Roller skates are shoes, or bindings that fit onto shoes, that are worn to enable the wearer to roll along on wheels. The first roller skate was effectively an ice skate with wheels replacing the blade. Later the "quad" style of roller skate became more popular consisting of four wheels arranged in the same configuration as a typical car.
Roller skating is a hobby, sport, and mode of transportation using roller skates.
While the first reported use of roller skates was on a London stage in 1743, the first patented roller skate was introduced in 1760 by Belgian inventor John Joseph Merlin.His roller skate wasn't much more than an ice skate with wheels where the blade goes, a style we would call inline today. They were hard to steer and hard to stop because they didn't have brakes and, as such, were not very popular. The initial "test piloting" of the first prototype of the skate was in the city of Huy, which had a party with Merlin playing the violin.
In the 1840s, Meyerbeer's opera Le prophète featured a scene in which performers used roller-skates to simulate ice-skating on a frozen lake set on stage. The result was to popularize roller skating throughout the Continent. As ice skaters subsequently developed the art of figure skating, roller skaters wanted the ability to turn in their skates in a similar fashion.
In 1863, James Plimpton from Massachusetts invented the "rocking" skate and used a four-wheel configuration for stability, and independent axles that turned by pressing to one side of the skate or the other when the skater wants to create an edge. This was a vast improvement on the Merlin design, one that was easier to use and drove the huge popularity of roller skating, dubbed "rinkomania" in the 1860s and 1870s,which spread to Europe and around the world, and continued through the 1930s. The Plimpton skate is still used today.
Eventually, roller skating evolved from just a pastime to a competitive sport; speed skating, racing on skates, and inline figure skating, very similar to what can be seen in the Olympics on ice. In the mid 1990s roller hockey, played with a ball rather than a puck, became so popular that it even made an appearance in the Olympics in 1992. The National Sporting Goods Association statistics showed, from a 1999 study, that 2.5 million people played roller hockey. Roller skating was considered for the 2012 Summer Olympicsbut has never become an Olympic event. Other roller skating sports include jam skating and roller derby.
Roller skating popularity exploded during the disco era but tapered off in the 1980s and 1990s. Sales of roller skates increased during the COVID-19 pandemic as people sought safe outdoor activities.
Roller skating saw a revival in the late 2010s and early 2020s, spurred on by a number of viral videos on the popular video sharing app TikTok. Many popular brands sold out to the point of back-order, with many people taking up the hobby during COVID-19 quarantines across the globe.
The Roller Skating Rink Operators Association was developed in the U.S. in 1937. It is currently named the Roller Skating Association. The association promotes roller skating and offers classes to the public, aiming to educate the population about roller skating. The current president is Bobby Pender. The Roller Skating Association headquarters is located in Indianapolis.
The Roller Skating Association's web page offers some health benefits of roller skating. Some of the benefits they list include:
Hockey is a sport in which two teams play against each other by trying to manoeuvre a ball or a puck into the opponent's goal using a hockey stick. There are many types of hockey such as bandy, field hockey, ice hockey and rink hockey.
Roller hockey is a form of hockey played on a dry surface using wheeled skates. It can be played with traditional roller skates or with inline skates and use either a ball or puck. Combined, roller hockey is played in nearly 60 countries worldwide.
Speed skating is a competitive form of ice skating in which the competitors race each other in travelling a certain distance on skates. Types of speed skating are long track speed skating, short track speed skating, and marathon speed skating. In the Olympic Games, long-track speed skating is usually referred to as just "speed skating", while short-track speed skating is known as "short track". The International Skating Union (ISU), the governing body of both ice sports, refers to long track as "speed skating" and short track as "short track skating".
Ice skates are metal blades attached underfoot and used to propel the bearer across a sheet of ice while ice skating.
Inline skates are a type of roller skate used for inline skating. Unlike quad skates, which have two front and two rear wheels, inline skates typically have two to five wheels arranged in a single line. Some, especially those for recreation, have a rubber "stop" or "brake" block attached to the rear of one or occasionally both of the skates so that the skater can slow down or stop by leaning back on the foot with the brake skate.
