Regardless of age, speed skaters share a determination to race as fast and as far as they can. This youthful enthusiasm is matched by the sport of speed skating, a discipline demanding a blend of quickness, stamina, and strategy. It's fun, exciting, healthful, social, and rewarding.

USARS speed skating is a non-contact sport, requiring skaters to display their skills to maneuver cleanly through the pack and into winning position. Skaters are disqualified for pushing, blocking, forcing another racer out of position, or using their arms, legs, or hands in any way that impedes the progress of other competitors. For added safety, skaters are also required to wear approved helmets during competition.

Speed skating, like other organized sports, requires skaters to be disciplined as they train and compete in an effort to attain peak performance. The benefits, however, go beyond winning. Skaters learn the importance of teamwork, of being persistent and organized, and of setting and reaching goals. It builds health, strength, and discipline. Speed skaters also learn to value good sportsmanship. Although the sport is at home in a variety of locales, the two basic divisions are for indoor and outdoor events.

Indoor Speed Skating

Indoor skating, a variation characteristic of competition in the United States, uses a 100-meter oval track in individual and relay events. In both events, the age groups determine distances and divisions. In individual events, champions are determined by the points they earn in the final races of each distance skated. Relay events, either for two or four skaters, single gender or mixed, give teams of skaters the opportunity to combine their skills against other relay contestants. USARS conducts separate national competitions for quad (traditional 4-wheel skates) and inline roller skates.