By Chelsea Rice
With milk crates joined with zip ties for goals, no fixed venues and game preparation that relies heavily on alcohol consumption, the Perth Street Roller Hockey League is an unlikely success story.
Add into the mix team names like Mosman Park Murderers, West Leederville Wobbegongs and Claremont Cereal Killahs and it’s clear this is probably not sport at an elite level.
However, if participation is a measure of success the Perth Street Roller Hockey League has a growth rate that most traditional sports would envy.
Starting out with eight teams in 2013, the league has grown to 64 teams in less than two years spread across the metropolitan area, with most games played on suburban basketball or tennis courts.
Sean Lynch, one of the creators and organisers of the league, says the aim of the competition is to have fun.
“We really just started out as a group of friends wanting to have some fun and it grew from there,” he says.
“I think it’s the relaxed and fun nature of the game and the league that people love, we are even pretty chilled about the rules of the game.
“Anyone can put together a team and sign–up. This year we had our first few all-girl teams join the league, which is pretty cool.
Evan Ennis-John and his fellow players in the Mount Lawless team are recent recruits to the league.
“I found out about the league through friends who play and joined because I wanted to be apart of a social and relaxed team sport,” Evan says.
“One of the big attractions was that you didn’t need any previous experience at playing roller hockey.
“The league promotes itself as ‘a roller hockey league played on the mean streets of Perth, for people that don’t know how to play roller hockey’ so it’s almost a prerequisite that you don’t know how to play.
“It’s probably more important that you have had experience at beer drinking.
“Our team’s warm up and cool down consist of drinking a beer, so I think it’s safe to say we are pretty relaxed here.”
Teams in the league play each other in rotation, with the two captains of the opposing teams in each round agreeing on a time and venue that’s convenient for both.
Video: Sean Lynch explains the inspiration behind his team the “Mount Lawless” and the “loose” rules of the game.