American collegiate men's ice hockey: an analysis of injuries

Am J Sports Med. 2005 Feb;33(2):183-7. doi: 10.1177/0363546504267349.


Background: Reported rates and types of ice hockey injuries have been variable. Ice hockey combines tremendous speeds with aggressive physical play and therefore has great inherent potential for injury.

Purpose: To identify rates and determinants of injury in American men's collegiate ice hockey.

Study design: Prospective cohort study.

Methods: Data were collected from 8 teams in a Division I athletic conference for 1 season using an injury reporting form specific for ice hockey.

Results: There were a total of 113 injuries in 23,096 athlete exposures. Sixty-five percent of injuries occurred during games, although games accounted for only 23% of all exposures. The overall injury rate was 4.9 per 1000 athlete exposures (13.8 per 1000 game athlete exposures and 2.2 per 1000 practice athlete exposures). Collision with an opponent (32.8%) or the boards (18.6%) caused more than half of all injuries. Concussion (18.6%) was the most common injury, followed by knee medial collateral ligament sprains, acromioclavicular joint injuries, and ankle sprains.

Conclusions: The risk of injury in men's collegiate ice hockey is much greater during games than during practices. Concussions are a main cause for time lost and remain an area of major concern.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Brain Concussion / epidemiology
  • Hockey / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Students
  • United States / epidemiology