The United States Blind Hockey Team is a group of athletes with a visual impairment that represents the United States of America in international hockey competition. The team has been comprised of both male and female athletes and are the elite blind hockey players in our Country. This team and its organization are associated with USA Hockey which is based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
In January of 2018, the US Blind Hockey team was organized, and its first player evaluation occurred in Chicago during USA Hockey’s Disabled Hockey Festival in March. Fifteen players and three alternates were selected to train for the first Blind Hockey international competition against Canada which was hosted in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in October 2018. The US Blind hockey team has achieved two silver and one bronze medal in international competition and continues to train and prepare for a possibility of a future Paralympic event.
Players are selected each year and are invited to an annual US Blind Hockey Player Development Training Camp in UTICA New York, hosted by the Utica College and the local community. The camp is sponsored by the US Blind Hockey team’s elite partner, CABVI (Central Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired) who provides guidance and services to our blind and visually impaired athletes year-round.
The International Blind Ice Hockey Federation (IBIHF) was created in 2015 to lead the development of the sport of Blind Ice Hockey, focus on international development and recruitment, and gain inclusion in the Winter Paralympic Games. The IBIHF has currently has two member countries where the sport of Blind Ice Hockey is played – USA and Canada – and is focused on recruiting six more countries to develop programs in order to have the necessary eight countries for a World Championships, and the opportunity to apply for the Paralympic Games. Today, there are six Countries with a Blind Hockey Program (Canada, Finland, Sweden, Russia, United Kingdom and USA).
The IBIHF objectives are:
- To oversee and govern the adapted rules of Ice Hockey for the Blind
- To develop a classification code to allow all blind and visually impaired hockey players to fairly compete in the sport of Blind Ice Hockey
- To grow the number of players and competition opportunities in our member nations
- To recruit a minimum of 6 other member nations
- To host a World Championships for the sport of Blind Ice Hockey with 8 national teams
- To apply for inclusion in the Winter Paralympic Games