A popular team sport on ice

Ice hockey is played by two teams of six players on sledges. Each player has two short sticks, fitted with spikes at the bottom, which they use to make rapid thrusts to propel the sledge across the ice.

Sledge ice hockey was one of the most popular sports at the Salt Lake City Paralympics. Over 50,000 visitors watched the games. And around 1,500 spectators watched the German team's matches. The game is based on intense physical contact and expert handling of the sticks. Sledge hockey promotes and requires strength, team spirit and commitment.

A Scandinavian import

Developed in Sweden in the early sixties, sledge ice hockey rapidly became a popular sport. By 1969, Sweden had set up a championship with five teams and matches for both disabled and able-bodied players. The first international matches took place in the early 1970s, with regular games against Norwegian teams. In the 1980s, the sport spread to Great Britain, Canada and the USA. Sledge hockey became a Paralympics sport in 1994. Sweden, Norway, Canada, Great Britain, the USA, Estonia and Japan are traditionally the dominant teams in the international championships. This sport is growing rapidly in many countries, including Germany.

Author: Dominik Feusi