their use is
gratefully acknowledged. Thanks also to Sandra Loosemore and Karen Bryden
for helpful comments.

Corrections and additions should be e-mailed directly to
if you want to guarantee that they are read and considered.


Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. What are the* newsgroups?
  3. What other skating-related newsgroups are there?
  4. What skating mailing lists are there?
  5. What other skate FAQs are there?
  6. Where else are the FAQs archived?
        - a. Via the World-Wide Web?
        - b. Via anonymous FTP
        - c. Via mail server
  7. Where can I read the newsgroups on the World Wide Web?
  8. There was an interesting thread last week, Is there any way to find it
  9. Where else can I look on the World-Wide Web for skating information?
 10. Is for skateboarders?
 11. Anybody mind if I post an ad for my company?
 12. Why did my post look garbled?
 13. We need a newsgroup for my small genre of skating.


1. Introduction

In the spring of 1995, the newsgroup rec.skate was split into several more
specific newsgroups. The reason for this was that traffic in that newsgroup
was high and growing, particularly since ice skating had become a popular
spectator sport and inline skating was (and still is) enjoying tremendous
growth as a participatory sport. The expansion of the newsgroup was,
however, not without its downside, as various types of skaters or skating
fans began to chafe at the opinions often expressed by the other types.
Thus, after much discussion, the various FAQ maintainers for rec.skate
proposed a split of the newsgroup, and in mid-April 1995, all of the
proposed newsgroups passed the official Usenet voting process. Because of
the requirements of net.gods who oversee such things, rec.skate was also
migrated into the* hierarchy, becoming*.

The new groups were announced on 14 Apr 1995. The old rec.skate group was
originally approved on 31 Dec 1991. If rec.skate is still on your local news
server you might want to ask the administrator to remove it.

Many Usenet FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions answer lists) usually begin
with several paragraphs on netiquette, i.e., proper behavior on posting to
newsgroups. Rather than do that here, I will just recommend that if you have
not already done so, you should *immediately* read the posting titled "A
Primer on How to Work With the Usenet Community" The document may be
obtained from or you will find
it posted in the newsgroup news.announce.newusers .

After you have read the article, please read it again.

These are discussion groups. All that is stated here is not always 100%
true. What is typed here is not the definitive answer from the powers that
be. It is *discussion*, only. Logically all words gathered or implied in
discussion must be considered false until proven true when stated in a
discussion group. How something is proven true is up to the people using the
discussion group. Most people will use the common sense rule in proving
things true. These are the same common sense rules that you would apply to
any other open discussion. i.e. The same rules that allow you to believe or
to disbelieve verbal conversations. Do not take it for fact (be it words,
ideas, or a new methods), but take it for what it is to you after applying
*your own* common sense rules. In discussion there is room for error, wrong
statements, incorrect ideas, bad methods, dangerous ideas, etc.


2. What are the* newsgroups?

In short, they are:

   * = Figure/artistic skating.
   * = Recreational ice skating.
   * = Inline skating, aka Rollerblading.
   * = Racing and speed skating.
   * = Conventional (quad) roller skating.
   * = Miscellaneous skating topics.

For those of you who want some more detail, the newsgroup charters are:

This group provides a forum for discussion of amateur and professional
figure/artistic skating, including figures, freestyle, pairs, dance, and
precision team skating. Articles from both participant and spectator or fan
perspectives are appropriate in this group.

Appropriate topics for discussion in this group include: amateur and
professional skating competitions and exhibitions; activities of competitive
and professional skaters; rules and organizations governing the sport of
figure skating; and equipment, technique, training, and instruction issues.

While the primary focus is figure/artistic skating on ice, discussion of
corresponding inline or roller skating topics is not precluded.

This group provides a forum for discussion of ice skating as a recreational

Appropriate topics for this group include public skating, social or dance
sessions and outdoor skating; learning to skate and more advanced group or
private instruction; equipment selection, use, maintenance, and
troubleshooting; and stretching, training and fitness issues.

Discussion of skating skills on both hockey and figure skates are welcome.
The group is aimed specifically at skating from the participant perspective.

This group's focus is on discussion of all disciplines of skating on inline
skates, also known as blading or Rollerblading(tm).

