What is rink hockey

Roller hockey (in British English), rink hockey (in American English) or quad hockey is a team sport that enjoys significant popularity in a number of Latin countries.

Two five-man teams (four skaters and one goalkeeper) try to drive the ball with their sticks into the opponents’ goal. The ball can only be put in motion by a stick. The game has two 25-minute halves (for adults), with the clock stopping when the ball becomes dead. Each team has a one-minute timeout in each half. Each team has a minimum of six players (a backup goalie is required) and a maximum of ten.

Players use quad skates, whereas inline skates are used in inline hockey. Excessive contact between players is forbidden in rink hockey, unlike inline hockey.

Roller Hockey was a demonstration rollersport in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. There have been many world championships, Latin countries dominating the sport since the 1940s:Spain (16 World titles) including the last 5, Portugal (15 World titles), Italy (4 World titles) andArgentina (4 World titles). Other countries, such as France, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Andorra and England are regular international competitors, but rarely overcome the traditional powers.

Roller Hockey is a very fast sport, which may create a problem for TV transmissions, and new rinks are built using blue or white pavement to make the ball more visible on TV.

The most important clubs in Europe (and, arguably, the world) are SL Benfica, FC Porto, and OC Barcelos from Portugal, FC Barcelona, Reus Deportiu, Igualada HC and Liceo La Coruña from Spain, and occasionally Primavera Prato, Follonica and Bassano Hockey 54 from Italy. In terms of trophies won FC Barcelona is the most successful team having won nineteen European Cups.

SL Benfica is the oldest roller hockey club in the world, having played its first game in 1917.

In 2013, a world cup of roller hockey took place in Angola, for the first time on the African continent, won by Spain being the country with most victories in history.

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