Hockey Noise

Now that hockey season’s ending, let’s check the damage. To participants’ groins, teeth, ears?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Consider this study on hockey noise done by University of Alberta audiologists Richard Liu and William Hodgetts. To measure the overall noise during three play-off games in Edmonton, Hodgett’s team conducted audiometric tests from a sound booth. Liu and his wife sat in the stands and wore dosimeters to determine their personal noise exposure.

And? Each three-hour game generated thirty-one times the safe noise limit for an entire day! That’s like sitting three feet away from a roaring chainsaw. And that was just during regular play! When a team scored, the place exploded, with the racket hitting one hundred and twenty decibels. That’s like standing next to a running jet engine! Liu and his wife both experienced hearing loss and ringing tinnitus afterwards.

We could warn live hockey fans, but research suggests all they hear is: ‘Bla bla bla hockey! Bla bla bla deafness!’ Well, that’s why we have six months to recover. See you—if not hear you—then. SCORE!