Inline Hockey WorldIndustry » Inline Hockey World Professional Inline Hockey Magazine Tue, 12 Jul 2011 16:34:19 +0000 en hourly 1 Mission T.10 Revolt to be announced at NARCh Tue, 12 Jul 2011 16:30:54 +0000 IHW We were the first to post the leaked pictures of the Mission T.10 and Bauer APXR skates back in March and the first to remove them after Bauer/Mission kindly asked to do so. In the next few days Mission will show off their new flag ship model skate to the big public during NARCh Finals in Florida. We have seen the skate on the feet of many Mission pro players and earlier leaked pictures, but now Mission also released a short promo video featuring their new skates (and starring the one and only Dave Reskey).

Click here to view the embedded video.

First leaked picture:

Multiple T.10s at TORHS:

So what’s new? Mission is emphasizing on ventilation in the video with the quick drying of the skates and the new ‘True Ventilated Tongue’. This is also by far the most flashy skate Mission has ever made with lots of white (including the toe cap) and even silver material. The yellow laces finish it off in what seems to be a way of differentiating the Mission and Bauer brand even more (the Bauer models being more traditional). Rink Rat seems the be the wheel of choice offering the Hornet Split in matching colors. The video also shows a new tongue insert to prevent lace bite, as pictured below.

So, what do you think? Tell us your opinion in the comments below…

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“Inline hockey might never become an Olympic sport” Thu, 09 Jun 2011 23:39:47 +0000 IHW Yann Maillet (RHAF) sat down with Gilbert Portier, president of the FIRS Inline Hockey Committee. Below is a translation of the French version as published on RHAF. We would love to hear from you in the comments below. Do you agree with Mr. Portier? How would you like to see international inline hockey being organized?

Most won’t even know this, but the head of the international inline hockey world is French. Gilbert Portier, founding president of the club in Montpellier in the 90s, former president of the National French Inline Hockey Committee and the European Inline Hockey Committee is the chairman of the International Inline Hockey Committee (CIRILH) since 2008. He is also one of the vice-presidents of the International Federation of Roller Sports (FIRS). A few weeks after the news landed that USA Hockey would no longer be involved in inline hockey we met with him to answer questions concerning the consequences. He also took the opportunity to discuss other topics as the development prospects of inline hockey in the world and the Olympics. He also confirmed that the World Championships in 2012 will not take place in France.

Gilbert, how should we look at the decision by USA Hockey to step away from inline hockey to the benefit of USARS?

“To really understand the whole subject, we must first look at a few historical facts. In 1995 the first ever world championships in inline hockey were introduced by the FIRS, not the IIHF. The IIHF first said they didn’t want to organize world championships, but they did the following year. It is important to remember that inline hockey has been “created” by the FIRS before the 90s. When they say it’s ice hockey that created inline hockey, it’s not correct legally speaking. Isidro Oliveiras, former president of the FIRS had almost managed to convince the IIHF to withdraw from organizing a world championships in 2000, but it did not happen. USA Hockey wanted to keep it going for a simple reason. The U.S. Olympic Committee knew that the funding would go to roller sports, especially hockey. And that’s why the IIHF World Championships have been revived, largely by Americans.”

If the Americans were able to keep the IIHF World Championships going, one might think that the withdrawal of USA Hockey could create the opposite effect…

“Fact is that USA Roller Sports, which now manages inline hockey in the United States, will not want an American team at the IIHF World Championships. It is still up in the air for 2012, but I think we will not see the United States at IIHF Worlds, only at FIRS Worlds. Whether the IIHF World Championships will still be organized, I do not know.”

What interests can the IIHF have to keep their World Championships going?

“It’s difficult to know for sure. What I do know is that Rene Fasel, president of the IIHF, which is a very influential man as a member of the IOC (International Olympic Committee), doesn’t want to be involved in inline hockey anymore. But he has people behind him who are pushing for it, like his secretary general, whose son plays for the German team. IIHF wanted to get into inline at a time when financial fears were related to the possible loss of partners. Today things have changed.”

