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Getting safety ready for the new hockey season

Published before the pandemic, England Hockey were keen to respond to questions posed by The Hockey Paper’s readers around safety in our sport.

Are concussions on the rise?

The incidence of concussion in elite level hockey is low, estimated to be at 0.2 – 1.5 episodes per 1000 playing hours. This is similar to, if not less than, other comparable contact sports. The rates in hockey are far below those reported in rugby. RFU reported an incidence of 15.8/1000 playing hours in 2015/16. Most concussions in hockey come as a result of a direct collision with another athlete which is an inherent risk in any contact sport; i.e they are not related to stick/ball activity as such.

How do clubs report injuries?

Clubs at all levels can report injuries at englandhockey.co.uk/injurymonitoring, and this is mandatory for all competitions run by England Hockey. We kindly ask all members to please complete the injury monitoring form in as much detail as possible when injuries are sustained. This will allow EH to continue to monitor head and face injuries in the sport and to analyse the data for trends. It is shared with the FIH. This information will empower the England Hockey Board and the FIH to implement changes to the rules when and where the evidence supports it.

Should face masks be introduced in open play?

We adopt the official Rules of Hockey written by the FIH as we have always believed that we should all play the same rules. The current FIH research into head/face injuries has concluded that the drawbacks associated with wearing face masks during general play i.e. a greater risk to players due to the possibility of impaired vision, a danger to their opponents and the so-called “gladiator-effect” whereby players take up positions that are more likely to incur injury due to feeling they are protected, outweigh the risk of injury as a consequence of not wearing a face mask during general play. This is being continually monitored and is a key priority for the FIH Health & Safety Committee.

Read our Safety in Hockey coverage

Am I insured if I’m injured playing hockey?

It depends on whether your club has taken out personal accident cover for its players. This is offered to those clubs that use the EH scheme administered by Howden Group. If your club has not taken out the Howden scheme it would still be possible for them to take out personal accident cover. All schemes are different and provide different levels of cover for different types of injury. All players should be aware of the insurance cover provided by their club and take out their own Personal Accident insurance if required.

What are the rules regarding juniors playing adult hockey?

England Hockey policy is that players must be aged 13 or over to play in adult hockey, i.e. Saturday league hockey. This does not include” badgers” style activity where both teams have a set number of junior and senior players.

Does your club have interesting news or features? Email us!

This originally featured in a previous Hockey Paper edition. Don’t miss out. Subscribe in print or in digital format.

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