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SKATER HOCKEY

Skater Hockey - Inline Skater Hockey - Quad Skater Hockey - Street Hockey is team sport played with a plastic ball. The game is played using inline roller skates or quad skates. It is different to Inline Hockey. Skater hockey is played by two teams, and each team is permitted to have 5 players on the pitch, usually four outfield players and a goalkeeper. The rink is smaller (40mx20m) and is divided in two halves with a goal in each end. A game last 3 periods of 20 minutes each.



Like Ice hockey skater hockey is a contact sport and has similar set of rules, but still with several variations in the rules of the game, like no icing, the Free Hit rule and stricter limitations regarding physical contact. See the IISHF - Rules of the Game for detailed description.


International Inline-SkaterHockey Federation - Rules of the Game / Edition 2012  

HISTORY

Belgian inventor named Joseph Merlin introduced the first recorded roller skate in 1760. 

The first patent ever taken out on a roller skate was by Monsieur Petitbled for an in-line skate in 1819.

In 1863, James Plimpton, a businessman from Massachusetts, invented a roller skate that could turn. It was called a rocking skate and it was the first one that really let people skate curves and turn. This quad skate would become the industry standard and send the in-line version into obscurity for nearly 130 years.

The first recorded Hardball Roller Hockey game was played in 1878 at the Denmark Rink in London, England. It was first known as “Roller Polo” due to the introduction of Polo in 1876, skaters took polo to the rinks.

The sport was introduced into the United States in 1882 with the formation of the National Roller Polo League in DaytonOhio, with teams in seven cities. In 1884 the Massachusetts Roller Polo league was operating with 14 teams. 

Organized roller skating sports developed as the popularity of roller skates increased in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Roller Hockey teams were playing throughout Europe as early as 1901.

So how did Skater Hockey develope ?

Originally it was called Street Hockey in London, England in the late 1970s.

"Canadians and Americans both were playing what they called Street Hockey / Road Hockey for many years earlier.  These games were played in shoes, bare feet and quad roller skates"

The London Street Hockey game was always played on quad roller skates in the early days. Games were played outside on paved surfaces such as parking areas.

One of the first teams assembled was the Street Warriors in 1982. They were engineering students at the South East London Technical College [SELTEC] in Lewisham, south London.

Alastair Gordon would organize the 1st London Street Hockey Championship at the Elephant & Castle Sports Centre, on Sunday January 16th 1983. Twelve teams competed. The Street Invaders, from Lewisham defeated the East Side Gladiators from East Ham in the Championship Final 7 to 6.

On Sunday February 6th 1983 the first ever Team Captains Meeting at the Elephant & Castle Sports Centre to discuss the future of the sport.  As The Voice newspaper reported at the time,  nine teams were represented at the meeting as well as Steve Wilkinson,  the enlightened manager of the Sports Centre,  and Mr. Butler,  manager of the Crofton Leisure Centre in Brockley,  south London.

It was at this meeting, faithfully recorded by The Voice, that a unanimous decision was taken to establish a London Street Hockey Association 'to organise the League, promote the sport, attract sponsorship and encourage new teams. ' The meeting also unanimously agreed to the creation of a standard set of rules,  the creation of a Summer Street Hockey League the first season of which at least would be played indoors on Sunday afternoons between 2 and 6pm and that it would be based at the Elephant & Castle Sports Centre.

The first League faced off on May 8th 1983 with a Divisions 1 and 2 comprising eight teams apiece and a Division 3 of 9 teams.  The placing of the teams in the various divisions was based on each of the team's results in the earlier Championship with the top ranking teams going into Division 1, the next tier down going into Division 2 with the best of the new comers, and the remaining teams forming Division 3. 

Interspersed throughout the league fixtures were Sundays set aside for the all-inclusive League Cup as well as the Koho Trophy.

The inaugural fixtures booklet of 1983 is a veritable roll call of illustrious  London and a few non-London teams.  In Division One were the East Side Gladiators,  Street Warriors,  Street Invaders,  Sidewalk Surfers [from Chertsey] ,  Sudan Lions [Wembley],  Ashmead Cruisers,  North London Renegades and  MIGS [aka Men In Grey Suits from South London].

The first Nationals took place in 1984 in Liverpool and were organised and Co-ordinated by the London Street Hockey Association and sponsored by Red Stripe Beer.

That first Red Stripe National Championship took place at Everton Park and Kirby Sports Centers on Saturday and Sunday July 28 and 29th,  1984 with sixteen teams taking part who mostly stayed at Liverpool University for the Friday before and the Saturday night of the event.  The teams were drawn into four groups of four and were to play 20 minutes each way.

FULL STOREY - History of Skater Hockey                                                                                         "How the sport got going" - written by Alastair Gordon & Stefan Fuller