By Jarrod Burton
Players in Perth’s street roller hockey league are still without a permanent place to play after they were evicted from their original hockey rink in Bayswater.
The players were threatened with a $25,000 fine and the City of Bayswater council voted to ban the playing of roller hockey in the area.
The game used to be played at a converted bowling green at the Bayswater Bowling and Recreation Club but, after noise complaints from two local residents, the city council voted to ban the sport.
The partnership with the roller hockey community was planned to be part of a re-activation of the Bayswater Bowling Club but since the ban the club has seen a serious decline in visitors.
“We used to have people in the centre seven days a week, including teams coming in to play, and locals who would come out to watch, there really was some fantastic interaction between the two,” said Steve Lay, President of the Bayswater Bowling and Recreation Club.
The noise complaint was made by two local residents after the players breached the decibel limit by as little as two decibels, which forced the City of Bayswater to intervene.
“It’s really very sad, these guys came in and helped the club’s re-activation plan, and were appreciated by other members of the club and other players,” said Mr Lay.
The game is fairly similar to traditional ice hockey, yet the teams are smaller, the puck can’t be raised above the knee and it must be played with some form of roller blades.
“The vast majority of the people involved are just in it for the fun, instead of trying to win, so that creates an attitude that just isn’t seen in other more traditional and organised sports,” said seasoned player Paul Monaco.