Inline hockey is similar to ice hockey, from which it is derived in the late 1980s. The game is played by two teams consisting of four skaters and one goalie on a dry rink divided into two halves by a center line, and with one protective net at each end of the rink. Beyond the obvious differences between ice and inline skates, there are a few other things setting inline apart from the game on ice. Inline hockey is played as a non-checking sport. Contact is allowed, but only when aiming to play the puck. Players tend to have more time on the puck, and the game is more free flowing.
Inline Roller Hockey features in The World Games 2013; check the event calendar for details about when it is scheduled.
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Spectacular and ...
Roller inline hockey's speed and spectacle make it successful by any standard. It is played on skates that have generally four wheels attached in an "in-line" configuration, with a stick and with a puck. The game goes over two periods of 20 minutes. Four skaters and a goalie per team on a smooth surface that could be wooden, asphalt or cement. The field of play's dimensions may vary between 20 and 30 meters in width and 40 and 60 meters in length.
It is not inline roller ...
The order in which the first two words are arranged in the sport's official denomination, roller inline hockey, stakes out a legitimate claim by the International Roller Sports Federation, FIRS. Inline skating is a roller sport, inline hockey should therefore be considered as one too.
FIRS sanctioned the first World Inline Hockey Championships ever in Chicago, USA, in 1995. And even though FIRS National Federations around the world have perpetuated annual inline world championships for men, women and juniors, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) launched its own world championships in 1996.
The authority over the young sport has been in dispute between FIRS and IIHF ever since. Only now have some of the leading inline hockey nations, the USA among them, started to fully subscribe to what appeared sound logic from day one: "Where's the ice? It is played on wheels and they roll!" Roller inline hockey!
Wikipedia says ...
Under the headline "Chief differences from ice hockey":
Although inline hockey appears, at first glance, to simply be ice hockey on inline skates, this single change ramifies through the rest of the game, resulting in important differences between the two sports.
Inline hockey is typically played at room temperature on a surface that, rather than being made from (frozen) water, is kept dry to protect the bearings in the skate wheels. Several surface materials are used, including plastic tiles, wood, and sealed concrete; in general, surfaces try to balance the ability of wheels to grip against the ability of the puck to slide freely. None of these surfaces, however, are as smooth as ice; as a result, the puck is made of a much lighter plastic material, and rests on small plastic nubs to reduce friction with the rink surface.
Besides these equipment differences, inline hockey is generally a less physical sport. Most leagues punish fighting harshly, and body checking is usually a penalty. Leagues generally require players to wear full face masks, but otherwise, players tend to wear lighter clothes and less protective padding.
There are other rules differences as well. Each team fields only four skaters (plus a goaltender), rather than ice hockey's five. Many leagues do not stop play for icing. Offsides rules are generally looser as well; a few leagues call offsides only on the center line, while most omit the rule entirely.
All of this adds up to a game focused more on skill and speed and less on strength and intimidation. Skaters have more room to maneuver and fewer obstacles to slow them down. Games are typically faster-paced and higher-scoring, while still retaining many of the same skills and strategies as ice hockey.