Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Allowing body checking in youth hockey may increase risk of injury, including severe concussions

Date:
June 10, 2010
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
A comparison of hockey leagues in Canada for 11-12 year old players finds that compared with leagues that do not allow body checking, those that do have an associated three-fold increased risk of game-related injuries, including severe injuries and severe concussions, according to a study in the June 9 issue of JAMA.

A new study finds that allowing body checking in youth hockey may increase risk of injury, including severe concussions.
Credit: iStockphoto/James Boulette

A comparison of hockey leagues in Canada for 11-12 year old players finds that compared with leagues that do not allow body checking, those that do have an associated 3-fold increased risk of game-related injuries, including severe injuries and severe concussions, according to a study in the June 9 issue of JAMA.

"Ice hockey is a popular North American winter sport, with more than 550,000 registered youth players in Hockey Canada and more than 340,000 registered players in the USA Hockey Association in 2008-2009. Despite the advantages of sport participation, there is increasing concern regarding the frequency of ice hockey injuries in youth," the authors write. They add that recent attention has been focused on the increased frequency of concussive head injuries in youth hockey. It is the most common type of specific injury, accounting for more than 15 percent of all injuries in 9- to 16-year-old players, according to background information in the article.

Internationally, there are different regulations regarding the age at which body checking is introduced in ice hockey. In the United States, body checking is introduced in all leagues for the age group 11-12 years, but leagues not permitting body checking exist through all ages, up to the leagues for 15-16 year-olds. In Canada, the youngest age group in which body checking is permitted is Pee Wee (ages 11-12 years). In the province of Quebec, however, Bantam (ages 13-14 years) is the youngest age group in which body checking is permitted.

Carolyn A. Emery, Ph.D., B.Sc.P.T., of the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and colleagues examined whether the risk of concussion and injury differed for youth ice hockey players in a league that permits body checking vs. a league that does not. The study was conducted in Alberta and Quebec during the 2007-2008 Pee Wee ice hockey season and included players (n = 2,154) from teams in the top 60 percent of divisions of play. Among the outcomes measured was the rate for game- and practice-related injuries and concussions.

Seventy-four Pee Wee teams from Alberta (n = 1,108 players) and 76 Pee Wee teams from Quebec (n = 1,046 players) completed the study. There were a total of 241 injuries (78 concussions) reported in Alberta and 91 injuries (23 concussions) reported in Quebec. For game-related injuries, the Alberta vs. Quebec incidence rate ratio (comparison of the risk of injury in the two leagues) was 3.26 (n = 209 and n = 70 for Alberta and Quebec, respectively]) for all injuries; 3.88 (n = 73 and n = 20) for concussion; 3.30 (n = 51 and n = 16) for severe injury (time loss, greater than 7 days); and 3.61 (n = 14 and n = 4) for severe concussion (time loss, greater than 10 days).

"The estimated absolute risk reduction (injuries per 1,000 player-hours) that would be achieved if body checking were not permitted in Alberta was 2.84 for all game-related injuries, 0.72 for severe injuries, 1.08 for concussion, and 0.20 for severe concussion. There was no difference between provinces for practice-related injuries," the authors write.

"Among 11- to 12-year-old ice hockey players, playing in a league in which body checking is permitted compared with a league in which body checking is not permitted was associated with a 3-fold increased risk of all game-related injuries, concussion, severe injury, and severe concussion. These findings may have important implications for policy decisions related to body checking in youth ice hockey. The public health implications associated with injury in Pee Wee hockey in which body checking is permitted are significant."

"Future research should compare the injury and concussion risk in the next age group of play (Bantam, ages 13-14 years), in which players in one cohort will have 2 years of body checking experience prior to Bantam participation. This research can inform the development and rigorous evaluation of prevention strategies to reduce the risk of injury in this population of youth ice hockey participants," the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. A. Emery, J. Kang, I. Shrier, C. Goulet, B. E. Hagel, B. W. Benson, A. Nettel-Aguirre, J. R. McAllister, G. M. Hamilton, W. H. Meeuwisse. Risk of Injury Associated With Body Checking Among Youth Ice Hockey Players. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2010; 303 (22): 2265 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2010.755

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Allowing body checking in youth hockey may increase risk of injury, including severe concussions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100608162238.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2010, June 10). Allowing body checking in youth hockey may increase risk of injury, including severe concussions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100608162238.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Allowing body checking in youth hockey may increase risk of injury, including severe concussions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100608162238.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins