What is sledge hockey?
Although a sport for individuals of all abilities, sledge hockey was designed to allow participants who have a physical disability to play the game of ice hockey. It was invented in the early 1960s at a Swedish rehabilitation center and is currently one of the most popular sports in the Paralympic Games.
- Players sit on a sledge (a seat on a narrow platform) with skate blades attached to the bottom and propel themselves with two short hockey sticks with picks on the ends
- Players wear full hockey gear and are strapped into sledges
- Sledges can be adapted to meet the needs of each player
- Each team has 6 players in play, including the goalie
- Additional team members remain in a designated sitting bench area
- A team may include able-bodied players
- A player who is unable to move a sledge on their own may be assisted by a pusher
Check out the current sledge hockey schedule to find times sledge is available as a drop-in program, registered program or for shinny.
What equipment is required?
Personal equipment includes CSA-approved hockey helmet with face mask, neck guard, elbow pads, shoulder pads, leg guards, hockey gloves and close toed footwear.
The Sledge - The Town of Newmarket has sledges to loan out in our programs. The Town's sledges are adjustable in length and have some custom abilities (high back support, additional straps, push bar). Seats come in various sizes and the double ice blades are adjustable for width, which is reduced as skill develops.
*For shinny, participants are required to supply their own sledge. The sledge hockey registered and drop-in programs include the borrowing of a sledge*
The Sticks - Players propel themselves with two sticks with picks on the ends. These are also used to shoot the puck. Upper body strength will increase with practice. If your child does not have ability to propel the sledge, a push bar handle can be mounted on the sledge, and a pusher (a person on skates) will provide the movement. Gloves can be fastened together to assist with gripping if required.
How do I find out if my child might enjoy this sport before investing in equipment & registration?
There are opportunities for you and your child to view sledge in action, as well as to come out and try it during drop-in hours. Full equipment is not required to try it - minimum is a helmet and gloves.
Is this sport only meant for people with physical disabilities?
No, this sport allows for able-bodied players too! For recreational play it's a great game for all!