Sports are very good ways to keep yourself fit and healthy. Not just that, but sports such as Roller Hockey also have the power to bring multiple ethnicities, castes, religions, and even nationalities of people together. Roller hockey is one of the most famous sports in the United States, Africa, and Europe and has been gaining popularity over the past few months.
What Is Roller Hockey?
Hockey is a game where two teams compete against each other, and the players of each team have to hit a ball through the other team’s goal. You aren’t allowed to touch the ball or kick it. It has to be hit with a stick, commonly known as a hockey stick.
In roller hockey, the same concept as ice hockey is followed except for a few minor changes. The players skate around the rink but they use roller skates instead of ice skates. Unlike ice hockey, roller hockey is played on a smooth floor, usually marble, and wood.
A team is made of 16 players, out of which five players are playing at any time. Four of them are supposed to slide the ball into the other team’s goal, and one is the goalkeeper. There is a list of rules roller hockey is played with. While each state previously had its own rules, a set of universally recognized, and accepted rules were eventually created which are now followed in most matches and competitions.
One of them is the foot rule. Players aren’t allowed to intentionally hit the ball, or puck with their feet. They are given a pass if the hit is unintentional. Likewise, players are forbidden from touching the puck or ball with their hands. The only person allowed to touch them is the goalkeeper.
Any team is also allowed to substitute any player it wants, immediately. This is called changing on the fly. The timing of the game also depends on the league and the level of expertise it holds. Any roller hockey game is played in two halves. For large leagues, half is 30 minutes, and for smaller leagues, this time can decrease to about 12 minutes.
However, if the two teams come to a tie, they are given extra time to play. Mostly, one of the teams scores an extra goal during this time and wins the game. If at any time the game is interrupted, it starts with a face-off. Two players, one from each team, stand opposite each other. The ball or puck is dropped from a height on the ground. Both the players compete to get the ball under their control.
The term roller hockey can be further broken down into parts, inline hockey, roller hockey, and skater hockey. Roller hockey is also referred to as “quad” hockey. It is very popular in the USA, Italy, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Switzerland, Portugal, Egypt, and the UK.
History of Roller Hockey
Ice hockey evolved from normal hockey. Ice hockey was enjoyed in the winter months, however, that wasn’t enough for some hockey enthusiasts. It is still considered one of the best winter sports around the world.
Soon roller hockey was introduced to the world. The first roller skates were introduced to the world in 1735, by John Joseph Merlin. However, in 1878, the first game of quad or hardball hockey was played in the Denmark Rink in London, England. In its early days, the game was called “roller polo”. Roller hockey became popular in the United States of America, when the National Roller Polo League was set up in Dayton, Ohio. This was in the year 1882.
By 1884, the Massachusetts Roller Polo league had about 14 teams under its wing. In the 19th and 20th centuries, roller hockey became popular, and more and more matches started being held. There were tournaments both nationwide, and internationally, and teams were being sent to compete in them.
The first Roller Hockey World Championship was organized in Stuttgart, Germany, in the year 1936. To date, there have been 44 roller hockey world cups, with Spain leading with 17 wins, and Portugal following with 16 wins.
Types of Roller Hockey
Quad or Rink Hockey
Quad or rink hockey is played using quad skates. This is still the most popular type of roller hockey in the world. The game is played with five players on each side, just like inline hockey. There are two 25-minute halves and a 15-minute break between them. There are also two, 5-minute goal times, called the golden goal. This is called sudden death and is used to decide the winner of a match.
The rink where quad hockey is played is usually made of polished wood. Cement is uncommon but acceptable. Quad hockey also allows you to adjust the playing time according to the conditions, and the age of the players. However, this has to be decided before the game starts. Other rules about the game are available on the rulebook, published on the World Skate website.
Inline Roller Hockey
Inline hockey is extremely similar to ice hockey. It uses inline skates and a puck. However, unlike ice hockey, the game is not played over a frozen rink. The material of the rink can be marble, cement, asphalt, and other such smooth materials. The surface shouldn’t be slippery though.
Since the surface isn’t as smooth as ice, the puck is made of a low-resistant material. This reduces friction so the puck moves around faster. The players are given long sticks with blades. They use these to slide the puck around in the rink. While inline roller hockey is a contact sport, there are strict punishments for fighting, and body-checking.
These penalties are usually the offending player being sent out of the rink, and into the penalty box. A Minor penalty means 2 minutes, and a major penalty means 5 minutes out of the rink. The game continues, and the team bearing the penalty has to play with one less player.
The biggest feature of any game of inline hockey is the puck going dead. If the puck slides off the designated playing space, the game is stopped with whistles. Even if the puck is brought back, it will not be used again. The puck is said to have gone dead.
Equipment Used in Roller Hockey
Sticks – Sticks are usually made of wood, however, there are other materials approved by the World Skate Organization. Sticks for quad hockey are different from inline hockey. Inline hockey sticks have blades in them. Sticks for players and goalkeepers are different too.
Pucks – Low-resistant pucks made of pressed plastic are used. These reduce resistance and make for a faster game-playing experience.
Skates – There are two different types of skates, inline skates, and quad skates. Both have wheels, yet have slightly different builds.
Protective Material – Knee caps, helmets, elbow guards, shin guards, neck guards, and gloves are necessary for any player’s safety. No length of skin should be revealed below the chin.
Gloves – Goalkeepers need special gloves to catch the puck coming towards them.
Buy the Best Roller Hockey Kit
If you are a big fan of roller hockey, you would need to purchase all the equipment to get started with this sport. Here are a few of the best recommendations that have exceptionally high performance.
