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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

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

Photo ©Alan Albert

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