Leaside Centennial Lions at the Canadian Blind Hockey Tournament at Maple leaf Gardens on Carlton Street. Toronto, Sunday March 13, 2016.

Many thanks to Lion Slava Tsvetkov for coordinating this event to include Lions as volunteers! Leaside Centennial Lions Club members took care of the hockey players Guide Dogs.








This was the 4th annual Canadian Blind Hockey Tournament.  This year’s event is once again presented by AMI – Accessible Media Inc., brought to you by the CNIB – Canadian National Institute for the Blind, and further made possible by the dozens of sponsors, donors and supports that you see listed throughout the program.
The first ever Canadian Blind Hockey Tournament in 2013 featured only 44 players made up almost eclusievely of members of the Toronto Ice Owls, Montreal Hiboux, and Vancouver Eclipse. 
Fast forward only four years to the present, and we now have a diverse community well over 100 Blind Hockey players who participate in the sport regularly across North America, including 80 players from eight different provinces and two US states competing at this year’s event.
Blind Hockey:
A rapidly growing winter para-sport
In Blind Hockey, the primary adaptation is the puck, which makes noise and is both bigger and slower than a traditional puck. Blind Hockey is an excellent spectator sport as it is easily recognizable to the average hockey fan, with minimal rule adaptations to hep with gameplay and player safety.
Adapted Puck
The official Blind Hockey puck measures 5 and half inches across and nearly 2 inches high.  It is made out of thin gauge steel and is hollow containing 9 ball bearings designed to make noise.
Modified Face-Offs
Face-offs begin with the puck on ice, and the players may only touch it on the referees whistle. This makes it a competition of reaction time, and alerts low vision players that play has resumed.
Adapted Nets
The net in Blind Hockeyis only three feet high instead of the traditional four feet, as goalies are totally blind and the puck makes little to no noise in the air. When custom nets are not available, a tarp will cover the top foot of a traditional net.
One Pass Rule
Teams must complete one pass prior to being able to score in the attacking half of the rink, as this provides both the low vision defence and the goalie an extra opportunity to track the puck.  The referee signals that the pass has been completed by blowing a distinct high pitched electronic whistle.
Player Safety
The game is played with standard IIHF safety protocols including no-touch icing and strictly enforced crease violations. Additionally, all players must wear full protective gear including face mask, there are no slap shots, and the play is blown dead any time the goalie makes the save and the puck remains stopped inthe crease to ensure maximum safety.
Gary Steeles is the President of Canadian Hockey Association and thanks Courage Canada founder and Blind Hockey player Mark DeMontis for his initiative in starting this organizations and his work over the last seven years helping to build this sport.


Lions Clubs International News
Connect with Us Online