Re: Orange County's high school hockey league gets into spirit
The Anaheim Ducks High School League says there's a talented pool of young players in Southern California. The league is the only such program in Orange County.
By Kevin Baxter
January 14, 2011
Playing with classmates for the school colors and mascot is an important part of the hockey experience growing up!
Pleased to see the development of scholastic hockey... but
Southern California scholastic hockey got its start right here in Orange County - a tradition that traces it roots back to 1993, the early days of high school roller hockey. In 1995, the first State Cup Championships were conducted by the California Street Hockey Association (CSHA) held on June 10th at the then-Anaheim Pond preceding the professional roller hockey games played by the Anaheim Bullfrogs. By 1996, the high school segment in SoCal was gaining serious traction in this burgeoning sport and serious talks began about state sanctioning of roller hockey with the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF).
Since 1997, the Irvine-based "IHF" (Interscholastic Hockey Federation) has been organizing prep programs for high school roller hockey in and around the Orange County area. By 2008, the IHF had grown to over fifty teams in four different skill divisions, representing thirty area high schools and over 700 student-athletes. IHF participating club schools represent both the public and private sectors from four counties including some Trinity League schools - Mater Dei, JSerra, Santa Margarita, Servite and Damien, to name a few. The IHF League is proud to boast a host of National Varsity and Jr. Varsity Champions at all levels and in every competitive format in the sport. Today, IHF High School Roller Hockey League games are held at three hockey facility partners in and around Orange County including: The 949 Roller Hockey Center located in Irvine, CA; and The Rinks (by the Anaheim Ducks) at both Corona Inline and Huntington Beach Inline.
Roller (Inline) hockey is currently a California state-sanctioned CIF Winter Sport in Section 10 San Diego (the San Diego Metropolitan Conference). In fact, San Diego's Metro conference is the only state-sanctioned league in the USA! Roller hockey is not currently sanctioned in other sections in California and operates mostly as a club sport and with varying degrees of recognition from schools and districts. Efforts persist to organize and build the sport through support from the Anaheim Ducks and others to promote alliances across the state and gain recognition.
The Concrete Pond... Born and bred on the streets, the cul-de-sacs, the parking lots and the concrete ponds of California, inline hockey has been a Golden Pond for California Hockey programs dating to its roots in the 1980ís. Today, the growth that flourished in the early 1990ís with Wayne Gretzky and the Mighty Ducks movies are gone. But by working together, Ice and Inline, for new recruits at the entry level of learn-to-skate and youth rec. hockey programs, new players will have opportunities to mature into scholastic leagues including Middle School, High School, Collegiate levels and beyond. After all, the Ice and Inline communities share a common goal in furthering the sport for the next generation.
Regardless of the pond - frozen or concrete, help keep our student-athletes on the rinks!