Roller Hockey Equipment

By: Kent Pinkerton

Roller hockey, also known as inline hockey, is played on roller or inline skates with wheels, which are placed in sets of three or four in a single line. Skates are generally priced at $100 and up.

Aluminum sticks are preferred for roller hockey, however, wooden sticks covered with fiberglass may also be used. This is because concrete or cement, upon which inine hockey is usually played, is much harder on the sticks than ice. The sticks, with suede or rubber grips, are broader and bent at the base, to maneuver the puck or ball and are priced at upwards of $20.

Roller hockey is played with either a puck or a ball. The puck is made of hard, vulcanized rubber and is made in regulation sizes; balls are made of plastic. Both cost about $5 each.

Goal nets are supported by steel frames with nylon nets and can be dismantled for storage. They are approximately the same as those used for ice hockey. Costs run about $400 depending on quality.

Roller hockey players wear loose jerseys, pants and socks. For protection, helmets with mouth guards, kneepads and elbow pads are recommended. Hockey gloves—or at least wrist guards—should be worn. More safety-conscious players may also wear shoulder pads and padded pants with shin guards as well as a jockstrap.

Goalies, of course, need more protection. In addition to all the protective gear mentioned above, a goalie must also be equipped with chest, back and throat protectors, extra-padded leg pads, mask cages and more. Roller hockey is a street game with as many safety concerns as regulation hockey. In fact, roller hockey can be more dangerous since, although the game is not quite as fast as ice hockey, concrete or cement does not allow one to slide along the surface when one falls, causing more scrapes to the skin.

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