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Emery C, Palacios-Derflingher L, Black AM, Eliason P, Krolikowski M, Spencer N, Kozak S, Schneider KJ, Babul S, Mrazik M, Lebrun CM, Goulet C, Macpherson A, Hagel BE. Br. J. Sports Med. 2019; ePub(ePub): ePub.


Department of Paediatrics, Cumming Scjhool of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


(Copyright © 2019, BMJ Publishing Group)






OBJECTIVE: To compare rates of injury and concussion among non-elite (lowest 60% by division of play) Bantam (ages 13-14 years) ice hockey leagues that disallow body checking to non-elite Bantam leagues that allow body checking.

METHODS: In this 2-year cohort study, Bantam non-elite ice hockey players were recruited from leagues where policy allowed body checking in games (Calgary/Edmonton 2014-2015, Edmonton 2015-2016) and where policy disallowed body checking (Kelowna/Vancouver 2014-2015, Calgary 2015-2016). All ice hockey game-related injuries resulting in medical attention, inability to complete a session and/or time loss from hockey were identified using valid injury surveillance methodology. Any player suspected of having concussion was referred to a study physician for diagnosis and management.

RESULTS: 49 body checking (608 players) and 33 non-body checking teams (396 players) participated. There were 129 injuries (incidence rate (IR)=7.98/1000 hours) and 54 concussions (IR=3.34/1000 hours) in the body checking teams in games. After policy change, there were 31 injuries (IR=3.66/1000 hours) and 17 concussions (IR=2.01/1000 hours) in games. Policy disallowing body checking was associated with a lower rate of all injury (adjusted incidence rate ratio (IRR)=0.44; 95% CI: 0.27 to 0.74). The point estimate showed a lower rate of concussion (adjusted IRR=0.6; 95% CI: 0.31 to 1.18), but this was not statistically significant.

CONCLUSION: Policy change disallowing body checking in non-elite Bantam ice hockey resulted in a 56% lower rate of injury. There is growing evidence that disallowing body checking in youth ice hockey is associated with fewer injuries.

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

Language: en


adolescent; concussion; ice hockey; injury; injury prevention


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