The History of Roller Hockey on the Coastside
Story by Joel Farbstein
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Roller hockey has thrived on the coast since 1992, when the Northern California Hockey League (NCHL), part of the non-profit CYA, began play at the Half Moon Bay Airport. The NCHL has developed more than 1,000 youth hockey players living in the Pacifica-to-Pescadero region in northern California, and nearly 120 players and their families have participated each season.
The inaugural season for the NCHL was 1992, when Andy and Caroline Plumber started the league by themselves and ran it as a for-profit
enterprise. but soon after people including Brian McNamara, Mark Stegmaier, and Luz Preciado, took it over and made it a non-profit. A few years ago, before the NCHL strike, there were as many as 160 boys and girls playing in the summer season. The year 2008 was a high-water mark for the NCHL, as we just opened the new Boys and Girls Club Rink at Half Moon Bay High School.
In 2008 we had nearly 120 kids registered for the 2008 summer season, and a dozen teens played on the HMB High School Club team that just began competition in a high school league in San Jose. We hope to open registration in the next week for a Fall League with 50-60 kids. Fast Facts: Approximately 10% of the NCHL players are female. Approximately 8% have minority status. Approximately 5% are on scholarship in the league or have reduced funding.
I live in Montara, so the rink was more convenient when it was locatedat the HMB Airport, though I’m happy to drive to HMB for the incredible facility. Hope you’ll contact me if you have any questions.