25. June 2011 03:58
In many countries inline hockey is played by ice hockey players. In the U.S. however, inline hockey is a professional sport in its own right, especially in California.
All players of the American team at the 2011 IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship come from the NARCh where the organization’s professional league consists of four teams from California and one located in Pennsylvania.
Six of the national team players are listed with the LA Pama Cyclones from Los Angeles.
Of the 14 players, 12 played in California and nine of them (plus the head coach) were born in the Golden State.
Two of Californians were up for a special adventure as they signed a professional contract with CPLV Valladolid in Spain last autumn.
It’s an experience Jose “Junior” Cadiz and Itan Chavira didn’t regret and it also brought new experiences with it, both on the court and outside of the rinks.
“It was good. We won all the major tournaments. We won the championship, the European Cup, the King’s Cup in Spain,” said Cadiz, who’s of Spanish mother tongue.
“Overall it was a good experience and lot of fun. We were two Americans on the team, me and Itan, and another American kid played in Mallorca.”
Cadiz enjoyed the experience, although he doesn’t mind playing in the U.S. and helping inline hockey grow.
“In certain areas in California it’s pretty popular, in others areas not so much,” the Los Angeles native said. “It has declined a lot in the last couple of years, but we’re trying to get it going, to play tournaments and getting younger kids going in.”