About Special Hockey

About Special Hockey

Special Hockey is a beacon of inclusivity, welcoming participants of all ages. There are no specific age groups, as it is designed to match players by ability rather than age, ensuring everyone has the opportunity to participate and enjoy the game. This approach allows players to learn and grow at their own pace, fostering an environment where the love of hockey thrives. It’s not just about scoring goals; it’s about celebrating every player’s contribution ability.

Special hockey is an adapted version of ice hockey designed for athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It provides a supportive environment focusing on sportsmanship, teamwork, friendships, and achieving goals on and off the ice.

Special Hockey is played using standard hockey equipment. The game is non-contact and only incidental contact is allowed. There is no icing or offside, and slap shots are not allowed. Coaches attempt to match lines with similarly skilled players from the other team.

Coaches are allowed on the ice to assist players, and teams can adjust their lineup to ensure fair play. For instance, if a line has a player with lower skills, they may add an extra player to balance the game. This ensures that everyone participates and enjoys the spirit of the game.

Special hockey is a wonderful sport that positively impacts the quality of life for the athlete and their family. It’s all about inclusivity and fun!

The 2009 SHI tournament hosted by Grandravine Special Hockey

About Our Program

The program operates every Saturday morning out of Grandravine Arena and is open to developmentally challenged individuals of either sex and all ages. The season runs for 26 weeks from October till the end of March. We encourage prospective new members to come out with family members and observe our teams in action. Watch the interaction–and enjoy the positive atmosphere.

The program is geared to the needs and abilities of each player. One hour each week is devoted solely for the beginner, teaching them how to skate and the very basic fundamentals of the game. This is done with help of our squad of over 20 volunteer coaches. The rest of the time is for team practices and games.

Every player belongs to one of the Grandravine teams and participates in all games regardless of abilities.

Games are played between Grandravine teams as well as other teams in the GTA that are part of the Special Hockey International League. Every player is also eligible to play in the annual SHI tournament

Not Just Hockey

The activities offered by Grandravine Special Program are designed for mentally challenged children and adults to engage in activities that have never been available to them. Our goal is much more than just teaching them to play hockey, It is to assist them with fitting into the community, social interaction, interpersonal skills and well-being.

At the same time the community gains more awareness, showing that these individuals can participate in this society in the same way as any other person. The program promotes self-confidence in those who participate and endeavours to teach them coping skills. Before going on the ice, every player is learning to cope with everyday activities, such as time scheduling, dressing, social interaction and communication.

The participants are relieved of the constant reminders of their disabilities and instead are encouraged to develop their abilities. The motivation and confidence gained can be applied to every aspect of their daily life.