Statistics from American Sports Data Inc. and the National Sporting Goods Association
* In 1984, there were 20,000 in-line skaters.
* In 1991, there were 5 million in-line skaters.
* In 1993, there were 9.4 million in-line skaters (2.4 million skate two to three times a week).
* In-line skate sales will exceed $600 million in 1994.
* The in-line market is larger than the tennis industry (hard goods sales).
* The majority of skaters are between the ages of 18 and 35.
* Fourty-six percent of all in-line skaters are women.
* By the end of 1994, there will be more than 10 million in-line skaters in the U.S.
Look for in-house teaching talent
The International In-line Skating Association (ISSA) certifies instructors to ensure safe and consistent lessons. Health club managers should look in-house to find potential instructors, since existing staff understands club policies and a commitment to member safety. Aerobics instructors and personal trainers already have other types of certifications and teaching experience to complement an in-line skating program. Another option is to call a local retailer; they’ve probably already been holding clinics with IISA-certified instructors.
Both Sharon McPherson of ClubSport and Jeffery Frick of Murria & Frick Insurance project that it won’t be long before health clubs start constructing roller-rinks and implementing roller-hockey leagues. “The potential for developing a recreational sports league concept is of interest to club members,” McPherson says. The physical and mental benefits of playing hockey are numerous and appealing to those already in good shape. Players develop agility, coordination, balance, kinesthetic awareness and anaerobic conditioning. Hockey actually improves skating and turning skills because it hones quick footwork and maneuverability.
Shawn Jones, a spokesperson for the organization, says that if a club sanctions their site through the NIHA, a $2 million general liability policy is activated immediately. Keeping up with the demand for education, the NIHA also offers coaching and referee certification programs.