Appropriate topics for this newsgroup include equipment selection, use,
maintenance, and troubleshooting; learn-to-skate issues;
recreational/fitness skating, street/extreme skating, and inline hockey

This group provides a forum for discussion of skate racing and speed
skating, including short-track, long-track, and distance/endurance events,
whether on ice skates, inline skates, or conventional roller skates.
Training and fitness topics relevant to racing are also appropriate for this

This group provides a forum for discussion of all forms of skating on
conventional (quad) roller skates, including indoor rink skating, outdoor
skating, figure/artistic and social roller skating.

This group is [the] place to discuss skating-related topics that either do
not fit any of the other subgroups, or that are not
specific to any mode or discipline of skating. Appropriate topics for
discussion in this group include ice-hockey skating, cross-training, and
skating-related injuries such as foot pain.

You may have noticed that a) there is no skateboarding newsgroup, and b)
rollerhockey is lumped into the *.inline newsgroup. The former is because
skateboarders posted only rarely to rec.skate before the split and so
creation of a newsgroup for them did not seem necessary. Further comments on
this topic are provided in question 8. Likewise, rollerhockey traffic on
rec.skate was fairly low level and so it seemed best to place it with the
*.inline traffic. However, rollerhockey fans may wish to note that
occasional rollerhockey traffic also appears in


3. What other skating-related newsgroups are there?

Skating newsgroups which are not part of this hierarchy are mostly alt.*
groups related to ice hockey, although there are exceptions. The following
groups are available at my site. Your site may not carry all of them, or it
might carry some which mine does not.

   * alt.skate // obsolete; see note 1
   * alt.skate.figure
   * alt.skate-board
   * // see note 2

Note 1: alt.skate was the predecessor to rec.skate and is now obsolete.
Although it was rmgrouped, it still persists on many systems and sees a very
low level of traffic, but not enough to make it useful. If your site does
not carry it, it's not worth bothering your newsadmin about it.

Note 2: Many/most of the groups are "bogus" and therefore useless.


4. What skating mailing lists are there?

For Ice skating

There are two lists that resulted from the split of the old Rutgers ice
skating mailing list, which itself was the continuation of a previous list
that had been hosted at UMAB.. The original list contained discusions of all
aspects of Figure skating. When it outgrew it's host, an ad-hoc committee
was struck by Adrian Chew. The committee, located on three continents and
using Adrian's Computer in Malaysia as a meeting place laid the groundwork
for the revised lists in a meeting that lasted into the late evening in the
EST zone where I was participating, and until dawn in Malaysia.

The two resulting lists are:


SKATERS-L is for people who are interested in skating from the standpoint of
a participant.

Skaters-L is hosted by the University of Delaware. To subscribe to
Skaters-L, send an e-mail to majordomo@UDel.Edu stating

subscribe skaters-l your-email-address-goes-here

For further information about Skaters List send e-mail to majordomo@UDel.Edu

info skaters-l

SKATEFANS-L is for discussion of figure skating from a fan's point of view.

The skatefans list is a fairly high volume list. It was originaly hosted at
UMAB then the University of Deleware. In January, 1999, Skatefans list was
created on the OneList server. April, 2000, the OneList name disappeared
officially becoming "eGroups". eGroups is now Yahoogroups, and those who
previously subscribed need to visit Yahoogroups to update their subscription
information in order to access the files.

You can subscribe to SkateFans via the web (by visiting and follow the instructions) or via
email by sending a message (subject and contents don't matter, to and then replying to the confirmation
message that you will receive from YahooGroups.)

Once a person has successfully subscribed, they will receive a welcome
message and a number of reference mailings intended to answer any questions
about the SkateFans mailing list. More information about SkateFans can be
found at this web site:

A Web page which provides a sample of what is on the two lists is part of

For those interesting in Speedskating:

SKATE For information, send e-mail to To
subscribe, send the message "subscribe skate" to

For those interested in Indoor Quad Roller Skating:

RinkSkate is a discussion group created by James Triplett
( for quad skaters who don't have access to
the groups, or prefer a discussion group which may be a little
less serious. This group is primarily geared toward non-competitive indoor
roller-skating or "Rink Skating". The intended discussions shall revolve
around skate equipment, maneuvers, rink features/comparisons, websites, and
questions & answers. We are totally un-moderated, so feel free to discuss
anything regarding rink skating. The discussions center on quad
(conventional) roller skates, but in-line skating discussions pertaining to
indoor rink skating are welcome.

