5 March, 2018
Let's talk about Mouthguards
Back in the Summer of 2016 during a gold medal field hockey match at Nationals between team Ontario West and team British Columbia (Island team). With about 8 min left in the game, Shannon Mcroy of Ontario staggered aimlessly towards the ground. The stick of Sarah Moour, a young prospect on team BC that has high potential of playing NCAA struck Mcroy with brute force while trying to get a shot off. Blood started to pool in her hands and on the turf a deep rich crimson red that I had never seen before. It was dark and thick. Trainers from all over came at lightning speed to attend to Mcroy. All us at the bench thought she got a stick too the face and needed stitches, a common injury within the field hockey world. But the outcome turned out to be much worse. She had a broken nose, needed a couple stitches on her face, but what was the worst part? With all the power Moour had put into her backswing and follow through, the impact had knocked out 4 teeth in total. And Mcroy was not able to return till next year.
Mouthguards are currently mandatory within the sport of field hockey. But we are seeing athletes not participate in this rule, so why are refs not being harder on these players and enforcing it more? With the ball being made a 3 inches of thick plastic, and the stick made of carbon, fiberglass and Kevlar. This should not be a debate on whether the athlete chooses to wear one or not. Even with rules in place to protect the athlete accidents happen and that's why we have equipment to ensure an athletes safety in places that need it most. Field hockey is more dangerous than most other sports like soccer or basketball. With a hard stick and ball the injuries are inevitable. A way to reduce the amount of injuries that occur has to start with the refs doing their job.
Would wearing a Mouthguard prevent Mcroy’s injury? Yes. All the blame cannot be on the refs, players choose whether they wear one or not. A spectator of the sport doesn’t necessarily know how fast the ball is really hit and how fast the stick is coming through. It is...