Hockey Goalie Slider

Designers: Brian Feldman, Donna Geddes, Larry Maciolek
Client Coordinators: Robbin A. Newton, Lenox Baker Children’s Hospital
Supervising Professor: Dr. Larry N. Bohs

A hockey goalie slider has been designed for the client, an eleven-year-old boy with cerebral palsy, to enable him to better participate in neighborhood street hockey games. The basis of the slider is the monorail track of a Concept IITM (Morrisville, Vermont ) Indoor Rower. The custom seat is situated so that it slides laterally on the track. Using this device, the client can use his legs as well as his arms and elbows to move from side to side. Leg extensions and feet prevent the device from tipping or sliding on the pavement. The seat can be adjusted for added comfort, and telescoping legs allow the seat height to be varied to accommodate the client’s growth. A Velcro safety belt secures the client safely to the slider. Wheels and handles are mounted on the slider for portability. Finally, a custom stick with a rounded handle allows the client more control in stopping the puck.

How this project helped
The client is afflicted with a form of cerebral palsy known as pyramidal diplegia. This type of cerebral palsy renders one’s legs weak and results in a lack of lower body coordination. The hockey goalie slider allows the client to participate more actively in neighborhood street hockey games with other children, including his twin brother who does not have cerebral palsy. Previously, the client had played goalie by sitting in front of the goal with his legs to the side. The slider allows him to sit in an upright position, where he can cover the goal more easily and follow the game better. The hockey goalie slider also serves as a therapeutic activity for the client. By using his legs to slide across the goal mouth he builds lower body strength and improves coordination. The hockey goalie slider has proven to be safe, durable, portable, and fun. Because the height and seat positioning are adjustable, the client will be able to enjoy it for several years to come.

The hockey goalie slider is comprised of five components: a rail, telescoping legs, feet, a seat, and side pads. The rail is the track monorail from a Concept IITM Indoor Rower, which was generously donated by the company. It is constructed of I-beam aluminum extrusion with a thin stainless steal overlay on the top surface. The sliding mechanism uses eight roller bearings, four contacting the underside of the beam and four contacting the topside of the beam. Rubber stops are attached to each end of the rail to prevent the seat from sliding off the end. The width of the slider is 48″ to accommodate the size of the standard hockey goal.

Telescoping legs are used to adjust the height of the slider. These legs were obtained from a Parabody weightlifting spotting stand and are bolted to the monorail. The legs allow the height of the seat to range from 15″ to 20″.

To insure that the device cannot be tipped either frontwards or backwards, extensions were added to the legs of the slider. Each consists of a 14″ long, 2″ wide, ¼” thick steel bar that slides into the legs of the Parabody stand. These extensions are secured by set screws. Rubber feet are attached to the end of each extension to prevent the apparatus from sliding on the pavement as the client slides back and forth.

The seat cushion was donated by Health Care Equipment (Chapel Hill, NC), and the seat back is custom made to match. Both are upholstered with black vinyl and foam padding. The cushion is bolted onto an aluminum plate mounted on the sliding mechanism. The back support is vertically adjustable using a knob in the J-bar that attaches the back support to the aluminum plate. Horizontal seat adjustment is achieved via a slot in the J-bar where it attaches to the plate, allowing the seat to be adjusted forward or backward relative to the sliding rail. The seat is also angularly adjustable using the bolts that anchor the seat. The seat rests on springs that add cushion and shock absorption. A 3″ wide Velcro safety belt can be attached and removed by the client and holds him securely in the seat.

Vertical side pads, made from modified seat cushions, are mounted on fixture brackets and attached to the ends of the rail. These allow the client to move laterally by pushing with his arms and elbows. A knob allows the height of the side pads to be adjusted.

A custom stick was also made for the client by attaching the aluminum handle from a fishing net to the blade of a street hockey stick. The round handle allows the client to maneuver the stick more easily than his previous stick.

Empirical testing with the client shows that the slider is safe, durable, usable, and portable. Theoretical testing of the device proves further that it cannot be tipped over.

The total cost of the hockey goalie slider is approximately $550, including $125 in machining costs.

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