In August of 2007, Richard Pentecost (Founder of KIHA) planned on building an indoor roller arena like the ones seen on the mainland. One of his biggest objectives after starting his inline hockey arena, however, was getting the right coach. The reason it was so important to him was that “If we go back in history at least for myself, as a soccer player, I never had that “great coach,” said Pentecost. He made sure he hired the right coach for his arena, by hiring Team USA coach Jami Yoder. KIHA’s and Yoder’s influence has even helped kids win gold medals at different levels.
After catching up with Coach Yoder, we asked him what the difference was between regular and inline hockey. Yoder explained that inline hockey is faster paced and non-contact. It has 4 players on each side rather than 5, and there are no zones, making it more spread out and allows players to pass from one side to the other end. In inline hockey, they wear the same gear in ice hockey except for the shoulder pads and protective pants.
At KIHA, they have 5 different divisions based on different skill levels. Coach Yoder coaches ages: 8 and under, 10 and under, 12 and under, 14 and under, and so forth all the way up to 35 and over. He even does 6 and under if there are enough signups. Yoder recommends that kids interested in inline hockey, they should focus on the skating aspect at a young age because stick handling is easy to learn later. Learning to skate at a younger age also makes it easier to keep up with older kids who have already been playing for a while.
The price of a 10-week season for older kids and adults is $150, and about $90 for a 10-week season for younger kids. Adults and kids can also rent gear rather than having to buy equipment right way, just in case they are uncertain about continuing. Yoder finished by saying that the best way to contact and gain information about KIHA is to go to their website https://www.kihawaii.com/, calling them at (808) 682-5442, or email him or Richard (Email addresses are also available on their website).
We asked Rachel Suerth, an adult player at KIHA, what made her interested in inline hockey, and she responded that her husband got her interested in it in 1994, and they’ve been involved with it ever since. They moved back to Hawaii in 2007, and KIHA opening in 2010 made it easier for her to stay involved with inline hockey and for her to get her son to get involved. Richard and Jami made it easy for her to get her son into inline hockey, with Suerth going on to say, “They (Richard and Jami) were both really great, they just put pads on my son, took him out there, and that’s where it all started.”
When asked “What is it about the sport that you really like?” Suerth responded, “The physical aspect of it, and the fellowship with the players. Its not just the guys or the girls, and it’s good that we have a lot of women participating in the sport, but the guys that I played with, ever since the start, treated me just like one of the guys.” Suerth finished by saying that, “When I’m stressed out this is my outlet, I like the physical part. People have different ways of handling stress like shopping and stuff, not me. I’ve got to hit something.” She also jokingly added, “I don’t hit anything, I get hit, but it’s okay it’s part of the game.”