- Published on 02 March 2015
Floor Hockey is adapted from the games of ice hockey and ringette. It is the only team sport in Special Olympics Winter Sports. Unlike Alpine or cross country skiing, Special Olympics Floor Hockey gives athletes who live in warm climates the opportunity to compete in Special Olympics Winter Sports.
Floor Hockey is played in a rink, but the surface is made of wood or concrete, not ice. The teams are composed of six players, including a goalie. The athletes use wooden poles (without blades) as the sticks and the pucks are large felt discs with an open center.
Special Olympics Floor Hockey also offers individual skills competition to allow athletes to train and compete in basic floor hockey skills. The development of these key skills is necessary prior to advancing to team play. These events include shooting, passing and stick handling. A player's final score is determined by adding the scores together achieved in each of the events.
Special Olympics athletes can also participate in Unified Sports® Floor Hockey Team Competition. Special Olympics Unified Sports is a program that combines Special Olympics athletes and athletes without intellectual disabilities (partners) on sports teams for training and competition. For Unified floor hockey, rosters should contain a proportionate number of Special Olympics Athletes and Unified Sports Partners. During competition, the line-up can contain no more than three partners on the court at any one time. Equal playing rules apply for all players including the goalkeeper. Selection of Special Olympics Athletes and Unified Sports Partners of similar age and ability is required for Unified Sports training and competition in Floor Hockey.
As in all Special Olympics sports, athletes are grouped in competition divisions according to ability level, a