Why You Should Be Playing Roller Hockey

Why You Should Be Playing Roller Hockey

Let's Get Rolling
5244
views

Roller hockey -- yes it's hockey just on wheels. There are many skeptics of the sport, people who say "there's no checking" or "It's not real hockey." Well, I have news for you skeptics, you're wrong. I have played the sport since I was 12 years old and over the years I have gained so many memories, friends and skills. No, it is not played on ice and it doesn't cost $1000 a season. There are many reasons I chose to play the sport and I would love to persuade athletes to play this great sport.

1.The Cost

To play roller hockey, it doesn't cost too much. The sport is cheaper than ice hockey and is a good way to save money. Roller hockey is mostly a summer sport so most ice hockey players play during the off season. The sport is much cheaper mostly because there is no ice that has to be kept up. Roller hockey is played on a sport court, therefore there is no need for a Zamboni. Equipment can be another story as it is usually just as expensive as ice hockey. All of the equipment is the same as ice besides the skates and shoulder pads. The biggest company that produces roller hockey skates is Mission and they can range anywhere from $150-$600. Other companies include CCM, Bauer, Verbero and Reebok. Basically any ice hockey company can be associated with roller as well.

2. Endless Amounts of Talent

There are so many National Hockey League players that have laced up, rolled out and touched the sport court. Some players include Bobby Ryan of the Anaheim Ducks, Joel Ward of the San Jose Sharks, Pat Maroon of the Edmonton Oilers, Tom McCollum of the Detroit Red Wings, Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, Paul Stastny of the St.Louis Blues and many more. There are also many D1 NCAA ice hockey players that have touched the sport court. Two players that are changing the game of roller hockey are Tyler Spezia and Brandon Hawkins of Bowling Green.

Now to the players who have helped evolve roller hockey over the years, some of the players who have stayed dedicated to the sport for many years. Travis Noe is considered to be the best roller hockey player in the world as he has helped Team USA reach great heights and has also led his tournament teams, the Alkali RPD and the Pama Cyclones, to several championships. Some other players include Matt White, PJ Dimartino, Junior Cadiz, Shane Fox, goaltender Micheal Maczynski and countless others. These players have all played at the highest levels of roller hockey and have proceeded to make a name for themselves on and off the court.

3. So Many Different Leagues and Tournaments

Whether you're an intermediate to beginner player or a more advanced pro player, you can bet there is a league for you. Pro leagues/tournaments are usually there for the players who have excelled in the sport over the years and are looking for top of the line competition, usually resulting in a cash prize. The leagues include the NRHL or the National Roller Hockey League. This league was started in Michigan and just had their inaugural season. The NRHL posses many great pro level and former NHL players.

Another league is MLRH or Major League Roller Hockey that is played both in the US and in Europe. Onto some of the pro tournaments, the biggest name in roller hockey is NARCH or the North American Roller Hockey Championships. These tournaments possess the biggest names in the sport and actually also appeal to younger players as well. State Wars is another big name in the game. There is a tournament called the Pama Pro Invitational where only the biggest and best players and teams get invited to play for a cash prize of $20,000. There is also collegiate roller hockey that has spread all over the US and is now on almost every college campus. Some schools that participate in the NCRHA (National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association) include Boston, Neumann, Michigan State, Arizona State, and UNLV.

Now if you combine all of these leagues and tournaments, you get the IIHF Inline Hockey Championships. This can be considered the highest level in roller hockey, as teams such as Team USA, Germany, France, Australia, Canada and other teams from all over the world come out to play for gold. I know that is a lot to digest, but there are also smaller name house leagues that are meant for beginner to advanced level players. The leagues I grew up playing in have given me so many great friends, memories and skills. Western New York Roller Hockey, run by roller hockey's own and an amazing person and friend to me and my family, Eric Haak. The Buffalo Warriors are also another great league that I have had and still have the pleasure to play in. The people are what makes these leagues prosper. I would just like to thank the great people that have touched my life throughout the years you all know who you are. I cannot recommend playing in a house league enough because the people you meet will become inseparable.

