England Roller Hockey

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National Roller Hockey Association
Flag of England.svg
Abbreviation NRHA
Formation 1896
Legal status Amateur
Headquarters Letchworth, Hertfordshire
  • England England
Membership 29 Clubs
President England Keith Allen
Coaching Director Portugal Carlos Amaral
Affiliations CERH (Europe)
Website England Roller Hockey Official Website
NRHA Premier League
Inaugural season 1974
Most recent champion(s) Grimsby RHC (1st title)
Most titles Herne Bay United (16 titles)
National Cup
Inaugural season 1930
Most recent champion(s) Middlesbrough RHC (3rd title)
Most titles Herne Bay RHC (32 titles)

England Roller Hockey, which originated in England, is a game played on roller-skates with a ball and stick. It was first played at The Lava Rink in Denmark Hill, London, in 1885. The National Roller Hockey Association of England (NRHA) is the roller hockey governing body in England.

History and development[edit]

Roller hockey, originally called "rink hockey," was established in 1896, making it the oldest sports recognised association.[citation needed] It consisted of 10 men on each side, and the first roller hockey games were played with a tennis ball and ordinary walking sticks, or sometimes even old umbrella handles.[1]

During the infancy of the game, the sport built up very rapidly, with many teams starting in the London area. New associations were created for the southern and the northern parts of the country. Whilst roller hockey is still a minority sport throughout the world, it has been developed by many European countries into a well-paid, professional sport. In England, though, after its promising start, roller hockey has declined. Its number of registered players increase in line with the skating trend.

Aside from the professional coaching director, Carlos Amaral, the association is entirely amateur. The England roller hockey team has been a FIRS World Championship winner twice (in 1936 and 1939, when the championships were also contested as the European Championships) and CERH European Championship winner 12 times.

The major competition in English roller hockey is the NRHA Premier League, which has seen both Southsea RHC and Herne Bay United dominate in previous decades. Grimsby RHC is another dominant team. The secondary tournament in England is the National Cup (seniors), in which Herne Bay RHC holds the record for most wins. A recent top contender in the National Cup is Middlesbrough RHC.

The NRHA is divided into three regions: Northern Counties (NCRHA), Eastern Counties (ECRHA) and Southern Counties (SCRHA).

England Roller Hockey and the NRHA[edit]

England Roller Hockey is the national association for roller hockey across the country. It is registered as The National Roller Hockey Association of England (NRHA).

In Britain, roller hockey forms one of seven roller sport disciplines affilitated with the British Roller Sports Federation (BRSF), which is recognised as the national governing body (NGB) of all the disciplines. The sport of roller hockey is governed by the Fédération Internationale de Roller Skating (FIRS) through its affiliate, the Comité Internationale de Rink-Hockey (CIRH), which is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)

The day-to-day operations of the NRHA are conducted by its executive committee members, with their sub-committees, which are elected every four years at the Annual General Meeting of the Association (AGM). The committee consists of the president, general secretary, treasurer, competitors, officials, and marketing.

In addition, the presidents (or their authorised representatives) of each affiliated region of the NRHA also sit on the association's executive committee.

Although roller hockey is an English creation, it is most popular in Latin countries such as Spain, Portugal and Argentina, where it is played professionally by clubs including as FC Barcelona, FC Porto, SL Benfica and Liceo Coruña.

The Regions[edit]

Northern Counties[edit]

The Northern Counties Roller Hockey Association is the regional body within the National Roller Hockey Association of England, which covers the northern counties of England, including Greater Manchester, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Notable clubs include Middlesbrough RHC, Manchester RHC and Grimsby RHC. While there have been many clubs in Northern England since the NRHA began in 1896, it now features only six clubs, while Plymouth and West Devon SK8 from County Devon also compete in NCRHA competitions.

Currently, Northern Counties representatives dominate men's senior roller hockey. In the 2010–11 season, while Herne Bay United won the National Cup, Middlesbrough RHC was crowned Premier League Champions. In the 2011–12 season, Grimsby RHC won their first Premier League title, while Middlesbrough RHC finished as runner-up. In the National Cup, Middlesbrough RHC defeated Grimsby 6–3 in the Cup Final on 7 July, at the Bay Arena in Herne Bay, Kent.

Eastern Counties[edit]

The Eastern Counties Roller Hockey Association, historically the least successful, is currently the most decorated affiliation to the NRHA. It has the most clubs and members out of the three regions, and covers counties including Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire. Its most famous clubs include Bury St. Edmunds and Letchworth, which are regular senior Premier League competitors, with the former winning the league title back in 2005, and the latter winning the National Cup the same year.

Southern Counties[edit]

The Southern Counties is the most prolific region, conceding 29 out of 37 Premier League titles and 70 of the 78 National Cup titles. Herne Bay RHC dominated English roller hockey for much of its early existence, competing at the legendary Pier Pavilion, which was demolished in the year 2011. Their success was followed mostly by Hampshire club, Southsea RHC, and later Herne Bay United, which dominated the Premier League championships up until 2010.

Other notable Southern Counties clubs include Maidstone RHC and Farnham RHC.

The Southern Counties covers the largest distance of land between clubs, spreading from Kent to Devon.

World championships[edit]

In the early World Championships, England was successful in winning the first two tournaments:

European and World Championship
Year Host city (cities) Gold Silver Bronze 4th Place
1936 Germany Stuttgart England England  Italy Portugal Portugal  Switzerland
1939 Switzerland Montreux England England  Italy Portugal Portugal  Belgium

However, following World War II, England had no success in the World Championships, apart from a second-placed finish in the 1948 games in Montreux, Switzerland.

In the modern game, the World Championships are split into two categories. The World "A" Championships contest is contested by the best teams in the world, while the World "B' Championships, contested every other year to the World A's, see the top three finishers qualify to compete in the World A's the following year in a relegation/promotion system. England usually fights to remain in the World A's, or is relegated and fights for promotion. The national team has finished not higher than 13th in the World A's in many years, although they have been regular contenders in the World A's.

In the 2011 FIRS Men's Roller Hockey World Cup in San Juan, Argentina, England finished in 15th place and competed in the 2012 FIRS Men's B-Roller Hockey World Cup in Canelones, Uruguay.

European championships[edit]

England had great success in the early tournaments of the European championships, winning 12 titles. However, after World War II, although England attained one second-placed finish in 1948 and two fourth-placed finishes in 1957 and 1959, they have struggled to make any real international impact for many years on the European stage, which has been predominantly dominated by Spain, Portugal and Italy.

Year Host city Gold Silver Bronze 4th Place
1926 England Herne Bay England England  France  Germany   Switzerland
1927 Switzerland Montreux England England  France   Switzerland  Germany
1928 England Herne Bay England England  France  Germany   Switzerland
1929 Switzerland Montreux England England  Italy  France  Germany
1930 England Herne Bay England England  France  Germany   Switzerland
1931 Switzerland Montreux England England  France   Switzerland  Italy
1932 England Herne Bay England England  Germany  France  Portugal
1934 England Herne Bay England England  Germany   Switzerland  Italy
1936[1] Germany Stuttgart England England  Italy  Portugal   Switzerland
1937 England Herne Bay England England   Switzerland  Portugal  Italy
1938 Belgium Antwerp England England  Italy  Belgium  Portugal
1939[1] Switzerland Montreux England England  Italy  Portugal  Belgium
1947[1] Portugal Lisbon  Portugal  Belgium  Spain  Italy
1948[1] Switzerland Montreux  Portugal England England  Italy  Spain

Premier League[edit]

History of Winners[edit]

Year Champion Year Champion
1973–74 Wolverhampton 1993–94 Herne Bay United
1974–75 Wolverhampton 1994–95 Herne Bay United
1975–76 Folkestone 1995–96 Herne Bay United
1976–77 1996–97 Herne Bay United
1977–78 Wolverhampton 1997–98 Herne Bay United
1978–79 Middlesbrough RHC 1998–99 Halifax
1979–80 Middlesbrough RHC 1999–2000 Herne Bay United
1980–81 Southsea 2000–01 Herne Bay United
1981–82 Southsea 2001–02 Herne Bay United
1982–83 Southsea 2002–03 Herne Bay United
1983–84 Southsea 2003–04 Herne Bay United
1984–85 Southsea 2004–05 Bury St. Edmunds
1985–86 Southsea 2005–06 Herne Bay United
1986–87 Southsea 2006–07 Herne Bay United
1987–88 Southsea 2007–08 Herne Bay United
1988–89 Southsea 2008–09 Herne Bay United
1989–90 Southsea 2009–10 Herne Bay United
1990–91 Southsea 2010–11 Middlesbrough RHC
1991–92 Southsea 2011–12 Grimsby
1992–93 Herne Bay United 2012–13

No. of Championships by Team[edit]

Team Championships
Herne Bay United 16
Southsea 12
Wolverhampton 3
Middlesbrough RHC 3
Grimsby RHC 1
Bury St Edmunds 1
Folkestone 1
Halifax 1

2012–13 Season[edit]

View the Premier League 2012–13 Season here.

