Friday, April 24, 2015

Spring Reading 2015 Safety Stars: Players Who Fought to Make the Hard-Hitting Game of Professional Hockey Safer


I've only been to one hockey game, so I am not an expert on the sport, but I think this book was a well-written account of how safety has been improved over the years. The information is presented in chronological order, but uses the stories of key players to illustrate when and why each improvement was made. Most people think of hockey as a very rough, macho sport and it seems that perception is what made the teams reluctant to use protective gear. But as advances were made in the materials and design of safety gear, and as more was learned about the long-term effects of injuries such as concussions (Traumatic Brain Injuries), changes did slowly take place.

The players' injuries that were discussed were everything from a broken thumb, to losing sight in an eye, to heart problems. Each time someone very popular with fans and teammates suffered from one of these problems, it gave the necessary push to move the safety gear and regulations forward, including the formation of the Department of Player Safety. Reading about how hard these players trained and worked to get back in the game after each setback, you can really appreciate their dedication. The sheer number of stitches, bruises, and broken bones would scare most people away from the ice.

For readers who enjoy sports stories and sports information, this book combines the two by using real-life happenings to showcase the dangers of the sport and how they have been addressed. This is interesting and easy to read nonfiction, not just a dry account of league rules and equipment specifications.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

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