This study presents a new approach for automated identification of ice hockey skating strides and a method to detect ice contact and swing phases of individual strides by quantifying vibrations in 3D acceleration data during the blade–ice interaction. The strides of a 30-m forward sprinting task, performed by 6 ice hockey players, were evaluated using a 3D accelerometer fixed to a hockey skate. Synchronized plantar pressure data were recorded as reference data. To determine the accuracy of the new method on a range of forward stride patterns for temporal skating events, estimated contact times and stride times for a sequence of 5 consecutive strides was validated. Bland-Altman limits of agreement (95%) between accelerometer and plantar pressure derived data were less than 0.019 s. Mean differences between the 2 capture methods were shown to be less than 1 ms for contact and stride time. These results demonstrate the validity of the novel approach to determine strides, ice contact, and swing phases during ice hockey skating. This technology is accurate, simple, effective, and allows for in-field ice hockey testing.
Bernd J. Stetter, Erica Buckeridge, Vinzenz von Tscharner, Sandro R. Nigg, and Benno M. Nigg are with the Human Performance Laboratory, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Canada. Bernd Stetter is also with the Institute of Sports and Sports Science, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany.