For the 2019 Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament we will be naming a 30 player National Team Pool, that will be divided into Canada East and Canada West. The competition format of the Select Division is a double round-robin tournament with Canada East, Canada West, and USA Blind Hockey. Players in the Select Division will play the other two teams twice each for a total of 4 games, and over the course of the weekend will have one day where they play 2 games, and two days where they play 1 game.
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) scoring system will be in effect awarding 3 points for a regulation win, 2 points for an overtime or shootout win, 1 point for an overtime or shootout loss, and 0 points for a regulation loss. The team with the most points will be awarded gold, the team with the second most points will be awarded silver, and the team with the third most points will be awarded bronze. There is no final, so the result of every game is extremely important, which will provide all our Blind Hockey fans with eight amazing competitive games in one weekend!
CHILDREN AND YOUTH DIVISION
Children and Youth Blind Hockey is the fastest growing segment of the Blind Hockey community. With Canadian Blind Hockey Youth Programs in the GTA and Brantford, the new ASRAB Youth Program in Calgary, and youth participants with the Nova Scotia See-Kings, Newfoundland Eye-Landers, and throughout the United States, we expect to put on the largest competition ever for our young Blind Hockey enthusiasts. Our goal is to offer separate divisions this year, and allow the kids to compete in a fun structured three game series. The plan for the Children and Youth Division will ultimately be determined by final registration numbers, however Canadian Blind Hockey has fantastic and knowledgeable coaches and volunteers: we promise we will engineer the program for maximum fun!
ADULT TOURNAMENT FORMAT
In addition to the Select Division, we anticipate enough registrations to offer both a Low Vision & Development Division, as well as an Open Division. Each of these divisions will feature two teams competing in a three-game series with one game per day. The ice times of each game have been extended to allow for full 20-minute periods, as well as a flood in between the second and third. In the event we do not have enough players to offer two separate divisions, the format will be tweaked. As always, we will work with the community to ensure we offer a competitive format that allows everyone to have the best possible competition experience!
PLAYER ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
- Players must be legally blind and present a valid CNIB card (or USA equivalent) OR players must provide classification documentation indicating they are eligible based on the criteria outlined below.
- Players must sign a waiver including media release.
Canadian Blind Hockey recognizes that players who have slightly too much vision to meet the criteria of legally blind may still in fact be visually impaired and unable to play hockey with sighted players and a traditional puck. As such we have expanded our visual criteria to play in the Open division to match the Quebec Ministry of Health’s definition of visually impaired, which is similar to the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) B4 category. Players who meet the following criteria or less may also compete in the event:
- a visual acuity of less than 6/21;
- a continuous visual field of less than 60°, including the central fixation point measured horizontally or vertically;
- complete hemianopia.