My Rink History
Response Form


Steve Hughson's Backyard Rink 2004/05
Boylston, MA  USA

98' X 39'


Steve writes: 

"Thanks for putting together the back yard rink website. It's nice to know that there are so many more ice men and woman who enjoy gliding around the back yard as I do. The website helps to promote backyard ice and provides a great service to us amateur icemen. I thank you for this.

I am from Boylston, Massachusetts and would like to enter my back yard ice rink in to the contest. I'm lucky to have a relatively flat and shady area for the rink. This is my third year with a rink at this location, six years total. The first year rink at my current location was about 70' then the next year was about 80'. Last summer I cleared trees and in the fall rented a tractor to clear stumps and level the rink area now at a little over 100'. My manifest destiny policy is complete as I'm at the fence and can go no further. I have four children. My three sons played and I coached youth hockey for several years and my daughter can hang right with them. We skate all the time and thoroughly enjoy having a back yard rink.

Here are some facts and features about the rink.

Construction: Rink frame consists of landscaping timbers (8" X 8" X 8' L) laid down end to end in a large oblong ring. Each timber is lightly connected with a small (6" X 6") piece of sheet metal folded in the middle to form an L. Four drywall screws, two on each end secure the timbers together. The timbers are levelled with string and bubble levels. They are shimmed with pieces of wood and brick. Gaps are filled with dirt and or pine needles. There is a 100' X 40' X 6mm plastic liner. I pump water from my pool into the rink and then back again in the spring.

Special Features:
  • Puck bumper. There is a puck bumper all the way around the rink. The bumper is made of 2 X 8's at the ends and simple 2 X 4's along the sides. Add a little snow and it makes a fine border.
  • Rounded corners. These are easily formed during placement of the rink frame. Rounded corners may slightly detract from the overall ice surface area but using the rounded corners gives more passing and clearing options when playing hockey.
  • Overhead lighting. I have a string of six flood lights suspended over the middle of the rink from end to end. I use 150 watt bulbs at the ends and 90 watt in the middle. The lights are about 20' apart and the lighted area from each bulb overlaps to make puck visibility very good while playing hockey at night. No dark zones or heavy shadows.
  • Hockey goals. They are metal framed but not heavy duty. My oldest son has a pretty good slapshot and hasn't destroyed them yet.
  • Netting. There is netting at each end that covers much of the area behind the goal. The netting is about 35' wide and 4' high. This helps cut down on lost pucks. I've only lost about 35 pucks in the deep snow so far. I'll recover most of them in the spring.
  • Carpeted deck. At one corner of the rink I have two pieces of 4x8 plywood laid down along the side of the rink for resting or putting on skates. The plywood is lightly nailed to a crude 2x6 frame which brings the deck level with ice surface. Pieces of old discarded (recycled) carpet are placed on the plywood. The deck is usually ringed with folding or plastic lawn chairs.
  • Fire pit. This is the portable, lobster cage type. Mostly used on weekends or very cold days when we have guests over for a little good, clean and cold fun.
  • Music. I have a nearby outdoor electrical receptacle to plug in a radio or cd player."

Very impressive Steve. Thanks for the pics.



Last Updated on Dec 30, 2005