The purpose of this project was to demonstrate the epidemiology of NCAA ice hockey injuries and to determine any trends in injury occurrence.
The NCAA injury surveillance system for men's intercollegiate ice hockey, which as been prospectively collected in Divisions I, II, and III since the 1986–87 season, was reviewed. Injury rates were expressed as injuries per 1000 athlete exposures (A/E). Practice injury rates in Division I were 2.1/1000 A/E and for Division III were 2.5/1000 A/E from 1986–87 to 2000–01. The game injury rates for both divisions were the same at 17.5/1000 A/E. The rest of the injury data were collated among all three divisions for injury timing (preseason or regular season), injuries requiring surgery, and body part injured.
In conclusion, men's NCAA ice hockey has a low incidence of practice injuries with the highest incidence of these injuries occurring in the preseason. It also has a low rate of surgery compared with all other sports and has a higher than average incidence of injury in games. While shoulder and knee injuries have the highest incidence over time, the incidence of reported concussions has been increasing since 1986–87.