Roller Soccer : Presentation
Presentation of an unrecognized discipline where the French excel
With a mix of soccer and ice hockey rules, Roller Soccer is not a contact sport and is practiced with a good dose of conviviality. It gives the feelings of a sliding sport but also needs the tactical sense of a collective sport. It also enables to develop specific motor skills.
Roller Soccer is a very young sport and is developing.
A bit of history
Roller Soccer would have been born in the United States in 1995, in San Francisco to be more precise, following the instigation of Zack Phillips.
While he was skating, a ball would have crossed his way. In playing with it, he realized that one of the games he loved to play, the “kick the pine cone”, would work better with a football.
He presented the idea to his friends a bit later, and they started to play with no other rule than scoring goals: Roller Soccer was born.
Afterwards, Zack Phillips kept on promoting Roller Soccer, spreading the discipline outside of the US borders a few years later…
Roller Soccer spreading all over the world…
Little by little, through meetings between French and American skaters – especially during the Friday night skate of San Francisco, the idea came to the minds of some French skating lovers. The first contact took place in 1999 between Planet Roller and the associations present during that night skate, including Zack Phillips.
The first Roller Soccer club of France was born in Caen in 2001. That year, Caen Rollersoccer Association becomes the first club of the discipline in France and even in Europe.
During years 2001-2003, Rollersoccer Germany and Rollersoccer France were created.
The Roller Soccer World Cup
The first World Cup took place in 2003, under the title of Rollersoccer World Cup, in London (England). France takes part for the first time in 2005 and ends up last.
Let’s note that this is a World Cup gathering clubs and that it takes place each year.
That first defeat didn’t prevent France to become the leader of the discipline from 2006 to 2011 (The 2012 World Cup didn’t take place yet).
List of winners of the discipline
- 2003: Netherlands win in London, England
- 2004: South Germany wins in London, England
- 2005: Gottingen, Germany, wins in Bremen, Germany
- 2006: Planet Roller wins in Nuremberg, Germany
- 2007: AMSCAS Marseille, France, already 2nd in 2006, wins in Paris after a memorable final against Planet Roller
- 2008: San Francisco Away Team wins in San Francisco, USA
- 2009-2010-2011: AMSCAS Marseille, successively wins in Brussels, Belgium after ending up 2nd in 2008, then in Piacenza, Italy and in Recife, Brazil.
i.e. 5 world champion titles for the French clubs and 4 vice champion titles (AMSCAS Marseille in 2006 and 2008, Planet Roller in 2007 and Shark Epinay Rollersoccer in 2009), after 9 tournaments since 2003.
A great success in France for Roller Soccer
The huge passion for this discipline in France somehow explains the French domination, with the development of competitions in the country:
- French Cup
- French Championship
- Creation of a French Roller Soccer League*
…under the leadership of big names in other skating disciplines such as Bowl, Ramp, Skatecross… with on top of the list: Anthony Avella (President of the LFRS), Mike Bonassi (AMSCAS Marseille) and Kevin Quintin to name just a few, because French people have a great world reputation.
* The FFRS is aware of the creation of the Roller Soccer discipline, the latter being in a test phase this year and comes under the control of the National Freestyle Commission. This will enable to take stock of the development of the discipline which (let’s hope) should witness the creation of its own Roller Soccer commission or committee.
Apart from the World Cup…
In 2008, AMSCAS Marseille organized the first international tournament in Marseille, the MIT (Marseille International Tournament) during which the first 8-14yr games took place.
An international tournament is organized every year since 2009 in Piacenza.
The French Cup of Roller Soccer was created in 2009.
In 2010, AMSCAS Marseille organized the first Club European Cup, and the 2011 edition was in Zaandam, Holland.
In 2010, AMSCAS Marseille organized the first French Cup of Junior Roller Soccer.
Today, Roller Soccer is practiced in clubs in the USA for sure, but also in France, Belgium, Norway, Netherland, Italy, Brazil, Slovenia, Senegal…
It is still hard to know the exact number of Roller Soccer players. The sport is booming, especially this year with the creation of a French-speaking tournament including French teams and a Belgian team (details in an upcoming article), in order to promote the sport but also to insure its players with a dimension worth their passion as for training and experience in a more competitive context.
In short: after the creation of clubs in several countries, international tournaments, the creation of a French League and an international federation (Roller Soccer International Federation), it is time to move up a gear in the development of Roller Soccer.
The Roller Soccer pitch
- The area should be 60 meters long and 30 meters wide (min. 40 m long and 20 m wide) and should be delineated by playable edges (like a low wall) and a safety net.
- The area should enable the practice of skating (flat and smooth surface).
- The goals should be 3 meters wide and 1 meter high, and the penalty area 5 meters wide and 3 meters long.
The main rules
- Max 10 players per team, including 5 on the game area.
- Replacements are unlimited.
- The match is made of two periods of 25 min (with a 5 min break).
- The ball is size 5.
- The players may use all the parts of their bodies except for their arms, and the goalkeeper should not touch the ball with his hands.
- Each goal scores one point.
- You may play with the edges and behind the goals according to the areas just like in Hockey.
- You should not tackle.
- One or several players may “go to the box”: this is a possible sanction for foul play or violent play penalties.
- Each start at the beginning of the game or after a goal, is played at the center of the area just like in Soccer.
- Free kicks may be direct or indirect, and the defending team may make a wall just like in Soccer, 2 meters away from the shooting point. Penalties are taken by a player 6 meters in front of the keeper who is at the level of his goals, and throw-ins (when the ball goes over the edges around the area) are taken with the foot.
- No player, except for the goalkeeper, has an allocated game area (midfielder, striker, defender for example).
In short, on an area close to that of Hockey, Roller Soccer mainly applies rules coming from Soccer, and just like in both sports, the aim is to score more goals than the opposing team.
In case of a tie at the end of the time limit, penalty shots are taken in alternation just like in Soccer, with 5 strikers for each team, 6 meters away from the goals.
Useful LinksBy David
Translated by Chloé Seyres
Photos: AMSCAS, All rights reserved