View Full Version : Current State of inline hockey
06-22-2006, 08:21 PM
I was wondering what the state of inline hockey is across the country. Is the sport growing or fading? Does anyone have any market research on this?
I play in Southern California (Orange County) and the sport seems pretty popular here.
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by FatAndSlow on 06/22/06 07:22 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
06-22-2006, 11:44 PM
If your talking grassroots, I can't really help you. if your talking high level inline, check out the post: "Great season for P.I.H.A.", under the Professional Inline Hockey heading
06-26-2006, 12:37 AM
Nation wide, it's down. You don't see many of the 6 and 8u divisions any more in regionals. Thats a problem.
06-26-2006, 03:16 AM
True market research takes time and money. I'm not sure that anyone's putting in the effort (and money) right now.
However, I believe that the sport grew like crazy through about 1999, and then crashed along with the Internet boom and Roller Hockey International. There was a faddish aspect to inline hockey that bums me out -- but maybe that's good... the people who were in it solely for the money are now mostly gone.
Inline hockey has come back a bit since then, with good people in many areas who are working very hard to bring the sport back to its previous levels.
That's just off the top of my head -- I'm actually writing a book about Roller Hockey International, and I'm very interested in what IHC's readers think happened to pro inline hockey specifically, and inline hockey in general.
Inline Hockey Central
06-26-2006, 08:51 AM
Take this for what its worth...
The feedback I have gotten from some players (in regions where ice AND inline are available) is "why would I play inline when I can play ice". From my personal experience, when inline was booming in the late 90's it was a cheaper alternative to ice. Now, at least in some areas, the cost of inline is catching up to ice. So, in some peoples mind, why settle for the alternative.
It is too bad that inline is stuck with the "little brother to ice hockey" syndrome. But it is...
I have had several incredible ice players refuse to try out for my teams because they thumb their noses at inline. "I play ice". The few that I have convinced into giving it a try, love it. And they are very surprised at just how different the two sports are.
06-26-2006, 01:12 PM
Can't disagree with that. Inline in DFW is within a dollar or two (on a per hour basis) of Ice. I prefer inline, the speed, momentum, and type of play, but there's more ice time available. A lot of the time I've even been getting ice time considerably cheaper than inline, with discounts. I would still play inline every day if I could, but the kids find a lot more glamour in playing ice.
06-26-2006, 03:42 PM
Agreed - inline has creeped up enough in price that it's close to ice in many places. Additionally, many rink directors are realizing that they can make more money off events and alternative sports on the surface (like soccer, volleyball and lacrosse) and the amount of surface time available has decreased substantially.
06-26-2006, 10:52 PM
Monument, Colorado is where we call our home rink. (Colorado Blizzard). There were 2 surfaces up until the new owners decided to convert one rink to ice. Now there is not nearly enough time for roller practices with all the highschools and club teams that skate out of Soc N Roll. Not taking into consideration the house league and tournaments. Both rinks were filled up all the time. Now we are all fighting for time on one rink and the sheet of ice sits empty. Ice time is cheap at Soc N roll right now. Without 2 roller rinks, kids are going to the ice rink.
It's hurting the inline numbers in the county and the ice sheet is losing money.
06-27-2006, 08:32 AM
You would think with the cost of maintaining an ice surface that the sport court would show so much more of a profit. I still can't figure why someone would convert to ice when all you have to do is turn off the light and go home after an inline night. No chillers, no zamboni expense, no dehumidifiers etc, etc.
06-27-2006, 11:47 AM
Actually NLane you do need a Zamboni (floor cleaner) to maintain a roller rink. Not as big as the ice one's but very expensive and expensive to maintain. You also have to deal with having central heating & air conditioning if your planing to do roller all year long. Roller during the Summer in a hot rink isn't pleasent! No matter how many fans you turn on. Condensation during the winter months is also a problem when you don't have the heating.
06-27-2006, 12:01 PM
But it doesn't have to run 24/7 and you can use man labor to clean the floor if necessary. Still not $30000-40000 a month's worth. Some rinks just open the big garage doors for part of the year (May in Colorado as I remember).
06-27-2006, 12:08 PM
NLane your right you can have people mop the sports court but what you deal with is moisture problems and a huge mess if you ever have to pull up the sports court for anything. But your right it's not $30000-$40000 a month unless you have to deal with repairs to the Zamboni. They are very costly! Opening the big garage doors for some places might work but I know of a few arenas here that even with the doors open and fans running it's still an oven.
06-27-2006, 01:27 PM
I was always worried about the goalies in places that didn't have A/C. And it's $30,000 to support a pad of ice, (where we live)not $3000. That's alot of money to gather from players in a month and tournaments do help, but still...
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by NLane on 06/27/06 12:32 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
06-27-2006, 08:58 PM
I play in Las Vegas, NV and during the summer it sucks to be a goalie even with the air on. Many goalies have recomended that they put fans either behind the boards or up in the ceiling blowing down on them. Even as a player you suffer, even if you drink lots of water.
The state of roller hockey here is not very good in the kids leagues. There are only 6 youth teams spred over 3 divisions. The adult leagues have shruken a little over the last 6 months. I think part my be we have only one rink and where the rink is located. IT not the safest area for kids and some adults.
I do agree that we need to grow the junior leagues of hockey. The price of a 10 games season is about the same as a 10 game ice season. Maybe the next step for roller hockey would be in some areas get city or county run rinks. Espically where there is limited amont and access to rinks.
06-28-2006, 12:55 AM
To spend the gross amount of money that was spent on the ice sirface in Monument coupled with the fact that the roller rink was about 25% of the amount that the ice surface costs to maintain, where you have to run the Zamboni every hour and not once every day or 2, they are losing alot of money. The 2 roller rinks were full all the time with hockey, socc, and volley ball.
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