Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Monica McAlister on 06/12/14 at 07:02 AM ET
This week, at the USA Hockey's Annual Congress in Colorado Springs, Colo., the NCAA and USA Hockey announced that they both officially support and endorse the Look-Up Line – a warning track colored in safety orange that extends 40 inches in width around the circumference of a rink – to be painted on the ice surface in an effort to promote player safety.
Back in April The New York Times featured the Look-Up Line where they talked with Dr. Michael Cusimano (a neurosurgeon whom heads the St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto's trama center). Dr. Cusimano said every year there are 6 - 7 paralyzing spinal cord injuries in hockey reported across Canada. This past season in the U.S. both Matt Sorisho from Detroit Catholic Central (Novi, Michigan) and Michael Nichols of Monroe Township, New Jersey sustained paralyzing hockey injuries.
The board passed a policy statement that allows use of the Look-Up Line line and encourages rinks that utilize the mark to report pertinent observations to the USA Hockey Look-Up Line Safety Task Force.
“There was terrific collaboration on the topic of safety,” said Dr. Michael Stuart, chief medical officer of USA Hockey. “We continue to make progress on all fronts and that is extremely pleasing to see.”
Thomas Smith, founder of the Look-Up Line and co-founder of the Thomas E. Smith Foundation, suffered two spinal cord injuries playing hockey and came up with the idea for a warning track in an effort to prevent others from suffering like him.
The endorsement occurred 13 months after the line was first implemented by The Pingree School in Hamilton, Mass. and just five months after it made its national debut on the ice at Frozen Fenway.
In addition to the support and endorsement of the Look-Up Line, the NCAA and USA Hockey have assembled the Look-Up Line Safety Task Force. This carefully selected task force will be co-chaired by Thomas E. Smith and the highly respected Dr. Mike Stuart.The committee will also consist of members:
• Dr. Alan Ashare, MD (USA Hockey)
• Dr. Carolyn Emery, MD (University of Calgary)
• Joe Bertagna (NCAA Hockey East Commissioner)
• John Gustafson (Vice President Sharks Sports)
• Don Moffatt (Star Rinks)
Click here for more information about the Look-Up Line and how to have one installed in your rink.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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