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Posted by on in Announcements

August Monthly Board Member Update

August brings a certain level of urgency each year and this year is no exception. Families are scrambling to get that one last vacation in, gear up for the upcoming school year and brush up on those hockey skills prior to try-outs. For MIAMA our urgency is not that much different.

This last true month of summer should be one taking that final vacation break and much needed “R & R” prior to the push that is right around the corner. It is also a time to get that extra training done, get your equipment rooms and house in order so when the season does arrive you are ready.

We are fortunate to have the Fall Conference as our official transition into the season. The Fall Conference is a great way to network, work with our vendors and pick up a few tips and pointers which can go a long way for the staff throughout the season. And it’s also a golden opportunity to attend certification courses and bring back even more for your season.

Each August every Board member completes a recap of the progress and happenings of the past year. This will be the fourth year of completing an annual report which summarizes our year as an organization. This report is not only helpful for the membership, but also serves as a function of our non-profit status with the state. The Annual report will be available on the website and be referenced at the fall business meeting.

Speaking of Board members and responsibilities, it’s never too late to become more involved with MIAMA. Every Board member will say the commitment is worthwhile to them personally and professionally and the extra time isn’t that demanding. It actually makes you a better time manager and hopefully a better arena leader as well. So don’t forget to vote for our positions open on the board.

In closing, take the time you need in August to rest up and gear up for what is ahead. I hope to see a big turnout at the Fall Conference at Breezy Point.

Written by Dave Black

Posted by on in News


My name is Len Lilyholm and if you are old enough, some of you might remember I played for the Gophers in the early 60’s, the 1968 Olympic Team, and the Minnesota Fighting Saints. I graduated from the U of M with a degree in architecture. Enough said.

I represent a system called “Realice”. Invented in Sweden and now in use in over 300 rinks worldwide. By degassing the water and changing the viscosity of the water, the system eliminates the necessity of heating the water, thus saving on gas and electric costs. No moving parts. No maintenance. Pay back (R.O.I.) is less than 2 years for a single rink and less than I year for a double rink. Monthly savings between $1200 and $1500. Harder, clearer, faster, and safer ice. Please stop by my location at the Breezy Point vendors area. I would love to talk to you.

Realice is ”green” and it’s for real!

Len Lilyholm612-940-4961
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted by on in Announcements

By Rich Czech.

Summer is flying by and before you know it we’ll be back in the heart of the regular season with skaters ripping up the ice and younger siblings tearing up our buildings. Concession sales will be in full swing and the need to keep staff motivated to perform the day to day duties of the Arena will be inessential in maintaining all the work that was put into the rink over the summer to get it back into shape.

An important key to a successful in maintaining a safe and clean building is the hiring seasonal staff. If you’re like most rinks the salary for these positions are not always the highest, which leads to hiring younger staff with little to no experience which leads to extra training.

We may not be able to hire staff with all the experience we would like, however the good news is that we can mold these newbies to fit our own work ethics. What becomes more important than experience is will their “social” schedule fit with the Arena’s? When interviewing a potential employee for the first time I ask them three or four times about their schedule and make sure their schedule will fit with the rinks. It may seem like a no brainer, but many times young employees, or their parents, just want a job so bad that they forget that they have other commitments that they take a job and worry about the schedule later. For those of us that have been down this road we know that this leads to frustration to both parties and ultimately to a new hire.   As my staff will tell you, I’m a softy when people need time off, however we are a business and clarifying schedules at the time of hiring can avoid frustration down the road.

By now most of your “off – season” projects should be well on their way or at least well thought out and are on line to start in the near future. I think I can speak for most of the managers when I say that what the customers notice the most when they come into your building is a clean and well maintained Arena!   New equipment and building additions are nice and are absolutely needed, however a gallon of a good cleaning product and a hard bristle brush and some elbow grease goes along way on how your customers perceive your rink.

The 39th Annual Fall M.I.A.M.A. Conference is just in a couple of short months, September 2nd – 5th at Breezy Point Resort. The committee has been working diligently on putting together a conference you won’t want to miss. Guest speakers include; Joe Schmit, from channel 5, and Ron Schara, which is best known for the outdoor show Minnesota Bound and his dog Raven. Both Speakers are nationally sought out and Dean Mulso deserves kudos for finding two outstanding speakers. Remember to bring your Concept of the Year to the Fall Conference. If Breakout Sessions and Speakers aren’t your thing, the wealth of knowledge from other rink managers and vendors is worth the experience of attending the Conference.

Posted by on in News

The USA Hockey Board of Directors approved the Policy below regarding the Look-Up Line at the Saturday June 7th, 2014 Board Meeting.  Installation of the Look-Up Line is not required under USA Hockey rules, and USA Hockey has not taken a position about whether the Look-Up Line should be recommended.  The specific policy passed by the USA Hockey Board of Directors is as follows:

USA Hockey Policy Statement

Policy J. (new)

Board of Directors, June 7, 2014

USA Hockey recognizes the potential public interest on the use of a "Look-Up Line" painted on the ice surface in an effort to promote player safety.

Ice Facilities that wish to employ a "Look-Up Line" are permitted to do so and are encouraged to report any pertinent observations to the USA Hockey Look-Up Line Safety Task Force.

