Here's a summary of this chapter....
Roller hockey has its roots in several places around the world. In the United States, during the 1930's and 40's, playing organized hockey on wheels was a great way to emulate a favorite player from the National Hockey League (NHL).
During the late-1970's and 80's, inline skates became a training tool for ice hockey players during their off season as well as an alternative activity for the health conscious. As people found out how easy and fun skating on inlines was, popularity soared. Pickup hockey games were being played again as they were in the 30's and 40's, only this time incorporating current equipment technologies.
Roller Hockey International (RHI) was established to form a unified and cohesive national roller hockey organization. The game is played using rules derived from ice hockey, with modifications made to allow for more offensive play, fewer line calls (offsides and icing), and one less player on each team. With fewer players, roller hockey is designed to utilize the more open playing surface to showcase skating, passing, and puck control skills.
Today, the sport continues to grow rapidly, cited as the fastest growing U.S. sport by the National Sporting Goods Association. As a result of its popularity, permanent rinks are now being built specifically to house league and tournament play. With millions of people playing, teams are competing all over the country, as well as the world. Since roller hockey minimizes physical contact as compared to its ice hockey counterpart, the sport is being enjoyed by a larger segment of both sexes. Girl's and women's teams are playing, as well as coed teams.
As more facilities become available for the sport, organized roller hockey will continue to grow at quantum paces, both inside and outside of the United States. Roller hockey will become more integrated into college and high school athletic programs as well as city sponsored programs. In addition, competition among world roller hockey teams should allow for this sport to be added to the Olympics. The ability of roller hockey players to effectively play ice hockey, and vice versa, will also improve the caliber and play of both sports. The great element about roller hockey is that whether you have a full facility or just a parking lot, the game can always be played.