Canadian researchers have found that when hockey players as young as nine years old were allowed to body check, more injuries occurred than when body checking was only allowed in older divisions. During the 1998-1999 season, Hockey Canada permitted body checking in the Atom Division (the rule has since been reversed). The result, according to a study published in Open Medicine, was an increase in the risk of a body checking injury, with the most common being to the shoulder, arm, head and neck. Lead investigator Dr. Michael Cusimano says: “In Canada, hockey is a sport with great potential to increase the health of individuals; however, it is clear that the risks of body checking far outweigh any potential benefits.”
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