Why You Should Be Playing Roller Hockey

Why You Should Be Playing Roller Hockey

Let's Get Rolling
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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

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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ASU Baseball Is Already Knocking It Out Of The Park

All eyes are on the Sun Devils as they enter the national poll this previous week. The Sun Devils are the last unbeaten team left in the NCAA.

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Starting off the season 18-0? Not bad, considering the Sun Devils' haven't gone undefeated at the start of the NCAA baseball season since 2010 when they went 24-0, but honestly where did this come from? In the 2017-18 season, the Devils finished off with 23-32, sitting towards the bottom of the Pac-12. Now they're the top of the conference, past the usual Pac-12 baseball powerhouse, Oregon State.

On a team with only 27 on the roster, which makes it the smallest team in the Pac-12, you wouldn't really expect such an explosive start to the season. Take a look at the improvements made, though, and you'll see why.

For starters, catcher Sam Ferri is back healthy and ready for this season to start with both pitchers Alec Marsh and RJ Dabovich, who've both thrown some great games, but if we're being honest here, have been a little inconsistent with a few errors, but have been backed up by the offense to get the job done.

On offense, Hunter Bishop and Spencer Torkelson are the ones to watch out for. Torkelson was named Pac-12 freshman of the year last year, after setting the Pac-12 freshman record of home runs. Now he's back with some deadly at-bat presence, as you can always expect a few RBIs from him, and also doing a great job at infield (#TorkBomb). Bishop's following suit, with major at-bats against Notre Dame, Michigan State, and Xavier.

Safe to say being ranked #23 right now is huge for a program that struggled majorly in the past seasons and has had some great players transfer out recently. Despite being faced with huge adversity before the season, this lineup is really producing some good stuff this year, and by being undefeated through the first month of play really exemplified that.

Hats off to Head Coach Tracy Smith for helping these young men after having the program suffer for a while.

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