HOCKEY ALBERTA - MARCH ANNOUNCEMENTS
ZONE 6 - EDMONTON WINS GOLD AT ALBERTA SUMMER GAMES INLINE EVENT
IS INLINE HOCKEY?
Inline hockey is played on inline or roller skates with its own unique puck within the confines of a hockey rink or indoor soccer pitch. Games are played four-on-four plus goalies and with no line violations (i.e., icings, off sides). Penalties are similar to ice hockey but body checking is not allowed at any level even international play. The equipment used is the same as ice hockey with the expectation of the skates and pants. Hockey pants are allowed, but most players prefer inline pants as they are cooler to wear.
BIRTH OF HAIL (HOCKEY ALBERTA INLINE)
Prior to 1997, inline hockey in Alberta was predominately operated by independent owners and volunteers to provide an opportunity for kids to play the sport. There were approximately 2100 inline hockey players in the province at the start of the 1997 season. NIHA was the only national governing body in Canada at the time. The Canadian Hockey Association (CHA) purchased the Canadian rights to the NIHA name and their database and members list. The CHA had decided to expand their involved in inline hockey by pitching the sport to their member branches.
During the late winter of 1997, Hockey Alberta under the guidance of its General Manager, Howard Wurban, and newly appointed coordinator for inline hockey, Darcy Notland, met with representatives of various minor hockey associations and existing inline hockey leagues throughout the province to discuss the formation of a single provincial body to oversee inline hockey under the auspices of Hockey Alberta and in turn the CHA. At the time, Wurban indicated that Hockey Alberta was committed to growing the sport and always will be – a fact that to this day it has been the case. As a result of this initiative, HAIL was effectively born.
HAIL’S CURRENT PROGRAMS & ACTIVITIES
In addition to coordinating club team tournaments including an annual championship and the Alberta NARCh Regional Qualifier (complete with a skills competition), HAIL offers both grassroots support (e.g., outreach exposure camps) in relation to league development throughout the province as well as providing elite opportunities for players, coaches and officials through its high performance program. This latter aspect includes inline hockey in the Alberta Summer Games, the Canada West Cup involving teams from western Canada and others by invitation, and culminates in the participation by Team Alberta in the USA Hockey InLine National Junior Festival, effectively involving four regional all-star teams (Team Midwest, Team South, Team West and Team East).