- Published: November 11, 2022
- Updated: November 11, 2022
- Level: Masters
- Language: English
- Downloads: 7
What Can Be Done To Curb Concussions In Hockey? Ice hockey is a popular North American winter sport with high participation rates, especially in Canada where hockey is considered as one of the national sports (Warsh, Constantin, Howard and Macpherson, 134). Hockey Canada has more than 550 000 registered youth players while there are more than 340 000 registered players in the USA Hockey Association in 2008-2009 (Emery et al., 2265). Ice hockey offers the advantages of sport participation however, a high incidence of sport-related injuries such as concussions and traumatic brain injury has been associated with hockey.
Concussion is the most common type of hockey-related injury. According to the National Hockey League, the reasons for the increased incidences of concussion include accidental hits, players being struck by pucks, collision with teammates, or striking the ice or the boards after being hit legally (Syd and Johnson, 1). Education and bodychecking has been implemented to curb concussions in hockey but the incidences of concussion just doubled which led a number of studies to conclude that bodychecking only result in worsening of concussions among hockey players in Canada. In fact, Canadian data suggest that bodychecking accounts for 45%-86% of injuries among youth ice hockey players (Emery et al., 2265). So, what can be done to curb concussions in hockey? The answer is simple: that is, elimination of bodychecking in children younger than 15 years.
There is considerable evidence that bodychecking is the most common cause of all ice hockey injuries, particularly concussion. We understand the need to check the skills of the players in order to become effective and complete players but bodychecking should not be applied to children younger than 15 years due variations in size, physical maturity, and strength that may lead smaller players at risk for injuries due to mismatched with larger players in the same bracket (Syd and Johnson, 2). Thus, bodychecking at a younger age may only lead to substantial harm and that it should be eliminated and not be taught among these groups.
Supporters of the rule which eliminate bodychecking at a younger age argue that lowering the age limit for bodychecking enables young hockey players to develop other hockey skills such skating, puck- and stick-handling, receiving, and shooting (Cusimano et al., 58). Aside from enhanced hocking skills, bodychecking will reduce current incidences of concussions among children and injuries at older ages because the repeated reinforcement of proper technique will teach hockey players on when to properly receive and give body check.
Cusimano, Michael D. et al. “ Effect of bodychecking on rate of injuries among minor hockey players.” Open Medicine, 5(1), 2011: 57-64.
Emery, Carolyn A. et al. “ Risk of injury associated with body checking among youth ice hockey players.” Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(22), 2010: 2265-2272.
Syd, L. and Johnson, M. “ Concussion in youth ice hockey: It’s time to break the cycle.” Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2011: 1-4.
Warsh, Joel M., Constantin, Serban A., Howard, Andrew and Macpherson, Alison. “ A systematic review of the association between body checking and injury in youth ice hockey.” Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 19(2), 2009: 134-144.