Player Equipment


Due to the competitive nature of roller hockey, physical contact occurs although body checks are not allowed.  Equipment that is similar to that worn by ice hockey players is used for roller hockey.  As a result, players wear shin guards, gloves, long hockey pants, helmet (helmet with half shield, helmet with full shield, helmet with full cage), elbow pads, shoulder pads, inline skates, mouthpiece, and athletic supporters. 


The ball usually is orange in color made by Mylec, Franklin, D-Gel, A&R Hockey and Bauer.  Companies manufacture different colored balls to use based on temperature.  The best ball for roller hockey is the orange colored ball best suited for play if the temperature is over 60 degrees.  If the temperature is over 80 degrees, consider the Red hockey ball.  If the temperature is between 30 and 60 degrees, use a pink colored ball as the orange hockey balls are too hard and just forget about the Red hockey balls.  Lastly, if the temperature is under 30 degrees, use a blue (cool) hockey ball.

Manufacturers have also introduced multi color balls (think tie-die), glow in the dark balls and liquid filled balls.  The liquid filled balls eliminate the bounce but are a lot harder if you get hit with a shot.  I think they are ideal for a young child learning how to pass and stickhandle and ideal as well for the older player looking to hone their stickhandling skills.  

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If you don’t have access to these types of hockey balls, a tennis ball will work fine, but use an old one so it won’t bounce as much.  The other problem with tennis balls is they travel a lot farther if you have to chase them. 

            Pucks used in roller hockey are made of plastic and a lot less heavier than traditional ice hockey pucks.  The pucks have small dots or ridges on each side to enable the pucks to slide better on the surface and reduce friction.

A & R Official Roller Hockey Puck


Hockey Gloves can mean a lot of things to a lot of people.  A number of companies have introduced a Roller Hockey glove which is less padded on the outside than a traditional ice hockey glove to allow for a more natural feel but still affording very good protection for the hand.  These are designed specifically for roller hockey.  Mylec, Franklin, CCM, D-Gel, Bauer, Easton, Mission, Tour EVO, Reebok and Warrior all offer these types of roller hockey gloves.  These can be purchased in any sporting goods store or online.

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Some players insist on the typical ice hockey glove because they are accustomed to wearing this type of glove. These gloves have very thick padding on the outside of the gloves and are not very pliable.  These afford the most protection but might be too heavy for roller hockey.

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 Hockey sticks are the second (some say first) most important part of the roller hockey game.  Without one, you really can’t play.  Get the wrong one and it will get you cut from your roller hockey team.  Rarely do you find two people on the same team or even in the same game using the same stick!!  Factors to consider are your skill set, the type of surface that you are playing on, price, flexibility, stiffness, weight, thickness of the shaft, curve and material of the stick.  It all comes down to feel, what feels right for you.

 There are wooden sticks, plastic blade sticks and composite sticks, including one piece and a two piece sticks.

The most common type of stick for the roller hockey player is the composite stick, 1 or 2 piece.  The price is a bit more such that the cost of replacement of a stick becomes an issue.  But, you get a lighter stick with some flex to it enabling you to get a harder shot and sometimes, some curve to the shot.  The 2 piece stick, with blades that are replaceable, are similar to the composite sticks except that a torch is needed to heat up the glue on the stick to insert or remove the blade from the shaft.  Manufacturers such as Koho, CCM, Mylec, Cosom, Shield, DOM, Bauer, Easton, Mission, Reebok, Sherwood, TPS, Warrior.

Wood sticks are widely used due to price.  A good stick can run as little as $20.00 to $40.00 and purchased on the way to the rink if need be from a sporting goods store or a department store.  For the price, you might want to pick up two in case one breaks.  A wooden stick will still give you a good shot, multiple blade curve options (pre made) and a lot of durability for the price.  Companies such as Koho, RBK, CCM, Reebok, Easton, Mylec, Sherwood, Winnwell, Nike are still making wood hockey sticks.

