The origin of the PCRHL can be traced to two neighboring colleges' (University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University) participation in a men's roller hockey league in 1997, run out of the Philadelphia Sports Zone at G and Erie, in Philadelphia. Noting the collegiate alliance, the eventual inaugural PCRHL Coordinator, Brendan Brennan, organized a tournament in the spring of 1998, held in the melted "Class of '23" ice rink on Penn's campus. While many schools were solicited, leading to the eventual creation of the ECRHA, six schools participated in the "Class of '23" tournament: University of Pennsylvania (host), Drexel University, The Wharton School of Business at Penn, University of Delaware, Beaver College, and Pennsylvania State University. The University of Delaware defeated the Penn State in the finals of this highly significant tournament. It would be the unofficial birth of the PCRHL.
The first official season of PCRHL play kicked off at the familiar rink at G and Erie. Initially, all teams played in one division, however the decision was made midway through the season to split into "Varsity" and "Junior Varsity" divisions. As a result, standings and statistics are largely inaccurate for the entire season. The University of Delaware won the initial Varsity championship. Member teams at the conclusion of the season included:
98-99 Varsity Stats & Standings 98-99 JV Stats & Standings
The second season saw play begin at the G and Erie rink, with Brendan Brennan functioning as de facto League Commissioner, and Frank McManus operating as league coordinator. Midway through the season, the league moved operations to the Tri-States Sports Complex in Aston, PA. Doug Mancuso became more prominently involved with league coordination after the move. Due to the movement of the league, stats and standings are completely unavailable. West Chester University won the championship. Member teams included:
Season 3 of the PCRHL began at the Tri-States Sports Complex, under the guidance of co-Commissioner Doug Mancuso and John Osborne. The entire regular season and playoffs would be played at Tri-States. Season 3 marked the emergence of Neumann College's roller hockey club; an organization that would assume local, regional, and national dominance from this point on. Neumann College would go on to defeat West Chester University in for the PCRHL championship, as there was a single divisional structure for the season. Member teams included:
Season 4 of the PCRHL began at the Tri-States Sports Complex, under the guidance of co-Commissioners Doug Mancuso and John Osborne. The entire regular season, and most of the playoffs would be played at Tri-States, with exception to the Championships, which were held at the Marple Sports Arena in Broomall, PA. An official Board of Directors was established that included Steve Kaminski (webmaster), Mike Post (statistician), and Brian Smith (recruitment). The season was also subsequently marked by a full statistics engine (sPortability), as well as the original incarnation of PCRHL.org (operated by TheBuzzerBeaters.com). Neumann College 1 defeated Drexel University 1 in the finals for their second successive championship (single divisional structure). The first annual PCRHL All-Star game was held prior to the playoffs. Member teams included:
The fifth season of PCRHL play began and ended at the same rink, as The Marple Sports Arena would become the official home of the PCRHL beginning with the 2001-2002 season. John Osborne fulfilled the role of PCRHL Commissioner until mid-season, at which point Brian Smith filled in as interim Commissioner. Yuliya Zhurba assumed the role of technical webmaster, with content and statistics handled by the league through various member input. Sixteen teams filled out a single divisional structure. Drexel University 1 defeated Lehigh University (2-games-to-0) for the championship. Member teams included:
Season 6 of PCRHL play saw the breakdown of division structure for the first time since the inaugural season. Divided into Tier I and Tier II, teams were able to operate in a varsity/JV model. Brian Smith became PCRHL Commissioner, Mike Post continued as statistician, John Osborne became league consultant. Temple University defeated West Chester 1 (2-games-to-1) in the Tier I championship. Ursinus College 1 defeated Ursinus College 2 (2-games-to-0) in the Tier II championship. Member teams included:
The seventh season of the PCRHL continued in much the same way that the previous season did, with Brian Smith continuing to serve as both Commissioner and statistician. Two significant changes included the league's website merging with the NCRHA/ECRHA website and statistics engines, that assimilated with the growing unification of collegiate roller hockey around the country. Additionally, the league's Tier I championship trophy was dedicated as the Brendan Brennan Cup (aka the "Brennan Cup"). The first recipient of the Brennan Cup was Drexel University 1, who defeated St. Joseph's University 1 in the championship (2-games-to-1). Temple University won the Tier II champions, defeating St. Joseph's 2 (2-games-to-0). Member teams included:
The eighth season began with minimal changes to league play. Ira Liss assumed the role of PCRHL Statistician. St. Joseph's 1 defeated Neumann College 1 in Tier I (2-games-to-1), Ursinus defeated St. Joseph's 2 (2-games-to-1) in Tier II. Member teams included:
Consistency followed in Season 9, with the only organizational change being the Team Reps being officially recognized as an ad hoc Board of Directors. The fifth annual PCRHL All-Star game was held. Neumann College 1 defeated Lehigh University 1 (2-games-to-0) in the Tier I championship. St. Joseph's University 2 defeated Ursinus College (2-games-to-0). Member teams included:
Villanova University, led by team captain Rich Kline, defeated St. Joseph's 2 games to 0 in the Tier I championship round. It was a landmark victory for the Wildcats, being the first championship in the program's history since its establishment in 2007 by Thomas Motto.