Ice hockey is a team sport playing on ice indoor or outdoor, a very active and exciting sport that needs fast reactions and excellent cooperation between players and teammates. On the other hand, Para hockey or para ice hockey is a Paralympic sport version of ice hockey invented at a rehabilitation center in Stockholm, Sweden, in the 1960s. The first idea was because of a group of Swedes who were physically impaired, but they wanted to play hockey. Putting the concept in practice made the picture an exciting and popular global sport. Para hockey became the largest attraction for spectators since the Lillehammer winter games in 1994.
No gender differences and no ages are the matter for this sport, and it is an excellent physical help for those athletes who have impairments in the lower parts of the body. The IPC governs para hockey with co-ordination by the World Para Ice Hockey Technical Committee. This sport follows the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) rules, and instead of the skates, players use two sticks that have a spike-end for pushing and a blade-end for shooting.
Para hockey is a full-contact sport with two teams on both sides of the game field. Each unit consists of 6 players, three forwards, two defensemen, and one goaltender. Forwards’ and Defensemen’s job is to skate the ice span to control the puck and score goals against the opposing team. The goaltender stops the puck from going into the own net.
Who can play para hockey?
Based on World Para Ice Hockey, some principles determine which players are eligible to play para hockey. Those players are eligible to take part in para hockey which faces one of the following impairments:
Impaired Muscle Power
The health condition reduces or eliminates the ability to contract the muscles to move or generate force voluntarily.
It refers to the athletes who have a total or partial absence of bones or joints due to trauma.
Leg Length Difference
It refers to the condition in which the athletes have a difference in the length of their legs.
It refers to increased muscle tension and a reduced muscle ability to stretch, caused by damage to the central nervous system.
The condition that the person has uncoordinated movements because of the damage to the central nervous system.
The condition that the athlete has continual slow, involuntary movements.
Impaired Passive Range of Movement
It refers to the athletes who have experienced a restriction or a lack of passive movement in one or more joints.
How does para hockey help?
As with other para-sports like para-badminton, cp football, wheelchair slalom, para-cycling, para archery, cp bowls, para-swimming, race running, and so on, para hockey has its benefits and advantages for the players.
Para Hockey skills
- Improving skating skills: agility, balance, coordination & quickness
- Increasing more and more puck battles
- Reinforce fundamentals: skating, puck control, passing & shooting accurately
- Preparation for the best use of body contact & checking skills
- The increasing frequency of making fast hockey decisions
- Improving the ice awareness and hockey sense
- Keeping the body, muscles, and bones fresh and robust by regular practice
- Improving the coordination between the different parts of the body, especially, brain, eyes, hands, and legs
- Strengthening the arms and hands muscles
- Increasing the speed of actions helps the person a lot in daily duties
- Finding new friends and new relations helps decrease the risk of loneliness and depression
- New connections can lead to new opportunities for personal growth or finding better places in community or society or a better place at the international level
- Sharing ideas and thoughts with others will open the mind and generates new beliefs and attitudes
Experience the great feelings with para hockey
The nature of this para-sport is based on speed and activity. Para hockey is an exciting para sport that needs fast moves that make the person full of joy and feeling alive. When the person is interested in the sport, every movement can be a pleasant experience, especially when there are teammates or friends around. Para hockey does not just help physical improvements; it has lots of mental benefits. With all these advantages, why not try it for once?