OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Grab your sticks and pads because roller hockey is back in Oceanside! The Tri-City Inline Hockey League dropped the puck on their season on Saturday.
It’s a day that North County hockey fans have been waiting for for over a year. The league gives kids a chance to shoot and score on wheels since 1993. While the rules of inline hockey are essentially the same as on ice, the sport is considered much safer for kids.
Board Member and coach for TCIHL, Demitri Demidov explained how the game is safer, “Because there's no check required whatsoever. It doesn't matter if we have 5-year-olds playing high schoolers or it's a professional roller hockey team. There's no check allowed whatsoever.”
Demidov says that before the pandemic, the league had more than 100 players per season, but after a year of shutting down, he is hoping to rebuild his organization.
“So we went without the spring season and full season, as we had to now resume our activities, we basically have to regrow the league from almost 40-50 percent. We had about 50 percent full out of players to either individual sports throughout that year or some even moved completely of the state of California,” said Demidov.
For those that stayed, the league resumed play on Saturday with the first puck being dropped by Inline Hockey world champion and San Diego resident, Allison Era.
So grab your stick and pads, head to Oceanside and play some puck in the San Diego sun
Demitri Demidov said, “Hockey league is all about fun. We have this big emphasis on it and always have. It's a developmental league. So we teach any newbies from ground zero how to build their skills so they'll feel confident on skates and also feel confident in life. Because not only sports are about winning.”
Watch: Hockeyology, Episode 1: Basic rules of hockey