By Jon Peacock / Staff Writer
Only a couple miles away from LBCC’s LAC is an ice hockey rink, The Rinks at Lakewood. Long Beach is also the home to the Long Beach Bombers, a junior ice hockey team. So why doesn’t LBCC have a hockey team yet?
Cal State Long Beach has had both a competitive ice hockey team as well as a roller hockey team. CSULB’s ice hockey team, classified as a club, competes in Division 2 against colleges such as Arizona State University, Fullerton, San Jose State and even Boise State. The 49ers’ roller hockey team, also classified as a club, competes in the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association, which is composed of numerous colleges all over the country.
Bringing an ice hockey team to LBCC might be a stretch, however creating a roller hockey team wouldn’t be as far-fetched. Multiple Community College roller hockey teams rise up and face universities. The teams include Saddleback College, Arapahoe Community College and St. Charles Community College.
Being one of the largest Community Colleges in California, with about 25,000 students, putting together a competitive team wouldn’t be difficult at all. Though the gear is mildly expensive, the cost for a roller hockey team is significantly less than that of ice hockey team.
Other teams in the area that have a competitive roller hockey team include U.C. Santa Barbara, Cal State Northridge, Cal State Fullerton, U.C. Irvine, U.C. San Diego, U.C. Irvine, USC, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
These colleges consider roller hockey to be a club sport in which players pay dues to compete. Their dues go toward rink time, cost of travel and league fees.
An upside for a roller hockey team at LBCC would be that the city of Long Beach already owns and operates a roller hockey rink, which could be used for practice.
Having a variety of sports to choose from at a Community College is key, allowing students to compete at a higher level before possibly transferring to a university and playing there.
With roller hockey’s growing popularity, the Viking team would not find a shortage of teams to play against, not including the numerous amounts of tournaments the college could enter.
Some Community Colleges are planning to offer a 4-year degree. So why can’t City Colleges create club teams to compete against universities in certain tournaments and leagues? We can, roller hockey being one of the few sports in which this would be allowed to do, so why not do it?