Sled hockey is one of the most exciting team sports out there! Just check out this video. Via Sports N Spokes Magazine, this cool video from February 19, 2017. Sports and inclusion are so both important to the health and happiness of people with disabilities.
Team USA Women's Sled Hockey takes on the Phoenix Coyotes
Posted by Sports 'N Spokes Magazine on Saturday, February 18, 2017
Sled ice hockey, also called para ice hockey or sledge hockey, has been around since the 1960s. It was created to bring people with disabilities into the game. A rehabilitation center in Sweden was the first to start playing the game and since that time it has gained ground. Some guys at the center used two regular-sized ice hockey skate blades to modify a metal frame sled. This modification made it possible to pass the puck underneath. They used round poles with bike handles to move and as hockey sticks and the game was on!
There isn’t too much of a difference between the stand up hockey you might be used to and sled hockey. Either way the players struggle to land the puck in the net and and race all over the ice. Sled hockey players power themselves over the ice use with their arms for forward movement and their hips for side-to-side motion. Each team has six players: a goalie, two defensive players, and three forwards.
Periods are each 20 minutes in sled hockey, just like stand-up hockey. The same regulation sized puck, goal net, and ice rink is used for play. You can expect to see the same high speed and action. Will you see brawling too? Hopefully not!
Sled hockey is one of the sports played in the Paralympic Games. In the 2014 games in Sochi Russia, eight teams competed. Top honors went to the United States (gold), Russia (silver), and Canada (bronze). You can watch the third period of the gold medal game here:
The 2018 winter games are going to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Team USA is already preparing to repeat their gold medal sled hockey performance!
For more information about sled hockey, here are some resources: