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NJ Youth Hockey Forum

Author Topic: Study Shows Banning Checking In Youth Hockey Does Not Reduce Concussions  (Read 1712 times)


Eliminating bodychecking from non-elite bantam ice hockey leagues lowered injuries but didn't do away with concussions, according to a University of Alberta concussion expert.

A University of Alberta educational psychology researcher Martin Mrazik, who participated in a study led by the University of Calgary's sport injury prevention research team, said the research showed policy changes banning bodychecking in non-elite bantam hockey resulted in a 56 percent drop in injuries.

Part of that decline was a dip in the concussion incidence rate from 3.34 concussions per 1,000 hours of play in leagues that allowed body checking to 2.01 in leagues where the tactic was banned.

"We did see a decrease in concussions; however, the drop wasn't statistically significant," said Mrazik.

He explained that fluctuation falls within the ebbs and flows of the concussion incidence rate in any given year. In the NHL, for instance, the number of concussions per 100 players can range from 4.6 like it did in the 1998-99 season to 7.7 in 2000-01.

"You have this wiggle room, and that number wasn't outside of that wiggle room," Mrazik said.

Injuries, dropout rates down since bodychecking ban

Previous studies from this research group found peewee hockey players incurred three times more injuries in leagues where they were allowed to bodycheck. They led to a complete ban of bodychecking in peewee in 2013 by Hockey Canada. The same research also informed Hockey Edmonton's 2016 decision to join a growing list of Alberta hockey associations eliminating body contact in all but the highest levels of bantam and midget leagues.

To help determine whether the policy decisions are leading to less injuries, bantam non-elite ice hockey players were recruited from leagues that allowed bodychecking and others where it was not allowed. The researchers had data from 49 bodychecking teams and 33 non-bodychecking teams.

Teams in the study agreed to log all game-related injuries that resulted in medical attention or an inability to complete a game or practice. Any player suspected of having a concussion was referred to a study physician for diagnosis and management.

Though the concussion rates didn't drop as much as researchers had hoped, Mrazik noted that injury numbers did drop for the study years, as did dropout rates among kids playing bantam hockey, all of which he said can be at least partially attributed to the conversations taking place about concussions.

"There's only so much injury you can remove from the game," he said. "It wasn't that long ago that concussions weren't talked about. That's changed and that's a positive thing," he said.

"The main message about concussions—that when a player has a concussion, they need to be evaluated by a medical professional and shouldn't be returned to play unless they've been medically cleared—is working, so keep it up."

Origin of Story


Reply #1:
 November 08, 2019, 02:46:27 PM
A reduction by over 1/3 is not significant? Hmmmmm? 

Any reduction in good.


Reply #2:
 November 09, 2019, 09:18:51 PM
If you don’t want checking in youth hockey try cup stacking instead you pathetic loser snowflakes.


Reply #3:
 November 10, 2019, 08:50:03 AM
6,000 fewer injuries is significant. Children should not be playing contact sports with rules similar to those for adult professionals. Eventually lawyers and insurance companies will catch up and change the game and in worse ways than if USA Hockey took control now.


Reply #4:
 November 10, 2019, 02:25:27 PM
Lawyers. Root of all evil.


Reply #5:
 November 10, 2019, 02:37:43 PM
How many kids have played hockey and other contact sports for decades without serious issue until the current bedwetting progressives got their collective undies in a bunch. Stop trying to sanitize the world and life. If you can’t cope with the real world go find a safe space to cower in.

Offline tree408

  • Jr. Member
Reply #6:
 November 11, 2019, 07:01:01 AM
6,000 fewer injuries is significant. Children should not be playing contact sports with rules similar to those for adult professionals.
Where did you get that number? 

At what point do you have kids start playing big boy games?  No hitting in hockey, football, lacrosse until college?  Post college?  Start calling touch fouls in soccer, basketball, no sliding  in baseball, hitting of a t in baseball until legion?  Where does it start and end?


Reply #7:
 November 13, 2019, 07:20:03 AM
More millennials get injured at ‘hair on fire’ protests than playing contact sports


Reply #8:
 November 13, 2019, 12:39:08 PM
A reduction by over 1/3 is not significant? Hmmmmm? 

Any reduction in good.

The reduction is not statistically significant.  This is a technical term and basically means the study, or collection of studies if a meta-analysis, does not prove a reduction in concussion rates.

I like that kids have a place to play hockey if they do not like checking.  It is called house league, but I know the limitations of that point of view.  A non-check travel tier would be great.


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