Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is USA Roller Sports’ (USARS’) primary function?

 

In accordance with its Bylaws, USARS’ mission is to develop, promote, educate and grow Roller Sports at all levels and to enable athletes to achieve sustained competitive excellence in domestic and international competitions. 

 

  • How long has USARS been in existence?

 

USA Roller Sports, originally established as part of the Roller Skating Rink Operators Association (RSROA), and separately incorporated in 1973 as the United States Amateur Confederation of Roller Skating dba USA Roller Sports, has sponsored amateur roller skating competitions since 1937 in figure skating, speed skating, and roller hockey.  Derby became an official USARS discipline in 2011.  USARS has been the United States representative to the International Federation of Roller Sports (FIRS) since 1972.  Recognized by the International Federation of Roller Sports (FIRS) as the national governing body for roller sports in the United States, USARS governs the participation of the United States roller skaters in international competition, including the current Pan American Games and potential Olympic Games participation.

 

  • What sports are governed by USARS? 

 

Inline and rink (quad) hockey, inline and quad speed skating, roller derby, and figure (i.e.,  artistic) skating are the competitive skating disciplines governed by USARS.

 

  • What is USARS’ relationship to the USOC (U.S. Olympic Committee) and IOC (International Olympic Committee)?

 

USARS’ roller skating disciplines are part of the Pan American Games, and are noted as an Olympic Recognized summer sport.  Inclusion in the regular Olympic Games program has been an ongoing goal for USARS and FIRS, and continues to be pursued.  In the 1990’s, roller hockey was slated as a demonstration sport and played to a sold out audience in the 1992 Games, but has not yet been added as a full-fledged member of the Olympic Games’ program.  The IOC has continued to consider Roller Sports for inclusion into the Games, and in 2012, IOC President Jacques Rogge told reporters that Roller Sports are one of eight sports being considered for the 2020 Olympics.

 

  • Are there other associations or governing bodies associated with roller skating?

 

The International Federation of Roller Sports (FIRS) is the international governing body for roller sports; USARS is the recognized member representing the United States in the FIRS.  The Roller Skating Association International (RSA), formerly the Roller Skating Rink Operators Association (RSROA), is the trade association representing skating center owners and operators, manufacturers and suppliers of roller skating equipment, and teachers, coaches, and judges of roller skating.   The Society of Roller Skating Teachers of America (SRSTA) was established in 1940 and is composed of skating coaches and instructors of all skating disciplines, including Learn To Skate programs, Artistic (Figure), Speed, and Hockey.  The Speed Coaches of America (SCA) membership is geared toward coaches and instructors focused on the Speed discipline, and the Roller Hockey Coaches of America (RHCA) membership focuses on Roller Hockey. 

 

  • What age groups skate and compete?

 

Roller skating can be learned at virtually any age.  Coaches and competitors often start teaching their own children to skate as early as 3 years of age.  And, given the recognized health benefits attributable to skating, many skaters continue to skate well into their 70’s and 80’s.  

 

Competitive divisions similarly range from toddlers to 65+.  At the annual National Championships, nearly 45% of the competitors are 25 years of age or older.

 

  • What is the USARS competition structure?

 

The United States is divided into 9 USARS regions.  The various skating clubs in each region host a variety of competitions (meets) during the skating season, which runs roughly from December through the following July.  They can be local inter-club meets focused on skaters within a narrow geographic area, invitational/open meets where skaters from other states and regions are invited to participate, regional championships which qualify skaters for the national championships, and finally, the national championships.  Elite division skaters that medal at Nationals become eligible to be named to the World Team and the Pan American Games Team.

 

All USARS competitions are formally sanctioned by USARS, and are conducted according to specific guidelines and rules under the supervision of a qualified Meet Director.  Qualified judges are selected from a list of certified judges.  Skaters competing at a USARS sanctioned event must have a current USARS amateur (membership) card, and may belong to a USARS member club or skate as unaffiliated (or unattached). 

 

Skating divisions are generally defined by several factors, including age, skill level, and prior placement (i.e., finished in the top 3) in a division.  This ensures a skater is competing against others of similar age and skill level, and encourages accomplishment with the goal of moving up to the next level.  Events themselves are dependent upon the discipline.  Figure/artistic events include individual (singles) freestyle, pairs freestyle, team dance (set pattern and free), quartet, solo dance, creative solo, show team, and precision team.  Speed events include a variety of distances from 100m to 3000m for individuals, 2-person relay teams, and 4-person relay teams.  Distance is dependent on the age of the skaters. 

 

  • What are some of the benefits of roller skating and/or learning to compete?

 

The benefits of roller skating run the gamut from health benefits to building life skills and simply having fun.

 

Roller skating provides aerobic, strength, and endurance benefits.  Research shows that roller skating can provide an aerobic workout similar to running that improves cardiovascular health.  Recreational skating also causes less stress to one’s joints than an activity like running.  And, skating’s low-impact quality also allows people with joint injuries or chronic joint problems to enjoy a fun and thorough workout.   

 

Roller skating helps build strength, especially in the muscles of the lower body.  The various leg-extension and rotation movements required for skating work the thigh, shin, hamstring, butt, and calf muscles.  Stronger muscles and better coordination work together to prevent injuries and keep you active and limber as you age.

 

In addition to increasing muscle strength, roller skating can help increase muscle endurance, according to GetRolling.com.  Adding a few uphill climbs to each skating session trains your muscles, along with your cardiovascular system, to use the body’s energy stores more efficiently.  This means you can skate longer distances without becoming exhausted.

 

A low impact, aerobic activity that can be as effective in burning calories and working the heart  as running, skating can be done indoors at a rink, with or without music, as well as outdoors in good weather.  States with an abundance of sunny days, such as Florida, California, New Mexico, Texas and Arizona, are particularly suited to outdoor roller skating. 

 

In addition to the health benefits, training to become a good competitive skater builds strong minds and teaches skills useful throughout one’s life.  Among these are self-confidence, goal setting, dedication, effective time management, mental endurance and focus, good memory/recall, cooperation, and teamwork. 

 

And, finally, whether you enjoy the camaraderie of belonging to a skating club , or simply enjoy rolling in the beautiful outdoors, or shuffle skating with your friends on a Saturday night at the local rink or at the beach … whether it’s inline skates or quads … skating is simply fun for everyone.

 

  • How do I find a USARS club or coach near me?

 

The USA Roller Sports website (usarollersports.org) has a page (http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Roller-Sports/Resources/Member-Lists) with a search function to find clubs and/or coaches.