Precision Roller Skating is a large and fast-growing, yet little recognized discipline, consisting of 12-24 athletes skating on the floor at one time moving as one flowing unit at high speeds. This discipline of Precision Skating is named because of the emphasis on maintaining precise formations and timing of the group.
For a precision team to flow in unison, individual skaters must be competent at a variety of skating skills, including speed, footwork and presentation. The team performs a program set to music, with required formations including circles, lines, blocks, wheels, and intersections. The teams are required to perform difficult step sequences involving a number of complicated turns.
There are international synchronized skating competitions at the Senior level, and the Federation Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS) held the first World Championship in Precision Roller Skating in 2000. Teams may consist of men and women with Senior Teams having 12-24 team members and Junior Teams having 8-16 team members. Two scores are given, one for technical and one for artistic impression.
Precision Roller Skating owes its origin to Synchronized skating on ice. The first synchronized figure skating team was formed by Dr. Richard Porter, who became known as the ‘father of synchronized skating’. The ‘Hockettes’ skated out of Ann Arbor, Michigan and entertained spectators during the intermissions of the University of Michigan Wolverines men’s ice hockey team. In the early days, precision skating resembled a drill team routine, or a precision dance company such as The Rockettes.
During the 1970s, the interest for this new sport spawned tremendous growth and development. In each season, teams developed more creative and innovative routines incorporating stronger basic skating skills, new maneuvers and more sophisticated transitions with greater speed, style and agility. Due to the interest in the sport in North America, other countries took notice, leading to the World Championships. With the internationalization of the sport, it has evolved rapidly, with increasing emphasis on speed and skating skills.
Although not currently an Olympic sport, fans and participants of this fast-growing discipline have begun to strive for recognition by the rest of the athletic world. Precision Roller Skating has been covered by Roller Skating and the USARS magazine since the sport’s inception. It is a varsity sport at a few colleges, and both Precision Roller Skating and its ice counterpart are being reviewed for Olympic eligibility.« Back to Glossary Index