Get Rolling!

Ocala Roller Hockey Club delivers fast-paced, competitive fun.

Written By Cynthia McFarland

Roller hockey gained a following in U.S. cities in the 1880s and was a professional international sport by the 1920s.

Unlike ice hockey, there is no “checking” or “boarding” because roller hockey is considered a non-contact sport.

“It’s more a speed and finesse sport like basketball,” says Jeff Rabold, coach of the Ocala Roller Hockey Club, which has a youth (15 and under) team and an adult (16 and older) team. Both teams are co-ed.

“We’ve been participating in the regional and national championships since 2018 and have brought home medals every year,” says Coach Rabold, who has been involved in the sport for 55 years. “At the nationals in July in Lubbock, Texas, two of our adult teams got silver medals, and our 10 and under team also got a silver medal.”

Ocala club player Dillon Barton competed at the 2022 World Championships in Argentina. Alex Mays and Jarrod Rabold were alternates for the Men’s Senior Team.

Rabold explains that roller hockey rules are basically a combination of ice hockey, soccer and basketball.

The game constantly flows and moves across the rink as each team tries to gain control of the ball (not puck) and score.

There are four “floor” players and one goalie competing at a time on each team. For youth teams, a game is two 15-minute halves. For adults, there are two 20-minute halves. 

Roller hockey sticks look more like field hockey sticks; although, some players prefer standard ice hockey sticks. During play, sticks must be kept below players’ shoulders.

Mandatory protective gear includes helmet, knee pads and shin pads. Gloves and face shields are optional. 

The Ocala club’s fall season has been “open” or “pickup” hockey, but after January 1, Rabold plans to have enough players for league games, as well as some travel league competition with other teams in North Florida.

Anyone interested in playing should come by Skate A Way South (2008 E Silver Springs Boulevard) on a Monday night to watch or participate. Youth practice is from 6-7:30pm, and adults are on the rink from 7:30-9pm. 

“We do skills and drills the first hour and play games the last half hour,” says Rabold.  

You needn’t be an expert skater or know how to play. The club has equipment to outfit new skaters, so it’s not necessary to have your own skates or any equipment to start.

Your first visit is free. After that, the cost is just $6 per night.

Ocala Roller Hockey Club

(352) 843-4705