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Power Hockey is a competitive, fast-paced hockey game based on the use of a power wheelchair. The foundation of the sport derives from ice hockey and floor hockey, but with adapted rules to enable people with disabilities, who use a power wheelchair, to play and be active in a competitive team setting. The sport is also referred to as Electric Wheelchair Hockey or Electric Wheelchair Floorball in various parts of the world.
In the 1970s, some public schools began providing sports lessons for pupils with disabilities. The majority of the children had physical disabilities that greatly hindered their movement (muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy) and were not capable of participating in mainstream sports. This type of sport was great for adaptation because it could be played by solely utilizing the maneuverability of the wheelchair, and not focus on gross motor movement and muscle power.
There are similarities with floorball. Power Hockey is also referred to as “Electric Wheelchair Hockey”, and the name has some history behind it. With its great similarity to ice hockey, it was initially just called “Wheelchair Hockey”, but later in order indicate the use of an electric wheelchair, the word “electric” was added.
Power Hockey (Electric Wheelchair Hockey) began to receive public interest in the late 1980s, when tournaments were established in Germany and Netherlands. However, it wasn’t until the 1990s that power hockey began to receive international attention. In 1998, the first ever World Games for Power Hockey were 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 other European countries such as Belgium, Finland, and Italy (“History”).
The number of players on a specific team can change, but at any given time there are five players on the floor. There is usually one head coach and one assistant coach to direct the movements of the team members.
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, Netherlands, and published on the IPCH website on 31 August 2016.
11 Czech Republic
There are lots of variations of hockey besides power hockey. These variations of hockey differ in rules, settings, and materials (Mittal 19-20).