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Old school.  If you are looking old school look no further than a plastic blade that slides onto the end of a wooden stick.  These were popular in the 60’s and 70’s (and 80’s) with either a full plastic blade or a plastic blade with the little holes in the top for “air flow”.  All one had to do was heat the blade up over an open flame or in boiling hot water to curve the stick right or left handed.  Although they are durable and dirt cheap, you can’t shoot hard because of the air flow design.  You really don’t see this type of stick being used much more other than for young kids or in schools.  Mylec, Franklin, DOM and Cosom still sell blades and sticks either alone or in sets with other equipment.


Shinguards, for the player that elects to wear them, can now wear a specially designed Roller hockey shinguard.  Others prefer the traditional ice hockey shinguard.  Each has its merits and detriments.  An ice hockey shin guard is going to be heavier, thicker, bulkier and more difficult to move around in when playing roller hockey.  The newer shinguard, designed especially for roller hockey are light weight, offer the same type of protection and are not as full or bulky as the ice hockey shin guard.   

For the player that wants the look of an ice hockey shinguard, Franklin, Mylec, Tour EVO, D-Gel, Eagle Ball Hockey and Cooper all sell roller hockey shinguards.

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Once again, companies have come out with less bulky, less heavy roller hockey designed elbow and shoulder pads.  These are more than sufficient to do the trick for a roller hockey game.  They are cheaper, less heavy, thinner, lightweight and perfect for the roller hockey player.  Mylec, Bauer, Easton and Itech are major manufacturers of these types of pads.

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Of recent vintage, hockey pants designed for roller hockey are available.  There are two types of player hockey pants.  The first contains padding on the front and back of the leg from the knee to the ankles yet are light enough so as to not weigh down the player.  D-Gel, Valken, Reebok, Mission, Bauer and Tour Evo all sell hockey pants.  Roller hockey pants could also be used as well.  D Gel and Mission also sell non-padded hockey pants.

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Hockey pants, the traditional type worn by ice hockey players are usually not worn in a roller hockey game.  These are too big, heavy and bulky for the roller hockey player.


Helmets are suggested headwear for a roller hockey game to prevent accidental injury to the head by virtue of a shot, errant stick or fall.  Helmets come in all shapes (to some degree) and of course, sizes.  Basically any hockey helmet is sufficient for the roller hockey game.  A multitude of companies such as I-Tech, Bauer, Mylec, CCM, Cascade, Easton, Reebok, Mission and Nike sell helmets.

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While the helmet protects your head, it doesn’t protect your face.  If you want to protect your eyes, add a half shield.  The half shield provides protection for the eyes and usually the nose and allows a player to see the ball or puck at his feet.  (You will get some fogging of the half shield but not bad)  The full shield offers maximum protection of the face but makes it difficult to see the ball at your feet (With the full shield, you may (will) get fogging in the shield.)  The full cage is similar in protection to the full shield, with the same drawbacks except because of the use of a cage, it is open air and doesn’t (can’t) fog up.

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 The best known company for the shields is I-Tech.  For the cage and full shield, try Mylec, Bauer, CCM, Reebok, Oakley, Cascade and Easton.

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Like a traditional ice hockey skate, a roller hockey blade or inline skate is very similar in design.  A descendant of the original quad skate for roller skating, the roller hockey blade is sleeker today than in the past and requires changing of the wheels to maintain grip with the surface as opposed to sharpening of the blade. 

The roller blade is made up of three parts: the boot, frame and brake.  The boot is the portion of the roller blade that the foot sits in.  The boot is attached to the frame which holds the wheels in place.  The brake is attached to the heel of the frame made up of hard plastic to allow the skater to stop by lifting the toes of the skate, forcing the brake onto the ground.

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 The roller blades of today have anywhere from 2, 3, 4 or 5 blades (wheels) in a “line”.  The wheels rotate freely due to the use of bearings.  Wheels can vary in size depending on the type of skating to be done from 47 mm to 100 mm. For roller hockey skating, the range should be within 64 to 80 mm.  Depending on the manufacturer of the blades that you are buying, there may be different sizes contained in the blade.   

