England Roller Hockey

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 Rink Hockey Association of England (NRHA) is the roller hockey governing body in England.

National Rink Hockey Association of England Ltd.
Flag of England.svg
Legal statusAmateur
  • England England
21 Clubs
Australia Kos Galtos [1]
Coaching Director
Portugal Carlos Amaral
AffiliationsCERH (Europe)
WebsiteEngland Roller Hockey Official Website
NRHA Premier League
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2020-21
Inaugural season1974
Most recent
King's Lynn RHC (5th title)
Most titlesHerne Bay United (16 titles)
National Cup
Inaugural season1930
Most recent
King's Lynn (1st title)
Most titlesHerne Bay RHC (32 titles)

History and developmentEdit

Roller hockey, originally called "rink hockey," was established in 1896, making it one of the oldest sports recognised associations. 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.

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 national teams take part in U17, U20, Men's and Women's competitions both in Europe and at the World Roller Games, organised by World Skate.

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. The secondary tournament in England is the National Cup (seniors), in which Herne Bay RHC holds the record for most wins.

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

England Roller Hockey and the NRHAEdit

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 affiliated 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 was governed by the Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS) through its affiliate, the Comité Internationale de Rink-Hockey (CIRH), which is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Following the Extraordinary Congress resolution on September 2017 in Nanjing (China), the FIRS has changed its denomination to World Skate, the first step towards a managerial set up attentive to the needs of its base.[2]

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, Italy and Argentina, where it is played professionally by clubs including as FC Barcelona, FC Porto and SL Benfica.[3]

The RegionsEdit

Northern CountiesEdit

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 just 7 clubs, including Plymouth.

Until recently Northern Counties representatives had great success in men's senior roller hockey with Middlesbrough and Grimsby winning the Premier League and National Cup in recent seasons.

List of clubsEdit

Grimsby RHC, Manchester RSC, Middlesbrough, Plymouth RHC, Sheffield Wildcats RH & RSC, Spectrum Spartans RHC and Spen Valley RHC.[4]

Eastern CountiesEdit

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 King's Lynn who have won the Premier League four seasons in a row and Letchworth.

List of clubsEdit

Cambridge & Cottenham RHC, Colchester RHC, Ely & Chesterton United RHC, King's Lynn RHC, Letchworth RHC, Norwich City RHC, Peterborough RHC, Skaters RHC, and Soham RHC.[5]

South Eastern CountiesEdit

The South Eastern Counties is the most prolific region, conceding 29 out of 44 Premier League titles and 70 of the 85 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 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 South Eastern Counties clubs include Maidstone RHC and the newly formed London RHC.

List of clubsEdit

Farnham RHC, Herne Bay RHC, Herne Bay United RH&SC, RHC Invicta, London RHC, Maidstone RHC.[6]

World championshipsEdit

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   Stuttgart   England   Italy   Portugal    Switzerland
1939   Montreux   England   Italy   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. Since 2017, English teams (Men's /Women's/U20 Men's) have represented their country in the World Championships at the World Roller Games organised by World Skate

European championshipsEdit

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   Herne Bay   England   France   Germany    Switzerland
1927   Montreux   England   France    Switzerland   Germany
1928   Herne Bay   England   France   Germany    Switzerland
1929   Montreux   England   Italy   France   Germany
1930   Herne Bay   England   France   Germany    Switzerland
1931   Montreux   England   France    Switzerland   Italy
1932   Herne Bay   England   Germany   France   Portugal
1934   Herne Bay   England   Germany    Switzerland   Italy
1936[1]   Stuttgart   England   Italy   Portugal    Switzerland
1937   Herne Bay   England    Switzerland   Portugal   Italy
1938   Antwerp   England   Italy   Belgium   Portugal
1939[1]   Montreux   England   Italy   Portugal   Belgium
1947[1]   Lisbon   Portugal   Belgium   Spain   Italy
1948[1]   Montreux   Portugal   England   Italy   Spain

National Teams[7]Edit

The National teams represent England at the following levels in the European competitions organised by World Skate - Europe. The Men's team, the Women's team and the Under 19 Men's also compete at the World Championships held at the World Roller Games organised by World Skate.

  • Senior Men's
  • Senior Women's
  • Under 19 Men's
  • Under 17 Men's
  • Under 17 Ladies

Premier LeagueEdit

History of WinnersEdit

Year Champion Year Champion
1973–74 Wolverhampton 1996–97 Herne Bay United
1974–75 Wolverhampton 1997–98 Herne Bay United
1975–76 Folkestone 1998–99 Halifax
1976–77 1999–00 Herne Bay United
1977–78 Wolverhampton 2000–01 Herne Bay United
1978–79 Middlesbrough 2001–02 Herne Bay United
1979–80 Middlesbrough 2002–03 Herne Bay United
1980–81 Southsea 2003–04 Herne Bay United
1981–82 Southsea 2004–05 Bury St. Edmunds
1982–83 Southsea 2005–06 Herne Bay United
1983–84 Southsea 2006–07 Herne Bay United
1984–85 Southsea 2007–08 Herne Bay United
1985–86 Southsea 2008–09 Herne Bay United
1986–87 Southsea 2009–10 Herne Bay United
1987–88 Southsea 2010–11 Middlesbrough
1988–89 Southsea 2011–12 Grimsby
1989–90 Southsea 2012–13 Middlesbrough
1990–91 Southsea 2013–14 Grimsby
1991–92 Southsea 2014–15 Grimsby
1992–93 Herne Bay United 2015–16 King's Lynn
1993–94 Herne Bay United 2016–17 King's Lynn
1994–95 Herne Bay United 2017–18 King's Lynn
1995–96 Herne Bay United 2018–19 King's Lynn 2019–20 King's Lynn

