The Ducks today announced a partnership with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), Team USA Hockey Club, USA Rollersports and THE RINKS – Huntington Beach Inline to bring the 2010 Inline Hockey Junior Olympics to Southern California from July 1-11.
It marks the first time in tournament history that the event will be held west of the Mississippi River. Approximately 4,000 athletes representing 400 teams from 10 different countries will travel to Southern California for the tournament. Huntington Beach Inline, part of the Anaheim Ducks’ THE RINKS development program, will serve as the Junior Olympics headquarters with one additional local facility (announced at a later date) also hosting games. In addition to this year’s Junior Olympics, the Ducks have signed on to host future tournaments.
“We’re very excited to provide a stage for the world’s top inline youth and adult teams to showcase their talents this summer,” said Huntington Beach Inline General Manager Ken Murchison. “This is another great opportunity to continue the growth of hockey in Southern California and we look forward to welcoming athletes and their families to the area for this great event.”
Of the 400 expected teams in 2010, over 200 are California-based, more than any other single state or country. The AAU hosted its first Inline Junior Olympics in 1996, consisting of 20 teams competing within one age group. The tournament now features numerous age groups and divisions with approximately 50 international teams traveling to Southern California from countries as far away as China (Hong Kong), Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Germany and France. Canada, Mexico and Colombia have also committed numerous teams.
The AAU Junior Olympics will be separated into several divisions, consisting of both club and international competition. The AAU is the only organization that provides five guaranteed games for participating teams in all age groups. Each team will participate in a four-game round-robin pool before being seeded in a playoff bracket. In addition to the Junior Olympics, the Ducks and AAU have also teamed with the Federation of International Roller Sports (FIRS), the international governing body of inline hockey recognized by the International Olympic Committee, will bring the inaugural Junior Women’s World Cup Championships to Huntington Beach as well.
“On behalf of all participating organizations and the world governing body, we are looking forward to our best Junior Olympics ever,” said AAU National Hockey Chair Keith Noll. “Our organization is thrilled to have the opportunity to join forces with the Ducks organization to bring this prestigious tournament to the West Coast for the first time.”
Huntington Beach Inline is an original member of the Anaheim Ducks’ THE RINKS development program. Launched in February 2009, the Ducks now operate four local skating facilities consisting of two ice rinks (THE RINKS - Anaheim ICE and THE RINKS – Westminster ICE) and two inline facilities (THE RINKS – Huntington Beach Inline and THE RINKS – Corona Inline). Huntington Beach Inline is located at 5555 McFadden Ave., Huntington Beach, CA 92649.
For more information about the Inline Hockey Junior Olympics, please visit aauhockey.org