Volume 6, Issue 3 (March 2009)
A Prospective Study of Injuries in NCAA Intercollegiate Ice-Hockey Goaltenders
While relatively well protected and padded, ice-hockey goaltenders are at risk for impact injuries. There is little information regarding the incidence and mechanism of intercollegiate ice-hockey goaltender injuries. We prospectively studied all NCAA ice-hockey goaltender injuries through the Injury Surveillance System. We analyzed the seasons prospectively starting in 2000–2001 and through 2006–2007. Injury rates were calculated per 1000 player games. The overall rate of NCAA men’s ice-hockey goaltender injuries was 0.5/1000 player games. Fifty-six men’s ice-hockey goaltender injuries resulted in further time loss from practices or games. Thirteen injuries resulted in time loss of 1 to 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. The most common injuries were nine knee ligament injuries, five on-ice concussions, and four shoulder injuries. 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. Further understanding of the etiology of these on-ice goaltender-player contact injuries should 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 paper is the first step in analyzing all participants in hockey with anticipation for future rule and equipment optimization and subsequent injury reduction.