Power hockey is a competitive, fast-paced hockey game based on the use of an electric powered wheelchair. Its modified ice hockey rules enable disabled people who use an electric wheelchair to play hockey and to be active in a competitive team setting. The sport is also called electric wheelchair hockey and electric wheelchair floorball.
History of power hockey
The sport was discovered by accident in the 1970s, when some schools began giving sports lessons for pupils with disabilities. The children that started playing the sport were mainly severely physically handicapped. This type of sport was great for them because it does not require much muscle power to operate the stick or the wheelchair. There are also similarities with floorball. Power hockey is also called as “electric wheelchair hockey”, and the name “electric wheelchair hockey” has some history to it. Due to its great similarity with hockey, it was initially called as “wheelchair hockey”, but later in order indicate that it used electric wheelchairs, the word “electric” was added. This is how electric wheelchair hockey ended up being called as it is now. Power hockey (electric wheelchair hockey) began to receive public attention from 1980s. For example, in late 1980s, tournaments for power hockey were established in Germany and Netherlands. However, it wasn’t until 1990s that power hockey began to receive international attention. In 1998, the first ever World games for power hockey was held in Utrecht, Netherlands. In 2001, a big international power hockey tournament took place in Minneapolis. In the following years, World Championships, European Championships, and more tournaments were formed in European countries such as Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, and Italy (“History”).
The amount of players on a specific team can change, but at any given time there are five players on the court. There is usually one head coach and one assistant coach to direct the movements of the team members.
- A basketball court is used instead of ice.
- A plastic ball is used instead of a hockey puck.
- The hockey stick that is used is made entirely from plastic.
- Players with excessive limited range and movement may tape the stick to their wheelchair.
- Due to the goalies' limited ability to move, they do not freeze the ball. Instead, the official blows the whistle to stop play when the ball is underneath the goaltender's electric wheelchair, and play restarts with a face-off.
- “Each playoff game will consist of three fifteen minute non-stop time periods. The last two minutes of the third period will be played on a stop-time basis” (“CEWHA Official Tournament Rules and Regulations”). If the score is tied at the end of the game, teams will play for additional five minutes, and whichever team that scores first will win (“CEWHA Official Tournament Rules and Regulations”).
- “All players must use electric wheelchairs. Manual wheelchairs and electric scooters are not permitted” (“CEWHA Official Tournament Rules and Regulations”).
- All players need to wear their team sweaters that are distinct from the other teams’ at all times (“CEWHA Official Tournament Rules and Regulations”).
- All players need to be fully equipped with a protective eyewear and a seat belt (“CEWHA Official Tournament Rules and Regulations”).
Below is the world rankings for power hockey provided by International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation. It has been updated after the EC2016 that was held in De Rijp, The Netherlands, and published on the IPCH website on 31 August 2016.
1 The Netherlands
11 Czech Republic
Variations of Hockey
There are lots of variations of hockey besides power hockey. These variations of hockey differ in rules, settings, and materials (Mittal 19-20).
- Ball hockey
- Box hockey
- Deck hockey
- Floor hockey
- Foot hockey
- Gym hockey
- Indoor field hockey
- Mini hockey
- Nok hockey
- Pond hockey
- Rossall hockey
- Skater hockey
- Table hockey
- Underwater hockey
- Unicycle hockey
- IPCH - IWAS PowerChair Hockey -
- U.S Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association
- Canadian Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association
- Wheelchair Hockey League (WCHL - Michigan)
- Disabled Sports USA
- North Carolina Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association
- National Sports Center for the Disabled
- FIWH (in Italian)
- Gruppo Sportivo ViterSport (in Italian)
- M-Team Electric Gladiators (Finnish power hockey club)
- Manitoba Power Wheelchair Hockey Association
- CEWHA Official Tournament Rules and Regulations
- IWAS Committee Electric Wheelchair Hockey - History
- PowerHockey.com - Leagues
- HOCKEY : RULES AND REGULATIONS
- World Rankings