|dc.description.abstract||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.||