American Inline Hockey League
|Current season or competition:
2012–13 AIHL season
|Founded||June 16, 2008,
Bensalem, Pennsylvania, USA
|No. of teams||23|
|Related competitions||Elite Division
The American Inline Hockey League (AIHL) is an "unincorporated not-for-profit association" which operates an inline hockey league, consisting of two divisions (Elite Division and Minor Division), of 23 member clubs. Headquartered in Menomonie, Wisconsin, the AIHL is considered one of the premier inline hockey leagues in the United States. The Champions Cup is awarded annually to the league playoff champion of the Elite Division at the end of each season.
The league was organized on June 16, 2008 in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, United States with 21 clubs from a predecessor organization the Professional Inline Hockey Association (PIHA), founded in 2002. It started with 31 teams and through a series of expansions, contractions, and relocations, the league is now composed of 23 active clubs. The AIHL draws many highly skilled players, most from the United States.
A series of disputes in the Professional Inline Hockey Association (PIHA) between disgruntled team owners and league management led to a meeting about the future of the sport. Realizing the owners limited voice in the PIHA, nineteen teams, representing the Boston Swamp Rats, East Bay Jawz, El Paso Black Diamonds, Hartford Fire Ants, Long Island 495ers, Maryland Crusaders (formerly known as the Maryland Knights, later renamed back to the Maryland Knights in 2009), New Jersey Nightmare (formerly known as the Philadelphia Revolution), New Jersey Surge (formerly known as the New Jersey Stampede), Northern California Mustangs, Philadelphia Growl, Phoenix Dragons, Raleigh Dragons (formerly known as the Raleigh Assault), Richmond Robins, San Jose Pirates, Scottdale Inferno, Southampton Cyclones (formerly known as the Feasterville Fury), Steel City Phantoms (formerly known as the Pittsburgh Bandits, later renamed back to the Pittsburgh Bandits in 2009), Tucson Desparados (later renamed to the Tucson Slayers in 2008) and Virginia Generals (formerly known as the Winchester Generals, later renamed back to the Winchester Generals in 2009), voted to defect from the league, and on June 16, 2008, formed the American Inline Hockey League. The Philadelphia Growl organization would fold a few weeks later to be replaced by the expansion Philadelphia Brawlers. 12 organizations would join the league as expansion franchises to bring the total to 31 organizations. The Garden State Savage Wolves, Georgia Syndicate, Massachusetts Mulissha, Northern California Riot, Oakland GoodLife and Suffolk Sharks all joined from existing PIHA locations, and six organizations joining from new areas; the Corona Jr. Ducks, Huntington Beach Elite, Irvine Anarchy and Pama Cyclones from Southern California, and the Las Vegas Aces from Nevada. With the first games being played four months later on October 25, the AIHL's inaugural season was generally considered a successful one.
The Steel City Phantoms won the first Champions Cup, defeating the San Jose Pirates three games to one in the final. Later that summer, the AIHL had its first series of expansion and contraction. The Beantown Braves, Cajun Voo Doo, Houston Sabre Cats, Mile High Mayhem, Ripon Savage, Rocky Mountain Talons and Texas Terror all joined as expansion franchises. The New Jersey Grizzlies and Potomac Mavericks both joined the league from the Professional Inline Hockey Association, although New Jersey would compete in both the AIHL as well as the PIHA. The Oakland GoodLife and Raleigh Dragons both folded after only one season in the league.
In another big step for the league, the final three rounds of the 2010 Champions Cup playoffs were played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in the Milk House. Also, the 2010 Champions Cup Final was shown live on ESPN3 on May 30, which saw the Huntington Beach Elite defeat the Long Island 495ers 5–2 to capture their first Champions Cup.
AIHL Executive Board
The AIHL Executive Board is the ruling and governing body of the AIHL. In this context, each AIHL club is a member of the AIHL, and each member appoints a Governor (usually the owner of the club) to the Board. The AIHL Executive Board exists to establish the policies of the AIHL, and to uphold its constitution. Some of the responsibilities of the AIHL Executive Board include:
- review and approve any rule changes to the game
- review and approve any changes to the structure of the game schedule
The AIHL Executive Board meets once per year, in October, with the exact date and place to be fixed by the AIHL.
