While one can assume that things might be different at higher levels of the sport, the Montreal Gazette published notes on a study that concluded that hits produce only 34 percent of injuries at the youth level of hockey. The remaining 66 percent happen thanks to players getting hit by pucks, colliding into teammates or other on-ice accidents.
Accidents are more commonly to blame for on-ice amateur-hockey injuries than bodychecking, suggests a study recently published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
The findings were based on a five-year study of 3,000 boys age 4 to 18 in a youth hockey program in Burlington, Ont.
It found that 66 per cent of overall injuries were the result of such accidents as colliding with teammates, sliding into the boards or posts or getting hit with the puck. The remaining 34 per cent of injuries were attributed to players checking each other.
The researchers, from the University of Buffalo, took into account only injuries serious enough to cause players to be off the ice for at least 24 hours.
The report took into account three levels of hockey, including one that didn’t allow body checking.
Researchers suggested that coaches teach players to keep their heads up (sorry Eric Lindros). Hockey Canada’s Todd Jackson responded to the study, saying that injuries will always happen but there are steps that can be taken to reduce the number of problems.
“A big part of preventing injuries is how the game is played,” he said. “There needs to be a rules and respect factor by both players, coaches, everyone involved -even the parents.”