Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Why isn’t there more protective equipment in world hockey?

Ruling out the backhand in mid-level and junior hockey may not be the way to make it safer, says our columnist

Safety must, of course, be paramount in our sport, especially when considering junior players. Accidents will happen in sport as in life and some with truly tragic consequences, the impact of which must never be underestimated.

Is banning the use of the reverse stick the right response?

At the highest level, the tomahawk creates an exciting element of the game, and the players are of a quality where they have control over the skill and indeed the defenders are aware of what is happening and position themselves accordingly. 

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  1. After reading the previous article on restricting the reverse hit at junior level I had similar thoughts on the development of players and the increased level of player protection. It is not only a reverse hit that can cause the ball to rise dangerously and catch players unaware. So increasing the level of protection may be the answer. There are already examples of protective head wear in both Shinty and Hurling where the ball is more regularly hit high in all areas of the pitch.

  2. Please don’t talk about adding more protective equipment. Hockey is so expensive already – surely we should be looking at how to reduce the danger not how to spend more to cover up against it. Where will this stop? Do outfield players need helmets? We work with state school kids – and we don’t want more expense. How can we increase participation by making it more expensive?


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