Time to Ring in Opportunities for Prevention

Research confirms higher rates of head contact, body checking, and suspected Injuries in Ringette than female ice hockey

Ringette and female ice hockey are two very popular sports with high participation in Canada.  Although safety policies are in place that disallow body checking, both sports have high injury and concussion rates.

In a new study co-authored by CHRIM researcher, Kelly Russell, PhD, it was found that body checking and head contact rates were higher in ringette compared to hockey, despite the policies disallowing both, and that very few penalties were given in either sport.

The study included eighteen Canadian female university ringette and ice hockey tournament/playoff games in the 2018-2019/2019-2020 seasons and used analysis from game video recordings using Dartfish video-analysis software to compare both sports.

Of the 36 team games analyzed, there was a 19% lower rate of physical contact in ringette than in ice hockey but a 98% higher rate of body checking. Further to that, ringette had a 40% higher rate of all head contact and a 3-fold higher rate of suspected injury when compared to ice hockey.

The proportion of penalized body checks and head contacts was low across both sports.

These findings will be used to inform future injury prevention research in ringette and female ice hockey.