The Ontario Sledge Hockey Association (OSHA) organizes sledge hockey clubs and teams at all levels across Ontario. Sledge hockey, also called Para ice hockey, gives Ontarians of all abilities the chance to play one of Canada’s most beloved sports.
Ontario Sledge Hockey Association
Teams from all over Ontario are part of the OSHA. Most areas have teams for both children and adults. Moreover, the OSHA organizes competitive leagues at the junior, intermediate, and premier levels. Athletes of all ages travel around the province to compete in tournaments. Furthermore, OSHA teams participate in both the Ontario Winter Games (OWG) and the Ontario Parasport Winter Games (OPWG). The OSHA also hosts two international tournaments per year. Teams from across Canada and the United States come to compete in Mississauga every November and in London every January. In addition, the OSHA oversees Sledge Team Ontario, a group of elite athletes preparing to try out for international teams, including Canada’s Paralympic team.
Sledge hockey is an adapted version of traditional hockey. Most players have lower-body mobility disabilities. They play seated on sleds, or sledges, that have skate blades under them. They move around the ice using their sticks, which have picks on one end. Sledge hockey sticks are about one-third as long as traditional hockey sticks. Since benches and penalty boxes are not accessible for all players, the athletes sit on the ice in front of the bench or box.
Training and Community Outreach
OSHA provides training opportunities for its coaches and referees. It also reaches out to communities across Canada in order to help them develop sledge hockey programs.
The Ontario Sledge Hockey Association provides opportunities for hockey players of all levels and abilities. Clubs throughout the province teach young children how to start playing the sport, help older players stay active, and train their strongest players to represent their country in international competition.