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.