Factors influencing visor use among players in the National Hockey League (NHL).Open Access J Sports Med 2014; 5:43-6OA
Eye, orbital, and facial injuries are significant risks to National Hockey League (NHL) players, and can be mitigated by the use of a partial visor - currently optional for all non-rookie players. The goal of the current study was to determine the overall use of visors among non-rookie NHL players in the 2013-2014 season and assess factors influencing their uptake. This was an observational, cross-sectional study using active NHL rosters and demographic information obtained from the official NHL website. Visor use was determined based on in-game video or images at two different time points in the 2013-2014 season. The use of visors during the 2013-2014 season was 75.2% among non-rookie players. When rookies were included, the overall use of visors was 77.8%. Compared to Canadian-born players, European players were significantly more likely to choose to wear a visor (odds ratio [OR] 3.48, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.96-6.17). Players in the younger age-groups, particularly those younger than 24 years (OR 5.67, 95% CI 2.52-5.76) and those between 24 and 28 years (OR 2.18, 95% CI 1.23-3.87), were more likely to wear a visor compared to older players. Overall, visor use continues to grow in the NHL independently of new legislation, and is more likely in younger players and those of European origin.