Roller skating is traveling on surfaces with roller skates. It is a recreational activity, a sport, and a form of transportation. Roller rinks and skate parks are built for roller skating, though it also takes place on streets, sidewalks, and bike paths.
Inline speed skating is the roller sport of racing on inline skates. The sport may also be called inline racing by participants. Although it primarily evolved from racing on traditional roller skates, the sport is similar enough to ice speed skating that many competitors are known to switch between inline and ice speed skating according to the season.
Skating involves any sports or recreational activity which consists of traveling on surfaces or on ice using skates.
Inline skating is a multi-disciplinary sport and can refer to a number of activities practiced using inline skates. Inline skates typically have two to five polyurethane wheels, arranged in a single line by a metal or plastic frame on the underside of a boot. The in-line design allows for greater speed and maneuverability than traditional roller skates. Following this basic design principle, inline skates can be modified to varying degrees to accommodate niche disciplines.
USA Roller Sports (USARS), formerly the United States Amateur Confederation of Roller Skating, is the national governing body of competitive roller sports in the United States. It is recognized by the International Roller Sports Federation (FIRS) and the United States Olympic Committee.
Roller inline hockey, or inline hockey is a variant of hockey played on a hard, smooth surface, with players using inline skates to move and hockey sticks to shoot a hard, plastic puck into their opponent's goal to score points. There are five players including the goalkeeper from each team on the rink at a time, while teams normally consist of 16 players.
Artistic roller skating is a sport similar to figure skating but where competitors wear roller skates instead of ice skates. Within artistic roller skating, there are several disciplines:
Roller skiing is an off-snow equivalent to cross-country skiing. Roller skis have wheels on their ends and are used on a hard surface, to emulate cross-country skiing. The skiing techniques used are very similar to techniques used in cross-country skiing on snow.
Roller sports are sports that use human powered vehicles which use rolling either by gravity or various pushing techniques. Typically ball bearings and polyurethane wheels are used for momentum and traction respectively, and attached to devices or vehicles that the roller puts his weight on. The international governing body is World Skate.
Roller hockey, rink hockey or quad hockey is a team sport played on roller skates. Two five-man teams try to drive the ball with their sticks into the opponents' goal. The ball can only be put in motion by a stick, not the skate, otherwise a foul will be stated. The game has two 25-minute halves, with 15-minute halftime intermission, plus up to two 5-minute golden goal periods to settle ties with the clock stopping when the ball becomes dead. If the tie persists, a penalty shootout will determine the winner.
A roller rink is a hard surface usually consisting of hardwood or concrete, used for roller skating or inline skating. This includes roller hockey, speed skating, roller derby, and individual recreational skating. Roller rinks can be located in an indoor or outdoor facility. Most skating center facilities range anywhere from under 14,000 square feet (1,300 m2) to more than 21,000 square feet (2,000 m2).
Aggressive inline skating is a sub discipline of inline skating in the action sports canon, which emphasizes the execution of tricks. Aggressive inline skates are specially modified to accommodate grinds and jumps. Aggressive skating can take place on found street obstacles or at skate parks.
Matthew Lloyd is a British Paralympian who was born with spina bifida and two club feet. He has competed in ice sledge hockey at the 2006 Winter Paralympics, in Sitting volleyball at the 2007 European Championships, and is credited with inventing the sport of Inline sledge hockey. He was born in Crawley, Sussex but grew up in Rainhill, Merseyside and later resided in Hollym, East Riding of Yorkshire. After completing a degree in Business Information Systems, Lloyd worked within the music industry, firstly as a journalist and then within the A&R department of a major record label, before going to work extensively within the sports and leisure sectors.
The Israel Roller Hockey League is the biggest Roller Hockey Clubs Championship in Israel.
World Skate is the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognized world governing body for roller sports. The organisation is the successor of the Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS) and was formed via the merger of the FIRS and the International Skateboarding Federation (ISF) in September 2017, after FIRS was selected by the IOC as the governing body of skateboarding in preparation for the scheduled skateboarding events at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
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