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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




Although roller skates originated during the eighteenth century in the Low Countries, the first practical four-wheeled skate was invented in the 1860s in America. Before long the sport had spread to many countries. In recent years, unfortunately, a worldwide schism has developed in the sport which has led to the emergence of rival world organisations. This division has its counterpart among New Zealand skaters. The difference arises from the methods adopted to determine the winners of competitive events. The World Federation of Roller Skating, an American body to which the New Zealand Roller Skating Association is affiliated, uses the points system originated by the American Roller Skating Rink Operators' Association (R.S.R.O.A.). On the other hand, the Fédération Internationale de Roller Skating, a European body which is recognised by the Olympic Games authorities, uses time as the basis for determining winners of certain events. The Amateur Roller Skating Association of New Zealand follows the practice of F.I.D.R.S. in this.


McLintock, Alexander Hare