Minor hockey leagues are divided up into age categories and it is the athlete's responsibility to keep up in ability. The rules do not allow players to play in a lower age group that might be more appropriate for their abilities. The developmentally challenged cannot flourish under such a system. They learn and develop at their own pace, but they do learn and they do develop. They simply need the structure to do so. And they usually have the one thing that any other athlete has: desire. Desire to play. Desire to succeed. Desire even to make it to the NHL.
That’s where Special Hockey comes in. There are no age groups. There are no tryouts. They don’t even need to be able to skate. All they need is what they already have…desire. They will learn how to skate, how to hold a stick, how to handle a puck, how to make a pass, how to take a shot, how to make a save. Some may learn by the end of their first season, others may take years. What they will all do immediately is participate…at every practice and at every game. That’s because they don’t have to meet anyone else’s expectations, only their own. Special Hockey allows the developmentally challenged to achieve their own goals on their own schedule.
Click here to read more about Special Hockey on the Special Hockey International Website.