Nothing against the ice but around here, we prefer our hockey on wheels. Roller hockey actually has a pretty storied history, with the first game on blades dating back to the 1870s.
There are two variants of this beloved game, rink hockey, and inline hockey. The difference comes down to a few rules and the skates themselves.
Rink hockey is played on traditional quad skates, with two wheels on either side of the foot. This version uses a ball, not a puck, and sticks resemble bandy or shinty counterparts. Skating is really the star of this sport, with each player demonstrating impressive footwork to move the ball to the net.
Rink hockey has traveled to 60 different countries and is known by many other names, including quad hockey, international-style ball hockey, roller hockey, and hardball hockey. The World Roller Games is the biggest competition for rink hockey players out there right now, with the championship tournament occurring once every two years.
Inline hockey, on the other hand, is played on blades and mirrors ice hockey more closely. That is to say; it’s more of a contact sport. Players push, shove, and do whatever it takes — barring body checking — to get the puck into the net. You might know this one by its other names, long stick hockey, street hockey, or just straight-up roller hockey.
Tournaments are the name of the game with inline hockey, but the sport is growing in popularity with youth clubs popping up all over the country.
Major League Roller Hockey has been the home for American roller hockey, but the league has been on hiatus since 2017. As such, many of the best competitive teams have been defunct for a few years now, but we’re hopeful they’ll get a comeback tour together soon. We’d do anything to see the New Jersey Rockin' Rollers and the Anaheim Bullfrogs back in the rink again.
If you can remember the glory days of the 90s, you definitely have to check out our collection of roller hockey vintage tees.
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