Frequently Asked Questions

What is the USC Panthers Inline Hockey Association?

Founded in 2008, the USC Inline Hockey Association is available for kids living in Upper St Clair Township and surrounding communities (that do not have an inline team), from the ages 6 to 18 (or grades 2-12). We play year-round, practicing at the Bridgeville Rollerplex and playing games at local arenas. We play in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Roller Hockey League (PIRHL), which has more than 130 Teams in Western PA!

What exactly is Inline Hockey?

Roller and Inline Hockey are today effectively the same sport. The names are used interchangeably. Inline hockey is typically played indoors, on a regulation sized ice rink, with plastic flooring. Inline skates (four wheels in a row), with softer wheels for better stopping, are used. The primary differences with ice hockey are:

  • - Inline is 4-on-4, making for a more wide-open game!
  • - There is no offsides and icing in Inline hockey. Less whistles means more fun!
  • - Teams consist of anywhere from 7 to 12 skaters and one goalie, with usually 2 lines - lots of playing time!
  • - The PIRHL runs three (3) fifteen (15) minute running clock time periods - lots of time to show your talent!
  • - Instead of a rubber disk, hard plastic pucks are used in inline. Very similar size and weight of ice puck.
  • - No checking is allowed - less injuries, and more open play!

Bottom line, it's fast, fun and affordable!

I've never played Inline Hockey, how do I get involved?

We are a VERY welcoming organization and encourage you to come try it out with USC ANYTIME! Come down to one of our practices for your age group and give it a go! All that you need is inline skates, we can initially provide the rest until you decide if you want to play. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact any of our friendly coaches or board members! Here is the required equipment once you get started.

What's the regular season like?

Practices for the regular season begin in late August. They are every Wednesday evening. The seeding tournament (see below), occurs in September, the regular season games begin in October. 16 games comprise the season and culminate in the PIRHL playoffs in February/March. The tiers (see below) are evaluated around Thanksgiving and for the playoffs to make sure each team is competitive.

What are these Tiers?

To ensure that all teams in the PIRHL are competitive, the league establishes Tiers for each age group. Tier 1 is the highest skill level.

What are the age groups & tiers for USC this year?

USC has 5 teams for the 2016-2017 season:
- Elementary Tier 4 (grades 2-6)
- Elementary Tier 3 (grades 2-6)
- Elementary Tier 2 (grades 2-6)
- Middle School Tier 2 (grades 7-8)
- High School Panthers Tier 3 (grades 9-12)

What is the Seeding Tournament?

To tier teams correctly for the beginning of the season, the PIRHL holds a seeding tournament where each team plays 4 shorter games that are played on 2 weekends. This helps the PIRHL evaluate the skill level of each team. The seeding weekends occur in September.

I still have more questions, who do I contact?

Please feel free to call, text or email Eric Bernstein at (412) 389-9477 drbernstein@hotmail.com