Context: As the Asian Ice Hockey League gradually expands and becomes more competitive, ice hockey-related injuries may increase. However, no reports have been published on ice hockey injuries in Japan, including the method of injury and the daily supervision of the players during the regular season.
Objective: To prospectively study the incidence, types, and mechanisms of ice hockey injuries in an elite Japanese ice hockey team.
Design: Prospective observational cohort study design.
Setting: An elite ice hockey team, Tokyo, Japan.
Patients or other participants: Ninety-four players during the 2002-2005 seasons.
Main outcome measure(s): Data were collected for 3 consecutive seasons using an injury reporting form.
Results: The overall game injury rate was 74.3 per 1000 player-game hours and 11.7 per 1000 player-game hours for injuries resulting in any time loss. The overall practice injury rates were 11.2 per 1000 player-practice hours and 1.1 per 1000 player-practice hours for injuries resulting in any time loss. Forwards had the highest rate of injury, followed by defensemen and then goalkeepers. Contusions were the most common injury, followed by strains, lacerations, and sprains.
Conclusions: Most injuries among Japanese ice hockey players occurred during games. Game or play intensity may influence the injury rate during games.
Keywords: epidemiology; injury rates; injury surveillance.