AIHL Executive Board members
- Keith Noll
- Jon Roux
- Ken Murchison
- CJ Gamble
- Jim Miller
- Richard Kent
- President: Keith Noll
- Vice President: Jon Roux
- Secretary: Lindsey Geissler
- Treasurer: Chuck Morning
- Eastern Conference: Jeff Haze
- Western Conference: CJ Gamble
- New England Zone: Jim Miller
- Mid Atlantic Zone: Charlie Sgrillo
- Colonial Zone: Richard Kent
- Great Lakes Zone: Jon Roux
- Pacific North Zone: CJ Gamble
- Pacific South/Southwest Zone: Ken Murchison
- Pacific South/Southwest Zone: Derek Kalinosky
- National Referee-in-Chief: Paul Pelletier
- Media Director: Richard Kent
- Website Coordinator: Derek Kalinosky
Inline hockey rink
American Inline Hockey League games are played on a rectangular inline hockey rink with rounded corners surrounded by walls and Plexiglas. The official size measures 85 by 200 feet (25.91 by 60.92 meters) in the AIHL, but may vary in width from 65 to 100 feet and vary in length from 130 to 200 feet. The center line divides the floor in half, which divides the floor into two attacking zones. Near the end of both ends of the rink, there is a thin red goal line spanning the width of the floor, which is used to judge goals.
- Main articles: American Inline Hockey League rules
While the American Inline Hockey League follows the general rules of inline hockey, it differs slightly from those used in international games organized by the International Roller Sports Federation (FIRS) such as the World Championships. Infractions of the rules can lead to either the stoppage of play or a penalty call for more serious infractions.
The American Inline Hockey League season is divided into an exhibition season (November), a regular season (from the first week in December through early to mid April) and a postseason (the playoffs). During the exhibition season, teams may play other teams from the AIHL. They also may compete against clubs from other leagues. During the regular season, clubs play each other in a predefined schedule. The AIHL playoffs, which go from April to the end of May, is an elimination tournament where two teams play against each other to win a best-of-three series in order to advance to the next round. The final remaining team is crowned champion.
In the regular season, with the current 23-club AIHL geographically split up into two conferences, and each conference having two divisions, each team plays 24 games; either at home, on the road, or a neutral festival/jamboree site. Each division is responsible for declaring their schedule structure.
The AIHL's regular season standings are based on a point system instead of winning percentages. Points are awarded for each game, where two points are awarded for a win, one point for losing in overtime or a shootout, and zero points for a loss in regulation.
The regular season division champion along with the next two (in a four-team division), or three (in a five or more-team division), in each division with the next highest number of points qualify for the playoffs. The AIHL playoffs is an elimination tournament, where the teams are group in pairs to play best-of-three series, the winners moving on to the next round. The first round of the playoffs, or division semi-finals, consists of the regular season division winner playing the fourth seed (or a bye in the case of a four-team division), and the second playing the third. In the second round, or division finals, the two remaining teams in each division play each other, with the division champions proceeding to the American Inline Hockey League Finals. In the third round, or conference finals, the two division winners in each conference play each other, with the conference champions proceeding to the championship finals.
In the first two rounds the higher-ranked team is awarded home-court advantage. All games are played at this team's home venue. In the final two rounds, or AIHL Finals, all games at a neutral site. The higher-ranked team is awarded home-court advantage, where the team is designated as home-team two of the three games played—the first and "when necessary", the third games—with the other game played with the lower-ranked team designated as home-team. Home-court advantage is awarded regardless of where each team ranks in their own division.
The American Inline Hockey League originated in 2008 with 31 clubs. Through a sequence of clubs expansions, reduction, and relocations the AIHL currently consists of 23 teams.
The current league organization divides the clubs into two conferences: the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. Each conference has two divisions. The current organization has roots in the 2012–13 season when a league reduction brought the total number of division from seven to four.
