Introduction

Electric wheelchair hockey is a modified version of ice hockey for electric wheelchair users. It is commonly known as “Powerhockey”. The sport is played on an indoor basketball court rather than an ice rink. There are two teams of five players. 

The game was birthed by accident in the 1970's when schools began offering sports lessons to students in wheelchairs. Inspired by able-bodied hockey, the students picked up sticks and started hitting a light, plastic ball. Soon this recreational activity became institutionalised and is now an official international sport. 

The governing national body for electric wheelchair hockey is the Australian Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association. They are responsible for Australia’s participation in international competitions. Australia first competed in the 2004 World Cup Hockey Competition, in Helsinki. The Australian team was ranked 8th at the 2014 Electric Wheelchair Championship held in Munich, Germany. The game is gaining international recognition and a growing network of athletes and fans. The Australian Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association is using this traction to push for electric wheelchair hockey to become a Paralympic Sport. 

How to PLAY Electric Wheelchair Hockey

Electric wheelchair hockey follows traditional ice hockey rules. However, it is modified to enable play by wheelchair athletes. It is played on a wooden surface instead of ice. A plastic ball is used instead of a hockey puck. Players use plastic T-shaped hockey sticks to hit the ball. The stick is held and operated by the player if their functionality permits this movement. Players with very limited range and movement can tape the stick to their wheelchair. 

Players are allocated one of five positions:

  1. Centre 
  2. Goaltender 
  3. Left Winger 
  4. Right Winger 
  5. Defencemen 

They can alternate positions during the game, provided there are five players on court at all times. 

The objective is to score a goal by hitting the ball across the opposition’s goal line. The game is won by the team who scores the most goals. 

Basic Rules of Electric Wheelchair Hockey

Please click here to download the Rule Book from the International Committee Electric Wheelchair Hockey that is used at national/international events.

Who can play Electric Wheelchair Hockey 

Impairment Type

To be eligible to play electric wheelchair hockey the athlete must use an electric wheelchair for daily mobility. Participants include persons with quadriplegia, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, hand trauma, stroke, spinal cord injury and other disabilities.

Classification

Each athlete is classified based on their physical disability. Classification is done through functionality tests designed to assess the athlete’s upper body range movements and their aptitude with the chair.  

Tests:

  1. Is the T-stick or foot stick fastened to the chair? 
  2. Hitting a moving ball as hard as possible from the stick side of the wheelchair while driving the wheelchair. Same from the opposite side of the wheelchair.
  3. Pushing the ball with forehand by performing a slalom on high speed around cones. Same with backhand.
  4. Hitting the top of cones while driving the wheelchair between two lanes of cones. Same with hitting the basis of the cones.

From these tests, classifiers group athletes into one of four classes. Each player is given points based on their classification. 

There are 4 classes: 

Class 1 (1 point)

  • Fastened T-stick or foot stick

 Class 2 (2 points)

  • Able to use stick on 1 side of the wheelchair only
  • Unable to lift the stick or able to lift the stick till sitting height (top of the seat/cushion).
  • Problem on both sides of the wheelchair
  • Weak back/forehand
  • No steering limitation
  • Limitation in using hand stick with driving power and fully maneuvering

 Class 3 (3 points)

  • Able to use stick on 1 side of the wheelchair only
  • Able to lift the stick above sitting height (top of the seat/cushion)
  • Problem at one side of the wheelchair
  • Problem with backhand
  • No hitting limitation
  • Limitation in trunk movement

Class 4 (4 points)

  • Able to use the stick on at least 2 sides of the wheelchair
  • Able to move the stick from the stick side of the wheelchair to the opposite side of the wheelchair and vice-versa
  • Able to play from forehand to backhand
  • No hitting limitation

No complete limitation in trunk 

Each team is allowed five players on court with a total of 11 points. Penalties apply for teams that exceed 11 points. 

How Do I Get Classified?

All athletes must complete the Classification Consent Form.

Classification in Australia is done through the Australian Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association. Please contact AEWHA directly (their details are available below in ‘Who Runs the Sport?’ to submit form and apply for classification. 

Get Involved

Electric wheelchair hockey is a competitive, high intensity sport that physically empowers people with a disability. It is a fast-paced, tactical game and thus an excellent spectator’s sport. Australia is slowly climbing the world ladder. Be there when we get to the top!

