Sledge Hockey

Sledge Hockey, also known as para hockey or para ice hockey, is a sport specifically designed for athletes with physical disabilities to enjoy the game of ice hockey. It was invented in the early 1960s at a rehabilitation center in Stockholm, Sweden. Since then, it has gained international popularity and was introduced at the Winter Paralympics in 1994. Sledge hockey adheres to the same rules and structure as traditional ice hockey, featuring six players on the ice, including a goalie.

Players sit on sledges, which consist of a metal frame with a "bucket" (seat) mounted on top, and two regular skate blades attached underneath for balance. These sledges can be customized to meet individual athletes' needs. Full hockey gear is worn, and players are strapped into the sledges. They maneuver using two specially designed hockey sticks, with picks on one end for propulsion and curved blades on the other for puck handling and shooting.

Although Hockey Canada rules are generally followed, some variations accommodate the unique aspects of sledge hockey and its players. Teams are mixed-gender, and in OSHA, players of all ages and experience levels are welcome. Larger communities might have dedicated junior development teams, and the league includes divisions for non-contact, full-contact, and elite-level play.

For information on playing Sledge Hockey in Ontario, visit the Ontario Sledge Hockey Association (OSHA).