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Study supports rule changes to make youth hockey safer

A new study conducted by Canadian researchers suggests changing the rules of the game may help keep young hockey players safer.

Researchers reviewed 13 previous studies done in Canada and the United States. They said the review suggests that prohibiting body-checking may reduce the number of injuries players sustain.

"Interventions based on rule changes showed the greatest likelihood of making ice hockey safer for youth," said lead author Dr. Michael Cusimano, a neurologist at St. Michael's Hospital.

The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, stated that brain and spinal cord injuries among hockey players have been increasing over the past 15 years. These injuries are often the result of aggressive body-checking. In players between the ages of 9 and16, brain injuries account for 15 percent of all injuries.

On the other hand, some people believe that the solution isn't to change the rules. Instead, they believe that teaching young players the proper way to perform a body-check is key.

Regardless of the rules, players of all ages can stay safer while playing the sport by investing in properly-fitting new or used hockey equipment.
 

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