Hockey is played in 132 countries and is the second most played team sport after soccer. It is estimated that 15% of hockey players are injured during a single season, and that injuries cause players to spend 11% of the total hockey season training and playing at less than full capacity.
Who is Injured?
Players aged 10 to 19 years accounted for 50% of injuries, mostly in the 15-19 year age group. Of all presentations, 5% are admitted to hospital for further treatment.
Types of Injuries
Most serious hockey injuries result from being struck by the stick or the ball. The most common injuries presenting to hospitals are open wounds, fractures, sprains and strains and bruising and lacerations. Injuries presenting to hospital are predominantly to the upper limb (mostly injuries to the hand and forearm), face and lower limb (mostly ankle, foot and knee injuries).
Injuries to the head and eyes (mostly struck by stick or ball) are infrequent, but tend to be comparatively severe, with a higher than average rate of admission to hospital.
Dental injuries are also infrequent, although the damage may be severe and is mostly irreversible. Overuse injuries to the ankles and lower back are common.