Skates and sticks are considered to be two of the most important pieces of equipment when it comes to roller hockey. The sticks would help you out in the game while the skates are important for balancing out and taking extreme maneuvers easily. For this reason, a smooth sailing skate, such as this one, is highly recommended. Users who bought these skates said that they were happy with the comfortability factor of these skates. Additionally, they have 100% heat mobility allowing you to play a better game every time.
The sizes available are 6 to 13 but keep in mind that you should buy the skate size 1.5 sizes down from the regular shoe size. The fact that these skates are lightweight is quite helpful in “upping” your game by moving freely without any extra resistance. The wheels are 80mm while the bearings are Abec 7 608 bearings. Keep in mind that these are for adults so don't buy them for children. If you want one for the children, see the option below.
Rollerblade is one brand that is known for some of the best inline skates and roller hockey skates in the market. They make it for kids as well as for seniors. However, this particular one is for all those young enthusiasts who are interested in inline skates or want to begin playing roller hockey.
The main reason why we recommend these inline skates is that they are a good value for your money. Why? Because these are adjustable and comfortable roller skates. As the children are in the growing age where their feet size can grow at an exponentially high rate, the shoes may get smaller for them over time. However, these are four-way adjustable skates that allow you to use them for a long time. Besides, the child will feel comfortable mainly because of the padded tongue with a lace closure as well.
Another major reason why we recommend this option is that these roller hockey skates are more durable than the other ones available in the market. This is mainly because they have been made of aluminum. This further makes it easier for the children to use these roller hockey skates because aluminum is quite lightweight. Last but not the least, the wheel specifications of these skates are ABEC 5 bearings with 72 mm.
If you are among those who are playing roller hockey with quad skates instead of inline skates, then this option should be the priority choice. The reason? They have been exceptional when it comes to performance. Most people who purchased these skates said that the pair they owned lasted over a couple of months which shows you that they are not just some common ones in the market. Rather, they are one quality product you can't miss when playing roller hockey.
The Faux Leather is not only durable but also gives them a shine that lasts long. You won't feel extra moisture or heat in your feet because of the breathable fabric which will help you stay in the most convenient position throughout the game.
High-quality PU wheels are used rather than the simple ones which allow for sharp turns, better grip, and easy flow as well. They can absorb shocks easily so you can play on rough surfaces as well. This allows for increased safety as well. Just like the other roller hockey skates, these ones also come with ABEC-7 Bearings which are one of the most durable ones as per industry standards.
There is also a fancy bag coming alone with these roller hockey shoes so you can carry them around anywhere without any hassle.
Fans of roller hockey tend to play this sport in the streets as well. This is because roller hockey is played on a specific surface that is not present everywhere. To accommodate for a rougher surface such as road, driveway, or any other, getting the smooth street hockey pucks is quite essential. For this reason, we recommend the ones offered by Franklin Sports as they have been tried and tested. They proved excellent especially for the beginners who are just practicing and polishing their roller hockey skills.
Besides, you can also play roller hockey at night times. This is because these pucks glow in the dark allowing you for a true night street roller hockey experience. Even when it comes to the day times, these pucks are bright and shiny which allows for easy tracking and better control over the puck movement as well. Most users who bought this pack were satisfied with the performance which is why they are among our top recommendations as well.
Finding a suitable type of gloves particularly for the purpose of roller hockey may seem like a difficult task but it is surely not impossible. The Mylec MK5 Pro Player Gloves are the right ones for roller hockey mainly because of the fact that they have breathable fabric. This allows you to control and maneuver the stick easily without feeling any excessive heat or moisture inside the glove. After being tested by many users, it has been found out that these gloves have exceptional performance.
If you are a fan of baseball and hockey, both, then you are in luck. This is because this one is designed for both, baseball players and roller hockey players. To make sure that the players have the perfect grip at all times, the special m-grip technology has been used in this. This is a special design feature of the gloves allowing the users to have maximum control. The leather palm is what helps in achieving that.
One of the most well-recognized brands when it comes to purchasing hockey sticks is Franklin Sports. The company has designed some of the most premium quality sticks used in major championships all over the world. If you are an adult who loves playing hockey, this stick is for you. It is available in two variants, Right and Left, as per your preference.
The 40 inches Youth is what makes it ideal for young ones while extra tall people can get the 52 inches Junior variant. The shaft is made out of multi-ply wood which includes poplar and birch. As a result, it has the ideal amount of flex while not affecting the durability factor in any way. Those who use the sticks roughly would be relieved to know that the blade is replaceable. Although it won't break down easily because it is made with specific high-impact polymers, in case it does, you can buy a new one off of Amazon.com. Choose your favorite color and try it today.
In case you are looking for hockey sticks for kids and not adults, this option is more suitable for you. Not only that, it provides you with a better value for money as well, mainly because there are two sticks along with a ball for a very low price tag. It can be the ideal equipment for the young one to learn how to play roller hockey. The sticks are designed in a way that they are flexible and resistant to natural wear and tear so that they last long.
For the excellent performance and high user satisfaction rate, it has also been ranked as an Amazon’s Choice product. Keep in mind that the puck is ideal for a floor with pavement on it. While an adult roller hockey stick is specific to left or right-hand users at times, this one isn't and has a straight blade design so that both “lefties” and “righties” can play easily.
Roller hockey has been gaining popularity, steadily for the last two centuries. Almost 40 countries in the world now play the sport and participate in the Roller Hockey World Championship. The game has evolved into a lot of different versions, however, world skate is now responsible for the upkeep of the game and its rules. No matter how good roller hockey is, some people still believe that it is slower and less thrilling than ice hockey.