Rule 3.6 – Protective Equipment

Rule 3.6 – Protective Equipment

  1. All protective equipment except gloves, head gear or goaltender’s leg pads, must be worn entirely under the uniform.

  2. While on the ice, including pre-game warm-ups, all players, including goaltenders, will wear a CSA-certified hockey helmet, to which a CSA-certified facial protector must be securely attached and not altered in any way. Any alteration to a CSA-certified helmet or facial protector automatically destroys the certification.

    The chin straps of the helmet will be securely fastened under the chin. The straps of the facial protector, when designed to allow such straps, will also be securely fastened to the hockey helmet.

    For violations during pre-game warm-ups, the Referee will report the infraction on the Official Game Report to the appropriate Member or league.

  3. The wearing of a BNQ-certified throat protector is required for players registered in minor and female hockey.

    Goaltenders who wear an attachment to the mask or helmet designed to protect the throat, must still wear a BNQ-certified throat protector.

  4. If the helmet, facial protector, or throat protector of a player comes off while play is in progress, the player will replace the piece of equipment (properly fastened) or will proceed to the Players’ Bench for a substitution. If the player participates in play in any manner without that piece of equipment, play must be stopped immediately and the player penalized under Rule 10.6 (a) – Illegal Equipment.

    Note 1: In the case of a player whose neck guard has come off, officials should make every effort to alert the player to this fact and direct them off the ice. If the player does not comply, then they must be penalized.

    When a goaltender loses their helmet, facial protector, blocker or trapper, play will be stopped immediately, unless there is an imminent scoring chance that does not pose a safety risk to the goaltender. If the goaltender deliberately removes their protective equipment to gain a stoppage of play, they will be penalized under Rule 10.1 (a) – Delay of Game.

    Note 2: Players may remove their helmets for the national anthem(s) without fear of penalty.

  5. It is mandatory that players purchasing new facial protectors follow these guidelines: 





    Full Facial Protector

    Intended for use by a person of any age who is not a goalkeeper

    B1 or 1


    Intended for use by a person 10 years old or younger who is not a goaltender

    B2 or 2


    Head and face protector intended for   a goalkeeper of any age

    D1 or 3


    Eye Protectors (Visors)

    A partial face protector (e.g. visor) that shields only the eyes, intended for  use by a person 18 years old or older

    C or 4


    Note 1: Types B1, B2, 2, D1, D2 and 3 differ from Types A, B and C only in the penetration requirements in Clause 4.3.3 of the CSA standard.

    Note 2: The wearing of a CSA-certified full facial protector or visor for players registered with Senior (recommended but optional for male adult recreational hockey) and Major Junior hockey teams will be compulsory. In all other categories and divisions of hockey including Junior A and female hockey, the wearing of a CSA-certified full facial protector will be compulsory.

    Note 3: Goaltenders in all divisions of hockey will be required to wear a CSA-certified hockey helmet to which a CSA certified facial protector has been securely attached and not altered in any way.

    Note 4: All players while on the Players’ Bench and/or Penalty Bench must wear their certified helmet and facial protector securely attached. Any goaltender on the bench, as a minimum, is required to properly wear the same protective head equipment as the players. For a violation of this section of the rule, a warning will be issued to the team. The second and subsequent violations by the same team will result in a Minor penalty being assessed against the offending team.

    Note 5: Hockey Canada requires all players and goaltenders to wear helmets that are CSA-certified from the manufacturer. It is the responsibility for the equipment user to ensure that throughout the life of the helmet, the CSA certification is maintained. Hockey Canada advises that prior to applying anything to the helmet, including stickers, that they refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and, if applicable, the manufacturer to confirm the type of adhesive they are applying will not jeopardize CSA certification and/or the manufacturer’s warranty. It is the sole responsibility for the equipment user to ensure they are not applying adhesives or other materials that may affect the integrity of the helmet and ultimately void the CSA certification and/or manufacturer’s warranty. Officials are NOT to make any decision with regards to the application of stickers on helmets and its effect on CSA certification.

    Note 6: For divisions of hockey that allow the wearing of the half visor, the wearing of a mouth guard is compulsory (recommended but optional for Senior hockey). When a player fails to properly wear a mouth guard at any time on the ice during the game, their team shall receive one warning. Any player on that team who commits a subsequent infraction will receive a Misconduct penalty. Referees are encouraged to deliver this warning directly to the Coach.

  6. If a player is wearing a helmet, facial protector, mouth guard or throat protector improperly, or wearing an uncertified piece of equipment, the Referee will penalize the offending player under Rule 10.6 – Illegal Equipment.

    Note 1: The Referee is empowered to make the call without their attention being drawn by an opposing player or team official.

  7. Any violation of this rule will be penalized as per Rule 10.6 – Illegal Equipment.


Interpretation 1

Rule 3.6 (a) 

With regard to gloves: This rule is intended is to prohibit the use of gloves where the palm has been intentionally removed or cut out to permit the use of bare hands. Where the palms have small holes, as the result of normal wear and tear, such gloves are permissible. However, if the Referee’s opinion is that the holes are of such a size that the player can use their bare hands to hold an opponent or otherwise gain a competitive advantage, then the gloves will not be permitted. 

Interpretation 2

Rule 3.6 (b)(c)(e)(f)(g) 

All of the guidelines within this rule that apply to helmets, facial protectors and throat protectors will also apply to mouth guards, should a Member have made mouth guards mandatory at a specific division of play. Otherwise, mouth guards are not currently mandatory under the rules.  

Interpretation 3

Rule 3.6 (b)

It is acceptable for a player while on the Players’ Bench to raise their mask to take a drink or to remove their helmet to clean the visor or for repairs. It must be replaced properly as soon as possible.

Where rinks have a glassed-in Penalty Bench, it is acceptable for players to remove their helmets and/or masks. 

Interpretation 4

Rule 3.6 (f) 

Where a Captain requests the Referee to check or certify the validity of a helmet, facial protector or throat protector worn by an opposing player and the equipment in question is found to be certified, no penalty will be assessed to the complaining team. The checking or verification of a helmet, facial protector or throat protector is not classified as a measurement.