Hockey players wear more protective equipment than any other sport. A study has shown that ice hockey injuries ranked after both basketball and soccer in emergency room visits related to sport and recreational activities. Youth hockey is a different game than the NHL. While hockey will always be a physical game that has body contact, there are a different set of rules in place, and youth hockey places a stronger emphasis on sportsmanship and friendly competition.
Body checking is not allowed prior to the Bantam level (age 13-14) and fighting is never allowed. Older players who are allowed to body check receive a free baseline concussion test at the beginning of the season, just like basketball and football players.