Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Peewee bodychecking means 3X greater injuries

Interesting study on bodychecking in peewee hockey to be published in Wednesday's edition (9 June 2010) of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Basically, the study says that bodychecking more than triples the risk of injury and concussion in peewee hockey, according to the study conducted by the University of Calgary. Peewees are 11 & 12 years old and the study was conducted during the 2007-08 season on 74 boys teams from Alberta and 76 from Quebec. Those two provinces were chosen because Alberta allows peewee bodychecking and Quebec does not. Quebec is the only province that introduces bodychecking at the bantam level while the rest allow it in peewee. Saskatchewan, however, currently has a pilot project testing bodychecking in atom rep, the highest skill level for that age group. The study determined that there were 73 severe injuries and concussions in Alberta versus 20 in Quebec. A total of 14 severe concussions occurred in Alberta to four in Quebec. The study also found players in the bottom quarter in body weight were at a "significantly" greater risk of injury and concussion than other players. Opinions are mixed – some believe bodychecking should be allowed at the atom level; others say wait until bantam. I’m in the latter group.

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