No. of Championships by TeamEdit

Team Championships
Herne Bay United 16
Southsea 12
King's Lynn 5
Middlesbrough 4
Grimsby 3
Wolverhampton 3
Bury St Edmunds 1
Folkestone 1
Halifax 1

2019–2020 seasonEdit

View the Premier League 2019–20 Season here.

The clubs that are competing in the Premier League 2019 - 2020 Season are: Ely and Chesterton United, Grimsby, Herne Bay, King's Lynn, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Peterborough and Soham. The top tier of English rink hockey is the Premier League consisting of 9 teams playing single match home/away format hockey.[8]

The second tier of English rink hockey is National Division 1. It is played on a tournament basis where teams play twice a tournament, with a total of 10 games in the season. In 2018-19 ECU won the right to move up to the National Premier League, with Herne Bay also making the move up. The clubs that are competing in the National Division 1 2019 - 2020 Season are: Cambridge and Cottenham RHC, Ely & Chesterton Inited RHC, Farnham RHC, Letchworth RHC, RHC Invicta and Spen Valley Flyers RHC.[9]

National CupEdit

History of WinnersEdit

Year Winner Year Winner Year Winner Year Winner Year Winner
1930 Herne Bay 1952 Herne Bay 1974 Herne United 1996 Herne Bay United 2018 Soham
1931 Herne Bay 1953 Herne Bay 1975 Folkestone 1997 Maidstone 2019 King's Lynn
1932 Herne Bay 1954 Great Harwood 1976 Southsea 1998 Letchworth
1933 Herne Bay 1955 Herne Bay 1977 Southsea 1999 Maidstone
1934 Herne Bay 1956 Herne Bay 1978 Herne Bay 2000 Herne Bay United
1935 Herne Bay United 1957 Great Harwood 1979 Herne Bay 2001 Herne Bay United
1936 Herne Bay 1958 Herne Bay 1980 Southsea 2002 Herne Bay United
1937 Herne Bay United 1959 Rochester 1981 Southsea 2003 Herne Bay United
1938 Herne Bay 1960 Rochester 1982 Southsea 2004 Herne Bay United
1939 Herne Bay 1961 Birchpark 1983 Southsea 2005 Letchworth
1940 Herne Bay 1962 Alexandra Palace 1984 Herne Bay 2006 Herne Bay United
1941 Herne Bay 1963 Herne Bay 1985 Southsea 2007 Herne Bay United
1942 Herne Bay 1964 Wolverhampton 1986 Southsea 2008 Herne Bay United
1943 Herne Bay 1965 Wolverhampton 1987 Southsea 2009 Herne Bay United
1944 Herne Bay 1966 Folkestone 1988 Southsea 2010 Middlesbrough
1945 Herne Bay 1967 Folkestone 1989 Southsea 2011 Herne Bay United
1946 Herne Bay 1968 Folkestone 1990 Maidstone 2012 Middlesbrough
1947 Herne Bay 1969 Bury St. Edmunds 1991 Southsea 2013 Grimsby
1948 Herne Bay 1970 Wolverhampton 1992 Herne Bay 2014 Grimsby
1949 Herne Bay 1971 Wolverhampton 1993 Herne Bay 2015 Middlesbrough
1950 Herne Bay 1972 Wolverhampton 1994 Herne Bay 2016 Middlesbrough
1951 Herne Bay 1973 Southsea 1995 Middlesbrough 2017 Middlesbrough

Number of English Cups by TeamEdit

Team Cups
Herne Bay 32
Herne Bay United 14
Southsea 13
Wolverhampton 5
Middlesbrough RHC 5
Folkstone 4
Maidstone 3
Bury St Edmunds 2
Rochester 2
Great Harwood 2
Grimsby 2
Letchworth 1
Alexandra Palace 1
Birchpark 1
King's Lynn 1
Soham 1


  1. ^ "New NRHA Executive". England Rink Hockey. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  2. ^ "About World Skate". World Skate. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Ranking of Club Teams" (PDF). Rink Hockey. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  4. ^ "Northern Counties Clubs". England Rink Hockey. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  5. ^ "Eastern Counties Clubs". England Rink Hockey. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  6. ^ "South Eastern Counties Clubs". England Rink Hockey. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  7. ^ "National Training". jca-sports. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Premier League Rink Hockey". England Rink Hockey. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Division 1". England Rink Hockey. Retrieved 21 August 2019.

External linksEdit