People can subscribe to RinkSkate via the web (by visiting and follow the instructions) or via
email by sending a message (subject and contents don't matter, to and then replying to the confirmation
message that you will receive from YahooGroups.)

Those that have previously subscribed to the SkateFans or Rinkskate lists
that were on e-groups, that are now on Yahoo must use the migration tool on
the yahoogroups website to maintain full access to the list archives and
related material. You will also have to register for a Yahoo ID if you don't
already have one.


5. What other skate FAQs are there?

The trend seems to be for FAQ files to appear on the web first, with some
maintainers also posting to Usenet. Normaly the most current versions are
found on the maintainer's web site. These are the known FAQs on skating. If
you know of any others, please contact me.

"Competitive Figure Skating FAQ" by Sandra Loosemore (; is
on the web at This FAQ
answers questions on points ranging from scoring systems to definitions of
jump and spin names to info about upcoming events. While much of this will
be useful to amateur figure skaters, it will particularly benefit skating
spectators (i.e., fans) who want to learn more about what they're watching.
It is also posted monthly to

"Recreational Figure Skating FAQ" Maintained by Ana Gonzalez
(; is at: and is mirrored
at . This FAQ concerns basic
skating skills from the perspective of a figure skater, from the very basic
levels through to the level of single jumps. It defines skating terms,
discusses equipment selection and maintenance, talks about how to do various
skills correctly, and deals with conditioning and injury. It also talks
about social aspects of skating and instruction. The learn-to-skate skills
such as stopping stroking and crosscuts are equally applicable for hockey
skaters. As the recreational skating group develops, more topics of interest
to the group will be added.

"In-line Skating FAQ" Maintained by Tony Chen ( is at: . Besides introducing the reader to the news group, this FAQ provides voluminous material in answer to
some all-too-frequently questions. Topics covered include buying tips for
newbies, methods for stopping, how to clean your bearings, places to skate
around the globe, and reviews of numerous inline products.

Conventional (Quad) Roller Skating FAQ" Maintained by George Robbins
(; is at: .
Although traditional roller skating has its similarities to inline skating,
there are important differences, and they are covered here.

"Roller Skating Rinks XYZ Region List" Maintained by George Robbins
(; can also be found at: . It contains data and mini-reviews
about numerous rinks around the U.S., Canada, and the world.

"Skate Book Bibliography / FAQ" Maintained by George Robbins
(; can also be found at: . This FAQ provides an extensive
bibliography of books relevant to all types of skating, including
mini-reviews and tips on where to find some of the books.

"Ice Skating Suppliers FAQ" Maintained by Charles MacDonald
(; is at: .
This FAQ provides a list of firms and individuals who provide products and
services connected with figure skating. It is also posted monthly to and .

"Skate Sharpening FAQ" Maintained By Chuck Wright (;
is at: which explains what
is really happening when you have your ice skates sharpened.


6. Where else are the FAQs archived?

a. Via the World-Wide Web

An up-to-the-minute copy of this "Welcome to*" FAQ can be
found at:

Web-browsable *text* copies of FAQs which have been cross-posted to
news.answers are also available from an FAQ server at

The above FAQ server has links to additional sites that offer copies of
usenet FAQ files.

(Note: Since not all of the FAQs are cross-posted to news.answers, the above
address will not lead you too all of the documents listed in question 5.)

b. Via anonymous FTP

The master FAQ site is When is overloaded with
ftp sessions, attempting to connect to it will yield a brush-off message
listing the primary mirror sites. Capture that message for future reference.

Mirrors of RTFM often exist in major FTP archives around the world. You
should however be aware that some sites contain stale copies.

File names on rtfm can be long and perverse, being based on documents'
subject lines. If your ftp client program doesn't know how to translate them
to valid filenames on your system, you may have to issue individual "get
fromname toname" commands.

c. Via mail server

If you do not have access to anonymous ftp, you can also send e-mail to to get FAQs by e-mail.