The wheels are comprised of polyurethane.  This is due to its durability and lasting effect.  If a different type of plastic or rubber is used, they tend to wear down more quicker.  The shape or profile of the wheel can be elliptical or round.  The more round the profile, the better grip and more stability provided.

Which wheel is right for you?  Generally speaking, size, hardness and grip are the most important aspect of the wheel.  The surface that you are playing on will have a major factor in the type of wheel that you need.  If you choose too hard of a durometer for your surface, you really will be ice skating because you will have no grip.  If you use too soft of a durometer for your surface, you find wheels chunking and splitting quickly.  For hockey purposes, a wheel 64 to 80 mm is optimum.  The shape of the wheel should be wider and more round for traction and grip.
Wheel hardness is measured on the A scale of the durometer.  Roller wheels usually range between 78A-93A (higher numbers are harder).  The harder the wheel, the faster, more durable wheel.  The softer wheel provides greater grip to the surface but are not as durable and will wear out faster.  If you are a heavier player, consider a higher durometer.  If you are playing on a sport court type of surface (plastic sport tile), the 74A and 76A hardness is used.  If you are playing on asphalt, an 82A or 84A durometer is a better option. 

72 (xx – soft): This type of inline wheel is for indoor use only on a smooth, flat plastic/synthetic type of surface.  This is a very soft durometer and lighter sized players should use this level of hardness.

74 (x – soft): The most common type of durometer for players under 190 lbs on in indoor smooth, plastic surface like a sport court floor.
      76A  (soft): The most commonly used durometer.  Once again, if playing on a sport court surface, a player under 210 lbs should use this wheel.  If playing on a wood surface, players under 140 lbs can use this wheel as well.
      78A (multi-surface): This type of wheel is most popular with players because of its versatility.  It can be used on sport court floors, wood floors and sealed cement surfaces.  It all depends on your weight and the type of surface your are playing on.
      80A (Multi surface): This is also a multi- surface wheel but better used for a wood or sealed cement surface.  You may encounter difficulties on a sport court surface with this type of wheel.
      82A  (Outdoor): A wheel with this durometer can be used on asphalt, sidewalk and cement that is unsealed.
      84A  (Outdoor/Asphalt): This is the highest durometer wheel that should be used for hockey and only for sidewalk, unsealed concrete and asphalt.  This wheel is too hard for sport court surfaces. 
The type of bearing in the wheel has now become relevant.  The two types are the 608 standard wheel bearing and the 688 micro-bearing wheel.  Due to the size differences in the wheel size, spacers for the 608 and 688 wheels are needed.
Roller blades for goalies are different that a regular skater.  They are smaller to allow for more aggressive movements needed by Goalies.  Traditionally,  the wheel size is between 47 mm and 59 mm.  The size of the goalie is relevant as well so that the skate doesn’t wear out too fast.  The profile of the wheel, to determine which part of the wheel is making contact with the surface is important to due the nature of the position.  Most goalie wheels now provide for squared edges rather than round, that provides more the ability to push off more.  


Jerseys may always seem an afterthought for people playing pick-up roller hockey.  This is a plain mistake.  I am not saying to go out and spend $200.00 for a replica jersey but at least make sure that the team is outfitted in the same color.  It makes it much easier for players to identify their teammates from those of the opposing team. 

On the low end of jerseys, pinnies are the easiest to use.  You remember these, the yellow or orange mesh pinnies the school gym teacher passed out.  Next up the clothes line are practice jerseys.  These are basic mesh jerseys with no markings at all and one solid color.  Replica jerseys, including current NHL teams, extinct NHL teams, WHA teams, “old” NHL throwback or even college jerseys can now be purchased on line.

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Up until a few years ago, any type of clothing would suffice under your jersey or uniform.  That was before Under Armour and the mass promotion of wicking material.  This type of clothing is specifically designed to draw moisture away from the skin.  It pulls sweat away from the skin and to the exterior of the fabric where it can evaporate more easily.

