Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Dr. Jim Dickey


Ice hockey goaltenders have the highest percentage of cam-type femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). The exact cause of these injuries in goaltenders remains unknown; however, it has been suggested that common goaltender movements and a goaltender’s underlying hip pathology may be contributing factors. The butterfly save technique, commonly used by goaltenders, has been linked to FAI. Simply stopping these movements would likely be detrimental to goaltender performance. Therefore, changing other aspects of goaltending, such as altering the goaltender equipment, should be considered. The overall objective of this thesis was to understand how ice hockey goaltender leg pads influence both the safety and performance of goaltenders. This was achieved through three projects: quantifying the effect of varying goal pad styles and modifications on goaltender hip kinematics, quantifying goal pad kinematics with respect to the goaltender’s body, and quantifying interface forces between the goaltender and their equipment to understand the biomechanical interactions. A new kinematic marker set and a novel interface force research protocol were developed in Chapters 2 and 4, respectively. Chapter 2 identified that, on average, 64% of goaltenders exceeded their active internal rotation range of motion limit during butterfly movements. Butterfly hip kinematics were not altered in four different styles of goal pad (Chapter 2). However, in Chapter 2 and 3 performance differences were observed between the four goal pad conditions, suggesting that a flexible-tight goal pad will produce the fastest butterfly drop velocity and butterfly width without statistically altering hip kinematics. In Chapter 4, there were no interface force differences between a stiff-wide and a flexible-tight goal pad condition; however, peak medial ice contact forces averaged 1073.8 N and 1221.8 N, respectively. These ice contact forces combined with compromising hip kinematics may increase a goaltender’s risk of developing FAI. Therefore, understanding the biomechanical interactions between a goaltender’s equipment and their body will help manufacturer’s develop equipment that minimizes hip kinematics and peak contact forces that can cause intra-articular hip injuries in goaltenders.

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Biomechanics Commons