Initially, try a message with no Subject: and just the following line in the


One useful command is the index command. This returns a list of the contents
of a particular directory. Some examples of how to use this command are:

index usenet/

index usenet-by-group

Be warned that the index has a *lot* of information in it. The directory
listing that will be sent to you by e-mail can be *very* large.


7. Where can I read the newsgroups

The rec skating groups are on a service called USENET. Most internet
providers pay more attention to the world wide web.

Articles are carried around the world to newservers at the various internet
providers, and you connect to the local newserver to read and post articles.

If you are using Netscape, Mozilla, or even MS Internet Explorer to read
this, you should see the following lines hilighted in Blue.


Clicking on on one of the lines will start the newsreader program in
Netscape. If your program is set up correctly, that will connect to the
newsserver run by your internet provider. The name of the newserver is set
in your Browsers Preferences page and is often where is the Domain name of the internet service provider that
you use to connect to the internet. You may have to ask your internet
provider to start to carry the groups you are interested in on their server,
as they will typicaly only carry newsgroups that their customers have
requested. If you get an error message when you try the above links, it may
mean that your browser is not set up for news, you should contact your
service provider for instuctions to set up your service.

If you are not using Netscape or IE, you may have to use a separate
Newsreader program, but that is again something for your local user support
to help you get going.

If your provider does not offer the newsgroup your are interested in, a
posible alternative is the web based access provided by The "DeJa News"
archive. On February 12, 2001, Google Inc. announced that is had acquired's Usenet Discussion Service. This acquisition provided Google with
Deja's entire Usenet archive (dating back to 1995), and the domain names and,

This service is now running at You can access
postings at the following URLs


You may probaly wish to read the help information at if the above links don't work for you.

8. There was an interesting thread last week, Is there any way to find it

With the change from to The search
functinality is curently slightly impaired.

To find a past thread you would add your search terms to the search box that
already contains the name of the group. The system works like google web
search, in that all the terms you put in the search box must match for the
article to be displayed.

Curently Google is returning a result which has a link that will display the
thread that contins the message that the search found.

9. Where else can I look on the World-Wide Web for skating info?

For ice skating, the best source of information and links is Sandra
Loosemore's "SkateWeb":

For inline skaters, a good source is Robert B. Schmunk's "Skating the
Infobahn", which also includes numerous speedskating and rollerskating
pointers, at:

For quad/traditional rollerskaters, George Robbins has a good index at:

For *ice* speedskaters, probably the two best sites to start with are the
Amateur Speedskating Union (ASU/USA) homepage and Wim Penninx's page,
respectively at:

For long track speedskating, Caroline van Staaveren (
has created an extensive reference list at

The page does have a few Short track links as well.

Please be aware that the page does have Pop-Up advertisments from the web
hosting company. This arragement will allow her to move the actual page to
another host if needed. If you frequently use the page, you may prefer to
bookmark her actual server.

Other links

Rather than including a long list of web resource links here, I have placed
a number of skating related web sites on my own Skating Links page at

Otherwise, your best bet for finding skating-related material on the
World-Wide Web is to start at one of the many Web indices or Web robot
databases. Perhaps the most popular of these is Yahoo. URLs for skating
indices on that server are:


10. Is for skateboarders?

The charter for rec.skate used to say that :
Skateboarders have a separate forum in alt.skate-board; skateboarding will
not be discussed on rec.skate.

Although the current newsgroup charter (see above) does not exclude
skateboarding, the following posting by Sandra Loosemore made on April 24,
1995, explains why it wasn't intended that way:

Well, I can honestly answer that it wasn't intended that this newsgroup be
used for discussion of skateboarding. During all of the discussion period
that preceded the vote for the* groups, I don't think
anybody ever suggested that we needed to include a place for skateboard
discussion somewhere in the hierarchy.

[...discussion re skateboarding vs. skating skills deleted...]

Skateboarding is currently discussed in alt.skate-board, which was split off
from the discussion of "real" skating long ago. If you skateboarders want to
move out of the alt hierarchy and into the big 7, there's nothing to prevent
you from going through the same kind of procedure that was used to create
the new skating groups. Such a new newsgroup wouldn't necessarily have to go
in the hierarchy.

Thus, whether or not was intended for skateboarding
discussion, persons interested in the topic would be doing themselves a
favor by going where such discussion is already taking place, to the tune of
30-40 postings per day: alt.skate-board.


