History of previous concussion and sports-specific skills in youth ice hockey players

Paul Eliason, Carly McKay, Willem Meeuwisse, Brent Hagel, Luc Nadeau, Carolyn A. Emery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)
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Concussions can lead to cognitive or neuromotor impairments which may influence skill performance. Few
studies have investigated concussion and sports-specific skill performance, particularly in youth. Therefore, the
purpose of this study was to examine previous concussion and components of the Hockey Canada Skills Test, a
measure of ice hockey-specific skill performance, in youth ice hockey players (ages 11-17). A secondary
purpose was todetermine the test-retest reliability of these components. Players completed a detailed baseline
questionnaire on previous concussion history. On-ice measures included forward agility weave,
forward/backward speed skate, transition agility, and a 6-repeat endurance skate (all measured in seconds).
Multiple linear regression was conducted to examine history of concussion, number of previous concussions,
time since most recent concussion, and severity of most recent concussion on on-ice performance. Test-retest
reliability was assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients and mean differences with Bland-Altman Limits
of Agreement. In total, 596 participants [525 males and 71 females, representing elite (upper 30% by division of
play) and non-elite (lower 70%)] were recruited to examine the primary purpose. History of concussion (yes/no)
and time since most recent concussion was not associated with any component. Players reporting 2 or more
concussions were significantly faster than those with no previous concussion on forward agility weave with the
puck. For every additional day to return to play post-concussion, player times were significantly faster on
forward agility weave with and without the puck, transition agility without the puck, and backward speed with
and without the puck. The intraclass correlation coefficients ranged from 0.50 to 0.92 and the Bland-Altman
Limits of Agreement varied by component. These findings indicate players with and without history of
concussion have similar on-ice scores, and that the components of the Hockey Canada Skills Test are a reliable
measure of on-ice performance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number292
Pages (from-to)2174 – 2181
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Education and Sport
Issue number3
Early online date31 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2020


  • Adolescent
  • Concussion
  • Ice hockey
  • Reliability
  • Sports-specific testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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