Para Ice Hockey is for athletes of all ages with a physical disability. Players are assigned to a co-ed team based upon age and skill level. The sport incorporates the same rules, discipline and structure as stand-up hockey. Teams practice, play competitive league games and playoffs against other regions and also participate in tournaments.
- Director of Para Ice Hockey -
Para Ice Hockey, formerly known as Sledge Hockey, is a sport that was designed to allow participants who have a physical disability to play the game of ice hockey. It was invented in the early 1960s in Stockholm, Sweden at a rehabilitation centre. It is currently one of the most popular sports in the Paralympic Games. Prior to the 2018 Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Para Ice Hockey was known as Sledge Hockey, Sled Hockey, or Hockey sur Luge.
Players sit on lightweight sledges that have two modified skate blades attached to the underside of the sledge. Each player uses two specially designed hockey sticks to push themselves across the ice. Essentially all of the regular ice hockey rules in able-bodied ice hockey leagues apply to ice sledge hockey. The differences are those necessitated by the ice sledge and the athlete. The only rule unique to sledge hockey is tee-boning an opponent using any part of the front radius of the sled.
The Ontario Sledge Hockey Association (OSHA) divides all clubs in to regions. Established teams from that region compete in regularly scheduled league games and cross over during playoffs. The Cruisers play all of their home games at either Iceland Arena in Mississauga or at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville.
Away games typically involve one to three hours of travel, however there are some exceptions. Games may take place in cities such as Hamilton, St. Catharines, Buffalo, Kitchener, London, Essex-Kent, Peterborough, Elmvale, North Bay, and Ottawa.
Cruisers Para Ice Hockey teams participate in our host tournament - The Cruisers Cup, held annually in Brampton, Ontario and also in the London Blizzard Sledge Hockey Tournament in London, Ontario. There is also a bi-annual provincial tournament that has teams representing different regions in the province. Players try out and are selected based on abilities and compete for the provincial title.
Para Ice Hockey is played from late September thru to early April.
All players are required to wear standard hockey equipment, including, helmet, neck guard, shoulder and elbow pads, as well as shin pads and hockey gloves. Mouth guards are highly recommended for all players. The Cruisers provide a sledge, sticks and jersey while the athlete must provide their own personal hockey equipment.
Weekly hockey practices are held on Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning, and/or Wednesday evening. Teams rotate times and locations. Practices or games are scheduled during the following ice times:
Wednesday ice (Brampton): Wednesdays 7-9pm
Saturday ice (Mississauga): Saturdays 12:15-3pm
Sunday ice (Oakville): Sundays 9:30-11:10am
Cruisers Silver Streaks
Cruisers Red Dawgs
Cruisers All Blacks
Earnscliffe Recreation Centre
44 Eastbourne Drive
705 Matheson Boulevard East
Sixteen Mile Sports Complex
3070 Neyagawa Blvd