Over three days of competition from July 27th and 29th , eight teams from around the province met in Lethbridge to compete for inline supremacy at the Alberta Summer Games. The eight zones consisted of the Sunny South, Big Country, Calgary, Parkland, Black/Gold region, Peace country, Edmonton, and the Northeast. All of the teams were formed from regional try-out camps and 92 athletes were able to travel and participate in the Inline Hockey event.
In the final game the Zone 6 athletes from Edmonton were able to outlast the team from Zone 4 - Parkland (Red Deer area) winning the game 6-2. The game was very fast and filled with great moments. It was a true testament to the sport. In the Bronze medal game the Zone 3 team from Calgary beat the Black Gold Zone 5 squad to take home third place.
“Our goal at this tournament was to re-energize the sport for the kids who were eligible to play and to facilitate a good experience that they will remember for many years to come,” said South Regional Development coordinator for Hockey Alberta, Troy Muspratt. “We were able to recruit some ice players to participate and we hope the inline sport will be able to continue to gain momentum and have some traction in all zones in the province. We saw some excellent skill here in Lethbridge and the goaltending was shockingly good even though some of the scores were high.”
Inline hockey is played on inline 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 there are no line violations like icings and off sides. Penalties are similar to ice hockey, but body checking is not allowed at any level even in international play. The equipment used is the same as ice hockey with the exception of the skates and pants. Hockey pants are allowed, but most players prefer inline pants.