Massive NARCh Roller Hockey Finals descends on San Jose July 16th-August 1st, could hit over 400+ teams
Less than 2 years after a record 435 teams competed in the 2008 NARCh Finals at the Silvercreek Sportsplex in San Jose, the North American Roller Hockey Championship returns with a 2010 edition that again could feature more than 400 teams. “Foreign teams have been an important part of the NARCh Finals and we expect more than ever this year,” NARCh president Daryn Goodwin told California Rubber Magazine last month. “Since California has a bigger base of teams than any other state, we expect a large turnout for the Finals this year.”
Founded in 1994 by Paul Chapey and Jeff Mason during a boom in the sport, Daryn Goodwin took over as NARCh’s sole owner in 2002. It has since grown into the largest roller hockey tournament in the world, and has become one of the largest youth sporting events held indoors. In an email to Sharkspage, Goodwin noted that the tournament features top North American and international teams, and also showcases hockey talent on the West Coast. Three players who played in a June regional event in San Diego, Beau Bennett, Tyler Aronson, and Jason Zucker, where selected last month at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft in Los Angeles. 15 NARCh alumni have went on to play in the NHL including Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan, Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler, and Colorado’s Paul Stastney.
The Summer 2010 issue of California Rubber Magazine (PDF file) features a NARCh preview article by Phillip Brentz. According to Brenz, teams to watch are the LA Pama Cyclones (after winning East and West Pro Division Winternationals), Silicon Valley Quakes (winning 4 divisions in the first Norcal regional), the Huntington Beach Ducks (winning 5 divisions in the Socal regional), a powerhouse Team OC/Barron Hockey mite team, and several strong San Diego based Bantam teams. Players to watch according to Brenz are Silicon Valley Quakes atom goaltender Nicholas Payne, Pacific Storm Peewee goaltender Geoffrey Grimm, and Irvine top scorer in the Pro/Platinum division Juaguin Chavtra among many others.
Teams are seeded into Platinum, Gold, Silver and Club tiers according to how they finished in the regional qualifiers, and the tournament is furthur broken down into several age categories (atom, mite, squirt, peewee, bantam, midget, junior, Division 1, Men’s, Women’s, Girls, High School, College, 35+ and NARCh Pro). According to the league, 15% of the NARCh teams competing in the Finals are from outside the U.S. “Approximately 25 are from Canada, 6 from France, 6 from Columbia, 3 from Mexico, 2 from England, and 1 from Brazil and Japan.”
This will be the fourth NARCh event held at the Silvercreek Sportsplex in San Jose this year after the Winternationals in January, and a pair of regional qualifiers. The modern 3-rink facility was created by former San Jose Shark Dave Maley in 2006, and has been described as one of the top inline facilities in North America. It also serves as home to three AIHL professional inline teams, the San Jose Pirates, Northern California Mustangs, and the expansion Norcal Riot.