Sports

Rules and equipment

Rules of the game

Sled hockey  is played on a standard-size rink with regulation hockey goals, six players to a side including the goalie. Full contact is allowed. Penalties may be called for hooking, roughing, t-boning (ramming an opponent’s sled midships), or other infractions.

Sleds are typically made of lightweight tubular aluminum, 4 to 5 feet long, with double blades mounted underneath. Custom-made models cost $700 to $1,000. The closer together the blades, the speedier the sled; wider apart, they make it easier to maintain balance, especially when pivoting.

To propel themselves,  players use a pair of cut-down hockey sticks, 18 inches in length, with metal teeth affixed to the nonblade end for gripping the ice. Protective equipment includes gloves, helmets with face guards, and body padding.

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In the Northeast Sled Hockey League,  games consist of three 15-minute periods. Extra players remain on the ice, near the team benches, to more easily enter and exit. Teams may employ stand-up skaters — usually no more than two — to push the sleds of players more limited in mobility. Teams may have up to 20 players, no more than five of whom can be able-bodied.

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JOSEPH P. KAHN