When the decision by USA Hockey was announced, people felt it was because inline hockey didn’t generate enough money. What do you think?

“Maybe it doesn’t generate enough money, but that’s mainly because of the current structure. The economic crisis came and now everybody is forced to reduce costs. I think inline hockey brings nothing to the IIHF and that the federation, except for organizing a World Championship every year, does nothing for the sport. It was just USA Hockey that put together training plans for young players and wanted to fight this battle. Don’t forget that the major inline hockey event in the United States, NARCh, is politically closer to the FIRS then the IIHF.”

What are the consequences of this decision then?

“Right now, we do not know, but we can predict them. It can strengthen the position of the FIRS and therefore support the development goals. Today, we are working on getting closer to Northern Europe and the East. It’s great news to know that Latvia will participate in the World Championships in Roccaraso this year. This is essential, because while there is a lack of structure, their motivation is really high. We should also look at countries like South America which always preferred playing IIHF because all their expenses were paid, but they would lose their games. What interests them? We might see them return to the FIRS and a country like Chile may soon join us too.”

In future visions Russia seems inevitable… same goes for Canada from which we don’t know which way they will go and the Scandinavian countries that are left behind…

“We are in discussion with the Russians, and they would almost have been present in Roccaraso, but they are working on filling in the details. Fact is that many Russian players want to come to Europe to play in clubs, but they just don’t have the contacts. If we can come to an agreement with Russia, it opens up the way to Belarus and Ukraine. Contrary to what we think Canadians have a different vision then the Americans, and they won’t simply copy them. But for now, we do not yet know what direction they will choose. It is a little similar in Finland, which sends their womens to the FIRS, but that’s all. Sweden has already been at FIRS in the past, but not with a competitive team. Norway is also expected to join.”

What is the position of CIRILH concerning Africa and Asia?

“We won’t forget them. I won’t deny that things are complicated on the African continent, for reasons that everyone can easily understand; economic and structural. South Africa and Namibia are involved, but this raises a problems I just mentioned. In these countries our sport is mostly played by white people and this leads to social problems. The Maghreb is also interested in the subject, as it does more for ice hockey. But again, there are economic problems. We might consider reconditioning the equipment no longer used in the major nations of inline hockey and make it available for Algeria and Morocco, where there is demand.
For the Asian continent, there are two problems. First, these are the nations who face the highest costs in general every year as they are more distant from the World Championships. At the same time the Asian Championships develop and make the World Cup less attractive for them. We might consider alternating between Continental and World Championships every other year, but it’s risky because at the moment IIHF continues to offer a world championship every year. We managed to develop good contacts with India, Malaysia and Singapore, which could lead to agreements in the years to come.”

This topic comes up every now and then, but listening to you, it feels that inline hockey is still very far from being a potential Olympic sport…

“I’ll even go as far as to say that I’m afraid it will never happen. It will not be enough to reunite the sport on a the world stage. The reason is very simple, and again, it is economic. The Olympics cost almost nothing to a nation except for a few details. The IOC, through the organizing committee of the Olympics in question, shall bear the expenses of nations. Under these conditions, individual sports have better changes as they have fewer athletes. If inline speed skating would become Olympic, every nation would send like five or maybe six skaters and staff, but if inline hockey would become Olympic, the FFRS (French National Committee -red) would send a larger delegation of sixteen players plus staff. The calculation of the costs for the organizing committee is very simple. And as stated regularly, it is necessary that the sport in question is considered “strong” financially or extremely popular as was the case recently with golf and rugby that get loads of attention by the media. And I think this will not be the case with inline hockey, unfortunately.”

You said that Russian players are trying to come to Europe. We are seeing more and more players, especially abroad, who pay their players. Do you think our sport is now economically viable enough to enter a professional state?

