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  • ooh, my goodness.”

  • But in college,

  • In a 2015 NCAA survey, female hockey players reported concussions more often than male

  • football players.

  • And that's consistent with previous surveys showing women's ice hockey on par with men's

  • wrestling, football, and hockey.

  • ohhh!”

  • So, compared to other athletes, why do women playing hockey have such a high rate of concussion?

  • So I was a full-time student at Harvard playing Division 1 hockey for my school team

  • and leaving school for different stints."

  • Pucci flipshot and a score!!"

  • "Josephine Pucci...”

  • “...third goal of the year for Josephine Pucci…”

  • The morning of a couple gold medal games for the world championships, I was submitting

  • papers that had to be submitted for school and then would suit up in the USA jersey that evening."

  • Number 24, Josephine Pucci

  • In 2014, Josephine Pucci won a silver medal at the Sochi winter Olympics,

  • but she almost didn't make it.

  • “ I got my concussion ten months before Olympic tryouts and

  • I remember just, kind of, being on my elbows looking at the bench and...

  • “...I was so close to, you know, hoping to reach my lifelong goal of hopefully competing

  • in the Olympics and then suddenly I was in a position where I wasn't sure if I would

  • be able to attend tryouts because of symptoms.”

  • After overcoming her injury to play Sochi, Pucci returned to school and decided to end

  • her hockey career.

  • “...making that phone call...that I'd be stepping away...was one of the hardest

  • things I'd ever done...but after I called and spoke with them at USA Hockey it just

  • felt so right.”

  • Compared to college sports like basketball or tennis,

  • Ice hockey is faster, played on harder surfaces,

  • And involves more collisions.

  • Which explains part of why players are getting concussions,

  • But answering the other part, “why women?”, is less intuitive

  • because it isn't only hockey.

  • In soccer, basketball,

  • and other comparable men's sports, women have a higher rate of concussion.

  • In fact, all the experts I talked to agreed that

  • What experts can't agree on, is why...

  • Females athletes are more knowledgeable about signs and symptoms..”

  • for me, neck strength is a big component…”

  • "where a woman is in her period,"

  • "of course the style, level of play"

  • "X differences between the structures of these nerve fibers"

  • But there are some common factors researchers

  • point to: “a lot of people forget that this"

  • is also based upon reporting.

  • Zachary Kerr authored the 2015 NCAA survey and now researches concussions at the University

  • of North Carolina.

  • So, it may not be the fact that men are sustaining less concussions than women.

  • Maybe women may have a better knowledge of concussions. Perhaps we as men are more

  • stubborn with our healthcare. Women are more likely to disclose issues in general and we

  • are just seeing that transferred over to the topic of concussions.

  • Besides a willingness to report, social bias can still be a factor.

  • It's not just about the individual.

  • It's also about his or her interpersonal relationships with teammates, with their parents,

  • with the coaches.

  • So, for men, the cultural, social gender roles are that we can be aggressive,

  • But, for women, there's always that stereotype of them having to follow that rule of being

  • sugar, spice and everything nice.

  • “A lot of times that's said in a sort of negative connotation type of way, as if women are

  • weaker for reporting symptoms and that's something that I just really disagree with and

  • I feel like, if women are in fact reporting symptoms at a higher rate than men then they

  • should be applauded for that.

  • You don't show how tough you are by playing through concussion symptoms.”

  • Another factor is style of play. Because unlike the men's game, which allows checking, it

  • isn't legal in women's hockey.

  • When they're children, girls and boys play by the same rules,

  • but when they turn into teenagers, boys are allowed to start checking.

  • There's even a manual for it.

  • That's the biggest difference between men and women, is the checking,

  • But, when I played boys hockey, I played checking and I don't think I ever had a concussion

  • playing boys hockey.

  • By college, men learn to be on the lookout, which doesn't mean female players avoid

  • contact, but they might focus on speed and skill

  • instead of anticipating being hit on the ice.

  • "Every time I had the puck, I was ready to brace myself for a hit.

  • You were forced to keep your head on a swivel.

  • Whereas with the women, you're not supposed to be getting hit."

  • "I don't know if it necessarily falls on not being

  • 'taught' the right way, but I think part of it is definitely not being instilled with this idea of constantly

  • being prepared for body contact.”

  • "Beyond sociocultural factors, researchers are asking whether the explanation could be biological.

  • There's also the physiological aspects that need to be explored."

  • Things such as: neck strength, hormones,

  • the neurostructural aspects as well.

  • So far, scientific answers aren't conclusive, but that shouldn't prevent change in the

  • meantime.

  • "We can make changes now, until the science catches up

  • in regards to what factors are really contributing

  • to the vulnerabilities of, you know, getting head injuries.”

  • In the NFL, advanced research,

  • Rule changes,

  • Hitting a runner in the helmet area

  • And injury protocols

  • “...undoubtedly going through concussion protocol…”

  • Only became possible once the league acknowledged data linking football to brain injuries.

  • For female hockey players in college, there's a similar need for change.

  • “A lot of times I get the question, 'would you let your kids play ice hockey' and my

  • answer may beat around the bush to a certain extent but it's usually: Well, I hope by

  • the time I have kids that we'll know more.”

  • That's the end of this video, but

  • there's a lot more I wish I could have covered here,

  • so I'm gonna leave some links below, where you can find more information about the research that's being done,

  • as well as resources for anyone that's interested in the topic.

  • Thanks for watching.

ooh, my goodness.”

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Why women’s ice hockey has a higher concussion rate than football

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    joey joey posted on 2021/05/18
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