When and how was the USA Hockey Disabled Festival formed?
The USA Hockey Disabled Festival is held annually. This one was the sixth, and the first time in the Washington area. Past festivals have been held Buffalo, Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Boston. Ten years ago, this year’s festival director, Mike Hickey, started the first special hockey program in the Washington area, the Washington Ice Dogs, which led to the creation of the American Special Hockey Association. Special hockey is one of four disciplines of the festival — special hockey, sled hockey, amputee, and deaf and hearing-impaired. How do people join? The American Special Hockey Association supports 45 programs across the country, which represent more than 80 teams. (For example, Washington has A-, B-, and C-level teams.) Anyone can start a program. Most programs have support from area rinks (because of the high costs for ice time), local teams (amateur or professional), corporate support, and a group of committed parents and other volunteers. To the extent possible, the as