Roller Hockey Finds New Popularity in Queens

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IT may seem a bit odd to take a summer stroll down the boardwalk in Rockaway Beach, Queens, and suddenly come upon a squad of armored hockey players gliding around as if on some frozen pond.

They move on wheels instead of blades. Their rink is a strip of asphalt painted blue. And their pastime — roller hockey — is finding a new popularity in Rockaway, one of many places around New York City where a quarter-century ago it was an indispensable street game, like stickball and handball.

Rockaway was one of those places where the sport was more like a religion. When you grew old enough, you laced up your quads, bought a roll of electrical tape — better than any store-bought puck — and deployed garbage cans as goals in the street, tennis courts or playgrounds. One street would play the other street, and the best teams would carry their nets on their shoulders and skate over the Cross Bay Bridge to Broad Channel, just north of Rockaway, to play their best team.

- "Roller Hockey Draws New Fans in Queens," New York Times

What neighborhood sports are popular where you live? What was your favorite local sport as a child?

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