A "Look-Up Line" colored a Pantone 151 [c] Safety Orange, is to be painted around the entire circumference of the ice surface.  The "Look-Up Line" is to extend 40" inches in width from the bottom of the kick plate of the boards.  For further information please

USA Hockey Safety Task Force Report and Recommendations related to the Look-Up Line

At the USA Hockey Winter Meeting in January 2014, President Ron DeGregorio appointed a Task Force to review safety-related proposals.  The group was comprised of Charlie Fuertsch, Dr. Michael Stuart, Tony Ciavaglia, John Coleman, Paul Day, with Jim Smith and Bill Hall as co-chairs, and was assisted by USA Hockey staff members Casey Jorgensen and Pat Kelleher.

The proposals to be reviewed included Playing Rule Proposal #1: To create a "Look-Up Line" that extends 40" from the edge of the boards around the rink.

The Task Force was charged with seeking further input and reporting back to the Board of Directors at the 2014 Annual Congress on these proposals.  The Safety Task Force sought feedback from USA Hockey Councils, Committees and Sections Chairs, and Affiliate Presidents, as well as through a survey of rink owners and operators conducted by Serving The American Rinks (STAR).

The Task Force recommended the following:

The Safety Task Force believed there was insufficient data to determine whether the Look-Up Line would result in enhanced safety to participants.

The Safety Task Force did not believe that USA Hockey could mandate the Look-Up Line at this time.  Mandating the Look-Up Line without sufficient data supporting the safety benefits would likely not cause all rink owners to install the line, and would likely cause a shortage of rinks that comply with USA Hockey requirements.

The Safety Task Force also did not believe that USA Hockey should issue a recommendation that rinks install the Look-Up Line.  USA Hockey should not issue a recommendation unless and until there is sufficient data confirming the safety benefits.

While not recommending that USA Hockey mandate or recommend installation of the Look-Up Line, USA Hockey strongly believes in seeking safety enhancements to its program, and USA Hockey should monitor any rinks that choose to install the Look-Up Line on a voluntary basis.

The Safety Task Force further recommended that study on the Look-Up Line begin immediately with existing secondary research, specifically reviewing insurance claims through USA Hockey on spinal cord injuries over the previous five season: where, when and how were injuries incurred? How old was the injured player?  The specific circumstances surrounding the injury, etc. The results of this research would also establish a baseline against which all future actions and research can be measured.

Beyond the near-term study of secondary research, the Task Force further recommended:

  • The study of insurance claims from rinks – if any - that have already installed or plan to install the Look-Up Line
  • Quantitative and qualitative research with multiple sources that are actively involved in the conduct of games at participating pilot rinks (e.g. players, coaches, referees)

This research will be overseen by a committee chaired by USA Hockey's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Michael Stuart, and should, if possible, be done in conjunction with existing studies overseen by the Mayo Clinic.  The committee will also include members of the Safety and Protective Equipment Committee, Risk Managers and STAR.

In addition to the above research, the Safety Task Force also recommended that USA Hockey also take additional actions utilizing and promoting known measures that will enhance the safety of USA Hockey participants.  This will include additional funding and an emphasis on the promotion of Heads Up Hockey through training of all USA Hockey coaches and players through modules, drills, videos, posters and brochures.  A recent USA Hockey PSA video on Heads Up Hockey and links to the USA Hockey Concussion Management Program will be emailed to all USA Hockey players, parents and coaches on an annual basis.

Congratulations to the St. Croix Valley Rec Center and Lily Lake Arena staff for being the recipient of the 2014 James Padgett Award that was presented at the Minnesota Ice Arena Manager’s Spring Conference on May 6, 2014 at the Chaska Community Center in Chaska, MN.

The annual award is presented to an ice arena that has distinguished itself as a leader, innovator and contributor to the ice arena industry. The St. Croix Valley Rec Center and Lily Lake Arena staff is recognized for its renovation of the Lily Lake Arena in 2012.

The City of Stillwater can be proud of the St. Croix Valley Rec Center and Lily Lake Arena staff for their dedication to the facilities and their will to save the City $200,000 in labor costs on this project. The Lily Lake arena has seen 14 major renovations in its history from remodeled locker rooms to the major project of the retrofit. The St. Croix Valley Rec Center and staff operate Lily Lake Arena. They started saving for the retrofit in 2008 that took place from March 5, 2012 through October 31, 2012. Festive Outfitters was chosen to get the best pricing on material with no mark ups on pricing. Funding was made possible through Capital Outlay for $520,000. The Chiller and piping was $400,000 and $120,000 for dasher boards.

Staff at the Rec Center completed the majority of the project as it saved $200,000 in labor costs. Because the project came in under the $520,000 the arena was able to receive bonus items; Low E ceiling, More efficient Controls, Water Heater, Lifted Evaporative Condenser and Sub Fool Heating. Congratulations to Doug Brady, manager and the entire St. Croix Valley Rec Center and Lily Lake Arena staff for a job well done.

Along with the award, the Minnesota Ice Arena Manager’s Association will provide two (2) full 2014 fall conference registrations with double occupancy lodging at Breezy Point Resort, to be used to attend the conference. This includes the general sessions or a STAR or ISI Certificate course.