Hockey is such a dynamic sport that almost all skills require good vision. Due to the quick nature of the sport and quick changes from offense to defense, all players need good visual skills to succeed. KidSight screenings can help detect vision issues that may effect your player’s game. Here are some of the things we can screen for and how they effect your child’s success in the sport of hockey:
- Visual Acuity: Good visual acuity is essential for playing hockey. A child with a poor visual acuity may have trouble seeing the puck at the other end of the rink (nearsightedness) or they may have trouble seeing the puck as they guide it down the ice (farsightedness).
- Peripheral Vision: Peripheral vision is key in helping a player know where the boards, players, puck and goal are at all times. Goalies benefit from good peripheral vision when defending the goal from multiple opponents.
- Depth Perception: Depth perception is essential for players who constantly need to monitor their reaction times. Depth perception is also needed to judge the speed of passes to and from fellow players. KidSight’s mission of preventing amblyopia (“lazy eye”) is crucial in protecting depth perception. If a child develops amblyopia and it goes untreated, they will lose vision in one eye which often results in the loss of depth perception.
- Color Perception: Color perception is useful in recognizing fellow players while skating down the ice. KidSight screeners carry a kit to test for color perception and can test a child, when needed.
- Central/Peripheral Awareness: Offensive players use central vision for shots on goal and peripheral vision for awareness of his teammates’ position. Goalies and defensive players use central vision to block shots and peripheral vision while maintaining awareness of the entire opposing team.
KidSight provides free vision screenings at preschools, day care centers, elementary schools, Head Starts and at public events. To find an upcoming KidSight screening in your area, visit our calendar. The Missouri Optometric Association recommends that children receive an eye exam at 12 months, 3 years and before starting grade school. Regular eye exams can help make sure your child has the visual tools they need to succeed in the classroom and on the ice. Use our eye doctor search tool to find a “kid-friendly” provider in your area.
Let’s Go Blues!
Source: American Optometric Association, Visual Demands in Hockey