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The future of youth ice hockey and the burgeoning inline hockey race

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Youth hockey continues to grow but not exactly the way it always has. There's a new kid in town and popularity is growing.

It's no surprise to see old and antiquated single sheet rinks are closing down while new multi-sheet complexes replace them. In turn, paving the way for existing organizations and associations to expand and new ones to begin. Youth ice hockey has grown by leaps and bounds since the early 2000s with new rinks popping up all over the United States. Youth ice hockey programs at all levels are enveloping the midwest and the eastern United States. An expensive sport which offers varying degrees of competition, from house league to light travel, tier ll to tier 1. All are programs with designations to delineate players new to the game, to accomodating the higher and expert level competitors. This framework has been in place for decades providing families a choice from startup to high-level travel. In between, there are endless options for clinics, personal instruction, and continued training.

One training option has flown under the radar and is beginning to take root as an exceptional supplement to skill development; inline hockey.

Trending in an upward direction, youth inline hockey is quickly becoming very popular. The similarities are close to ice hockey, inline also has varying levels of competition however, advanced players at younger ages are allowed to participate with the older class if they meet certain skill requirements. Youth inline rules are slightly modified to keep the game moving, and there is no body contact. More importantly, the cost to play is 1/4, (or less) of what costs to play an entire season on the ice and the travel commitment is far less than that of ice hockey. Who knows, will rink owners begin adding inline sport court rinks to accommodate the need as the sport continues to grow?

Our son plays summer and winter to get ready for ice season. His speed increased dramatically after playing inline and its great to work on hand control with their heads up.

Brought to you by those who market inline hockey.  It sure is harder to find gear for inline over ice.

My son started playing inline, then moved to ice the next season. A year or 2 later one of his coaches said he should play inline again in the spring.
The one issue with inline that I saw was that there aren't enough places that have it. We have a local rink, but the only options were in-house which was a very low level of play or they offered elite travel teams. Problem with travel is that again, not enough places in the area have it so you pretty much are playing tournaments all spring / summer in like Pittsburgh, New York, New England, etc. At least that I was told by friends who kids played.
He thought he wanted to do it so he went to one practice for the travel team and I guess being 2-3 removed from playing inline he absolutely hated it and never went back. I was very happy about that decision.


--- Quote from: Guest on June 17, 2021, 09:43:12 AM ---Brought to you by those who market inline hockey.  It sure is harder to find gear for inline over ice.

--- End quote ---

Both use the same shin guards, elbow pads, gloves and helmet. The only thing different is the girdle and pants. All of it can be bought online or in the stores of pure hockey, hockey monkey, hockey warehouse or any sporting goods store.


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