Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Roller skating is travelling on smooth terrain with roller skates. It is often done for recreation and as a sport, but, more often than ice skating, it can be done functionally for moving around (it is faster than walking).
Roller skating (done on quad skates) is rarely done outdoors nowdays, having been replaced in popularity by inline skates. Quad skates are still used in roller rinks which have been a popular part of youth culture.
Inline skating is done on the same places as skateboarding: on the road, sidewalk (not always allowed) or various street furnishings like fences and steps, and on special tracks and areas, including skate parks and half-pipes.
Competitive roller skating is composed of separate events for quad skater and inline skaters. Competition are held in roller hockey, speed skating, (such as inline speed skating and artistic skating where skaters compete in figures, team and solo dance, and free dance events. Artistic skaters wear highly decorated costumes. There are competitions held throughout the world.
Most forms of competitive and/or sport skating involve the use of inline skates (as opposed to quad skates) and are therefore usually called "inline skating".
The growth of inline skating in the United States was explosive in the early 1990s, but from about 1996 on sales dropped as the market became saturated and the sport's trendy status began to fade. Among children, inline skates were supplanted in popularity by new designs of push scooters; meanwhile there was a resurgence in the popularity of skateboarding among young people.
However, inline skating's status as a fitness activity among adults remained healthy, and in the early 2000s, inline speed skating event organizers began to more successfully promote inline marathons to that audience. The largest inline racing event of the world is the marathon in Berlin, which had more than 9000 skating participants in 2003. The NorthShore Inline Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota is the largest inline skating event in North America, with over 4000 skaters attending the September event.
In addition to speed/fitness skating and aggressive skating, the biggest inline sport is inline roller hockey. Also popular is inline dancing, especially at such locations as New York City's Central Park, where inline and "quad" roller skaters may congregate. Other inline sports include roller soccer and inline basketball .
Among skaters not committed to a particular discipline, a popular social activity is the group skate, in which large groups of inliners regularly meet to skate together, usually in an urban setting on city streets. Although such touring existed among quad roller skate clubs in the 1970s and 1980s, it made the jump to inline skates in 1990 with groups in San Francisco, California, Washington, DC and New York City, with, in some cases, hundreds of skaters regularly participating. In the late 1990s, the group skate phenomenon spread to Europe and then to east Asia. The weekly Friday night skate in Paris, France is believed to be the largest in the world and has at times had as many as 20,000 skaters participating on a single night. The Sunday Skate Night in Berlin also attracts over 10,000 during summer, and Munich, Frankfurt and Amsterdam host other popular events. For some group skates in both North America and Europe, Halloween is the most popular event of the year.
In the United States, the controlling organization is USA Roller Sports, headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, also home of the National Roller Skating Museum . Nationals are held each summer with skaters required to qualify through regional competitions.
Other groups include:
- Federation Internationale de Roller-Skating ,
- British Federation of Roller Skating
- Canadian Skating Association
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