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Teacher: Richard A. Samaria who teaches at Roger Wellington School in Belmont, ME. Richard A. Samaria can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Unified Floor Hockey (Special Olympics)

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To have all students, regardless of skill or disability, understand how wonderful it is to participate in sport.

Suggested Grade Level: 4-5

Materials Needed: Broom type sticks, helmets with shields, plastic donut pucks (these are Special Olympic Discs), nets, shin pads, and goalie equipment.

Unified Floor Hockey (Special Olympics)

This is a program that I started last year as part of my Handicapped Awareness Week in physical education. Any fourth grader could play floor hockey with the Special Olympians (they aged in range from 8-40). This was an evening program that spread over several weeks where the students practiced the various skills that form this game. The students were then placed on equal teams and games were played. They all got to compete in the Qualifying tournament for the State Special Olympic tournament. Teams played round robin games prior to the two State competitions.

What really made this event was that 95% of the scoring came from the Special Olympians. All the participants got to go away for a 3 day/2 night stay at the state tournament in which all athletes won a medal. The real winners were each child seeing how it is to play in a different style of play. All games were decided by 1 or 2 goals!

The game is similar to regular hockey with a few changes to protect the goalies and on face-offs. The game consist of 3 periods and in each period is 3 (3 minute periods). The lines change at the end of each 3 minute session. No one player can play more than 2 extra lines. The format must be 3 students and 3 Special Olympians. A major rule is if the offense puts their stick in the crease it is similar to icing in real hockey. If the defense goes into the crease it is a face-off at the side circles. Overtime is 2-3 minute periods. If the score is still tied then it becomes sudden death.

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Posted on PEC: 10/7/2001 and has received 64 votes.

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