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About NESHL

Who We Are

The NESHL is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, established in 2005 as a means for regional Sled Hockey teams to engage in competitive, sportsmanlike hockey. We are the first-ever organized, multi-state, adult sled hockey league in the United States, with teams and athletes coming from Maine to Maryland. Our season typically kicks off in September and continues through March of the following year. At all our events, we continuously look to solicit new players and to further the awareness of Sled Hockey and people with disabilities. We also promote our league through public presentations and clinics, the media, and any other opportunities which may present themselves.

Along with providing a structured, competitive Sled Hockey league, the individual benefits to our athletes are invaluable. The NESHL not only improves a player’s physical fitness but provides an environment to promote and improve their independence, assist with building their life skills, and improve their quality of life. The lessons taught through competing assist the individual to better manage life’s ups and downs while stressing the value of maintaining a positive attitude.

Our Mission

The mission statement of the NESHL is "to provide an environment where individuals, with and without disabilities, can develop as athletes, leaders, and community members through a competitive Sled Hockey league that emphasizes commitment, discipline, teamwork, and sportsmanship."

Our Objectives

  • To provide a fun, competitive Sled Hockey League for individuals with mobility impairment.
  • To assist in the development of players for local, regional, and national level teams.
  • To increase the awareness of Sled Hockey through on-ice and off-ice presentations.
  • To assist with individuals' independence and Return to Work/Life.
  • To build life skills--teamwork, responsibility, commitment.
  • To promote "Positive Shared Experiences" amongst family and friends.
  • To provide an opportunity for corporate sponsorship through value-exchange partnerships.

Our Athletes

Our Sled Hockey athletes are both male and female, ages 15 to 60. Most of our athletes have some type of mobility impairment, and are of many ethnic backgrounds, including White, African-American, Latino, and Asian. Approximately 22% of our athletes are disabled veterans. Our athletes, families, and volunteers come from a wide geographic range covering the states of PA, NJ, NY, CT, VT, NH, MA, ME, and MD. We are also proud to have many of our athletes play on the Men's and Women's USA Sled Hockey teams,representing our country at international events.

About Sled Hockey

Sled hockey, also known as sledge hockey, is the fast, exciting, rough-and-tumble version of ice hockey played primarily by people with lower limb mobility impairments. The game is essentially the same as “stand-up” ice hockey, the major difference being that the players use a sled with two hockey skate blades mounted under a seat. The players use two sticks, one end of each having a conventional hockey stick blade and the other end equipped with stainless steel "picks" which can be dug into the ice to allow propulsion. In competitive play, hard checking, raised-puck shooting, and penalty killing are as much a part of sled hockey as they are in “stand-up” hockey.

Fast Facts:

  • Sled hockey is one of the fastest growing disabled sports in the world, with new sled hockey programs and sled hockey teams showing up everywhere.
  • There are about 50 adult and junior sled hockey teams in the USA.
  • Sweden claims to have originated sled hockey. It is played in a number of countries.
  • Sled Hockey is an official Paralympic sport.
  • The USA Sled Hockey Team won the gold medal in the 2002, 2010, and 2014 Paralympics.
  • The Northeast Sled Hockey League is the first organized adult sled hockey league in the USA.
  • Sled hockey players are extremely committed to the sport of sled hockey, and regularly teach sled hockey clinics and participate in sled hockey outreach events and sled hockey exhibitions. Anyone wishing to try sled hockey should have ample opportunities to play.