Roller Hockey

Roller hockey teams were playing in Europe as early as 1901. Although the sport's growth was disrupted by World War I, it quickly regained its momentum and the first world championships were held in Stuttgart, GER, in 1936. Today, roller hockey continues to enjoy wide popularity. In certain countries, most notably Spain, Portugal, Italy and throughout South America, the sport is second in popularity only to soccer and basketball. Roller hockey was played as a demonstration sport at the 1992Olympic Games in Barcelona, ESP.

The sport made its last appearance in The World Games in 2001 Akita, with Portugal winning its third consecutive title. The traditional hockey on quads was replaced by roller inline hockey in the most recent editions.



The early days ...

Roller hockey's origins are traced to England. It was first played at the Lava Rink in Denmark Hill, London, in 1885.The sport was then called rink hockey, and it was contested already by teams of ten men.England dominated the international competitions until the start of World War II. Latin countries started to make it their domain thereafter. Portugal, Spain and Argentina became the perennial champions.

Skates by Plimpton...

New Yorker James Plimpton solved the problem of controlling roller skates in 1863. His skates used a rubber cushion to anchor the axles. This cushion would compress when the body was leaned, enabling the wheels of the skate to turn slightly when the skater shifted his or her weight. Plimpton's design is considered the basis for the modern skates with wheels in the traditional quad configuration.

The rink ...

The rink has usually a polished wooden surface, but any flat, non-abrasive and non-slippery material such as treated cement is acceptable. It can have one out of three standard sizes: a minimum of 34 by17 meters; an average of 40 by 20 and a maximum of 44 by 22 meters, or any size between the minimum and maximum values that has a 2:1 size ratio with a 10% margin of error. The rink has rounded corners (1 m radius) and is surrounded by a 1 m wall. The wall also has a wooden base 2 cm wide and at least 20 cm high. Behind the goals there is a 4 m high net, even if there are no stands. If the ball hits the net, it's considered to be out of bounds.

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