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A Mandated Change in Goalie Pad Width Has No Effect on Ice Hockey Goaltender Hip Kinematics

Wijdicks, Coen A. PhD*; Philippon, Marc J. MD*,†; Civitarese, David M. BA*; LaPrade, Robert F. MD, PhD*,†

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: September 2014 - Volume 24 - Issue 5 - p 403–408
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000048
Original Research
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Objective: To determine hip kinematics and ground impact forces of the butterfly movement in ice hockey goaltenders for the pre-2005/06 season pads (30.5 cm) versus the current regulation width pads (27.9 cm).

Design: Prospective laboratory controlled study.

Setting: Research Institute BioMotion Laboratory.

Participants: Ten male ice hockey goaltenders at the Midget AA level or higher.

Assessment of Risk FactorsThe participants performed butterfly motions wearing 3 different types of leg pads in a randomized order: own 27.9 cm, standard 27.9 cm, and standard 30.5 cm. In addition, this study investigated hip kinematics and ground impact forces in the pre-2005/06 season pads versus the current regulation width pads.

Main Outcome Measures: Kinematics and kinetics were calculated using motion analysis software.

Results: The knee ground reaction force upon landing was 1.45 ± 0.43 times the body weight. Hip internal rotation was reduced when goaltenders wore their own, previously “broken-in,” set of pads as compared with the set of standard, new 27.9-cm pads (17.5 ± 4.8 vs 20.1 ± 4.8 degrees, respectively; P = 0.032). The recent mandated change in goalie pad from 30.5- to 27.9-cm width had no significant effect on hip kinematics. However, previously worn versus new pads did have an effect on hip kinematics.

Conclusions: The butterfly movement placed ice hockey goaltenders' hips at their passive limits of hip internal rotation and involved knee forces 1.45 times the body weight. The recent mandated change in goalie pad from 30.5- to 27.9-cm width had no significant effect on hip kinematics. However, previously worn versus new pads did have an effect on hip kinematics.

*Steadman Philippon Research Institute, Vail, Colorado; and

The Steadman Clinic, Vail, Colorado.

Corresponding Author: Robert F. LaPrade, MD, PhD, Complex Knee and Sports Medicine Surgery, The Steadman Clinic, 181 W. Meadow Dr, Ste. 400, Vail, CO 81657 (drlaprade@sprivail.org).

Supported in part by a grant from the Hockey Equipment Certification Council.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

This study was performed at the Department of BioMedical Engineering Department at the Steadman Philippon Research Institute.

Received April 08, 2013

Accepted September 17, 2013

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins