Biomechanical characteristics of development age hockey players : determining the confounding effects of body size on the assessment of skating technique
Master of Science
SubjectHockey ability testing
Biomechanical characteristics of minor hockey players
Skating technique assessment
MetadataShow full item record
Skating ability, and more specifically the ability to accelerate from a stationary position or change direction rapidly, is recognized as one of the most important skills in ice hockey. While coaches may use drills to compare skating performance between individuals, especially during player selection, few studies have identified the essential kinematic variables that contribute to the ability of development age hockey players to accelerate over a specified distance. Previous research reported that the determination of performance and ultimately skating power can be related to specific biomechanical parameters, especially among developing hockey players. Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest considering the potential confounding effects of height and weight in such biomechanical evaluations. Considering the range of variability for the height and weight of ten-year old children, it may be appropriate to include these as predictors of skating performance. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the biomechanical characteristics of minor hockey players while performing an on-ice acceleration skill test. In addition, the study evaluated the contribution of height and weight on the assessment of skating technique. Participants were 30 male development age hockey players categorized by level of play. The results of the evaluation were consistent with current coaching literature. Correlation analyses identified the kinematic variables related to time to skate six metres. A regression analysis identified the set of variables that best predicted time to skate six metres. The parameters identified in the predictive equation were directly related to the amount of horizontal impulse ^plied into the ice surface and included the following six parameters: knee angle at push-off 1, 2; knee angle at touch down 1; take-off angle at push-off 1,2, 3; hip abduction angle at push-off 5; the range of motion of the forward lean angle 2; and player weight. Overall, the development age hockey players in this study were very similar to their elite adult counterparts in skating patterns with respect to stride characteristics. The differences that were observed were attributed to the differences in size and strength. Comparing structural models across studies further suggests the importance of body size on skating performance.