Source : Canadian Paralympic Committee/ International Paralympic Committee
Sledge hockey is the Paralympic version of Ice hockey and, since its debut on the Paralympic program at the 1994 Lillehammer Paralympic Winter Games, it is quickly becoming one of the biggest attractions for spectators at the Paralympic Winter Games. It is fast-paced, highly physical and played by male athletes with a physical disability in the lower part of the body.
Like hockey, each team has six players on the ice, including the goaltender. Teams are comprised of a maximum of 15 male players per team, including two goaltenders. To be eligible to compete at the Paralympics, athletes must have a disability of permanent nature in the lower part of the body that precludes their participation in standing hockey.
Sledge Hockey is governed by the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) through the International Paralympic Ice Hockey Committee. It follows the rules of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) with a few modifications.
Athletes site strapped into a metal frame that rests on two regular-sized ice-skate blades. The sledge is raised high enough to allow the puck to pass underneath. Athletes use two 75 cm long hockey sticks, with spikes on one end and blades on the other. The spike is used to propel the sledge across the ice, and the slightly curved blade is used to handle the puck.
The goaltender may have an additional pick at the base end of his stick and may use an additional stick with a blade or a trapper globe with teeth.
To participate in IPC competitions and sanctioned events (i.e. Paralympic Winter Games), athletes must have an impairment of permanent nature in the lower part of the body of such a degree that it is obvious and easily recognizable and makes ordinary skating – and consequently ice hockey playing impossible.
Examples include amputation (leg, foot), paresis (loss of 10 muscle points in both legs), joint immobility, cerebral palsy and leg shortening of at least 7 cm.