Sledge Hockey or "sled hockey" as it is often now referred to, has been played in Canada and the United States for well over several decades now. Players, who have physical disabilities, sit in sleds with two blades on the bottom and propel themselves across the ice with two short hockey sticks with ice picks on the bottom. Full hockey protective gear is worn as the rules of contact are the same.
Sled hockey is currently one of the most popular sports in the Paralympic Games and has reached new heights in the United States after winning back-to-back gold medals in Sochi (2014) and Vancouver (2010).
The Minnesota Sled Hockey Association provides opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in sled hockey and promotes the development of excellence in hockey in Minnesota. The program is open to players aged 5 and above with physical and/or cognitive disabilities, is affiliated with the Minnesota Wild and is currently offering free membership for first-year players. Teams are currently being offered in the Twin Cities (MN Wild Sled), Rochester (Mustangs), Moorhead (Hope, Inc.) and Duluth (DASSH).
First staged in 2010, the USA Hockey Sled Classic is an annual round-robin format tournament between NHL-affiliated sled hockey teams. Participating teams in the tournament must have an official affiliation with an NHL member club and must represent their affiliated NHL club by wearing official NHL licensed jerseys with local club marks and logos.
The Minnesota Wild and Minnesota Hockey will host the eighth annual USA Hockey Sled Classic, presented by the NHL. The four-day event will take place Nov. 16-19, 2017, at the Plymouth Ice Center (3650 Plymouth Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55446).
For more information on the event, click here.