Our Mission Statement
To reach area's youth at risk by providing a safe environment to teach good sportsmanship, team spirit, and community involvement while having fun playing the great game of hockey.
About Our League

The Lima Police Department / Exchange Club Youth Roller Hockey League began in the spring of 1996 as an idea from two LPD detectives. Ed Monfort and Tony Swygart were looking for a way officers could interact with area kids on a positive basis, and bring organized hockey to the Lima area for the first time in twenty years.

They took their idea to then chief Frank Catlett, who was very supportive, and sent the two to Lima mayor David Berger to sell the idea to the city. Mayor Berger also was supportive, but in a time of budget cuts made it clear that he wanted the program to be police operated and not another Parks Department activity.

Through the cooperation of the LPD and the Parks Dept., a portable roller rink system was purchased. A few key volunteers were pulled into the program and the group got busy. Advertising was sold and placed on the rink to help purchase equipment, which was then available to kids who could not afford to purchase their own. The 1996 season saw 130 kids participate from 7 - 17 years of age. The season ended with a tournament at Wal-Mart and the awarding of trophies to each of the winning teams in the four divisions. All participating members received a bronze hockey medal. In the fall of that year, players from each division were taken to Detroit to participate in the NHL Breakout Roller Hockey Tournament held in the parking lot of Joe Louis Arena. Competition from Michigan and Canada was fierce and easily handled the Lima teams.

The 1997 season opened with a registration at the Allen County Fairgrounds. Over 300 people attended, and Colin Chin of the Fort Wayne Komets visited to interact and skate with the kids.

The following two years saw growth each year, with the 1998 registration reaching 250 kids. Visits to the Detroit tournament showed marked improvement in the Lima teams. Participants got the added thrill of having their picture taken with the Stanley Cup, which was brought to the site by the champion Detroit Red Wings. Late in the 1998 season, the LPD volunteers entered into a partnership with the Lima Area Exchange Club. The Exchange Club was looking for a youth project to get involved in, and chose the LPD Roller Hockey League based on the broad backgrounds of children involved. The Exchange Club purchased equipment in 1998 but began the plans for a much more ambitious step.

Exchange Club president Merle Miller and vice president John Rice arranged for the local schools to vacate long-neglected tennis courts at Horace Mann Elementary School. The Exchange Club held fund raisers and was able to pay to have the tennis courts asphalted into one large complex for roller hockey. Two rinks were established, one regulation, and one junior size, allowing for the play of two games at once. The partnership was a resounding success! Not only did Lima receive a quality facility, which is open for kids at all times, but the neighborhood lost the decrepit eyesore which had been the abandoned tennis courts.

In addition to the initial equipment purchase and initial work with developing a permanent home site for the league, the Exchange Club also promised continued monetary support so that the volunteers can focus their effort on managing the daily operations and get the maximum time to spend with the youth that come out to play - which results in yearly stipends. These stipends, in conjunction with support from the Lima Police Department, the City of Lima, and our sponsors and advertisers allow us to maintain the facility and equipment for the youth of Lima and the surrounding area. One of the goals of the Exchange Club is child abuse prevention. By helping to provide structured activities for youth they are able to give them something constructive to do in their spare time and provide positive role models. (For more information on the Lima Exchange Club please see www.limaexchangeclub.com)

The 1999 season saw over 300 kids participate on 22 teams and again led to a two-day tournament at the new facility. It was common for over 200 people to be at the site at one time cheering on the kids and enjoying quality hockey. That year, two LPD teams took 2nd place in Detroit, one losing by one goal in a shoot-out. The volunteers from the LPD, Exchange Club, and the hockey community enjoy their time at the rink as much as the players do.

In 2000, the league once again included over 300 participants on 20 teams in 5 divisions. Our end of season tournament expanded to three days to cover all of the teams. For the first season, the league had its own web site to display stats, teams, pictures, and other information. And for the first time, the league sponsored a team in the Detroit NHL Breakout Tournament in Troy, Michigan that won a championship. The Lima Mustangs won the 17-and-under recreational title and proceeded on to the NHL Breakout Championships in Orlando, Florida January 12-14, 2001.

In 2001, the league put together 24 teams from the 266 players signed up to play. We maintained a three day tournament. For the first time the NHL Breakout tournament was played in Columbus to celebrate the founding of the Blue Jackets franchise. Volunteers from the league put together multiple teams in each age division for the Breakout tournament and Lima had two champions that year. With the National Tournament being held in Sand Diego, the teams were not able to advance. But, Lima teams played well in each division and accounted for a large percentage of the teams in the tournament. The volume of participation and the performance of the players, coaches, and fans put Lima hockey on the map in a big way!

