Background: Little data exist on injury rates and profiles in female ice hockey players.
Objective: To examine the incidence of injury in female ice hockey players and compare injury rates with those of male players.
Study design: Prospective cohort study.
Methods: Six male and six female teams from the Canada West Universities Athletic Association were followed prospectively for one varsity season. Preseason medical history forms were completed by each player. Injury report forms and attendance records for each team session were submitted by team therapists.
Results: Male players reported 161 injuries, whereas female players reported 66 injuries. However, the overall injury rates for male (9.19 injuries per 1000 athlete-exposures) and female (7.77 injuries per 1000 athlete-exposures) players did not differ significantly. Ninety-six percent of injuries in female players and 79% in male players were related to contact mechanisms, even though intentional body checking is not allowed in female ice hockey. Women were more likely than men to be injured by contacting the boards or their opponent. Men sustained more severe injuries than women and missed about twice as many sessions (exposures) because of injury. Concussions were the most common injury in female players, followed by ankle sprains, adductor muscle strains, and sacroiliac dysfunction.
Conclusion: Although the injury rate in female ice hockey players was expected to be lower than that in male players because of the lack of intentional body checking, the injury rates were found to be similar.
Copyright 2003 American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine