Welcome to the website of the BPIHA (British Para Ice Hockey Association).
Para Ice Hockey, which was previously known as Sledge Hockey, is a variant of ice hockey and can be played on and off ice, using sledges to allow participants to move about the rink at high speeds hitting a puck travelling at speeds of up to 100kph.
Players sit in adapted sledges, propelling themselves with sticks adapted to allow propulsion in a manner similar to skiing. As players are strapped to a sledge everybody has the same restrictions, regardless of whether or not the player has a disability.
Para Ice Hockey was first introduced into Great Britain in 1981 and the British Sledge Hockey Association (BSHA) was formed in 1995 order to promote and develop the sport.
Para Ice Hockey is one of the sports that form the Winter Paralympic Winter Games and a Great Britain Sledge Hockey team has competed in International events since 1982 including three Paralympic Winter games since Sledge Hockey was included (1994, 1998, and 2006).
There is no classification points system dictating who can be involved in play within Sledge Hockey (simply an eligibility classification for Paralympic events) unlike other team sports such as Wheelchair basketball, rugby and sitting volleyball. This makes the sport the only fully inclusive sport.
Para Ice Hockey is a full contact sport and the rules are the same as those for ice hockey with a small number of additions to allow for the difference in equipment.
The main objectives of the BPIHA are to expand the number of teams active in the UK (and by association the number or participants), and to develop the national team to become a top 10 ranked team. Great britain are currently ranked 13 in the world.
Para Ice Hockey embraces the model of life-long participation, combining active recreation, active travel, competitive sport, and social participation.
Participation in Para Ice Hockey meets the health and social agendas specifically being suitable for tackling obesity and promoting inclusion, whilst offering low impact recreational aerobic exercise that builds core stability for a diverse range of participants in a wide range of readily accessible settings.
The Para Ice Hockey League runs from May until August each year, with teams practicing all year round. The league is currently made up of five teams: Cardiff Huskies, Kingston Kestrels, Manchester Mayhem, Sheffield Steelkings and the Peterborough Phantoms.