Team P W D L GF GA GD+ Pts
1 Herne Bay United 15 12 0 3 96 53 43 36
2 Middlesbrough 14 11 1 2 76 41 35 34
3 Manchester 16 11 0 5 134 89 45 33
4 Grimsby 13 9 1 3 88 51 37 28
5 Bury St. Edmunds 15 9 0 6 78 77 1 27
6 King's Lynn 15 4 1 10 81 118 −38 13
7 Letchworth 15 4 0 11 56 88 −32 12
8 Invicta 15 3 0 12 56 81 −25 9
9 Peterborough 16 2 1 13 58 124 −66 7

National Cup[edit]

History of Winners[edit]

Year Winner Year Winner Year Winner Year Winner
1930 Herne Bay 1951 Herne Bay 1972 Wolverhampton 1993 Herne Bay
1931 Herne Bay 1952 Herne Bay 1973 Southsea 1994 Herne Bay
1932 Herne Bay 1953 Herne Bay 1974 Herne United 1995 Middlesbrough RHC
1933 Herne Bay 1954 Great Harwood 1975 Folkestone 1996 Herne Bay United
1934 Herne Bay 1955 Herne Bay 1976 Southsea 1997 Maidstone RHC
1935 Herne Bay United 1956 Herne Bay 1977 Southsea 1998 Letchworth
1936 Herne Bay 1957 Great Harwood 1978 Herne Bay 1999 Maidstone RHC
1937 Herne Bay United 1958 Herne Bay 1979 Herne Bay 2000 Herne Bay United
1938 Herne Bay 1959 Rochester 1980 Southsea 2001 Herne Bay United
1939 Herne Bay 1960 Rochester 1981 Southsea 2002 Herne Bay United
1940 Herne Bay 1961 Birchpark 1982 Southsea 2003 Herne Bay United
1941 Herne Bay 1962 Alexandra Palace 1983 Southsea 2004 Herne Bay United
1942 Herne Bay 1963 Herne Bay 1984 Herne Bay 2005 Letchworth
1943 Herne Bay 1964 Wolverhampton 1985 Southsea 2006 Herne Bay United
1944 Herne Bay 1965 Wolverhampton 1986 Southsea 2007 Herne Bay United
1945 Herne Bay 1966 Folkestone 1987 Southsea 2008 Herne Bay United
1946 Herne Bay 1967 Folkestone 1988 Southsea 2009 Herne Bay United
1947 Herne Bay 1968 Folkestone 1989 Southsea 2010 Middlesbrough RHC
1948 Herne Bay 1969 Bury St. Edmunds 1990 Maidstone RHC 2011 Herne Bay United
1949 Herne Bay 1970 Wolverhampton 1991 Southsea 2012 Middlesbrough RHC
1950 Herne Bay 1971 Wolverhampton 1992 Herne Bay 2013 TBD

Number of English Cups by Team[edit]

Team Cups
Herne Bay 32
Southsea 13
Herne Bay United 12
Wolverhampton 5
Folkstone 4
Maidstone RHC 3
Middlesbrough RHC 3
Rochester 2
Great Harwood 2
Letchworth 2
Bury St. Edmunds 1
Alexandra Palace 1
Birchpark 1

National Division One[edit]

Team P W D L Pts HH
1 Project 2013 16 12 0 4 36
2 Herne Bay United 16 10 3 3 33
3 Halifax 16 9 2 5 29 Head-to-Head
4 Maidstone 16 9 2 5 29 HAL-MAI 5–1, 2–2
5 Ely 16 8 2 6 26
6 Houghton Regis 16 8 1 7 25
7 Sheffield 16 6 0 10 18
8 East Grinstead 16 5 0 11 15
9 England Ladies 16 0 0 16 0


  1. ^ Pout, Roger. "A Short History of Roller Hockey". Roger Pout. Retrieved 4/8/2013. 

External links[edit]