Every sports apparel company and non sports apparel company has introduced their version of wicking clothing.  Under Armour, Champion, Nike, Reebok etc.

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Skull cap - A specifically designed cap to fit on your head to prevent the sweat from getting into your eyes due to wearing a helmet (as a player) or a goalie helmet/mask.


Non-prescribed braces and supports can be purchased at any “big box” retail store or a sporting goods store.  One can find a brace that is hard plastic, flexible material or the knit/synthetic type.  Each has its drawbacks and advantages.  Try the type of product that fits your needs and your body best.  McDavid, Ace and Mueller all make such products and can be found online or at local sporting goods stores.  

Pretty simple stuff here.  You can spend as little as $2.00 or I have seen them as much as $150.00 depending on the quality of the mouthpiece you are looking for.  Youth mouthpieces are the most pricey hitting the high end of the price range with some shock absorbing qualities with some covering the top and bottom teeth.  Typically though, the high end price point of $20.00 is more than sufficient.  The lower priced mouthpieces are the old school type of mouthpiece which provides a covering for the upper teeth only.  You can even buy ones to cover braces!

For the lower priced mouthpieces, try Adams, A&R, Shock Doctor, Tapout, Reebok, I Tech, Everlast and Nike.  For pricier mouthpieces with more coverage and better protection, try Shock Doctor and Under Armour.

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            Any sporting good store sells hockey tape.  Hockey tape can be used to tape the blade of your stick, the butt-end of your stick, the shaft of the stick or, when needed, your equipment.

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Referees are a must in organized leagues.  Ideally, 2 referees are sufficient for a roller hockey game.  The referees have to work in tandem. One referee is responsible for one offensive zone calling the goals scored in that zone and the second referee is responsible for the opposite end of the rink and the goalie net.  Once play has progressed low into the zone around the net, the referee works his way to the corner of the rink to gain a better view of the net.  The opposite referee moves up to the blue line (or red line if floating blue line).  When play moves to the opposite end of the rink, the referees swap responsibilities such that the referees should always be staggered with one referee deep in the zone and the other referee at the blue or red line. 


In an organized league, referees should always be wearing a jersey.  Jerseys are available in short or long sleeve, in all sizes, both in pull over- v neck style, pull over with short zip, or a full zip up and of made of many different materials.  Depending on the location of the rink and the season, the referee has many choices in jerseys such as short sleeve or long sleeve, knit or polyester, overhead or button down.  CCM is the main name for referee jerseys. 

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Of course, a referee is going to need a whistle (unless it is late in the third period).  Depending on preference, a referee can use a standard two finger whistle made by Fox 40 and ACME or a regular whistle that can be made of metal or plastic.

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Standardized certification or licensing for roller hockey referees is not available.  However, referees can attend training or certification classes or clinics.  Some leagues even have their own courses that must be completed before refereeing.  If truly adventurous, a referee can be licensed to referee ice hockey such as through USA hockey and USA Roller Sports.


If you a starting your own league or looking to upgrade your scoreboard system, flexibility is the key.  Is your rink used for anything else?  If so, you need a scoreboard that can handle scoring for the other endless possibilities.  Typically, a multi-sport scoreboard will provide a timer/clock, score, period designation and penalty clock.  Use of such a scoreboard will allow interchangeability for not only hockey but soccer and basketball too.  Football, Lacrosse, and Field Hockey etc can also be used with a larger scoreboard.  Nevco Scoreboard Company is perhaps the most well-known manufacturer of scoreboards. Other manufacturers include Electro-Mech scoreboards and Fair-Play scoreboards.  


            There are different types of flooring for roller hockey.  Ideally, a sport court type of floor is ideal.    They are designed to provide a low resistance surface for smooth, fast movement of the ball or puck.  They are highly durable and afford little to no maintenance.  A great investment and usable for a multitude of sports.  If outdoors though, the surface is too slick to play on, especially with roller blades.  Try Sportcourt, Mateflex or Snap Sports and see the products they sell for indoor and outdoor use.  

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