Hystory of the organization of FIRS
(courtesy of Mr George Pickard)
The Federation Internationale de Patinage a Roulettes (FIPR) was formed in 1924 as an international sport organization to conduct roller hockey competitions between the few national federations which were already engaged on an informal basis in such competitions in western Europe. This fundamentally hockey oriented group was originated in Montreux, Switzerland in April of 1924 by two Swiss sportsmen, Fred Renkewitz and Otto Myer, who had close ties to the International Olympic Committee. Myer was IOC Chancellor. Four European countries were represented at this meeting: Switzerland, Great Britain, Germany and France. The first President of the FIPR was Fred Renkewitz, who served from 1924 until 1960. Immediately a plan was developed to hold an April 10, 1926 European Championships in England, which was then the dominant power for Rink Hockey, the British having organized this sport on a national level since before WWI. The 1926 championships had six countries participating, which included the addition of teams from Belgium and Italy. Under the Presidency (1964 to 1973) of Victoriano Oliveras de la Riva, a Spaniard, the FIPR changed its name to Federation Internationale de Roller Skating (FIRS) in the mid 1960's to become officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the international governing body for all roller skating. There was much interest, originating in Europe, for making the sport of roller skating a participant in the Olympic Games. Such IOC recognition is first necessary for inclusion in the Olympic Games. In the 1970’s, the General Association of International Sport Federations (GAISF) gave similar membership recognition to FIRS.
The first World Championship organized by FIPR was for Rink Hockey (Ball and Cane) in 1936, hosted by Stuttgart, Germany. At the insistence of it growing number of member nations, the next world championship was conducted in 1937 in Monza, Italy for Roller Speed Skating on the Road. In 1938 a FIPR World Championship was held in London, England for Track Roller Speed Skating and in Ferrara, Italy for the second Road Speed Skating World Championship. In 1939, the second Rink Hockey world championship for FIPR was held in Montreux, Switzerland, after which all World roller skating championships were interrupted by World War II and did not resume again until 1947. In 1947 Rink Hockey returned with its third world championships in Lisbon, Portugal. Artistic Roller Skating conducted its first FIPR World Championships in Washington, USA also in 1947. From that time, the three disciplines of FIRS conducted annual World Championships again, expanding to include all continents of the world. Roller hockey, under FIRS, became a Demonstration Sport at the 1992 Olympic Games of Barcelona. The latest and fourth discipline of roller sports, Inline Roller Hockey organized the first such World Championship in Chicago, USA in the summer of 1995. The FIRS membership, during a June 2000 Congress in Zell Am See, Austria, authorized a second title change for the International Federation, substituting “Roller Sports” for the previous description “Roller Skating”, at the same time retaining the FIRS acronym, but replacing the former globe logo with the one shown above.
The earliest history may be verified by the book “Roller Skating – History and Introduction” published by FIRS in Spring of 1982, authored by Rolf Noess of Freiburg, Germany, who was then the Secretary/General of FIRS, and Camille Fetler of Bordeaux, France who had served as President of the FIRS Rink Hockey from 1958 until 1976 and subsequently was awarded with FIRS Honorary Life Membership.
Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS)
Sabatino Aracu (President)
Viale Tiziano 70
00196 Rome, ITALY
conto n° 9377
Banca Nazionale Del Lavoro
c/o Coni Foro Italico
Roma - Italia
IBAN IT85 K010 0503 3090 0000 0009 377
SWIFT BIC BNLIITRR