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Fam Med. 2007 Jul-Aug;39(7):473-6.

Face protection in recreational hockey players.

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  • 1Bethesda Family Medicine Residency Program, Cincinnati, OH 45212, USA.



Our primary objective was to determine the percentage of recreational hockey players who do not wear face protection while playing hockey.


We randomly surveyed recreational hockey players at two indoor hockey rinks in Evandale, Ohio. Data were collected on face protection, injuries, demographic variables, and attitudes about protective gear.


We surveyed 190 players. Their mean age was 34 +/- 8.7 years, and 99% were male. The average years of hockey experience were 17. Twenty percent of respondents reported using no facial protection either at the time of a past serious injury or currently. Those without face protection were significantly more likely to report having had a past facial laceration (odds ratio [OR]=3.40, 95% confidence interval [CI]=2.0--5.8) or facial bone fracture (OR=10.1, 95% CI=1.23--83.4). On the other hand, 69% of those wearing face protection reported that they felt they could "play more aggressive" with the protection, and they had a higher rate of past injuries other than facial injuries.


Twenty percent of the recreational hockey players reported using no facial protection at the time of a prior serious injury, and players not using facial protection were more likely to report a facial laceration or facial bone fracture. Most players who wore face protection, on the other hand, reported that they played more aggressively and, over time, experienced more serious injuries.

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