Speed Hurts the Guide to High Speed Hockey Injuries

Hockey is a fast game. Players regularly reach speeds of over 30km/h and pucks can travel at over 160 km/h. If hockey players were driving cars they would be pulled over for speeding. In road safety, the correlation between the severity of injury and speed is more or less direct so the higher the speed, the greater chances of injury. For example, a vehicle travelling at 30km/h involved in an accident has a 90% survival rate for the accident victims whether they are cyclists, motorists or pedestrians. If that increases to 45 km/hr, those statistics drop below fifty percent.

These chilling statistics may be applicable in hockey as well. Since hockey is a high contact sport, physical contact between ice hockey players is expected. Players, sticks, balls and pucks travel at high speeds. Most concussions occur when a gravitational force (g force) of eighty five to one hundred is applied. G force stands for force per unit mass. In ice hockey, the puck can travel at a distance of between thirty to forty five km/hr. That is the same speed that most highways have as their minimum speed requirements. It should come at no surprise that the force at which a hockey stick hits a player can cause injuries.



  • Concussions

Concussions are a serious injury that can result in memory loss, speech problems, death or trauma to the brain. If unchecked, it may lead to more serious neurological diseases. As indicated earlier, g forces of eighty five are not hard to come by in a hockey pitch bearing in mind the speeds involved. This makes the likelihood of sustaining this type of injury high. Ice hockey players stand a greater chance of sustaining concussions than field hockey players that is why all their players must don protective helmets.


  • Broken bones

For a human bone to break, concentrated force and pressure must be applied. The speed at which that force is applied can multiply the severity of the injury. Since hockey players move faster on ice than on a grassy field, the impact from deliberate or accidental collisions is greatly increased. That is why it is important for players to don the proper protective gear where applicable.

The presence of a slippery surface like ice and the presence of hockey sticks and blades can set the stage for a bloody and sometimes fatal brawl. Besides, that injury may be caused by high speed contact with other players or falling at high speeds. Since hockey players are on their feet for the entire duration of the game, their knees bear the pressure of running, skating and jumping. Their shoulders and collar bones are also frequent areas of injury and should be well protected at all times.

  • Cuts and lacerations

This is one of the most common injuries that hockey players face. Helmets help mitigate the instances of the same but also give the players a false sense of security making them lax on protecting themselves. Should a hockey match erupt into a violent brawl, you can be sure that many players will sustain cuts caused by the fisticuffs.

With these facts in mind, it is understandable why hockey governing bodies have strict rules that forbid fighting and insist on protective gear!

Joshua Bing

Mr. Joshua Bing is a hockey enhusiast. He believes that maximum fun can only be reaped if the game is played with adequate safety, thus he endorses the use of ice hockey skates and other sports gears. Know more about hockey gears on www.hockeygear.com 

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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