List of clubs
|Mid-Atlantic||Delco Demons||Springfield, PA||The Hockey Dek||2011|
|New Jersey Nightmare||Voorhees, NJ||Flyers Skate Zone||2007||2008|
|Philadelphia Liberty||Feasterville, PA||Sportsplex||2010|
|Pittsburgh Bandits||Pittsburgh, PA||Bladerunners Ice Complex||2006||2008|
|Richmond Robins||Midlothian, VA||Shooters Indoor Sportsplex||2006||2008|
|South Jersey Cougars||Sewell, NJ||Choice InLine||2011|
|New England||Empire State Legends||Lynbrook, NY||Hot Skates Roller Skating Rink||2012|
|Hartford Fireants||Plainville, CT||Plainville Indoor Sports Arena||2006||2008|
|Long Island 495ers||Old Bethpage, NY||Skate Safe America||2007||2008|
|New England Insanity||Warwick, RI||Teamworks Warwick||2008*|
|New Jersey Surge||Morristown, NJ||Inline Morristown||2004||2008|
|New York Terror||Setauket, NY||World Gym Racquet & Sports Arena||2011|
|Pacific North||East Bay Jawz||Oakland, CA||Dry Ice Roller Hockey Arena||2007||2008|
|Oakland Goodlife||Oakland, CA||Dry Ice Roller Hockey Arena||2008||2010|
|Ripon Savage||Ripon, CA||Ripon Powerplay Sports Arena||2009|
|Silicon Valley Quakes||San Jose, CA||Silver Creek Sportsplex||2011|
|Arizona Ghostriders||Queen Creek, AZ||Barney Family Sports Complex||2012|
|Corona Ducks||Corona, CA||The Rinks Corona Inline||2008|
|HB Militia||Huntington Beach, CA||The Rinks Huntington Beach Inline||2008|
|Irvine Anarchy||Irvine, CA||The Rinks Irvine Inline||2008|
|Las Vegas Aces||Las Vegas, NV||Las Vegas Roller Hockey Center||2008|
|OC Vanquish||Irvine, CA||The Rinks Irvine Inline||2011|
|Phoenix Dragons||Phoenix, AZ||Castle Sports Club||2008||2008|
Trophies and awards
|Huntington Beach Ducks||1|
The American Inline Hockey League presents a number of trophies each year. The most prestigious team award is the Champions Cup, which is awarded to the league champion at the end of the Champions Cup playoffs. The team that has the most points in the regular season is awarded the Best Overall Record. There are also numerous trophies that are awarded to the players based on their statistics during the regular season; they include, among others, the League Top Scorer for the league scoring champion (goals and assists), and the Top Goal Scorer for the goal-scoring leader.
The other player trophies are selected by the league. These individual awards are presented at a formal ceremony held during championship weekend. The most prestigious individual award is the League Most Valuable Player which is awarded annually to the Most Valuable Player; the voting is conducted by league officials to judge the player who is the most valuable to his team during the regular season. The Most Valuable Goaltender is awarded annually to the person deemed the best goalkeeper as voted on by the league officials. The Most Valuable Defenseman is awarded annually to the American Inline Hockey League's top defenseman, the Sportsmanship Award is awarded annually to the player deemed to combine the highest degree of skill and sportsmanship.
In addition to the regular season awards, the Playoff Most Valuable Player is awarded annually to the most valuable player during the AIHL's Champions Cup playoffs. Furthermore, the top coach in the league wins the Coach of the Year. The American Inline Hockey League publishes the names of the nominees from each division for all awards, and then names the award winner during the AIHL Awards Ceremony.
Notable active players
The top five point scorers in the 2011–12 season were Daniel Amimoto (141), Danny Marmorstein (137), John McGuiness (96), Kyle Rosendale (70), and Tim Mullis (70). The top goal scorers were Daniel Amimoto (73), John McGuiness (56), Danny Marmorstein (52), Kyle Rosendale (48), and Stephen Chaires (45). The top goaltenders (by wins) were Eric Hernandez (19), Brandon Corsatea (19), Mike Stoever (14), Pat Bell (12), and Craig Brodmerkel, and (11). [James Irwin] (11)
- List of defunct AIHL teams
- List of AIHL records (individual)
- History of the American Inline Hockey League
- List of AIHL records (team)
Template:American Inline Hockey League