A number one concussion and mind injury skilled from Toronto Western Hospital is strongly advocating for physique checking to be launched at age 18, as a substitute of 13 as at present mandated beneath Hockey Canada’s jurisdiction.
Charles Tator, a neurosurgeon who has been named to the Order of Canada and Canada’s Sports activities Corridor of Fame, authored a brand new examine within the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences which concluded that an awesome quantity of contact-related concussions may very well be prevented by transferring the age of physique checking as much as 18 years outdated.
“Youth hockey leagues ought to elevate the age of permissible bodychecking to 18 from the present age of 13-14,” Tator wrote.
“We present the potential to forestall 85 p.c of bodycheck-caused concussions by elevating the permissible bodychecking age from its present age of 13-14 to 18 years of age. There may be additionally the potential to eradicate years of affected by bodycheck-induced PCS.”
Tator has studied the results of injury prevention in sports activities for many years, and has been notably lauded for his work on spinal cord accidents. He addressed the notion of bodychecking being important for the event of junior gamers who’re severely pursuing knowledgeable profession in hockey.
“Delay gamers going to the Canadian Hockey League for 2 years till they’re 18 then,” Tator mentioned to TSN’s Rick Westhead on Wednesday. “It’s a small value to pay. How a lot is one mind price?”
Hockey Canada raised the minimal age of introducing physique checking from 11 to 13 in 2013, which had a drastic impact on decreasing concussions throughout minor and junior hockey. After the entry restrict of age 13 years outdated, it falls upon particular person leagues to set their standards about the right way to administer physique checking, with some leagues banning physique checking from home league solely.
“The brains of 16- and 17-year-old hockey gamers are nonetheless too susceptible,” Tator mentioned to Westhead. “We’re seeing that too many gamers are struggling the results of mind trauma from permitted bodychecking, and in some instances, the signs might be there perpetually.”
This was a degree of rivalry on the AAA stage throughout the nation, however as Tator’s analysis exhibits, there needs to be a proper codification system throughout Canada to scale back the dangers concerned as hockey step by step grows extra aggressive via the youth and junior ranges.