“It is for club leaders to answer this question. I’ll just say that with such an approach costs are increasing and in the meantime participation in the United States is steadily declining. So you know what I think, even if it is not for me to say.”

In France inline hockey players still think they are being ignored by their Federation, which they believe still favors rink hockey. What is the position of FIRS in respect of our sport?

“We have long been ignored, also by the FFRS but this has been changing. The concern at the international level is that some nations are weak in terms of numbers. For example, Italy only has roughly 1500 licensed inline hockey players. But the FIRS realized that rink hockey was losing ground while inline hockey was booming. They understood that we were standing for the future and how they treat us is changing.”

Speaking of France, can you tell us if the World Championships 2012 will take place in our country, as rumored?

“Unfortunately, no, the World Championships 2012 will not take place in France. It was our desire and many cities like Anglet, Nice, Grenoble and Valencia were proposed. We wanted to organize this World Championships in Grenoble, but the FFRS has not responded favorably. Nicolas Belloir, its president, had economic arguments that I can understand. Our status allows us to overrule the decision of a national federation, but I do not wish to go through this process. So we will not be in France next year. I am not yet able to say where we will go, but I can confirm however that we will be in California in 2013.”

To conclude on a more personal note. You were the president of Montpellier in its starting years and today you are the president of the International Committee. Are you proud of the path you followed?

“I do not know if you can call it pride. I was the president of my club and I wanted to develop and support our sport. For that, there is no one answer, you just have to step up and take a leading role. I love new adventures and for me, this project was attractive. I think the path I followed was just logical.”

You were much criticized during the World Championships in 2005, which cost a lot of money to the FFRS while you were chairman of the National Committee. What do think about it today, looking back?

“It’s simple. We may have made mistakes at the time, I won’t deny that. But we had to manage a change in presidency which changed a lot of things. And what could we do two months before the event? Notify all nations we would cancel the event? I don’t think it was the right thing to do, that would have had a serious impact on our sport.”

Will you be available for re-election in 2012?

“I don’t know yet.”

While we did pay attention during our French classes and Mr. Google helped us out a lot, please let us know when you see any mistakes in this translation. We would also love to hear your opinion in the comments below.

Pictures by CIRILH / DR / FFRS

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Itan Chavira Interview Thu, 09 Jun 2011 10:16:13 +0000 IHW Itan Chavira was interviewed by NBC LA recently. They restricted their video so it can only be watched by US residents, so here is a mirror…

Click here to view the embedded video.

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We’re still here Thu, 26 May 2011 08:19:48 +0000 IHW It’s been a little quite on IHW lately. We know. We just didn’t have the time to write our regular weekly updates, because of our day time jobs and other activities. That’s why we’re calling out (again) to everybody that wants to contribute to this website. Please contact us! You want your own column? Write game reports of pro games you visit? Know all the industry rumors? Help us turning IHW into the number one inline hockey website. We’re also inviting everybody to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. A lot of times we got some small news that’s not worth a new article but is entertaining nonetheless. Facebook and Twitter are the places we most likely post it anyway.

In the meantime seasons are ending in Europe. Spain had it’s big finale a while ago with Mallorca and Valladolid battling it out on the last game day. Mallorca grabbed the win, evening up in points with Valladolid but still ending second based on game results. Valladolid will be Spain’s number one team to represent Spain in the European Cup.

In Italy Trieste and Padova are playing the final play-offs series and both won two games after the first four. June 1st they will play game 5.

In France it’s also time for the championship series, which will go between Anglet and Rethel.

In the last week there is also some industry buzz. Revision Hockey has signed a couple of new pro players for their 2011 NARCh Pro and D1 teams. Some are players we’ve seen before on the Vanquish team (Tyler Walser, Alex Durinka), some are new additions (Blake Page, Derrick Burnett). Read all about it on their Facebook page.

