Are people like us, playing in NON-professional adult rec leagues, tougher than the NHLers? I found an interesting study mentioned in the Toronto Star:
Contrary to popular thinking, a five-year study into minor hockey injuries has concluded that unintentional collisionsâ€”rather than intentional bodycheckingâ€”not only causes more injuries but more severe injuries.
So… accidental crashes in no-check hockey make more, and worse, injuries than a checking league!
The study followed about 3,000 players ages 4 -18 in the Burlington Lions Optimist Minor Hockey Association house league, select and representative teams from 2002 to 2007.
And thus we could say it focused on players around our ability level–people learning the game and getting proficient at it:
[One researcher] says the study suggests that keeping oneâ€™s head down leaves the player vulnerable to contact, intentional or otherwise.
“The study didnâ€™t address the injury rate in heads-up hockey, but based on the high level of injuries from unintentional contact, it suggests players should look up rather than down at the puck.”
[Another study author] noted that fighting was not a factor in causing injury.
“When we looked through all the data, we didnâ€™t see a single injury that came from fighting,â€ Willer said. â€œThatâ€™s an image people have of hockey, but I donâ€™t know where it came from.”
HOWEVER, while checking wasn’t as dangerous as “unintentional collisions,” it seems that a “mis-fired check” causes a significant proportion of the injuries:
The study showed injuries during practice were minimal, but during games increased as the age and level of competition increased. The study also found that there was a four-fold increase in injury rates when bodychecking is permitted.
What does all this tell us?
Keep your head up!!!
You can read the whole article here.