Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Undergraduate

Department

Communication and Media Studies

First Advisor

Dennis Gilbert, MFA

Second Advisor

Daniel Panici, PhD

Third Advisor

Rebecca Nisetich, PhD

Keywords

concussion rates, contact sports, body contact alternatives, body checking, women's ice hockey

Abstract

Women’s college ice hockey, according to a study released by the NCAA in 2014, has the highest rate of self-reported concussions of any collegiate sport, men’s or women’s. This is shocking, considering the fact that body checking is illegal in women's ice hockey. Why are these rates so high when there isn't body checking? This investigative research project aims to realize a novel approach at reducing concussion rates in women’s ice hockey by doing the unexpected: Allowing body checking. If body checking were allowed, this would reduce the rate of concussions if it were to be implemented and taught under proper standards and techniques. With the increasing concern for concussions in high school hockey, and the current rules and precautions in place, there is focus on girls’ high school ice hockey in Maine. Maine is the optimal place to introduce body checking into girls’ ice hockey. Researching this topic goes into uncharted depths in the body checking debate, as there is very little information that supports my these ideas, and lots of information that immediately refutes them. The research being pursued will hopefully support the notion to allow body checking in girls’ high school ice hockey, as opposed to continually disallowing it. Research participants are athletic trainers, coaches, athletic directors, and referees around the state of Maine who have worked with high school ice hockey players. This research project serves as a foundation for future research and implementation of body checking in women's ice hockey, and contains several analyses pertaining to my research within the topic.

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