Where Is it Played

Australia’s electric wheelchair hockey competitions are centralized in NSW. Unless noted otherwise, electric wheelchair hockey is played at Kevin Betts Stadium, Ralph Place, Mount Druitt. 

Local competitions and development programs are offered by individual states. For more information contact your state association listed in the “Who Runs the Sport?” section. 

Athlete Pathway

To be eligible for local team selection, players must first register with the Australian Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association by contacting them. Contact details can be found below under ‘Who Runs the Sport?’

The Australia Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association is responsible for selecting the Australian team that competes at international events. They do so by identifying talented players at local competitions. The selected players are given intensive training so they can fulfill their athletic potential and successfully compete at an international level. 

To find out more about the competition pathway please the state office listed below under “Who Runs the Sport”.

Become an Official

The governing official in electric wheelchair hockey is the referee. 

Electric wheelchair hockey referees receive the official international A, B or C license after passing the relevant theoretical and practical exam, set by ICEWH. The A-Licence is the highest international Electric Wheelchair Hockey referee certification, the C-Licence is the starting international certification. 

For further information on the referee pathway please click here.  

Become a Classifier

There are two types of classifiers, medical and technical. The following prerequisites are required to be eligible for classifier training:

Medical classifiers: Currently registered medical professional (physiotherapist or medical doctor); with minimum 5 years clinical experience with people with physical disabilities. It is an advantage to have a background in hockey or classifying wheelchair sports.

Technical classifiers: Must hold a Bachelor or Master degree in sport science/ kinesiology / human movement science or other equivalent; and hockey experience. 

It is crucial that classifiers have a strong understanding of electric wheelchair hockey. To ensure this, candidates must have experience in hockey either as a participant, volunteer, coach or administrator. 

To find out more about the classifier pathway contact Jackie Scollard, the Secretary of the Australian Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association on secretary@aewha.org.au.

Become a Volunteer

Electric wheelchair hockey is a new sport and relies heavily on the work of its dedicated volunteers. Volunteering is fun, easy and extremely flexible. Spend a couple of hours operating an electrifying event and make an athlete’s dream come true!

To volunteer locally please contact your state association listed below under “Who Runs the Sport”. 

To assist with state and national competitions contact Jackie Scollard from the Australian Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association on secretary@aewha.org.au

events

State

Please contact your state office (listed in “Who Runs The Sport” section below) for details about up-coming state and local competitions.

UPCOMING NATIONAL EVENTS

For any upcoming National events please see our upcoming events page

UpCOMING International EVENTS

For any upcoming International events please see our upcoming events page. 

WHO RUNS THE SPORT?

AUSTRALIA

Australian Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association
Contact: Jackie Scollard
E: secretary@aewha.org.au

General Enquiries and Registration
E: info@aewha.org.au

STATE / TERRITORIES

New South Wales

Australian Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association
Contact: Jackie Scollard
E: secretary@aewha.org.au

General Enquiries and Registration
E: info@aewha.org.au

Queensland

Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association
P: +61 7 3253 3333
E: mailbox@sportingwheelies.org.au
Website http://www.sportingwheelies.org.au/

South Australia

Disability Recreation and Sports SA
Contact: Jacob Gracey
P: 8234 1533
E: jacob@drssa.org.au
Website: http://www.drssa.org.au/

Victoria

Victorian Electric Wheelchair Sports Association
Contact: Grace David
P: 0458014443
E: gracedavid18@hotmail.com

Western Australia

Western Electric Sports Association
Contact: Jakob Ratnayeke (Junior Development Officer)
Email: buckleyfred@hotmail.com

INTERNATIONAL

IWAS Powerchair Hockey
Click here to contact IWAS Powerchair Hockey

 

Get in Contact

The Australian Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association is the national governing body for electric wheelchair hockey. If you are interested in playing or have any further questions please contact below:
Jackie Scollard (Secretary of the Association)
E: secretary@aewha.org.au

 

Videos

Video Gallery from IWAS Committee Electric Wheelchair Hockey

Resources

International Rule Book from Australian Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association 

Competition Regulations from Australian Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association 

Classifier Procedures from IWAS Committee Electric Wheelchair Hockey 

Referee Handbook from IWAS Committee Electric Wheelchair Hockey 

Referee Pathway from IWAS Committee Electric Wheelchair Hockey