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450 Injury rates, types and mechanisms in sledge hockey: implications for grassroots through elite participation
  1. Alexandra J Sobry1,
  2. Ash T Kolstad1,
  3. Leticia Janzen1,
  4. Amanda M Black1,2,3,4,
  5. Carolyn A Emery1,2,3,4,5,6,7
  1. 1Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  2. 2Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  3. 3O’Brien Institute for Public Health, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  4. 4Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  5. 5McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  6. 6Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  7. 7Department of Pediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada


Background Injuries in parasport are not well explored and may lead to detrimental effects in players with pre-existing disabilities. Previous parasport injury studies have focused on elite sledge hockey during winter Paralympics. Reported injury rates in sledge hockey are higher than other winter parasports.

Objective To examine concussion and injury rates, locations, types, mechanisms, and risk factors in sledge hockey.

Design Cross-sectional survey.

Setting Sledge hockey players across all levels of play.

Participants Sledge hockey players (ages≥14 years) recruited worldwide following the 2019–2020 season through email, social media and word of mouth communication. Ninety-two players initiated the survey and 77 (83.7%) answered questions related to sledge hockey injuries.

Assessment of Risk Factors Risk factors considered participant demographics (e.g., age, sex, disability, level of play).

Main Outcome Measurements One-year injury rates (IR) and incidence rate ratios (IRR) were estimated based on univariate Poisson regression analyses. Injury proportions by type, location, and mechanism were described.

Results There were 47 injuries reported including 16 concussions in 9/77 (11.7%) players and 31 non-concussion injuries in 20/77 (26.0%) players. The overall IR was 13.2 injuries/1000 athlete-exposures (95%CI;9.6–17.6). The game IR (28.4 injuries/1000 game-exposures, 95%CI;18.6–41.7) was significantly higher than for practices (4.4 injuries/1000 practice-exposures, 95%CI;2.2–7.9) (IRR=6.5, 95%CI;3.1–14.5). Significant injury: (1) locations were the head (34.0%), wrist/hand (14.8%) and shoulder (10.6%); (2) types were concussion (36.2%) and bone fracture (8.5%); and (3) mechanism was body checking (42.1% of injuries caused by contact with another player). Age, sex, disability type, and level of play were not found to be injury risk factors.

Conclusions Concussions and upper extremity injuries were the most common sledge hockey injuries reported, with body checking being the most common mechanism. This research will inform the development of sledge hockey injury prevention strategies.

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