Roller Hockey Rules, History, Tips & Equipment

A history of Roller Hockey, how to play, tips for improvement & necessary equipment

How to Play Roller Hockey

Roller hockey is a team sport played on roller skates, where players use sticks to hit a puck into their opponent's goal.

Roller Hockey History

The first roller skates were invented by Joseph Merlin in London, in 1760. Organized roller skating sports evolved as the popularity of roller skating grew in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Roller hockey teams began playing in Europe as early as 1901. The first roller hockey world championship took place in 1936 in Stuttgart, Germany. In the mid 1980s and early 1990s manufacturers started marketing in-line skates to the public, which lead to the growing popularity of street hockey. By the late 1990s, roller hockey was one of the most popular sports in America. Today, roller hockey is played in 60 countries worldwide. Although popular as an amateur sport, roller hockey has found little success in the professional arena.

Roller Hockey Rules

Roller hockey is played by two teams of five players, four skaters and one goalkeeper, on a dry rink 145-185 ft long and 65-85 ft wide, divided in two halves by a center line, with one goal at each end. The team with the most goals at the end of two 12-25 minute halves wins.

Unlike ice hockey, roller hockey has no icing, no off sides, and does not allow body checks. Like ice hockey, a face off takes place after every stoppage of play, in the circle closest to where the ball was stopped. Stoppages include penalties, the ball going out-of-bounds, and the goalkeeper holding on to the ball. A faceoff consists of the referee dropping the ball between two opposing players.

Common penalties include high sticking, holding, interference, hooking and cross checking. Penalties result in a player being sent to the penalty box for two to five minutes. During this time the other team has a man advantage. This is referred to as a powerplay. Teams cannot be reduced to less than two players, plus the goalkeeper.

In the result of a tie at the end of regulation, and there must be a winner, extra time is added, and the first team to score wins.

Roller Hockey Tips

Good roller hockey players are good passers. When passing the puck or ball a player should have both their hands moving in the direction of the target. They should not swing their stick in an arc when releasing the puck. Players should bend their knees. When passing they should keep their stick in contact with the puck, and not slap at it. A pass should be made without making a sound.

Roller Hockey Equipment

Roller hockey requires every player to have skates, a hockey stick, helmet, facemask, mouth guard, elbow pads, gloves, and knee and shin protection. Goalkeepers have a special goalkeeper stick and blocker. Roller hockey is played with either a plastic puck or ball.