Over the past three decades, field hockey (hockey) has changed considerably, with the sport transitioning from being played on grass and shale pitches to water-based artificial pitches. Equally, advancements in equipment, players becoming fitter, faster and stronger, and rule changes, such as the elimination of the offside rule, now mean that hockey is one of the fastest-paced and most intense sports in the world.
With the ball and stick being as hard as they are, it is not surprising that when lifted off the playing surface, even when legally done, this can cause significant injury. A hockey ball weighs 5.75 ounces and a safe estimate for an average shot speed is 70 miles per hour! Yet only a mouth guard is mandatory, and headwear is only permitted to be worn in matches for medical reasons.
Despite hockey’s widespread popularity, few published studies have addressed injury prevention in hockey athletes and investigated injury incidence in particular, brain injury in the sport.
Given recent high-profile cases of concussion and the scrutiny of GB Hockey over its handling of concussions, after claims from the 2016 gold medallist Nicola White that the governing body mishandled her head injury, hockey is now being tasked to have a better understanding of concussion and to address the lack of concussion data, as compared to other sports.
Hockey is an intense, unpredictable sport, played at all skill levels and ages, from amateur recreational to elite professional, and where the risk of brain injury is very real.
The most significant mitigation to reduce brain injury in hockey is reducing the transmission of rotational forces to the brain from concussive and sub-concussive impacts, which is the focus of Rezon. Halos® is uniquely and intentionally designed to lessen the risk of rotational brain injury due to the reduction in the transmission of rotational forces to the brain.