Background While relatively well protected and padded, ice-hockey goaltenders are at risk for impact injuries.
Objective To study incidence and mechanism of intercollegiate ice-hockey goaltender injuries.
Design Analyzed seasons prospectively starting in 2000–01 through 2006–07.
Setting All National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) ice-hockey goaltender injuries through the Injury Surveillance System.
Participants NCAA ice-hockey goaltenders.
Assessment of risk factors Injury rates were calculated per 1000 player games.
Main outcome measurements Injury rates.
Results The overall rate of NCAA men's ice-hockey goaltender injuries was 0.5/1000 player games. 56 men's ice-hockey goaltender injuries resulted in further time loss from practices or games. 13 injuries resulted in time loss of 1–2 days, 18 resulted in time loss of 3–5 days, 10 injuries resulted in time loss of 6–9 days, and 10 injuries resulted in 10 or more days of time loss from competition. The overall rate of NCAA women's ice-hockey goaltender injuries was 0.72/1000 player games. Overall, women sustained 23 time-loss game injuries. Five of these resulted in further loss of on-ice practice/game times of 1 day, eight resulted in 3–5 days of time loss, two resulted in 6–9 days of time loss, and seven injuries resulted in 10 or more days of time loss.
Conclusions Further understanding of the aetiology of these on-ice goaltender-player contact injuries could assist in the development of possible interventions to reduce the incidence of NCAA ice-hockey goaltender injuries. The current Injury Surveillance System has shortcomings and does not provide us with enough information to evaluate the effectiveness of goalie equipment and the impact that possible rule changes would have on the game. This study is the first step in analyzing all participants in hockey with anticipation for future rule and equipment optimisation and subsequent injury reduction.
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