NHL Concussion Prevention Rule 48 Prohibits Blindside Hits to the Head

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |
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The National Hockey League issued Rule 48 this season, banning blindside hits to the head to combat the growing number of concussions sustained by professional hockey players during the season, according to an ESPN report.

The league has an average of 75 concussions per season over the past four seasons, about half of which were caused by blindside hits. The NHL first formed the Concussion Working Group in 1997, which began using concussion evaluating programs and neuropsychological testing long before other professional sports, including football, according to the report.

A recent study performed in Ontario, Canada outlines the need for a focus on concussions in fourth-tier hockey teams:

•    21 concussions were observed by physicians or were self-reported during regular season games. A concussion was diagnosed in 36.5 percent of the observed games.
•    The forward position suffered 71 percent of the diagnosed concussions, and 57 percent of the concussions occurred during the third period.
•    24 percent of the concussions occurred in players who were directly involved in a fight.
•    69 percent of the observers' reports documented a hit to the head as the cause of the concussion.

Read the ESPN report on hockey concussions.

Read other coverage on concussions:

- Surgeons, NFL Leaders Discuss Concussion Prevention

- Most Sports-Related Concussions Occur in Head-to-Head Collisions

- Pennsylvania Implements BrainSTEPS Concussion Recovery for Students

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