In 2002, the league put together 24 teams with 270 players. Our season ending tournament was a great success with standing room only for the fans. The NHL Breakout tournament was held in Rhode Island and no teams from Lima could make the trip due to the distance and the time of year it was scheduled.

We put together 26 teams with 283 players in 2003 and the crowds seemed more enthusiastic than ever. This resulted in 12 teams going to the NHL Breakout Tournament, which was again held in Columbus. The format changed and instead of having regional tournaments, the Columbus tournament fielded teams from across the nation and Canada. The level of competition was much tougher than in previous years and the teams held their own. Lima put teams into the final tournament in each age group, and had semi-final placements in the older age groups.

In 2004, the league again made preparations for a great summer of hockey – with a new twist. The entire rink area was resurfaced by some intrepid volunteers who learned it is better to put down surface coating on asphalt when it is cool and cloudy. Our facility went from plain blacktop with outlines for the rink to a completely coated facility with ice blue surfaces for the rinks and light blue surrounding areas. The temperature dropped significantly and the players and fans found the games much more pleasant – and more exciting at the end, with the players having more energy left due to the improvement of the playing conditions. The league put together 25 teams with 280 players, AND started a new Developmental Program for young players 3 – 6. Due to the great participation of the “The Little Rink Rats” and their fans, this program is going to continue. This is a key element in the future of the league as the original young players who started with the league move on to adulthood.

2005, a milestone was reached. 2005 was our 10th season of existance. In that 10 years we have went from 1 rink at the Lima Senior High School parking lot too a total of two rinks located at the entrance to Lima's West side. It was in 1999 that we moved to our current location and we have made many improvements to the facility over the years. The most noticeable item was the changing of the surface over to a white/blue surface done back at the start of the 2004 season.

In 1976 the Lima Chargers who played over at the now vacant County Market packed up shop and organized hockey left Lima. In 1996, organzied hockey returned to Lima with the start of this league and now in 2005 organzied hockey took stirdes to return to the spotlight within Lima and the surrounding community. On September 15th 2005 the landscape of the rink and the facility changed with the addition of full size dasher boards. Gone are the days of setting up and tearing down the rink. The new dasher board system gives us the priemer rink in the area for roller hockey. Pictures of the rink can be seen by clicking here.

2005 also saw success just not in major rink improvements but in registration numbers as well. The league saw a total of 210 kids particpate in the league ranging in ages from 2 - 18 years old. We also had a total 5 current and past players who filled a volunteer roll as coaches or assitant coaches. We also made strides in officating with numerous current and past players filling this role.

2005 was another successful year for the Lima Police Department Exchange Club Roller Hockey League. We are looking forward to another very exciting year in 2006 with increased enrollemnet and intrest due to our new dasher board system. The new dasher board system was an event 10 years in the making that could have not been made possible with out the help from dedicated volunteers through out the years who never gave up on the dream that we would one day have a full size dasher board system.

The 2006 season saw the league again at the 250 player mark. There were 22 teams participating in the competitive division and the developmental division established itself as a strong and vibrant part of the program. The new boards on the big rink were a major improvement to the facility, AND also helped improve the play with significant changes to how the ball is played forward and helped to develop player skills. The season was another great success, and the boards gave us better visibility for our sponsors’ signs. In addition to improving our program, the league also worked with the YMCA to set up a roller hockey program and loaned the board system to the YMCA for an indoor league to help grow the sport of roller hockey in the area. We look forward another great year in 2007.

Support for the program has come from all segments of the community.
Mayor Berger and current police Chief Greg Garlock have given full support to Monfort and Swygart. Over 30 area businesses have donated money for equipment, and churches have provided space for practices. The City of Lima continues to provide support and the Lima Police Department continues their participation. The Exchange Club also provides continuing support and the web site continues to grow. A local based teen pregnancy prevention agency has utilized kids from the league as a pilot project to get their message across to teen boys. Police Officers participate in activities with the kids during the off season including college visits and hockey games.

Our core group of volunteers (too many to mention here, but you all know who you are) make everything happen. They couldn’t run the program without the support of our underwriters and sponsors, but without our volunteers that support could not put a program in place. As we embark on our milestone tenth season, we look forward to the future with plans on the drawing board for major facility improvements and goals to grow beyond the 300 player level.

707 N. Jameson Ave.
Lima, OH 45801

Hosting provided by: