Hockey without checking?

About 15 percent of injuries to 9 to 16-year-old hockey players are concussions — a direct result of body checking. Today, researchers said in the course of a typical youth-league season, one in four will get a concussion.

Their solution: Limit bodychecking, of course.

“Given that brain injuries are so common and that they can have permanent effects, we need to introduce measures that we know have been shown to work to reduce the numbers of children and youth suffering these injuries in sport,” neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Cusimano said in a release.

The study actually looked at 18 other pieces of research on the subject and found that mandatory rules to “lessen aggression” resulted in between 1.6 and 5 fewer penalties per game and a three-fold decrease in injuries.

But is hockey without checking still hockey?

It is, but it’s just a different game. This recent WCCO story revealed the extent to which the game has changed after last season’s injury to Jack Jablonski.