4. Silence the Critics

So much of the backlash on roller hockey is just pure ignorance. Most people who say roller hockey isn't real hockey have never played the sport. Yes, ice hockey is as physical as it gets but roller hockey has its moments. There is usually no checking unless in a higher level tournament like TORHS or league like MLRH. There typically isn't fighting either but in certain tournaments and in Major League Roller Hockey there is full contact fighting. Some people say fighting just ruins the game of roller hockey because the game is almost all finesse. Whereas ice hockey is almost all physical play and some finesse. There is less risk for an injury in roller hockey compared to ice hockey, where you have to worry about getting your head taken off if its down. There will always be physical play because it doesn't matter what sport it is -- tempers will flare.

Another common misconception of roller hockey is that it ruins your ice hockey skills. What happens is actually the exact opposite roller hockey will make you a better ice hockey player. Pat Maroon of the Edmonton Oilers is a huge ambassador for the sport and has played roller hockey at the highest level. Pat has repeatedly said that roller has helped his hands tremendously. So before you diss the sport, play it and give it some time before forming an opinion.

5. Be Apart Of The Comeback

Believe it or not, roller hockey once aired on ESPN back in the 1990s when roller hockey was new and in. All of this publicity for the sport sparked a pro league, the RHI, or Roller Hockey International. The league was started in 1992 and ultimately went under in 2001. The league had great success and had teams all over the United States and Canada, including the Buffalo Stampede, Anaheim Bullfrogs, St.Louis Vipers, Pittsburgh Phantoms and 27 other teams. Ever since the league went under there hasn't been much in the way of a pro roller hockey league. There have been many attempts such as Major League Roller Hockey and the National Roller Hockey League. There just simply isn't enough interest in this day and age. You can be apart of the comeback because roller hockey is on it's way back, and in some places such as California, the sport is bigger than it has ever been. We need to be proactive, it's time for publicity. This is one sport that should be in the Olympics and should have more fans then it has. So whether you're a house player or pro player, you can make a difference, so let's get rolling.

Cover Image Credit: www.Facebook.com

Popular Right Now

A Letter To My Humans On Our Last Day Together

We never thought this day would come.
148090
views

I didn't sleep much last night after I saw your tears. I would have gotten up to snuggle you, but I am just too weak. We both know my time with you is coming close to its end, and I just can't believe it how fast it has happened.

I remember the first time I saw you like it was yesterday.

You guys were squealing and jumping all around, because you were going home with a new dog. Dad, I can still feel your strong hands lifting me from the crate where the rest of my puppy brothers and sisters were snuggled around my warm, comforting puppy Momma. You held me up so that my chunky belly and floppy wrinkles squished my face together, and looked me right in the eyes, grinning, “She's the one."

I was so nervous on the way to my new home, I really didn't know what to expect.

But now, 12 years later as I sit in the sun on the front porch, trying to keep my wise, old eyes open, I am so grateful for you. We have been through it all together.

Twelve “First Days of School." Losing your first teeth. Watching Mom hang great tests on the refrigerator. Letting you guys use my fur as a tissue for your tears. Sneaking Halloween candy from your pillowcases.

Keeping quiet while Santa put your gifts under the tree each year. Never telling Mom and Dad when everyone started sneaking around. Being at the door to greet you no matter how long you were gone. Getting to be in senior pictures. Waking you up with big, sloppy kisses despite the sun not even being up.

Always going to the basement first, to make sure there wasn't anything scary. Catching your first fish. First dates. Every birthday. Prom pictures. Happily watching dad as he taught the boys how to throw every kind of ball. Chasing the sticks you threw, even though it got harder over the years.

Cuddling every time any of you weren't feeling well. Running in the sprinkler all summer long. Claiming the title “Shotgun Rider" when you guys finally learned how to drive. Watching you cry in mom and dads arms before your graduation. Feeling lost every time you went on vacation without me.

