Women’s Ice Hockey Leads In Concussions

Today, in news that shouldn’t be surprising, a recent study by the Minnesota Department of Health has declared Women’s Ice Hockey as the high school sport most likely to incur concussions. In fact, MDH believes that these athletes are two to three times more likely to suffer a concussion than even their male sport counterparts. This assertion is simply stunning since the act of checking is largely disallowed at the high school level for women. Kim McCullough, a coach and founder at Total Female Hockey, even takes it a bit further: “On a team with 15 skaters,” [McCullough] says, “what I’ve seen is about four of them will sustain a concussion over the course of the season, where they’ll be taken out of play for at least a week. On some teams, it can be higher.” McCullough theorizes that this happens because the lack of checking encourages younger skaters to move with their heads down, which ultimately ends up making them unprepared for incoming contact with other players, the boards, or even a net. For men, despite the threat of intentionally forceful contact, these athletes are inherently more able to ready themselves for impact, which, in the concussion conversation, can make all the difference. Now, this information is scary, yes, but it’s also incredibly helpful. As a sports community, we don’t have to live or die by these results. Leagues and schools can have clinics, just as we highlighted last week with Wichita State, and give special attention to these issues, teaching young athletes to avoid and prepare ahead of time. Treating concussions can be long and painful, but if we all take preventative measures together, it isn’t tough to imagine that Women’s Ice Hockey can become safe once again. CityPages — The Most Dangerous Sport For Concussions? Girls’ Hockey

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