The Minnesota Wild, Minnesota Wild Foundation, Minnesota Hockey and USA Hockey are proud to be hosting the Sixth Annual USA Hockey Blind Hockey Summit at TRIA Rink in downtown St. Paul, MN, the official practice facility of the Minnesota Wild. The event will take place the weekend of August 22 – 25, 2019 and will feature games for all sizes and skill levels, a coaching clinic, a “try-it” session for local newcomers with a reception and opportunity to enjoy our great Minnesota State Fair.
USA Hockey has approximately 150 Blind Hockey players playing regularly on 10 teams across the country. Minnesota started the Minnesota Wild Blind Hockey program in the Twin Cities in October 2018, and had 20 participants in its first season.
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.
All ice sessions will take place at TRIA Rink in downtown Saint Paul, MN.
USA Hockey and Minnesota Hockey will be partnering to host a coaching clinic for Blind Hockey coaches on Thursday, August 22. Attendees will attend a classroom session at the Minnesota Wild during the day and conclude with an on-ice session in the afternoon. The cost to attend the coaching clinic is $25 per coach.
Minnesota Hockey will be hosting a reception at the Intercontinental St. Paul Riverfront on Saturday, August 24. The cost to attend is $20 per person. Each reception ticket will also include a ticket to the Minnesota State Fair and transportation will be offered to and from the Intercontinental hotel on Saturday evening.
The Intercontinental St. Paul Riverfront is the host hotel for the summit. The hotel is within walking distance of TRIA Rink and the Minnesota Wild office for those attending the coaching clinic. A discounted room rate is available as a part of the event room block. The deadline to reserve your room is July 26, 2019. Click here for reservations.