Red Deer U12 Snipers Black, player Ryder Sebastian takes a shot on Red Deer Snipers White goaltender Gavin Chaput at the Kin City Arenas during the opening game of the Red Deer Roller Hockey Association Battle on Wheels tournament last year. (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Red Deer U12 Snipers Black, player Ryder Sebastian takes a shot on Red Deer Snipers White goaltender Gavin Chaput at the Kin City Arenas during the opening game of the Red Deer Roller Hockey Association Battle on Wheels tournament last year. (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Red Deer Roller Hockey Association cruises into season

The spring sports season always provides a plethora of activities for youth in Central Alberta and the Red Deer Roller Hockey Association is jockeying for position.

The league opened their Gunners house league season this week, and with around 175 players registered president Darcy Hoffus said it’s a nice option for families to have.

“The kids have a lot of fun. It’s a little more laid back than ice hockey,” he said.

“The rules– it’s a way more open game for skilled players. There are places where they can dangle and there’s lots of space to make moves. The big thing we try and promote is you don’t have to worry about the weather outside.”

Last week they hosted their “wheel warm-up” to get players out and participating and next week they’ll have tryouts for players interested in the Snipers competitive program.

With options such as baseball, soccer, lacrosse, spring hockey and football, Hoffus understands that roller hockey might not be the first choice for many people in Red Deer. But, with the way the game translates to hockey and other sports, he hopes it’s something that can keep catching on.

“Everyone pretty much plays hockey and the parents seem to let them try different things than they come back for the one that they like. We’ll maybe lose a few kids to lacrosse or baseball is a big one this year,” he said.

“We have a fairly big core that come back every year. There is probably that 15 per cent that cycle through.”

The organization will likely hold some try-it days for the sport this summer and those interested can check out their website www.reddeerrollerhockey.com/.

“It that situation we’re going to try and get some wheels for the kids or if they have wheels they can get out with a buddy that’s playing and just try it for an hour or two,” he said.

They’ll host their annual Ice Breaker Tournament for RDRHA U8-U12 teams and also Battle On Wheels tournament from June 8-10.



Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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