Inline hockey is a good recreational sport for skaters of any age. It can also be used to cross-train for ice hockey during the off-season - the inspiration for Scott and Brennan Olson's Rollerblade revolution. Inline hockey is a form of roller hockey that is a lot like ice hockey by design.
Inline hockey is also a good choice for a competitive sport for adults or kids of any age or gender who want a team activity that requires a combination of speed, maneuverability and quick thinking. In order to play either recreational, cross-training or professional inline hockey, players need special inline skates and other gear:
- Inline hockey skates
- Elbow pads
- Helmet and protective gear
- Hockey stick
- Hockey puck
This team sport is best played on a smooth plastic surface that creates minimal friction for the puck and good traction for inline hockey wheels. The game is played by two teams, consisting of four skaters and one goalie, on a rink divided in half by a center line, with a net at each end of the rink. The game is played in three 15-minute periods. On the competitive level, Inline hockey follows the rules of a national or international governing body. Recreational hockey leagues often make rule changes to accommodate local needs like the size of the rink or timing for periods and penalties.
Inline hockey is a popular year-round sport at amateur, scholastic, and professional levels in areas that have inline hockey rinks with the correct playing surface. In some countries, the inline hockey is also played on wooden floors in indoor sports halls. Since it can be played on any smooth dry surface, inline hockey can be played for fun in almost any sports center. Inline hockey is known by many names depending on which region of the world it is played, variations on equipment use and the game surface location.
- Inline hockey
- Roller hockey
- Longstick hockey
- Dek hockey
- Road hockey
- Street hockey
- Ball hockey
- Skater hockey
Professional inline hockey has existed in North America since 1993 with teams in the United States and Canada. In the United States, inline hockey is currently organized by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), which is part of USA Roller Sports, and USA Hockey Inline.
There are two types of governing bodies for inline hockey. Some belong to the rollers sports community and others belong to the ice hockey community. Inline hockey is governed on the international level by International Ice Hockey Federation, which organizes IIHF Inline Hockey World Championships and the Federation Internationale de Roller Sports which organizes FIRS Inline Hockey World Championships.
Don't run off and buy hockey skates right away. The kind of skating that interests you will determine the type of training, skates and gear you will need. Take a good look at many of the inline skating roller sports options:
- Recreational inline skating includes a variety of activities that are suitable for skaters of all ages and many skating levels.
- Inline fitness skating is more goal-oriented skating to achieve medical, mental or physical benefits.
- Street and road skating are organized group events on public thoroughfares and smooth paved roads.
- Speed skating and inline racing are recognized as competitive disciplines around the world.
- Marathon skating events are taking place on every continent.
- Freestyle slalom skating lets you dance and spin around cones.
- Dryland skating or inline figure skating is very similar to ice figure skating.
- Inline hockey skating is a popular year-round sport at amateur, scholastic, and professional levels.
- Inline roller soccer is a unique version of regular soccer.
- Roller cricket athletes play all batting, bowling and fielding positions on roller skates.
- Roll ball is becoming a popular school sport.
- Inline basketball is an easy roller sport to develop.
- Aggressive and stunt skating includes jumps, grinds, slides and flips.
- Urban inline skating is a great activity for young or young-at-heart thrill-seekers.
- Skate cross is an aggressive ramp and obstacle course race on inline or quad skates.
- Off road and all terrain skating combines mountain biking and skiing with inline skating.
- Nordic inline skating is also called cross-skating or Nordic blading.
- Kite skating is an extreme inline-based roller sport.
- Wind skating or skate sailing is a wind powered inline sport.
- Downhill racing is similar to the Alpine downhill ski racing.
You can also get a quick overview of many inline skating sports. If you are not sure that your interests will be dedicated to any one of these specific skating styles, start by building a good foundation in recreational or fitness activities and training. Good basic skills will take you in any direction that you want to roll. If you do not find an inline roller sport that is just right for you, then take a look at the quad skating sports opportunities.