In ice hockey, 5200 people are injured every year. Head injuries are particularly serious. More than 60% of head injuries are caused by physical contact. due to physical contact. From the point of view of the BFU and the Swiss Ice Hockey Players Union (SIHPU), there is a need for action. need for action. Their joint initiative focuses on two measures: tougher sanctions and stress-reducing boards.
Every year, 5200 people are injured playing ice hockey. Minor injuries are part and parcel of a dynamic and powerful sport like ice hockey. But about one in four accidents in ice hockey results in a head injury. Among the serious injuries, skull Among serious injuries, skull and brain injuries occur with disproportionate frequency. More than half of all head injuries (60%) are due to physical contact.
Consider tougher sanctions
The BFU and the Swiss Ice Hockey Players Union (SIHPU) have launched a collaboration with the aim of reducing the number of serious accidents. To this end, they have started talks with the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation and the National League. At the same time they want to players more aware of the issue of head injuries.
“Ice hockey has become faster, more physical and more spectacular over the last two decades. As a players’ association, we want to make sure that the health aspect of this does not fall by the especially when it comes to head injuries,” explains Jonas Hiller, a former Swiss Jonas Hiller, former Swiss ice hockey goalie, ex-NHL player and president of the SIHPU, explains the motivation behind the collaboration with the BFU. Raising awareness is extremely important, he says, because mutual respect among the players is part and parcel of the game.
players is just as much a part of the sport as giving and taking fair checks. fair checks.
One focus of the discussions between SIHPU and BFU with the associations is on the penalties for offending players. players. Because although head injuries after physical contact often have severe and Although head injuries after physical contact often have serious and long-lasting consequences, the BFU and SIHPU believe that the penalties are comparatively mild. Long suspensions are rare, and the range of penalties within the category is rarely exhausted, especially in repeat cases.
Use load-reducing boards
Also promising for reducing the number of serious injuries are boards with a load-reducing effect. According to a 2017 BFU study, biomechanical loads can be reduced with newer rink systems – for example, with plastic instead of glass panels. According to this study, the risk of injuries on ice fields with load-reducing boards could be reduced by about 10%. The process initiated at that time to distribute such boards has led to the use of load-reducing boards in National League and Swiss League stadiums.
BFU have been installed in stadiums of the National League and the Swiss League. However, the desired desired accident-preventive thrust has not yet been developed. In the future, it will therefore be necessary to intensify the monitoring and inspection of the stadiums.