Eye injuries are costly to hockey teams
Wednesday, November 27 2013 | 00 h 00 min | News
Missed games associated with eye injuries sustained by hockey players cost franchises in the National Hockey League (NHL) more than $32 million from 2002 to 2013, according to a study presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).
The researchers identified 149 eye injuries in that time frame. The majority of them were caused by being hit by the puck (37%) or struck by a high stick (28%). Only 18% were caused by fights.
Players who do not wear a visor are 4.23 times more likely to sustain eye injury. By measuring penalty minutes, hits and fights, the study was also able to show that the most aggressive players are most averse to wearing a visor.
“Although it may seem like common sense to wear visors, until now there was little evidence that they could decrease injuries or could save the league money,” said lead researcher Jonathan Micieli, of the University of Toronto. “Quantifying these factors can make a big difference in the NHL’s policy discussions.”
Since June 2013, players new to the game must wear a visor. Those who had played over 26 games in the NHL at the time the rule was introduced can, however, decide whether or not they will wear one. About 73% of players wore visors during the 2012-2013 season.