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06-13-2007, 11:52 PM
  #10
Seth Lake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pensfan86 View Post
I looked at the website. It looks like a Canadian version of a ruling body over roller hockey to me (similar to USA Hockey for American ice hockey). The last pro roller hockey league I remember was the RHI or Pro Beach Hockey.
No, there are two governing bodies for inline hockey in the United States, USA Hockey InLine (under the umbrella of USA Hockey) and USARS (USA Roller Sports). USARS is associated with AAU and holds the right to field a "national team" and puts together a team to compete yearly in the FIRS (Federation of International Roller Sports) World Championships. USA Hockey InLine puts together a national team to compete yearly in the IIHF World Championships. Those are the two national governing bodies for the sport.

PIHA (Professional Inline Hockey Association) is a semi-pro roller hockey league that was started several years ago by Charlie Yoder and a couple of other influenial roller hockey enthusaists. It was started small, in and around the Pennslyvania area initially, and has grown quietly, but steadily while making sure that all of their franchises are secure before granting new ones.

PIHA is a no-checking league and plays two "mini-games", instead of one game each night. The teams play two periods for one game, then take a break and play a second two period game each night. Each PIHA franchise has a minor league team that travels with their parent team and plays a game before the "major league" game.

While I have never seen a PIHA major league game, I have seen many of the players that play in the league. Many of the players are high-level tournament players (NARCh, TORHS), who have a serious desire to play high-level inline hockey and the talent to do so. There are also a lot of former NCRHA/CRHL (Collegiate) players entering the league now as the number of teams expand and players graduate from their collegiate programs (some even play both).

I don't know what the initial posters age is, but I would recommend giving it a shot if you feel you are able to compete at that level. Depending on your age, location, and previous playing experience you might also want to check out the NCRHA (www.ncrha.org) if you are in or entering college.

IMO from an outsider's perspective, PIHA has built a reputable model and has taken the time necessary to grow into it's current size. It is not a "fly by night" operation and I believe it has a bright future. Contact them with any questions, I know they will be very receptive to your interest.

You also might want to check out the IHC forums at www.inlinehockeycentral.com. Their "Pro" forum has a lot of posters that are players, administrators, and fans of the league that can better answer your questions.

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