The sport of hockey has many variations, including the Olympic sports of ice hockey and field hockey. Roller Hockey however, has also gained in popularity, as a recreational activity and as a competitive sport. It is an extremely fast sport, exciting for spectators to watch, and demanding a lot of skill.
There are two distinct disciplines within the sport, with their own equipment and rules. The original Roller Hockey is played, using traditional quad roller skates. When inline skates were invented, the new Inline Hockey evolved. Both sports are played in many countries but the US and Canada favor Inline Hockey. The different choice of skates results in a different skating style. There is more intricate footwork in Quad Hockey and it is easier for the players to maneuver. Inline Hockey contains more racing around and is similar to Ice Hockey action Ice Hockey .
The goalies differ in that they use different gloves for each sport. Inline Hockey goalies use a catch glove, whereas Quad Hockey goalies block shots with a batting glove. Each of the Roller Hockey teams are made up of four skaters and a goalie. Inline Hockey, also known as Street Hockey, is played over two, 20 minute periods. Quad Hockey, sometimes referred to as Hardball Hockey, is played for an extra five minutes in each period.
Every sport wants Olympic status and Quad Hockey was a demonstration sport at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona in 1992. Many World Championships have taken place, with the Latin countries dominating. Portugal is the most successful country, winning 15 Quad Championships. Inline Hockey World Championships are rather more complicated as there are two different events each year. One is organized by the International Roller Sports Federation and the other is run by the International Ice Hockey Federation. The United States and Canada are the traditional leaders in the sport but Inline Hockey is becoming more popular across Europe and Latin America.
Women have come to the sport too, becoming increasingly organized. Both Roller Hockey disciplines have structured competitions. Inline Hockey has had Women’s World Championships since 2002 and women have competed on the world stage in Quad Hockey, since 1992. Again, the Quad Championships are dominated by Latin countries. Roller Hockey started as an amateur pastime, played on the streets and local rinks. Ice Hockey may still be the leading stick and puck sport, but the other versions are keen to catch up. Countries without a tradition of playing sport on ice have welcomed this type of hockey too.