What Is Sled Hockey?
By Gene Hart
If you have never had the chance to experience a sled (or sledge) hockey game, then you are missing out! Sled hockey is very similar to regular hockey, but the teams play sitting down on sleds. They propel themselves around the ice with small hockey sticks with ice picks on the bottom of them. This sport is primarily played by those individuals that have some sort of physical disability (like Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, etc). Teams play using standard hockey rules and full checking is allowed.
Sled hockey is truly an inspirational sport to watch. In the past, most disabled children and adults did not get to experience a true competitive sport environment. Over the years, though, there have been many advancements to help the disabled become more active and competitive. Sled hockey, like wheelchair basketball, has really started to catch on!
Every four years, there is a disabled Olympics that are played in the same city as the regular Olympics. In the 2010 Winter Olympics, the USA Sled Hockey team won the gold medal beating teams from all over the world.
As these sports continue to grow, so do the opportunities that come with them. USA Hockey, like with able-bodied hockey, is the parent organization. Around 2005, they started a yearly disability festival that is held in various locations around the country each spring. This festival gives all sled hockey players from around the country an opportunity to play and compete on a higher level. It also gives them a chance to meet others that face similar challenges.
Gene Hart is a sports fanatic and follows all aspects of hockey.
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