Sports represent an important opportunity for any young child due to the valuable lessons of sportsmanship, teamwork, rules and structure that can be provided. Many parents envision their child enjoying the same sports they enjoyed, both as a way to connect and in hopes that a shared joy would emerge. This, unfortunately, is not an option for many children with Cerebral Palsy due to the complications associated with the condition. The good news, though, is that advances in adaptive equipment have made a number of sports more accessible for children with CP. One such sport growing in popularity is Sled Hockey.
What is Sled Hockey?
Sled hockey is the U.S. name for the sport more widely known in Canada and Europe as ice sledge hockey. Nearly all of the rules follow traditional ice hockey, with the use of pucks, sticks and nets on an ice surface. The sport involves the use of an adapted sled that propels through the use of sticks in a motion similar to cross-country skiing. Players maintain their balance and turn using their hips. To better understand how the game is played, check out the gold-medal came from the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games by clicking here.
The great thing about sled hockey is that the only requirement for playing is that participants must have a disability that keeps them from playing standing up. Sled hockey can be played by those with any number of conditions, including Cerebral Palsy, due to the reliance on a sled and the ease of movement provided by an ice surface. Amputees, those with spina bifida and more are also active participants, creating a sense of camaraderie around the common limitation many shares.
Want to learn more about sled hockey? Check out the following links:
- Disabled Sports USA: Sled Hockey
- USA Hockey: Sled Hockey
- Paralympics: About Ice Sledge Hockey
- Mobility Sports (Retailer)
- Sled Hockey Leagues
We hope that this overview inspires you to encourage a loved one to see if sled hockey is a good fit; consider calling an ice arena near you to find out if a league already exists or a scheduled game is upcoming to check out the fun!
For more information about Cerebral Palsy, sports for those with physical challenges, assistance programs for families and more, call us at (800) 692-4453 today!