Learn to play sled hockey at the PCC

PELHAM – Area residents will have an opportunity to learn a form of hockey that’s tailored to those with physical disabilities during Learn to Play Sled Hockey day on Aug. 18 at 10 a.m. at the Pelham Civic Complex.

According to Erik Hudson, hockey director at the Pelham Civic Complex, sled hockey is a modified version of hockey for anyone who cannot stand on skates. Sled hockey players use sleds with blades on the bottom and propel themselves forward with two sticks with spikes on the ends. The sticks serve two purposes because the other end of it is made like a hockey stick and is used to slap the puck around the ice.

“Sled hockey has been a passion of mine for a long time,” Hudson said. “I was introduced to it in 2013 and it’s just a great way for everyone, regardless of ability, to be able to enjoy the sport.”

Participants have to be at least 16 years old to participate in Learn to Play Sled Hockey day. They will learn what sled hockey is and get a chance to try it out. If there is a good turnout for the event, Hudson said a clinic will be held to see if there’s enough interest to start a sled hockey team.

“We’re trying to see if there’s enough interest in it to get a team started,” he said. “There are six teams total in the area that we could play.”

Hudson said there are teams in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. Hudson said the city’s hockey program owns 10 sleds right now and have borrowed some from USA Hockey through its sled lending program, which was designed to help bring new players into the sport of sled hockey by initiating a loaner sled program for rinks and organizations who want to conduct “Learn to Play Sled Hockey” clinics.

For more information about Learn to Play Sled Hockey, contact Hudson at Ehudson@pelhamalabama.gov. For more information about sled hockey, go to Usahockey.com/sledhockey.