Since ice skating and roller skating had the same competitive disciplines, and many of the skaters performed both on blades and on wheels, governing bodies at first tried to cover both sports. The National Skating Association of Great Britain was founded in 1879 to govern ice skating and added roller skating during the 1880s. Similarly, the US. National Amateur Skating Association (USNASA) was established as an ice skating body in 1886, but took on roller skating shortly afterward.
In 1891, the International Skating Union of America (ISUA) was founded to govern both ice and roller skating in the United States and Canada. However, the U.S. Figure Skating Association, founded in 1921, was concerned only with ice skating. When the ISUA folded in 1927, roller skating was left without a national governing body.
The Arena Gardens Roller Skating Rink in Detroit held the first U.S. roller speed skating championships April 2-4, 1937. Seventeen rink owners who attended met afterwards to found the Roller Skating Rink Operators Association (RSROA).
The Amateur Athletic Union which controlled most American amateur sports at the time, wasn’t happy with the RSROA, because its membership included rink owners and professional skaters. As a result, the United States Amateur Roller Skating Association (USARSA) was founded in 1939 and immediately became affiliated with the AAU.
The two rival groups held separate national championships until 1972, when the RSROA amateur skaters, the USARSA, and the U.S. Federation of Amateur Roller Skaters merged to form the U.S.A. Confederation of Roller Skating (USAC/RS), now known as USA Rollersports.