The Minnesota Wild, Minnesota Wild Foundation, Minnesota Hockey and USA Hockey are excited to host the sixth Annual USA Hockey Blind Hockey Summit on the weekend of August 23 – 25, 2019. The event, which will take place at TRIA Rink in downtown St. Paul, MN, the official practice facility of the Minnesota Wild, will feature games for all sizes and skill levels, a coaching clinic, a “try-it” session for local newcomers and a community banquet.
Registration for players and coaches interested in attending the event is now open. Attendees must register online to secure their spot. While registering, coaches can sign up for a blind hockey coaching clinic, which will be held Thursday, August 22 at the Minnesota Wild business offices. Attendees will also have opportunity to purchase tickets for a reception at the Intercontinental St. Paul Riverfront and the Minnesota State Fair.
USA Hockey has approximately 150 Blind Hockey players playing regularly on 10 teams across the country. Minnesota began a program in the Twin Cities in October 2018, and it has enjoyed success.
Blind Hockey is the same exhilarating, fast-paced sport as ice hockey with only one main difference – all of the players are legally blind. Players must be classified as eligible in one of the three International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) classifications.
Typically, totally blind athletes play goal (or defense), lower sighted athletes play defense, and higher sighted athletes play forward.
The most significant modification is that the sport features an adapted puck that makes noise, and is both bigger and slower than a traditional puck. Players’ levels of vision range from legally blind – approximately 10% vision or less – to totally blind. Blind Hockey is an excellent spectator sport as it is easily recognizable to the average hockey fan, with minimal rule adaptations to help with gameplay and player safety.
The Intercontinental St. Paul Riverfront will serve as the official hotel of the event and a special discount rate will be available until July 31. For reservations, click here.
For anyone wanting to know more about Blind Hockey and how to get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.