2015 New England Invitational Hockey Tournament Recreational Division Gold Medal Champions
Mr. Doyle first took an interest in sled hockey way back in 1994. At that time there were fewer than
100 players nation-wide. By 1998 Doyle had recruited at least ten disabled children and was in the
process of teaching them the finer points of sled skating and sled hockey. He was responsible for
establishing five of the junior programs within the borders of the Atlantic District (eastern PA, NJ and
DE). The Atlantic Hammerheads (1998), NJ Devils Youth (1999), South Jersey Wings of Steel (2001)
and Vineland Sled Stars (2002) all got a boost from Mike’s administrative abilities and coaching
prowess. Mike continued to teach the kids some of what he learned as part of the US National team
(1997 – 2001, 2003 and 2005). Mike’s dream of someday forming an adult sled team was realized in
2004 with co-founder Jim Leatherman (see bio below). “The Bugs” are now finishing their third season
with Mike as coach, player and head administrator. He was fortunate enough to be one of the original
alternate captains. Mike continues to train with serious intent as he is challenged with four to five
sessions a week in his sled playing against “stand up” skaters in open hockey sessions
Ronald Helps with Grant
Superstar Hall of Fame
WHAT IS SLED HOCKEY?
Sled hockey is an exciting sport that uses the same rules as hockey. Instead of leg skating, players sit on specially designed sleds and use two short sticks to propel themselves across the ice. Legal body contact and raised puck shooting are as much a part of sled hockey as they are in traditional hockey.
Sled hockey players discover that skating in a sled is fun and a great form of exercise. It increases strength, coordination and conditions the upper and lower body. The balance needed to propel, turn, stop and play the puck gives arms, legs, back, and abdominal muscles a real work out. Some paraplegics who play regularly notice an increase in balance when using their wheelchairs.
Equipment for the sport includes a tubular framed sled between 3 and 5 feet long. The sled sits 3 inches off the ice with two hockey skate blades mounted beneath the seat. A portion of the front frame rests on the ice and provides stability. Straps around the ankles, knees, and waist securely hold the player on the sledge.
A pair of 30 inch "sticks" is used to propel. The custom made sled hockey sticks have 4 mm teeth attached to the bottom of the butt end. Leaning left or right while digging the stick into the ice, turns the sled. Players slide to side on one or both blades using a hockey stop. All players must wear IIHF regulation protective hockey equipment.
WHO CAN PLAY?
Anyone can play. Both males and females are encouraged to participate in this sport. It's a sport that totally integrates players with mobility limitations, amputees, and able-bodied people with knee, leg or hip injuries that limit their participation in standard hockey.
DIVISIONS OF PLAY:
ADULT (any age)
INTERMEDIATE (any age)
*NOVICE (any age)
*JUNIOR (under 18 as of 12/31)
* = no check divisions
FURTHER DIVISIONS AS REQUIRED
FUTURE PROGRAMS UNDER CONSIDERATION:
The Vineland Sled Stars, are all thrill-seekers. And, as far as we're concerned, nothing beats the rush you get from playing Ice Hockey! If you're anything like us, after you experience the thrill and excitement of playing this fast moving sport you will be hooked as much as we are ! It also provides an opportunity for those players who would never have the chance to play ice hockey due to a physical disability. Our active players have a variety of physical challenges which include, but are not limited to Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, Amputees, Spinal Cord Injuries and Various Muscle Diseases.