Activity 99/150


Ice hockey is a team sport played on ice, usually in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a rubber puck into their opponent’s net to score goals.


While the specific origins of ice hockey are unknown, Montreal, Quebec became the center for the development of ice hockey. In 1872, the first organized indoor game was played at Montreal's Victoria Skating Rink between two nine-player teams, including several McGill University students.

An ice rink is the ideal location, but we’re fond of playing a pick-up game of hockey.

How to play
Ice hockey teams typically have five players who skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team. Teams usually consist of four lines of three forwards, three pairs of defencemen, and two goaltenders. Hockey can be played with as few as three people per team, however a formal hockey game is played with five or more people and one goalie per team. For more information visit Hockey Canada. If there are not enough people around to play with, target shooting, with a stick and a ball or puck, against a wall is a great way to practice shooting skills. Other variations of ice hockey include ball hockey, roller hockey, underwater hockey and mini sticks to name a few.

Suggested equipment
- Ice skates
- Helmet
- Gloves
- Additional protective equipment as required
- Hockey stick
- A puck
- Net or goal posts can be made with chunks of ice or a pair of boots.
- Goaltenders should have their own specific equipment for organized hockey, like a goalie helmet.

Physical activity in Canada includes everyone, regardless of any ability or circumstance. Some sports and activities may, however, require a few adaptations to make them as accessible as possible. Below you’ll find recommendations and suggestions on how to accommodate individuals that may have limitations or different needs. With a positive attitude and a little ingenuity, any activity can be made enjoyable for all.


Hockey can be played by those who are blind or visually impaired by using a few variations to the rules such as using an audible puck, no puck drops but rather place the puck on the ice, initiating face offs using a whistle and only counting goals scored in the bottom 3 feet of the net. For more information. Very little adaptations are required for individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Referees may need to use visual clues instead of a whistle and players should develop signals to their team mates to indicate instructions like passing, shooting etc. For more information.

Learning/Cognitive Disabilities

It is important that the activity be a positive experience and foster self-esteem. To achieve success, consideration should be given to shorter game times, reduced distractions and flexibility with rule enforcement. Make it positive! Break tasks down into achievable steps and use repetition to develop skills and promote success. To assist in providing a positive experience, consider using volleyball rather than a puck. Possibly eliminate the skill of skating and turn it into a fun game of floorball.

Mobility Limitation

There are many ways to adapt hockey for those with mobility impairment. Electric wheelchair hockey is played in a gym with floor hockey sticks and a ball. Also, adaptations can be developed based on the needs of the individual such as using Velcro to attach a hockey stick to a wheelchair, having a buddy system in place to assist with mobility, or adjusting the length of game or size of the playing surface. Sledge hockey is an amazing sport designed for individuals with mobility issues but fun for everyone.


Benefits of Hockey

The Canadian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines outline the amount and type of physical activity you need at every age and stage of life. And, for the first time, the new 24-hour Movement Guidelines for Children & Youth also include sleep. Following the guidelines will help reduce the risk of chronic disease, lead to a more focused mind, a stronger, fitter body, and all in all, a more enjoyable life.

See Benefits and Guidelines

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Michelle Murray
Communications Coordinator