11. Anybody mind if I post an ad for my company?

Persons or companies considering advertising in the skating newsgroups
should note that there is historically an anti-advertising bias on Usenet,
and posting of ads may lose you more potential customers than it gains. If
you're thinking about posting an ad for your business, please go to the
newsgroup news.announce.newusers and read the posting entitled: "Advertising
on Usenet: How to Do It, How Not to Do it". You'll save yourself from a lot
of flamage if you avoid some of the excesses described therein.

If you are offering a product that is specifically related to Figure
Skating, you may contact and request that it be
considered for the skating suppliers FAQ. Please provide details and postal
and web addresses with your request. Only items related to figure skating
will be listed.


12. Why did my post look Garbled?

If at all possible, post in "plain text".  Don't use color, or formatted
characters such as bold, or italics, as this will result in your posting
being sent in HTML.  Although HTML formating would make the posting slightly
more attractive to users who have a news reader that can handle it, it makes
the post almost imposible to read for those that don't have the latest

It is suggested that you set the line length to a maximum of 70 characters.
If you don't have the option of setting the line length then keep the lines
down to about 70 characters and do a <RETURN> manually at the end of each

A number of the free e-mail services will not accept attachments.  Others
limit the size of messages and either refuse them or chop off beyond a given
size, which is probably around 64K. If you really need to say more than 64K
your post should be split into more than one part, or you should try to make
the information available on a web site.

Many modern newsreaders such as Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape's
Navigator will interpret links and e-mail addresses so all the recipient has
to do is click on them to go there in the case of the URL, or send e-mail in
the case of an address.  This means that you don't have to put an entire
hyper link in your post, just the URL.

When listing e-mail addresses and URLs it's far better to copy and paste
them instead of typing them in. Even one character out of place in a URL
will cause it to no longer work.

When you crosspost between newsgroups take care that your post will be on
topic in all the groups that you post to. When you do want to post in more
than one group, please be sure to use the crossposting mechanism, rather
than sending two or more separate posts.  that way, extra copies will not be
needed at every news server on the network, and many newsreaders will only
display your post once to readers that follow more than one group.


13. We need a newsgroup for my small genre of skating.

Periodically, discussion arises in one of the skating newsgroups that some
sub-genre of that form of skating deserves its own newsgroup. In its first
eight months of existence, this happened twice in r.s.s.inline due to the
agitation of a handful of aggressive skaters, but there has also been a
small bit of noise about a rollerhockey newsgroup and even the very quiet
r.s.s.roller has seen requests for a separate skating music newsgroup.

Putting aside any arguments about the amount of traffic in the source
newsgroup and potential traffic in a new newsgroup, the persons who are
making such requests/complaints need to realize a couple of things:

1) r.s.s.misc was not created as a dumping point for dissatisified skaters.
It is there to discuss skating which is not included in the charters of
other newsgroups and to discuss topics of interest to *all* skaters.

2) There is a procedure for creating new newsgroups. You lose the respect of
other people (i.e., your postings on *any* topic may be ignored) if you
complain that a new newsgroup is needed but are unwilling to start or assist
in that process yourself. If you don't know what the process is but keep
posting that it should be done, you are only displaying laziness.

3) Proclamations that other forms of skating "suck" or that yours "kicks
ass" will get you nowhere in the newsgroup creation process and may only
provoke a negative reaction.

All that said, if you *really* think a new newsgroup is needed and are
willing to do something about it, look for the article "How to Create a New
Usenet Newsgroup" in any of the following newsgroups: news.admin.misc,
news.announce.newgroups, news.announce.newusers, news.answers, and
news.groups. Since they are easier to create, you might consider an alt.*
newsgroup instead, but realize that it will not be carried by as many sites.
Look for the article "So You Want to Create an Alt Newsgroup", in
alt.config, alt.answers, or news.answers.


Again, thanks to Karen Bryden, Sandra Loosemore, and George Robbins for
assisting at the birth of this FAQ. And also thanks to Robert B. Schmunk for
writing the FAQ and allowing me to continue it.

Thanks also to Allen P. Abel, Mary Hiser Joy Lynam, Thomas Kay, and Roger

Charles MacDonald    Stittsville Ontario
             ---     Just beyond the fringe   ---

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM