Impact characteristics of different ice hockey arena dasher boards during simulated body checks

Incidence and severity of ice hockey related concussions have increased during recent years (Biasca et al., 2002). Modifying and developing the playing environment may serve to reduce concussion rate by influencing impact characteristics during body checks. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine how ice hockey dasher board materials and structures affect impact characteristics and thereby concussion risk. Methods: Measurements were divided into two parts; in the first part, the physiological characteristics of body checks were determined in real game measurements (five games of the Finnish National Hockey League and two playoff games of the second highest ice hockey league in Finland) and the second part consisted of simulation of body checks in the laboratory. Four different commercially available dasher boards were tested in body check simulations. High speed cameras and accelerometers were used to collect data and peak forces, stopping distances and stiffness values were subsequently defined. Results: Dasher board materials and structures had a major effect on impact characteristics. Flexible protective shielding material (Acryl) resulted in 17 % and 16 % lower peak forces, 110 % and 136 % greater stopping distances and 62 % and 56 % lower stiffness values in the straight and the corner parts of the dasher board, respectively, compared to the reference dasher board (tempered glass). However, the dasher board with flexible protective shielding material including shielding supporting posts yielded inconsistent results, so this kind of dasher board cannot be classified as safe. The single-framed dasher board was found to be 29 % and 11 % more flexible than its dual-framed counterpart, and heavier protective shielding resulted in 33% and 19 % higher element stiffness in the straight and the corner parts of the dasher board, respectively. Discussion: In light of the results and the epidemiology of concussions, it seems that the most safe dasher board would be single-framed with light and flexible protective shielding material, and would not include shielding supporting posts.
© Copyright 2012 17th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science (ECSS), Bruges, 4. -7. July 2012. Published by Vrije Universiteit Brussel. All rights reserved.

Subjects: icehockey sports facility material injury damage analysis load
Notations: biological and medical sciences sport games technical and natural sciences
Tagging: Dämpfung
Published in: 17th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science (ECSS), Bruges, 4. -7. July 2012
Editors: R. Meeusen, J. Duchateau, B. Roelands, M. Klass, B. De Geus, S. Baudry, E. Tsolakidis
Published: Brügge Vrije Universiteit Brussel 2012
Pages: 242
Document types: congress proceedings
Language: English
Level: advanced