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Encino : City OKs Plan to Build Roller Hockey Rink

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Baseball may be in a slump, and football may be long gone, but roller hockey keeps rolling along in Southern California.

This week, city parks commissioners began to pave the way for the construction of three new roller hockey rinks, including one at the Balboa Sports Center in Encino.

The city already operates rinks in Northridge, North Hollywood, North Hills and Studio City, but those are makeshift facilities also used as tennis courts or parking lots. The new rink, to be designed specifically for roller hockey, will feature a paved surface, four-foot-high boards, a scorer’s table, penalty boxes and perhaps even an electronic scoreboard.

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“We’ll make it an ideal roller hockey site,” said Jim Andervich, assistant general manager of the San Fernando Valley division of the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks. “It will have fencing to keep the pucks in the playing area,” which don’t exist at the other rinks.

Andervich said he hopes the facility will be ready for league play next spring.

Roller hockey, which has skyrocketed in popularity the last two years, is similar to ice hockey, except there is no ice and players wear roller skates. That may even be part of its growing appeal.

Andervich said that the department will decide soon whether to build the rink with its own staff or hire an outside contractor.

He said the rink would be built near the tennis courts and parking lot at Balboa and Burbank boulevards.

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