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222 Do physical contacts and head contacts differ in female ice hockey and ringette? A video-analysis study
  1. Emily E Heming1,
  2. Alexandra J Sobry1,
  3. Alexis L Cairo1,
  4. Rylen A Williamson1,
  5. Ash T Kolstad1,
  6. 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 Paediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada


Background A Canadian study reports the highest concussion rates in ringette and ice hockey, compared to other female team sports. Although high-intensity physical contacts (PC) are prohibited in both sports, player-to-player PCs accounted for 58–64% of injuries.

Objective To compare incidence rates (IR) of in-game PCs, head contacts (HC), and suspected injuries in female varsity ice hockey and ringette.

Design Cross-sectional.

Setting Canadian ice hockey arenas.

Participants Female university ringette and ice hockey tournament/playoff games in the 2018–2019/2019–2020 seasons.

Assessment of Risk Factors Game video-recordings were analyzed using Dartfish video-analysis software. Validated criteria were used to assess PC intensity (level 1–5), PC type (e.g., trunk contact, push), HC type (i.e., HC1=direct player-to-player, HC2=indirect environmental), and suspected injury (i.e., concussion, musculoskeletal).

Main Outcome Measurements Univariate Poisson regression analyses (adjusted for cluster by team, offset by game-minutes) was used to estimate PC and HC IRs and incidence rate ratios (IRRs, 95% confidence intervals) comparing sports.

Results Analyses of 36 team-games (n=18 ringette, n=18 ice hockey) revealed that ringette had a 19% lower rate of PCs (IR=310.38 contacts/100 team-minutes, 95%CI;285.40–337.54) than ice hockey (IR=382.48 contacts/100 team-minutes, 95%CI;356.80–410.00) (IRR=0.81, 95%CI;0.73–0.90). Ringette had a 68% higher rate (IRR=1.68, 95%CI:1.22–2.31) of total HCs (IR=17.92 contacts/100 team-minutes, 95%CI;14.71–21.83) compared to ice hockey (IR=10.67 contacts/100 team-minutes, 95%CI;8.28–13.75). Ringette had a 3-fold higher rate (IRR=3.11, 95%CI;1.13–8.60) of suspected injury (IR=1.46 HCs/100 team-minutes, 95%CI;0.72–2.93) compared to ice hockey (IR=0.47 HCs/100 team-minutes, 95%CI;0.22–1.00).

Conclusions This study demonstrated a lower rate of PCs in ringette than female ice hockey. However, ringette had a significantly higher rate of HCs and suspected injuries than ice hockey. These findings can inform future research targeting prevention strategies in both sports.

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