What is Ice Sledge Hockey?
Sledge Hockey is the Paralympic version of ice hockey and, since its debut in the Paralympic program in 1994, it is fast becoming one of the biggest attractions for spectators at the winter Paralympic Games. It is fast-paced, highly physical and played by athletes with a physical impairment. As in ice hockey, six players (including the goalie) from each team are on the ice at one time. Two-blade sledges that allow the puck to pass underneath replace skates, and the players use sticks with a spike-end and a blade-end.
Therefore, with a quick flip of the wrist, the players are able to propel themselves using the spikes and then play the puck using the blade-end of the sticks. A player may use two sticks with blades in order to facilitate stick handling and ambidextrous shooting. Sledge hockey games consist of three 15 minute stop-time periods.
Who Can Take Part?
Individuals with a physical impairment in the lower part of their body. Full upper body function is required.
In Para Ice Hockey there is only one sport class. Athletes have to have an impairment in the lower part of their body that would prevent them from competing in able-bodies Ice Hockey. Players, for example, have amputations affecting their legs, stiffness of the ankle or knee joint, or a leg length difference of at least 7cm. Some players also have muscle weakness in their legs, for example due to Paraplegia.
World Para Ice Hockey
World Para Ice Hockey are a subcommittee of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and are the governing body for para ice sledge hockey