Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Sept. 19, 2016 — Some work to do for Para sports

The 2016 Paralympics ended yesterday with the United States doing extremely well in team sports. The U.S. swept gold medals in wheelchair basketball, won the women’s sitting volleyball competition for the first time, medaled in both genders in goal-ball, and lost a heartbreaker in wheelchair rugby.

Question is, where are the stick-and-ball sports in the Paralympics? Are there codified rules for Para hockey? What about lacrosse?

I’ve read stories about people in Holland and Australia trying to work out the rules kinks and infrastructure of wheelchair field hockey. There is a variation of the game played in many countries called “Power Hockey,” which requires an electric wheelchair. But no motorsport is part of the Olympic or Paralympic program, which includes anything involving a motorized wheelchair.

And in Germany, there is an initiative towards bringing hockey to the Para community.

Lacrosse, however, is a different story. The game is growing in North America, with games played on a box lacrosse court and with slightly shorter sticks than in the field game. The game is also played in manually-powered chairs.

Wheelchair lacrosse, it seems, may be coming to a Paralympics near you. They seem to be much further ahead.


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