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    "The joy is in the journey, not the destination."

Overview of Inline Hockey

    It has been an incredible adventure to be part of a brand new sport that has yet to establish common rules or an organizational structure that everyone can agree to. The growing pains will continue, but make no mistake about it - this is not a fad. This is sport that is here to stay.

    Inline hockey (without checking) is strictly for the skilled player: Skating, passing, shooting, and reading the flow of the game are the essential elements. With all the extra room (4 per side, not 5 as in ice hockey), and no boundary limitations (no blue line, no 2 line passes, and no icing), a player must learn to use the entire surface to his team's advantage (width and depth).

    It is not, however, strictly a "run and gun" game. Good teams know when to go and when to play control.

    We promise you that if you go to watch an inline game, you will see more "highlight" type goals than not. We just don't know why anyone would want to be a goalie in this sport!

    Note: When attempting an offensive play, you should always think "lateral pass and one-timer!"

    The most refreshing aspect of inline hockey that we have noticed is the socializing before and after the games of all the players and coaches. Let's work hard to maintain this fantastic element of inine hockey.

Purpose of the Manual

    When we set out to train the Canadian Men's National Inline Hockey Team for the World Championship, we searched for drills to teach skills and tactics of inline hockey. We quickly realized that there was very little material available.

    Since we as coaches came from the ice hockey world -- as did most of our players -- we began with traditional ice hockey drills. As time passed, we quickly adapted these drills and developed others that could be specifically used for inline hockey. Thus, the obvious next step was to put a manual together to help other coaches who are just getting into inline hockey.

    We feel that the drills are designed to make the player understand that this is a different game, in regards to tactics and strategies. But, when it comes to basic skills, we are dealing with the same components and principles as ice hockey.

    We hope that you enjoy the manual and use it to train the players that wish to learn to play inline hockey.

Comparison of Inline and Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey

  • 5 skaters, 1 goalie per side (20 players per team)
  • Offsides, 2 line passes, and icing
  • 3 - 20 minute periods (break between each period)
  • Checking and body contact
  • 2 minute minor penalties
  • Powerplays (5 vs 4, 4 vs 3, 5 vs 3)
  • Minimum number skaters during play is 3 per team
  • Playing Surface - 85'x180' to 100'x200'
  • 3" rubber puck (5.5 oz)
  • Net: 6'x4'

Inline Hockey

  • 4 skaters, 1 goalie per side (14 players per team)
  • No offsides, 2 line passes, or icing
  • 2 - 20 minute periods (5 min. break between each period)
  • No checking, limited body contact
  • 2 minute minor penalties
  • Powerplays (4 vs 3, 4 vs 2, 3 vs 2)
  • Minimum number skaters during play is 2 per team
  • Playing Surface - 85'x180' to 100'x200', but either cement, roll-on, or sport court
  • 3" red rubber Joffa speed puck (3.5 oz)
  • Net: Pro: 6'x4', International: 5'x41"

Key Teaching Points in Inline Hockey

  1. Inline hockey is a game of patience and having confidence with the puck.
  2. You can hold on to the puck a lot longer and move it around more.
  3. Inline hockey is a game of control.
  4. Key skill to learn -- stopping.
  5. Big key word is control.
  6. Ice hockey is a dump and chase game, but because there are no off-sides or icing in inline hockey, you don't have to dump.
  7. Good quick passes and set up for one-timers. One timers are the key!
  8. Compare offense to basketball. You want to bring the puck down, throw it around and set up for that one good shot.
  9. There is a lot more thinking involved -- set plays and picks.
  10. Different for goaltenders. You can't challenge the shooter because there is a lot of dishing off. You have to stay back in the net. Moving from side to side and shuffling is a lot more difficult than on the ice.