Labour Day weekend has come and gone for another year which means the hockey season is just around the corner. As a true Canadian, it’s in my blood to be excited for this time of the year and although I’m not a fan of the cold, snowy winters, I’m definitely looking forward to late cozy nights watching our Canadian teams kick butt. (Personally I’m rooting for the leafs, Go Leafs!!!)
In the 1960’s, the sport sledge hockey was invented by two men in Sweden who wanted to continue playing hockey despite their physical disability. To this day it is currently one of the most popular sports in the Paralympic Games.
The rules of the game are essentially the same as traditional ice hockey for an able-body. The only rule unique for sledge hockey is teeing-charging an apponent using any part of the front radius of the sledge.
The sledge is a small plastic shell that is attached to a metal frame with 2 skate blades directly beneath the player. Each player is securely strapped into their sledges to be sure they are safely able to propel themselves down the ice.
How to get some speed?
Each player has two short sticks and each end serves a purpose. Like a normal hockey stick, each one has a blade that’s designed for shooting, passing and stick handling. The other end has a pick to allow the player to dig into the ice and to pull themselves along. The pick is no more then 1 cm long to limit player injury, (I’m sure it could be tempting to use in a fight for those aggressive players).
Sledge hockey can be a great outing for someone looking to play a sport and it’s a great way to meet new friends. Generally playing in a city league, the team sport is for all ages and divided depending on the players ability. In the GTA we have a couple leagues and the season is about to begin. You can find more information at these sites listed below if you are interested in learning more about the sport or if you are interested in signing up. Who know’s, perhaps one day you’ll be playing for the Canadian Sledge Hockey Team.
Missisauga Cruisers: http://www.cruisers-sports.com/Sledge.shtml
Toronto Tornadoes: http://tornadoesparasport.org/