Witnessing the awkward years that you magically all overcame. Hearing my siblings learn to read. Comforting you when you lost grandma and grandpa. Listening to your phone conversations. Celebrating new jobs. Licking your scraped knees when you would fall.

Hearing your shower singing. Sidewalk chalk and bubbles in the sun. New pets. Family reunions. Sleepovers. Watching you wave goodbye to me as the jam-packed car sped up the driveway to drop you off at college. So many memories in what feels like so little time.

When the time comes today, we will all be crying. We won't want to say goodbye. My eyes might look glossy, but just know that I feel your love and I see you hugging each other. I love that, I love when we are all together.

I want you to remember the times we shared, every milestone that I got to be a part of.

I won't be waiting for you at the door anymore and my fur will slowly stop covering your clothes. It will be different, and the house will feel empty. But I will be there in spirit.

No matter how bad of a game you played, how terrible your work day was, how ugly your outfit is, how bad you smell, how much money you have, I could go on; I will always love you just the way you are. You cared for me and I cared for you. We are companions, partners in crime.

To you, I was simply a part of your life, but to me, you were my entire life.

Thank you for letting me grow up with you.

Love always,

Your family dog

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Giannis Antetokounmpo And Christian Yelich Have Put Milwaukee Back On The Map

Two small market teams making sure the world knows who they are

95
views

"MVP" is currently being chanted around the city of Milwaukee and the people of Milwaukee aren't just talking about one person. Giannis Antetokounmpo, a forward for the Milwaukee Bucks and Christian Yelich, an outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers. Giannis is on the path to winning this year's NBA MVP and Yelich, who happened to win the NL MVP last year, is showing no doubts on potentially becoming this year's MVP as well.

Both the Bucks and the Brewers have struggled in the past few years. The Bucks finished their 2013-2014 season with a record of 15-67. On top of that, they have been playing in the BMO Harris Bradley Center for the past couple of decades. The Bradley Center was intentionally built for hockey and not basketball so attending games for the Bucks sometimes had you in the nosebleeds barely seeing what was going on on the court. The Bucks struggled after their 2013-2014 season with records of 41-41 (2014-2015) and 33-49 (2015-2016). Now, the Bucks have recently finished their regular season and moved to the playoffs. From 15-67 just five years ago, to now 60-22 which gave them the best record in the NBA, the number one seed in the East and home-court advantage, Giannis has proved himself as potentially one of the greatest players the NBA and the Bucks franchise will ever see.

The Bucks now have a new arena that opened this season, Fiserv Forum, which is built specifically for the Bucks (and Marquette) instead of hockey. Looking back on the Bucks in their previous years compared to now, the Bucks have sold out every single game this season. Something Milwaukee never thought they would see from being a small market team. From my experience, while working for the Bucks, you can see the difference in the crowd and feel their enthusiasm and excitement radiating off of the fans. And this is all thanks to Mr. Antetokounmpo who is making his mark here in Milwaukee. Giannis has won Eastern Conference Player of the Month for October/November, December, February and March/April and even earned his spot as Eastern Conference captain for the All-Star game this year. Giannis may be considered in his prime right now, but he is only 24-years-old which means he has plenty of time to only make himself better.

The Brewers had won the NL Central Divison back in 2011 but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. After that, they struggled a bit and haven't won the title since until last year in 2018. He brought the Brewers to the NLCS last season, but unfortunately, they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yelich had 36 home runs last season and already has eight (as of 4/16/19) this season. He happens to be a great right fielder as well. In last night's (4/15/19) game against the Cardinals, Yelich alone scored three home runs.

Miller Park has been filling up more and more each game of Brewers fans. Being a small market team like their cross-city friends, the Bucks, bringing home an MVP title as well as a division title, it makes everyone aware of their greatness and dedication. The season may have just started back up again, but there is no doubt, if Yelich and his teammates keep playing like they are right now, they will have another shot of making it to the World Series.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Christian Yelich have brought and will continue to bring excitement and greatness to Milwaukee which is something the city hasn't seen in a while. This era of sports will surely be remembered for a long time by the people of Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

Related Content

Facebook Comments