Informing body checking policy in youth ice hockey in Canada: A discussion meeting with researchers and community stakeholders

Carly D. McKay, Willem H. Meeuwisse, Carolyn A. Emery

Abstract


OBJECTIVES: Body checking is a significant risk factor for injury, including concussion, in youth ice hockey. Recent evidence regarding injury rates in youth leagues prompted USA Hockey to institute a national policy change in 2011 that increased the age of body checking introduction from 11-12 years old (Pee Wee) to 13-14 years old (Bantam). Body checking policy was more controversial in Canada, and research evidence alone was insufficient to drive change. The purpose of this paper is to provide an example of one of the knowledge exchange processes that occurred between researchers and community stakeholders, leading up to a national policy change in 2013.

PARTICIPANTS: There were 28 stakeholder attendees, representing the research community, youth hockey organizations, and child health advocacy groups.

SETTING: A one-day meeting held in Whistler, British Columbia, in April 2013.

INTERVENTION: Researchers and stakeholders presented current perspectives on evidence and policy change, and discussion focused on an a priori set of questions designed to elicit facilitators and barriers to policy change.

OUTCOMES: Three major factors that can drive policy change in the sport safety context were identified: the need for decision-making leadership, the importance of knowledge translation, and the role of sport culture as a barrier to change.

CONCLUSION: There is a critical need for researcher and stakeholder partnership in facilitating ongoing policy discussion and informing evidence-based policy change in sport and recreation injury prevention.


Keywords


Policy; injury; ice hockey; knowledge translation

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17269/cjph.105.4653