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Understanding the resistance to creating safer ice hockey: essential points for injury prevention
  1. Ryan A Todd1,
  2. Sophie Soklaridis2,
  3. Alice K Treen3,
  4. Shree U Bhalerao4,
  5. Michael D Cusimano3,5
  1. 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  2. 2Department of Psychiatry, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3Department of Injury Prevention Research, St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  4. 4Department of Psychiatry, St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  5. 5Department of Surgery, St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ryan A Todd, Department of Psychiatry, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 2T9, Canada; ratodd{at}hotmail.ca

Abstract

Introduction Despite the known negative health outcomes of concussions in minor level boys’ hockey, there has been significant resistance to creating a safer game with less body checking.

Methods To better understand cultural barriers that prevent making the sport safer for youth and adolescents, semistructured interviews, with 20 ice hockey stakeholders, were conducted and analysed using thematic analysis.

Results Through this analysis, two primary concepts arose from respondents. The first concept is that body checking, despite the harm it can cause, should be done in a respectful sportsmanlike fashion. The second concept is the contradiction that the game of ice hockey is both dynamic and unchangeable.

Discussion Using structural functionalist theory, we propose an argument that the unfortunate perpetuation of violence and body checking in youth ice hockey serves to maintain the social order of the game and its culture. Any strategies aimed at modifying and promoting healthy behaviour in the game should take these concepts into account.

  • concussion
  • traumatic brain injury
  • advocacy
  • education
  • recreation / sports
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Footnotes

  • Contributors RAT acquired the data, analysed and interpreted the data, drafted the article and made continual revisions, and approved the final version of the manuscript. AKT and MDC helped with the interpretation of the data, critical revision of the article and final approval of the article. SS analysed and interpreted the data, drafted the article and made continual revisions, and approved the final version of the manuscript. SUB acquired the data, and helped with the interpretation of the data, critical revision of the article and final approval of the article.

  • Funding This research was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Strategic Team Grant in Applied Injury Research (#TIR-103946), the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, as well as the Physician Services Incorporated Foundation. The opinions contained herein are solely those of the authors and not necessarily of the funding organisations.

  • Competing interests RAT and SUB are part owners, and collaborators, of a grant-funded educational documentary that deals with the topic of sport concussion, mental health and stigma.

  • Ethics approval St Michael’s Hospital Research Ethics Board.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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