Warning Line Intended to Prevent Injury a Distraction for Hockey Players: Study

Warning Line Intended to Prevent Injury a Distraction for Hockey Players: Study

By The Canadian Press

Mark Scheifele
Los Angeles Kings’ Drew Doughty (8) hits Winnipeg Jets’ Mark Scheifele (55) during second period NHL hockey action, in Winnipeg, Sunday, November 13, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Trevor Hagan)

CALGARY – Calgary researchers say a warning line intended to prevent injury when hockey players are pushed into the boards actually has the opposite effect.

The orange metre-wide line painted on the ice along the base of the boards — known as a look-up line — was created by a U.S. junior hockey player who wanted to remind players to look up before body-checking into the boards.

But researchers at the University of Calgary say the players actually looked down at the line, making them more vulnerable to injuries.

The study points to medical evidence showing that if hockey players have their head down when they are pushed into the boards, they are at greater risk for head, neck and spinal injuries.

Researchers in the faculty of kinesiology spent a year testing the warning line in the Olympic Oval ice-hockey rink with the help of coaches and players from the men’s varsity hockey team at the university.

Lead researcher Joan Vickers says they were surprised by the results, given that other sports such as football and baseball successfully use warning tracks to remind players to avoid certain areas.

The study was published in the European Journal of Sport Science.

CP - The Canadian Press


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