Armada Hockey, the brand we posted about when we launched, just posted a new video about signing Gerry Osterkamp, LA Pama Cyclones pro defense. A lot of sneak previews in the video as we see samples or plans for skates, gloves, pants, girdles, bags and sticks. Take a look at the video below.

Again thanks for sticking with us, even when the amount of articles is temporarily down. Once the summer starts we will have a ton of news, with NARCh in Florida and two World Championships in Europe. We will be at the IIHF World Championship in Pardubice (Czech Republic), so stay tuned.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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What aboat inline hockey in Canada? Wed, 27 Apr 2011 10:54:16 +0000 IHW Canada is where people love hockey. Ice hockey. Fortunately more and more people are starting to play inline hockey in the summer months and Canada’s national teams are slowly becoming one of the world’s top contenders. We spoke to three of Team Canada’s players that are probably more well known in Europe then they are in Canada. We asked Thomas Woods (1988), Dave Hammond (1985) and Frédérick Corbeil (1976) the same three questions:

Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you have been this past year and how inline hockey has influenced you on a daily basis.

Thomas: My name is Thomas Woods I am a 22-year-old 4th year business student in Vancouver, BC. I have been playing inline hockey for 12 years now. I recently returned from Caen, France where I was studying in a semester abroad program and I also had the opportunity to play for the Caen Conquerants in the French Elite League. I had an amazing time in France.  The level of inline hockey was very high and I made some great friends. I returned home in December and played Narch Winternationals with the Tour Mudcats. Since returning to Vancouver I have started playing in two inline hockey leagues and I am currently training for Team Canada tryouts in May. Inline hockey influences me on a daily basis by allowing me to travel around the world and play the sport that I love. I also really enjoy the opportunities to coach and mentor the next generation of inline players. Playing inline hockey has really broadened my horizons and continues to give me incredible experiences, both in Canada and internationally.

Thomas Woods playing for Team Canada at the 2010 IIHF World Championships

Frédérick: Hi, I’m Frederick Corbeil from Montreal, Quebec. I’m player coach of a team from Paris (Les Corsaires de Paris -ed). Inline hockey is my job, I’m on skates every day except monday.

Dave: The past two and half years I have been teaching roller hockey for the Coastal Pirates hockey club located in Namibia, Africa. I work 5 days a week and teach from roughly 2 pm until 9pm every day. I am on my skates nearly 30 plus hours a week and there isn’t a day that goes by in which I’m not doing something for the sport of roller hockey, whether that be teaching it in 3rd world countries or playing it myself.

What do you think about the state of inline hockey in Canada? Do you think the love for ice hockey makes it harder for inline hockey to evolve in Canada?

Frédérick: Our sport is growing considerably in recent years and will continue to do so, I’m sure. Ice hockey will always be more important due to our long winter season and the culture of this sport in our country.

Frédérick Corbeil at the 2010 FIRS World Championships (photo by Štěpán Tomš)

Dave: Canada is ice hockey; it always has been and always will. The biggest problem in Canada is the amount of year round facilities available for our wonderful sport. In Toronto roller hockey only goes for 3 months a year, and simply due to the fact that it takes place when the ice is melted. Players only come to roller once their ice seasons have ended. As the sport continues to evolve I think a strong push will be made for roller hockey as more and more players are going from wheels to blades and making it all the way to the NHL. Until we start getting paid big money for roller hockey, it will never really have a chance in Canada with ice hockey being the dominate sport through the entire country.

Thomas: It’s tough to say where the state of inline hockey is in Canada. I would like to say that it is continuously growing but it’s still no-where near where it was in the hay-days of the RHI and the Vancouver Voodoo. I have seen more ice hockey players giving inline hockey a try and realizing the benefit of the sport but ice Hockey still dominates Canada and it’s very hard to change the perception of inline hockey in a strictly ice hockey player’s mind. I think one of the main reasons is that we have very few full year inline hockey facilities. There just isn’t the option for some guys to play inline all year round. I hope one day that we can get back to where it was in the early 90’s when I would go watch the Voodoo play.

