Optimizing hockey equipment to enhance comfort and performance

The fit and design of sporting equipment influences an athlete’s comfort, performance, and risk of injury. However, individual differences in an athlete’s body morphology can affect how well a piece of sporting equipment satisfies the athlete’s needs. Further, in sports such as hockey that require athletes to execute a diverse set of movements, it can be challenging to optimize equipment design to serve such a variety of functions. In collaboration with CCM Hockey, we plan to optimize skate fit by developing algorithms that utilize an individual’s foot shape.

Understanding helmet design and performance based on size, fit, and component analysis

The main concern for helmet performance is the reduction of skull and brain injury risk during impact events. Combinations of shell materials, foams, and three-dimensional engineered structures are used to design hockey helmets. Using current helmet evaluation techniques, the contributions of each of these components cannot be directly assessed. In the proposed work, high-speed X-ray imaging will be used to obtain full-field, time-resolved internal monitoring and measurement of helmet component deformation and interaction with a head surrogate (headform).

Mobility and Protection of Goaltender Upper Body Personal Protective Equipment

Upper body injuries make up 32% of the injuries that ice hockey goaltenders have in a season. These values may be subject to change, as the National Hockey League is investigating rule changes that will decrease the size of the goaltender’s chest and arm equipment. The primary objective of this research is to investigate the mobility and safety of a chest and arm protector that meets the new NHL requirements by comparing goaltender shoulder/elbow mobility and protection against a CCM and a leading competitor’s chest and arm protector.