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In Youth Hockey, 'Checking' Ups Risk Of Brain Injury

06/13/2010, 8:45am MDT
By Allison Aubrey

ll contact sports introduce the risk of injury. But researchers say there's one move in hockey that can be mighty dangerous for young players: the body check. A new study finds 11-year-olds who played in a league that allows checking — using your body to block another player — are more than three times as likely to suffer concussions and serious injuries compared with kids who played in a league that bans checking.

Carolyn Emery of the University of Calgary, one of the researchers who conducted the study, said that if body checking were banned in her province — Alberta, Canada — "we'd expect to see 1,000 fewer injuries and about 400 fewer concussions."

In the study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Emery compared injury rates among hockey players in Alberta to those in Quebec, where checking is banned.

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Tag(s): Body-Checking Rule