Get into Sledge Hockey

Paralympian, Karl Nicholson (Image Geoff White)

Paralympian, Karl Nicholson (Image Geoff White)

In March 2014 the ultimate team sport, Ice Sledge Hockey, will be receiving more TV exposure than ever thanks to the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympic games, giving everyone the chance to watch one of the fastest, most exciting team sports in the world.

Sledge Hockey is a variant of ice hockey and can be played on and off ice, using sledges to allow participants to move about the rink at high speeds hitting a puck travelling at speeds of up to 100kph.  Players sit in adapted sledges, propelling themselves with sticks adapted to allow propulsion in a manner similar to skiing.  As players are strapped to a sledge everybody has the same restrictions, regardless of whether or not the player has a disability.

Female Sledge Hockey Player

Female Sledge Hockey Player

There is no classification points system dictating who can be involved in play within Sledge Hockey (simply an eligibility classification for Paralympic events) unlike other team sports such as wheelchair basketball, rugby and sitting volleyball.

Equipment is exactly the same as for ice or inline hockey with the exception of the sledge and an additional stick. Sledge Hockey is a full contact sport and the rules are the same as those for ice hockey with a small number of additional rules to allow for the difference in equipment.

PhantomsChampionsSmThere is a well-established Sledge Hockey league in the UK, sponsored by Europe’s largest ice rink brand, Planet Ice with opportunities to learn to play at many rinks and whilst the GB team didn’t qualify for the Paralympics’ in Sochi they did win Bronze at least year’s World Championships in Japan and are looking to improve to ensure they qualify for the 2018 games in South Korea.

On March the 28th we will be launching our newest team, the SteelKings at Ice Sheffield.

If you’re interested in getting involved in Sledge Hockey either as player, a coach or a volunteer why not fill in our on-line contact form.

BSHA Announce League Dates for 2014 Season

The British Sledge Hockey Association (BSHA) is delighted to release the dates for the 2014 Planet Ice British Sledge Hockey League.

Building on a successful 2013 league season which saw the Peterborough Phantoms win the league for the first time the 2014 season looks to expand the number of games and move from two, fifteen minute periods to three, fifteen minute periods in line with IPC regulations.

BSHA Chairman, Matt Lloyd, commented;

“I’m delighted to see the development of the league and the move from mini-tournaments to three period hockey based on a traditional home and away format.  All of the teams have developed and strengthen since last summer and I know that summer 2014 will see an action packed league season”.

For the fourth year Planet Ice will be sponsoring the British Sledge Hockey League.  Group Managing Director John Neville said;

“Sledge Hockey is an amazing sport and as a company we are proud to be involved and to support its growth.  For us one of the big attractions is it’s fully inclusive nature which means that everyone can enjoy competing.”

Planet Ice British Sledge Hockey League Dates;

  • 10-May:  Kingston Kestrels Manchester Phoenix
  • 17-May: Peterborough Phantoms Cardiff Devils
  • 24-May: Cardiff Devils Kingston Kestrels
  • 07-Jun: Peterborough Phantoms Kingston Kestrels
  • 14-Jun: Manchester Phoenix Peterborough Phantoms
  • 05-Jul: Cardiff Devils Manchester Phoenix
  • 12-Jul: Manchester Phoenix Cardiff Devils
  • 19-Jul: Kingston Kestrels Peterborough Phantoms
  • 02-Aug: Cardiff Devils Peterborough Phantoms
  • 09-Aug: Manchester Phoenix Kingston Kestrels
  • 16-Aug: Kingston Kestrels Cardiff Devils
  • 23-Aug: Peterborough Phantoms Manchester Phoenix

GB Sledge show development despite defeat against Japan

The GB Sledge Hockey team took to the ice against Japan in a pivotal game which decided which of the two teams would keep their ambitions alive of playing in the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic games.   Both teams were looking for their first win of the tournament with GB looking to hit the net for the first time.

Despite difficult conditions which saw play stopped three times due to fog, GB fought hard and showed the team spirit that have been so evident throughout this Paralympic cycle.  Once again Bryan Hackworth was busy in the GB goal facing 19 shots, as the only GB goal keeper available due to Rob Gaze having picked up a significant injury early in the first game of the tournament.

Despite seeing the Japanese score eight times, GB’s Farmer and Clarkson both found the net for the British team, enabled through strong support from the rest of the team.

Andy Linton, GB Sledge Hockey Head Coach, said:

“We played a good game of physical hockey which showed our potential.  We managed to put some goals on the board which is encouraging for the rest of the tournament”.

Matt Lloyd, British Sledge Hockey Association Chairperson commented;

“We have received support from a lot of organisations and individuals but I particularly want to thank the British Paralympic Association and the Peter Harrison Foundation, without whom the GB team would not have won the Bronze medal in Japan at the Pool B World Championships or been able to compete in Turin this week”.

GB now have a day off before playing South Korea on Friday and the Germany on Saturday.

For all the latest news on the team, follow us on Twitter at @GBSledgeHockey or view our website at www.sledgehockey.co.uk

GB Sledge battle hard against Sweden

The GB Sledge Hockey team took to the ice against Sweden in the second game of the Paralympic qualification tournament.  In a tight game, that wasn’t reflected by the result, it was eventually Sweden who emerged victorious, winning by a 7 goal margin.  Last time the two sides met at the 2011 European championships GB were on the end of a 22-0 beating.

The games saw periods of outstanding play with netminder Bryan Hackworth making a number of fantastic saves with Stephen Thomas named as GB man of the match.

Interestingly the game was stopped whilst both Swedish and British players were required to skate around in circles trying to disperse the fog that appeared which made play impossible.

Andy Linton, Head Coach for GB Sledge Hockey, said:

“We have been given a lesson in what skills are needed to compete at a high level.  We worked hard and we need to keep doing so”

GB defender Mark Briggs said:

“Sweden provided a tough, physical challenge.  Our improvements really did show in the first two periods and the score didn’t reflect the hard work and passion showed by the guys”.

GB will now play Japan at 12:30pm tomorrow afternoon.  The winner will keep alive hopes of progressing to the Winter Paralympic games to be held in Sochi, Russia next March.

For all the latest news on the team, follow us on Twitter at @GBSledgeHockey or view our website at www.sledgehockey.co.uk

GB lose opener but show spirit

The GB Sledge Hockey team played well for periods of their opening game against a very strong Italian Host National team in their opening game of the 2013 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey Paralympic Qualification tournament, being beaten by the current European champions 8 – 0.

The team travelled to Italy with the intention of finishing in the top three in order to secure entry to the 2014 Winter Paralympics games to be held in Sochi, Russia next March.

Italy showed why they are European champions and number one seeds for the tournament playing a solid defensive game partnered with a strong forward line who are not afraid to shoot from distance.

Andy Linton, Head Coach for GB Sledge Hockey, said:

“We made to many mistakes against a good pool A team and got punished.  If we are to progress we need to minimise those mistakes”.

GB next play tomorrow (Tuesday) against Sweden at 16:00 UK time.  The game can be watched live on the IPC website; http://www.paralympic.org/events/torino-2013/

For all the latest news on the team, follow us on Twitter at @GBSledgeHockey or view our website at www.sledgehockey.co.uk

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