SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Sunday’s Springfield Thunderbirds game looked and sounded a little bit different Sunday.
The Thunderbird’s afternoon matchup against the Charlotte Checkers was part of the team’s 3rd Annual Sensory-Friendly game. There was no goal horn and noise meters or strobe lights throughout the game, but that was all part of the plan.
The game presentation featured decreased stimulation, including decreased microphone & music volume. Consistent lighting throughout the game and pregame. Two “Cool Down Stations” a “sensory story” booklet and other supportive items for guests.
Sunday’s event was in conjunction with the Center for Human Development and Springfield College’s Department of Occupational Therapy and was the T-Bird’s way to make sure that everyone can enjoy some hockey.
Hockey fan Rashelle Warwick of Enfield told 22News, “As part of the autistic community sensory is a huge issue. I actually haven’t been at a game in five years and so far, not so bad so I’m definitely thankful, especially for these guys. They usually jump at these big sounds and without them, it’s easier for them here.”
This is a tradition that the T-Birds plan on continuing as they see a real positive initiative with this.
The Thunderbirds bounced back after a Saturday night loss and beat the Checkers 5-2. They play next at home next Friday against the Hartford Wolf Pack.