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Feb 18, 2016

Should the hockey body-checking age be raised to protect young heads and spines?

A recent CBC article discussed the findings of a recent survey of hockey fans and parents who were said to support raising the age when body checking is allowed in hockey, which would significantly reduce the number of head and spinal cord injuries in young players.

The Rick Hansen Institute, a not-for-profit organization committed to finding and improving best practices treatments for people with spinal cord injuries, commissioned the survey of over 2000 adults who have children who play hockey or who are hockey fans.

In some places in Canada, body checking in hockey is allowed at age 11. 88 per cent of survey respondents would support it being totally outlawed for children aged 11 and 12.

Also, 80 per cent of those polled thought that playing hockey was good for children, but 87 per cent felt that the sport carries "significant risk" of brain, head and neck injuries.

"The safety rules, supported by a strong majority of Canadians to reduce head, neck and spine trauma for the youngest athletes, will not affect the game of hockey, nor the enjoyment of the game for young players," said Bill Barrable, CEO of the Rick Hansen Institute, in a release.

Read the article for more information.


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