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What is Sled Hockey?

 

Sledge hockey is a sport that was designed to allow participants who have a physical disability to play the game of ice hockey. Ice sledge hockey (also known as sled hockey in the United States) was invented in the early 1960s in Stockholm, Sweden at a rehabilitation center. It is currently one of the most popular sports in the Paralympic Games.
 
Two men from Sweden designed the sled for ice sledge hockey in the 1960s because they wanted to continue to play hockey despite their physical disability.  Their design included two skate blades on a metal frame that allowed the puck to pass underneath. They completed the ensemble by including 2 round poles with bike handles for sticks. Although there are many restrictions to the measurements and weight of the sledges used in the Paralympic Games, not a whole lot has changed from the original design to the ones that exist today.


Despite the initial decline of interest after the invention of sledge hockey, competition between sledge hockey teams started up in 1969 that included five teams out of Europe. In 1981, Great Britain established their first sledge hockey team, and that was shortly followed by Canada in 1982. It was not until 1990 that the United States developed their first ice sledge hockey team and sledge hockey continued to expand when Estonia and Japan developed their teams in 1993. 

International ice sledge hockey became an official event in 1994 for the beginning of the Paralympic Games:

1994 - Lillehammer
Gold - Sweden

1998 -Nagano, Japan
Gold - Norway 
Silver - Canada
Bronze - 
Sweden

2002 - Salt Lake City, Utah
Gold - United States
Silver - Norway 
Bronze - Sweden 

2006 - Torino, Italy 
Gold - Canada
Silver - Norway 
Bronze - United States


Typical Beginner Sled


Bottom of Sled


Standard Sled Hockey Stick


Stick "pick" used to grip the ice and propel the sled and player accross the rink