It was announced in June that roller sports were among the eight contenders vying for a spot as a new event in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. This is exciting news considering ice skating has dominated the attention of fans for as long as many of us can remember. If you visit Interskate, in Lewisville, Tx, on a regular basis, you are no stranger to the world of roller skating, but the world of roller sports may be a little foreign to you. So, what is it? Roller sports are governed by the Federation Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS), and include (but not limited to) roller hockey, roller figure skating, speed skating and roller derby.
In order to fully understand all that roller sports encompasses, we need to explore each of its disciplines.
What are these disciplines?
- Rink and inline hockey – This type of hockey follows many of the same ideas as ice hockey, just on roller skates.
- Roller figure skating – This is very similar to traditional figure skating on ice. It has the same premise; individuals, or teams, compete in a show of artistic dance and choreographed displays of skill. Judges then score you based on form, neatness and creativity.
- Speed skating – Like the name says, the name of the game here is to be the fastest skater.
- Roller derby – This is a contact sport in which two teams consisting of five members skate around a track in the same direction. Matches are won by having a designated “jammer” lap members of the other team. The other 4 members of each team attempt to hinder each others jammer in the process.