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Roller Hockey

Hockey is hockey
By Quint Randle


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I didnít put the words ďroller hockeyĒ in the title because fewer hard-core ice players would read it. But thatís what this is about. Ramblings, random thoughts and opinion on inline hockeyófrom the perspective of someone who plays both versions of the best sport in the world:

 

From my conversations with parents and players alike, there are certain ďice hockey puristsĒ in the Midwest and East who have no idea how ďbigĒ roller hockey is. When you tell them your son has been playing roller hockey the last few years, they picture a ball in a school parking lotónot players in full gear in a state-of-the-art rink with 400 other players in the league.

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Iíve played goalie in ice hockey on and off for 20 years, and Iíve been playing ďoutĒ in roller hockey for about five. But for some reason Iím chicken to play goalie in roller hockey. Thereís just something about it that turns me off. Like its too hot or the floor is too hard. Itís totally psychological, but nonetheless, I still refuse to play goalie in roller hockey.

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Itís easier to teach breakouts, passing and positioning to novices and kids in roller hockey because the puck does not move as fast. Iíve co-coached a house roller team in California and helped out on a house ice team hear in Michigan, and Iím still amazed at the level of sophistication of the plays we were able to create on the roller hockey team.

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If youíre one of those crossover players still wearing the old, ski-boot style inline skate to play parking lot hockey, itís time to upgrade to a hockey style boot. The difference is amazing. While you can blow up to $500 for a pro skate, (which you wouldnít want to use in a parking lot), the quality of the lower-priced skates for the casual player is improving year after year.

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Roller hockey gear odor is much worse than ice hockey gear odor.

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I donít care what anyone says, for the average player, playing inline screws up your ice game. When I cross over back to ice, it take me weeks to get rid of the tell-tale dragging of the toe and the sprinting across the blueline as if there were none. Very embarrassing.

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Whether ice or roller, players want light, breathable gear with quality protection. More manufacturers are incorporating materials created for their inline gear into their ice hockey lines. Thatís good because hockey is hockey. Itís all a matter of putting the puck in the net.

 

 


This first appeared in the 06/1997 issue of Hockey Player Magazine®
© Copyright 1991-2003, Hockey Player® LLC and Hockey Player Magazine®
Posted: Nov 10, 2001, 17:14
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