A Canadian Perspective
This was a post on the Narch site:
Sudden Death Squirt Roller Hockey
Sudden Death has enjoyed many successes on the ice, but what they really want is to be crowned NARCh Platinum Champions.
Our team is comprised of players who play AAA ice hockey together during the winter. Some of our players have played together since they started playing hockey.
Early into their hockey, some of the ice hockey players discovered roller hockey. From the beginning, these players have embraced roller hockey as their favourite sport. For the last five years, our ice hockey team has hung up their ice skates in April so that our roller hockey players could give their full time and attention to roller hockey from April to August. No summer ice hockey for us! In fact, it is often difficult during ice hockey season to keep our minds on ice hockey and off roller hockey. Our roller hockey players keep saying, ?I?d rather play roller hockey?!
It is easy to understand why they feel this way:
(1) Our roller hockey players have the highest level of skill development as a result of the dynamics of roller hockey, which allow an almost unfettered opportunity to develop and play with skill;
(2) Roller hockey provides the best opportunity to practise, develop and display offensive skills, primarily because the intimidating presence of body checking and all that it brings with it is absent from roller hockey. The absence of off-sides and icing also provides great opportunity to develop offensive skills, free from the space restrictions of ice hockey. In hockey, space is time. With only 4 instead of 5 skaters playing, roller hockey provides more space and therefore the time for players to develop these skills;
(3) Roller hockey teams are comprised of about half the number of players as ice hockey teams. Thus, a better practise and playing opportunity is provided in roller hockey;
(4) Roller hockey tournaments are more competitive and more fun, free from the doldrums of cold rinks and weather and the omnipresent angst of the ice hockey environment. The atmosphere of roller hockey is more conducive than that of ice hockey to meeting and befriending your competition. Players you would not know existed in ice hockey are easily met and befriended in roller hockey.
Without doubt, our roller hockey players would prefer to play it all year. But, our cold reality is that ice hockey beckons for almost eight months a year, for it is dreams of an ice hockey career which each of our players share. However, each year, each of our hockey players goes back to ice hockey with demonstrably improved skills gained from the wonderful cross-training that practising and playing roller hockey has given them. The proof must be in the pudding because every year in Toronto, more and more of our ice hockey competitors are turning to summer ?ROLLER? hockey to achieve the skills and competitive advantages that it has provided our ice hockey team. There really is no more sincere form of flattery!
Every ice hockey season, our team wins most if not all of the major tournaments and championships. In 2003-2004, our ice hockey team won the Pee Wee Big Nickel, Bell Challenge, North American Silver Stick and National tournaments and, for the third consecutive season, the Carnation Cup, which is the championship of the Greater Toronto Hockey League. Always, our ice hockey team is led by our roller hockey players, each of whom constantly reminds us he would rather be playing roller hockey!
Whew, at last, here we are again beginning another roller hockey season, and even we coaches can?t wait to get started. In the past we have won U.S.A. and Canadian national championships and the World Cup of Roller Hockey. We have had players win Narch and other national and international skills contests and have lost in overtime in the Narch Finals. Alas, we have never won a Narch Finals title. We are going to do our best this season to remedy that.
We really are looking forward to once again meeting and competing with all of our roller hockey friends.
Head Coach, 1991 Toronto Young Nationals
Head Coach, Sudden Death Squirt Roller Hockey
Re: A Canadian Perspective
Thank you for your post but won't you get "kicked out" of Canada with those kinds of thoughts? Just kidding!!!!We have found that the ice player who scoffs at inline hockey does so because he can't play it. That extra player in ice can really mess with the inline game if you can't adapt. Don't forget another inline summer advantage...the ladies in the crowd don't have to cover up because of the cold.
Re: A Canadian Perspective
Great post.....you have hit the nail squarely on the head..if only the sport could achieve the same level of development independant of ice hockey, the credibility of the sport might regain some of it's stature.
Great to see the love for the sport growing North of the border....maybe one day there will even be a dedicated rink in Quebec too......(I understand if that is not one of your own priorities)