There are plenty of activities practiced with skates. Skaters from all over the world have created and adapted different games and competitions around skates.

Today, there are dozens of ways skaters practice a sport with skates.

Skating is the action of rolling or traveling on surfaces with a pair of skates. It can be a form of transportation, a recreational activity, or a sport.

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Learning a new skill is important both as an adult and as a kid, if you want to receive lessons go find a tutor on our site. Photo by A. Zuhri on Unsplash

Skates are popular around the world and every city has skate parks and rinks available for amateur and professional skaters.

Skating became popular in the US during the 1930s to 1950s, and then again in the 1970s, it was associated with disco music. During the 1990s, inline outdoor skating became popular.

However, the first type of skates appeared in Europe during the 18th century and they were used in performing arts. European theaters created skates to emulate ice skating on stage. Later on, skates were used by restaurants in Berlin for waitresses to roll around the establishments much faster and productive.

In this article, we will tell you about the activities practiced with skates, the upcoming international events, and a little bit about the organization behind all the planning and admission strategies.

To know more about this sport and activity check out how to make the best out of this sport.

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Roller activities

A sport where the players use skates as a tool to achieve a goal is known as a roller sport.

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You can find a park close to your house or in a center area for you and practice this new sport, you don't need an arena to practice. Photo by Jacqueline Martinez on Unsplash
  • Artistic roller skating: is similar to figure skating but competitions are held on solid ground instead of ice rinks. There are around 9 different disciplines within this sport, some of them are freestyle, duo free, original dance, and more.
  • Roller speed skating: as the name suggests, this sport is based on velocity competitions and races.
  • Drafting: is seen most commonly in bicycle racing, motorcycle racing, car racing, and speedskating, and it is an aerodynamic technique where two moving objects are caused to align in a close group.
  • Jam skating: is a sport where athletes combine dance and gymnastics on wheels.
  • Roller derby: this is known as a contact sport consisting of a series of short jams in which both teams designate a jammer and four blockers to skate counter-clockwise around a track. The jammer scores points by lapping members of the opposing team.
  • Rink hockey: this is exactly like hockey but instead of playing on ice the game is played on solid ground and players wear skates.
  • Road skating: as the name suggests, this sport consists pretty much of players competing in a race on a given road.
  • Roller skiing: as you probably guessed, this sport is similar to skiing but it does not use snow or ice, instead, competitors roll on solid ground. This sport was first created as a way for skiers to practice in July and August but it soon became a sport of its own with world-renowned athletes.
  • Dry ski slope: this sport is very similar to ski slope but again there is no ice or snow involved and it was born as a summer sport.
  • Grass skiing: this sport is mostly known as a technique for skiers to learn so they can practice during the hotter months like July and August.

These are the sports practiced on skates, but there are plenty of other roller activities like skateboarding and inline skating.

Skateboarding is the first roller sport to be introduced as an official sport of the Olympics and there was a skateboarding event in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However, all the activities listed above have championships and worldwide competitions of their own.

Continue reading about roller skating and find out where the best places to skate in the country are.

World Skate

World Skate is the organization responsible for organizing every event, championship, and competition of any skating sport. This NGO was born as the Fédération Internationale de Patinage a Roulettes (FIPR) on 21 April 1924 and they were in charge of creating multinational European championship tournaments.

During the 1930s the FIPR began organizing a world championship and the first "Rink Hockey World Championships" was hosted in Stuttgart in 1936. Then, during 1937-38 the first "Speed Skating World Championship" was held in Italy and the UK.

There was an important pause due to World War II but they were all resumed in 1947 with the first "Artistic Skating World Championship" which was held in Washington, D.C.

During the 1960s the organization was renamed Fédération Internationale de Roller Skating (FIRS) and it was recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

The activities that the FIRS oversaw were artistic skating, rink hockey, and speed skating. Inline hockey was included in the 1990s and the first Inline Hockey World Championship was held in 1995.

In 2000 the FIRS held a congress to, once again, change the name. They modified it from Fédération Internationale de Roller Skating to Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports; but they kept the FIRS acronym.

By 2017 the FIRS served as governing body for 10 activities. The same year the inaugural World Roller Games were hosted in Nanjing, China and it served as the world championship for all ten activities, merging the various world championship tournaments into a two-week skating event. The second World Roller Games were held in 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.

Finally, the organization changed names one last time in June 2017 to World Skate. 2022 World Skate Games in Argentina will be the first edition to utilize the new name.

If you are starting in this sport, find out which skates are best for beginners.

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Mastering a new skill requires practice, dedication, skipping parties (but focused on school), even practicing at night so that you can enjoy the view from being at the top of your field. Photo by Michael Prewett on Unsplash

International events

There are three major championships for each sport organized and hosted by World Skate. The first is the World Championship, the second is the Pan American Championship, and finally the Jr. Pan American Games.

World Championship

Every sport has its own world championship and many smaller competitions. Athletes get an opportunity to face the best on the field during these special events.

A world championship is every athlete's opportunity to prove to the world that they are great at the sport they practice. Every year these events are hosted in a different arena, city, state, and country.

Fanatics and followers can get their tickets to view the event months in advance. You can go online and purchase the tickets you want, a great site for that is Eventbrite.

Pan American Championship

The word Pan American refers to all the countries in the Americas, which includes North, Central, and South America. This means that the United States are members of these type of championships.

A Pan American championship is hosted in an American country and athletes from all over the continent get to compete. Whoever wins will receive a prize and the title of "best in the continent".

You can have some fun with your family or skater friends by watching any sport part of World Skate, don't forget you can get a ticket to any event online on Eventbrite.

Jr. Pan American Games

As you probably already guessed, these games are hosted for younger athletes. An "adult athlete" is someone who has been competing throughout their entire life and they get to participate in a world championship and even the Olympics.

However, younger athletes who are on their way to compete with the best of the best in the world, first have these sorts of games to play before passing to the next level on their sport and athlete community.

Go to Team USA to see the upcoming activities of this year.

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Skating as a recreational activity

If you have fun watching a skating competition you will probably also enjoy learning how to skate. We don't mean you should start playing a high-risk contact sport, but you could find a place —like a park near you — and start skating.

If you feel like you don't have much free time to start learning something new, don't worry! All you have to do is pick one day of the week (maybe Friday) and lock one or two hours for you to practice and enjoy.

This is also an activity you could enjoy with some members of your family during the weekends. You could take your kids or siblings to the park or a place close to your house and skate. You could also bring some music and make it a skating party!

Talking about parties, you could rent out a rink and have a night party with school friends for any special occasion like your birthday.

All you need is a pair of skates and some protective gear. You can also look for a rental shop if you don't feel like buying your own pair.

Have you tried this activity in a couple? Read about it right here.

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