In the mid 1980's a new fad was growing in the United States. Someone had figured out how to put the wheels on roller skates in a straight line like ice hockey skates and suddenly inline skating was born. Inline skating seemed to offer a freer range of motion that the four wheeled skates did and you could turn sharper and stop easier on inline skates. It did not take long for people to start putting inline skates together with ice hockey and soon a whole new game was born that is rumored to have started in California and then just grew like a weed all over the United States. It was still called roller hockey but these inline skates gave the game almost a National Hockey League feel to it and it did not take long for the Roller Hockey International league to be born. In 1993 the RHI set up shop and had teams playing in NHL arenas all over the United States within one season. Their version of the Stanley Cup, called the Murphy Cup, was awarded to champions of the new league and it grew very fast and within a year or two it had nearly two dozen franchises. But as the roller hockey fad died down in the late 1990's so did the RHI and by 1999 it was operating in the state of California only. By the end of the 2001 season it had folded.
Roller hockey still thrives all over Europe and inline skate hockey is becoming big in countries like England where hockey without ice seems to have its appeal. It is not known whether or not roller hockey will make another Olympic appearance and there are no plans right now to bring it in as a demonstration sport again, but its continued growth all over Europe can only mean good things in the future for roller hockey. It will probably always have a difficult time catching on in the United States and Canada where hockey fans prefer their action on ice rather than wheels. But it is an exciting sport to watch and it is starting to catch on, in all places, on the beaches of California where building a roller hockey rink seems to be all the rage.