Article Text

Download PDFPDF

746 The incidence of behaviours associated with body checking experience among youth ice hockey players
  1. Thierry-Olivier Roy1,
  2. Claude Goulet2,
  3. Luc Nadeau2,
  4. Kristine Fortier2,
  5. Denis Hamel3,
  6. Carolyn Emery4
  1. 1Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, Québec, Canada
  2. 2Department of Physical Education, Faculty of Education, Laval University, Québec, Canada
  3. 3Québec Public Health Institute, Québec, Canada
  4. 4Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology, and Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Departments of Paediatrics and Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Canada


Background Participation and injury rates in youth ice hockey are high. Results of recent studies show that for 11 and 12 years old players the risk of injury is significantly higher in leagues where body checking (BC) is permitted compared to leagues where it is not. The objective of this research was to determine whether the incidence and types of body contact differ for 13 and 14 years old players in leagues where BC commenced at age 11 (Calgary) versus 13 and 14 years old players in leagues where BC was delayed until age 13 (Québec City).

Methods A cohort study was conducted in Québec City and Calgary. Sixteen games for Calgary and fifteen for Québec City were randomly selected and retrospectively analysed. Games were videotaped and analysed with a validated observation system allowing quantification of the intensity of physical contacts (PC). Five levels of intensity were coded. Level 1 represents the lowest intensity, and level 5 the highest. Different types of PC such as slashing and hooking were also observed. Multivariate Poisson’s regression analyses were performed to compare games between the two cohorts. The results provided a body contact incidence rate per team game. Rates were adjusted for the game period, rink zone, and score difference.

Results A total of 5,610 incidences of body contact with the trunk and 3,429 other types of body contact were observed. Very light intensity (Level 1) trunk contact was more frequent in Québec City (adjusted incidence RR [ARR]: 1.71; 95% CI: 1.28–2.29). Hooking (ARR: 2.18; 95% CI: 1.42–3.32) and slashing (ARR: 3.35; 95% CI: 1.31–8.58) were more frequent in Calgary. Body contacts were made more often by defensive players (ARR: 1.28; 95% CI: 1.03–1.58) and on puck carriers (ARR: 1.47; 95% CI: 1.02–2.12) in Calgary.

Conclusions Results suggest that players’ behaviours differ between players in leagues in which BC was permitted at age 11 compared to leagues in which BC was delayed until age 13.

  • Body Contact
  • Injury Prevention
  • Athletic injuries
  • Hockey

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.