Sled hockey was invented at a Stockholm, Sweden, rehabilitation center in the early 1960's by a group of Swedes who, despite their physical disability, wanted to continue playing hockey. Sled hockey follows most of the typical ice hockey rules with the exception of some of the equipment. Players sit in specially designed sleds that sit on top of two hockey skate blades. There are two sticks for each player instead of one and and the sticks have metal pics on the butt end for players to propel themselves. Goalies wear basically the same equipment but do make modifications to the glove. Metal picks are sewn into the backside to allow the goalie to maneuver.
A few rinks around the country are sled accessible, one of which is the feature arena at Bill Gray's Regional Iceplex. Sled accessible rinks allow players to remain in their sleds and skate off the ice into the bench area. This requires that the bench area is flush with the ice and there is clear plexiglass replacing the white boards. Sled hockey provides opportunity for many types of disabilities and there are opportunities available in local areas for recreation/competition all the way to the National Sled Team that plays in the Paralympics. Sled hockey is rapidly growing in the US and players are "hooked" once they touch the ice the first time.
ROCHESTER SLED HOCKEY
Rochester Sled Hockey has partnered with Bill Gray's Regional Iceplex and Rochester Accessible Adventures in growing the game of sled hockey in Rochester. Over the course of the year, the three groups collectively host multiple Try Sled Hockey For Free events, which take place at the Iceplex. These events are open to the public, and offer an opportunity to try the game at no cost.
Starting in late Fall of 2016, a new Sled Hockey 101 program will be offered at the Iceplex. This 8 week program will provide interested people of all ages an opportunity to begin learning the game at a higher level, ultimately giving them an opportunity to master the fundamental skills of sled hockey. From there, participants could move into organized league play, or continue playing the sport at a recreational level.
Anyone interested in participating in future events, or receiving information on new sled hockey programming should fill out the informational request form, located by clicking here.