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A logical approach to reducing injury in ice hockey is to reduce players' aggression (that is, their desire to injure their opponents). Several studies are reviewed to indicate the extent of the desire to injure an opponent that exists in professional hockey (McGuire, 1990), intercollegiate hockey (Brice, 1990), ringette (Houston, 1986), and minor hockey (Dorsch, 1992). Methods to assess players' desire to injure an opponent are discussed. To determine what causes players to want to injure an opponent, certain theoretical positions are examined (for example, biological and social learning theories) along with research that has identified certain personal characteristics (for example, moral development) and situational factors (for example, game conditions) that are antecedents of aggression in sport. Based on these antecedents, suggestions are advanced to parents, coaches, and administrators for reducing the desire to injure others in ice hockey.
ice hockey, injuries, aggression, frustration, social learning
Associate professor, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario
Associate coach, Ottawa Senators Hockey Team, Nepean, Ontario