How To Convert An Ice Rink For Sled Hockey
Ice hockey is an exciting sport enjoyed by many, including those with physical disabilities. Sled hockey, also known as sledge hockey, is a modified version of ice hockey designed for individuals with lower body impairments. To accommodate sled hockey players, an ice rink needs to be converted to meet their unique requirements. Here are five supporting facts on how to convert an ice rink for sled hockey:
1. Ice Surface Modifications: The ice surface needs specific adaptations to accommodate sled hockey. The boards surrounding the rink should be higher to prevent sleds from going over the edge. Additionally, Plexiglas or netting can be used to enclose the area between the boards and the ice.
2. Entry and Exit Ramps: Building ramps that allow easy access to the ice surface is essential. These ramps should have gentle slopes and handrails to assist players with mobility challenges in getting on and off the ice.
3. Sled Hockey Benches: Traditional hockey benches may not be suitable for sled hockey players. Outfitting the rink with specialized sled hockey benches that provide ample space and support is necessary for comfort and safety during breaks and substitutions.
4. Referee Stand: The positioning of the referee stand is crucial in sled hockey games. It should be located at a height that provides a clear view of the ice surface while being accessible for referees using wheelchairs or other mobility devices.
5. Locker Room Modifications: The locker room should be modified to accommodate the needs of sled hockey players. This includes accessible showers and washrooms, as well as additional space to store sled hockey equipment and wheelchairs.
Q1: Can any ice rink be converted for sled hockey?
A1: While most ice rinks can be modified to accommodate sled hockey, certain factors, such as the rink’s size and structural limitations, need to be considered.
Q2: Are there any regulations regarding the height of the boards?
A2: Although each ice hockey governing body may have its own regulations, it is generally recommended to have boards with a height of at least 40 inches (1 meter) for sled hockey.
Q3: How steep should the entry and exit ramps be?
A3: The ramps should have gradual slopes to ensure safe and convenient access. It is typically recommended to have a slope of 1:12 or less.
Q4: What type of materials can be used for enclosing the area between the boards and the ice?
A4: Plexiglas or netting are commonly used materials to create a barrier between the boards and the ice surface in sled hockey rinks.
Q5: Are there specific guidelines for sled hockey bench design?
A5: Sled hockey benches should provide enough space for players to easily transfer on and off their sleds. They often have backrests and armrests for additional support.
Q6: How can the referee stand accommodate referees with mobility challenges?
A6: The referee stand should be accessible for wheelchair users or individuals with limited mobility. Adding ramps or lifts can ensure referees have a clear view of the game.
Q7: Are there any safety considerations unique to sled hockey locker rooms?
A7: Sled hockey locker rooms should have proper accessibility features, along with extra storage space for sleds and equipment. Installing benches with backrests can also assist players during gear changes.
Converting an ice rink for sled hockey involves making specific modifications to accommodate the unique needs of sled hockey players. From higher boards and enclosing materials to accessible ramps, benches, and locker rooms, ensuring a safe, inclusive, and enjoyable environment is paramount for the successful practice of sled hockey.