What are your plans for this summer? NARCh Finals? IIHF or FIRS World Championships? What league will you play in after the summer?

Dave: My plans for this summer are simple; play as much high level roller hockey as possible. I have just finished up my two and half years in Namibia and am looking to get back on the roller hockey map. I will be at all the big events this summer. I will be playing NARCh and TORHS Pro with my Reebok team and State wars, either with California or Ontario if Canada will have a team. If politics stay out of it, I will represent Canada at both IIHF and FIRS events this summer. As for next year I am currently looking for a team to play professionally in Europe. I plan on being there for the entire season of 2011/2012.

Dave Hammond at the 2010 FIRS World Championships (photo by Štěpán Tomš)

Frédérick: I’ll go to Italy to represent Canada in the FIRS World Championships in July and will play NARCH Pro and 35 and older in Florida at the end of that month. After that it’s time for a three week vacation and then I’ll return to France to prepare for the new season with my French team.

Thomas: I am hoping to play IIHF, FIRS, and NARCh this summer but it all depends on money. It’s very expensive and difficult to take so much time off work. I have been talking with a few sponsors but am always looking for more. I hope that I can play all three tournaments because they are always an amazing time.

Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

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What happened to the RHI? Mon, 04 Apr 2011 21:23:42 +0000 IHW Roller Hockey International (RHI) was a professional inline hockey league in the US from ’93 until ’99 (check out Wikipedia). Due to several reasons it never made it into this millennium and the loss of this league was a huge setback for our sport. Richard Graham, the man behind Inline Hockey Central, is a veteran writer and true icon for the coverage of inline hockey. He has been working for years on his new book Wheelers, Dealers, Pucks & Bucks: A Rocking History of Roller Hockey International. This book will have everything you want to know about RHI, from stats to interviews with people involved. Check out Graham’s Facebook Page for the book.

Graham was also interviewed for two documentaries that are being made by Randy Friend and Elliott Haimoff. One will be about Dennis Murphy, the creator of RHI, and one will be about RHI itself. Read more about this in the article published on Inline Hockey Central.

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Canada, Pakistan join IISHF Wed, 16 Mar 2011 14:03:07 +0000 IHW Both Canada and Pakistan have agreed to join the IISHF – the international federation for full contact inline hockey with a ball. All parties came to an agreement at the AGM in Amsterdam on February 26th and 27th. We didn’t know people in Pakistan played inline hockey and we sure didn’t know people in Canada are playing ‘inline-skaterhockey’ (as they call it). Troy Taz Singh Byrnes (2nd from the left) is the representative for Canada and looks like a cool guy in between all those suits. Both countries will participate in the ‘Open’ European Championships this year in Austria (Sept. 9-11). Let’s hope they don’t call it World Championships next year.

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In-Line Hockey: Still Rolling, but Not on a Roll Thu, 03 Mar 2011 11:22:42 +0000 IHW A very interesting article on professional inline hockey was published by the New York Times on February 26, written by Matt Caputo:

OLD BETHPAGE, N.Y. — Jonathan Mosenson has traveled the globe playing hockey on in-line skates. He is 24 and has competed in Italy, Germany, Argentina and Taiwan. He has won gold medals at world championships, receives free equipment from sponsors and is tested for performance-enhancing drugs. He wears a suit to the arena.

Read the full article on the New York Times website

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Armada is getting armed Tue, 01 Mar 2011 20:19:36 +0000 IHW Armada Hockey is the name of a new roller hockey brand that is about to launch. Nobody knows what products they are releasing out of the gate, but fact is Armada is run by two people that know what they are doing. Both Joe Cook and Justin Hoffman used to work for Mission Hockey. Since then Justin mainly did design work in the golf industry and Joe was involved with the distribution of Rink Rat wheels. These two guys obviously know what they’re doing and IHW will follow them closely while they slowly reveal their plans.

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