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Home » Culture

Speaking Canadian English: Sled vs. Sledge

Submitted by on March 15, 2010 – 7:30 amNo Comment

Canadian sledge hockey players img_6039Yesterday, when I attended the Canada-​​Sweden sledge hockey game dur­ing the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games, I got to won­der­ing about the word “sledge.”

In the United States, we had a sled, but until I came to Canada, I wasn’t famil­iar with the term “sledge.”

It turns out that the U.S. stands alone on the sled ques­tion, at least where hockey is concerned.

While the Paralympic sport is called “sled hockey” in the United States, it’s known as sledge hockey in the rest of the world.

Invented in Sweden in the 1960s, ice sledge hockey made its Paralympic debut at the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer.

Sledge hockey play­ers sit on sledges (or sleds) with two blades and hold double-​​ended sticks in each hand. They use the sharp end of the stick to pro­pel them­selves across the ice, while the curved edge — resem­bling a tra­di­tional hockey stick — is used for pass­ing and shoot­ing the puck.

By the way, although the Swedes may have invented the game, yes­ter­day Canada won, 10 – 1.

For all the Paralympic ice sledge hockey news, visit Vancouver2010​.com.

And for more on speak­ing Canadian English, see our “Speaking Canadian” posts here, here, and here.

Photo ©Alan Albert

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