Stricter rules in elite hockey don't prevent concussions

July 26, 2013

Topic: concussion

New NHL rules have not prevented concussions

According to a recent study, a change in hockey body? checking allowances do not reduce the chance of suffering a concussion for players. Researchers examined the amount of head injuries in recent National Hockey League seasons as compared to recent rule changes and found that there were actually more concussions after the fact.

The study used reports of player injuries in the NHL from 2009 to 2012, and the researchers discovered that, in the 2009-2010 season, athletes experienced less head trauma than they would in the later seasons. The data revealed that 64 percent of all concussions were caused by body? checking, and 28 percent were the result of illegal moves. 

Researchers concluded that further rules or better enforcement of existing rules is necessary to prevent concussions in the future. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons noted that hockey can usually be played safely in youth leagues, so long as the players use the appropriate equipment and are able to maneuver on the ice. The source stated that around 63,000 hockey-related injuries are reported each year in the U.S. 

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