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Can J Surg. 2010 Oct;53(5):319-23.

A 7-year review of men's and women's ice hockey injuries in the NCAA.

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Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.

Erratum in

  • Can J Surg. 2015 Jun;58(3):215.



Ice hockey is a high-speed collision sport with recognized injury potential. Body checking, identified as a primary cause of injury, is allowed in men's hockey but is not allowed at any level for female players. The injury patterns in collegiate hockey should reflect this fundamental difference in how the game is played. In this study, we reviewed the injuries sustained by National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) hockey players over a 7-year period.


We conducted a retrospective database review of injuries and exposures reported to the Injury Surveillance System to determine rates of injury or differences in the pattern of injury between the sexes.


The rate of injury during games for men (18.69/1000 athlete-exposures [AEs]) and women (12.10/1000 AEs) was significantly higher than the rate of injury during practice. The rate of concussion was 0.72/1000 AEs for men and 0.82/1000AEs for women, and the rate remained stable over the study period. Player contact was the cause of concussions in game situations for 41% of women and 72% of men.


Both men and women had increased rates of practice-related injuries that resulted in time loss during the study period. In addition, there were high rates of concussions from player contact. The concussion rate in women was higher than expected. A more detailed examination with focused data collection may impact these findings.

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