Rule 3.6 – Protective Equipment
Rule 3.6 – Protective Equipment
All protective equipment except gloves, head gear or goaltender’s leg pads, must be worn entirely under the uniform. Leather elbow patches on the outside of the sweater and palmless gloves are prohibited. After one warning by the Referee, a Minor penalty for Illegal Equipment shall be imposed on the offending player for any subsequent violation of this rule.
While on the ice, including pre-game warm-ups, all players, including goaltenders, shall 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 shall be securely fastened under the chin. The straps of the facial protector, when designed to allow such straps, shall also be securely fastened to the hockey helmet.
For violations during pre-game warm-ups, the Referee shall report the infraction on the Official Game Report to the President.
It is mandatory that players purchasing new facial protectors follow these guidelines:
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. Players shall remove their helmet during the playing of the national anthem(s).
Note 2: The wearing of a CSA-certified facial protector or visor for players registered with Senior (recommended but optional for male adult recreational hockey) and Junior hockey teams shall be compulsory. In all divisions of female hockey, the wearing of a CSA-certified facial protector shall be compulsory.
Note 3: Goaltenders in all divisions of hockey shall 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’ 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 shall 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.
CATEGORY DESCRIPTION TYPE CSA STICKER COLOUR FULL FACE PROTECTOR Intended for use by a person of any age who is not a goalkeeper B1 or 1 White Intended for use by a person 10 years old or younger who is not a goalkeeper B2 or 2 Orange Head and face protector intended for a goalkeeper or any age D1 or 3 Blue 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 Yellow
Should the helmet of a player come off while play is in progress, such player shall replace the helmet (properly fastened) or shall proceed to the players’ bench for a substitution. If such a player participates in the play in any manner without their helmet, the play must be stopped immediately and the player assessed a Minor penalty. The penalty shall be assessed for participating in the play without the proper protective equipment and recorded on the Official Game Report as Ineligible Player.
When a goaltender loses their helmet and/or facial protector, blocker or trapper, play shall be stopped immediately, unless there is an imminent scoring chance. Any such deliberate action by the goaltender shall result in a Minor penalty for Delay of Game. If this deliberate action of removing the helmet or facial protector (by a player or goaltender), blocker or trapper occurs when an opponent is on a breakaway in the neutral or attacking zone, or occurs during the last two minutes of regular playing time, or at any time in overtime, a Penalty Shot shall be awarded to the non-offending team. Any player or players who remove their helmets or undo their chinstraps before or during fights will be assessed a Gross Misconduct penalty.
If a player intentionally removes their helmet or intentionally releases their chinstrap to fight and the opposing player doesn’t, the former will be assessed an additional two-minute penalty in addition to the Gross Misconduct. If the player removes an opponent’s helmet or releases an opponent’s chinstrap before or during a fight, a Gross Misconduct penalty will be assessed.
Where a player wears a helmet and/or facial protector in an offset position during play, the team shall receive one warning and any subsequent infractions by the same team will result in a Misconduct penalty assessed to that player.
If the Referee’s attention is drawn to the possibility that a CSA-certified facial protector or helmet, or a BNQ-approved throat protector may not be certified, or if the Referee observes any violations of the above, and should that piece of equipment in effect turn out not to be certified, the Referee shall assess a Minor penalty and at the same time order the illegal piece of equipment removed from the game.
Note 1: The Referee is empowered to make the call without their attention being drawn by an opposing player or team official, through the Captain.
Note 2: The rule book contains detailed procedures to follow in the case of a player having to serve a penalty for a non-certified helmet or facial protector.
The wearing of a BNQ-certified throat protector is compulsory for players registered in minor and female hockey. When a player fails to wear or properly wear a throat protector at any time on the ice during the game, the team shall receive one warning and any subsequent infractions by the same team will result in a Misconduct. Referees are encouraged to deliver this warning directly to the Coach.
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.
- If a player undoes their chinstrap in order to incite or challenge an opponent, that player shall be assessed a Misconduct under Rule 9.2(e).
- If a player undoes their own chinstrap for any reason, including the intention to challenge or incite an opponent to fight and this player loses their helmet during the fight, that player shall be assessed a Gross Misconduct. No Misconduct would be necessary in this case.
- If neither player removes the helmet or undoes the chin strap prior to the fight, but the helmets come off during the fight, one of three situations are possible:
- If the Referee determines that the helmet(s) came off incidentally during the fight, no penalties under Rule 3.6(c) need to be assessed.
- If a player grabs the opponent helmet or facial protector and uses this to gain an advantage or to inflict punishment or injury, the Referee shall assess a Match penalty under Rule 6.1 (d).
- If players undo each other’s chinstraps and/or remove each other’s helmets prior to the start of the fight in an effort to circumvent this rule, the Referee shall assess both players a Gross Misconduct penalty, under Rule 4.7 (b) - Making a Travesty of the Game, plus any other penalties they incur.
SITUATION 1 Rule 3.6 (c)
If a player loses their helmet and/or facial protector, or their chinstrap becomes undone while play is in progress, that player has two (2) options:
- Replace the helmet, facial protector or chinstrap and properly fasten it before participating in the play or,
- Proceed to the players’ bench and be substituted for, in accordance with the rules. If a player participates in the play without their helmet and/or facial protector, or without their chinstrap fastened, play shall be stopped immediately, regardless of which team is in possession of the puck, and the offending player shall be assessed a Minor penalty for Ineligible Player.
Note: This is not a delayed penalty.
SITUATION 2 Rule 3.6 (b)
If during the course of a game a player is checked or hit with the result that one of the side straps holding the facial protector comes undone, but the chin strap remains secure, it is not necessary to assess a penalty. The player should be notified at the first stoppage of play.
It may not be obvious to the player that the side strap has come undone, therefore no penalty is assessed. However, if the chin strap is also undone or if the facial protector is flapping in a manner that would attract the player’s attention, then a Minor penalty is assessed.
SITUATION 3 Rule 3.6 (b)
In cases where a player’s chinstrap is not securely fastened, or the visor is not properly being worn, the Referee or Linesperson shall remove the player(s) from the ice prior to the commencement of play. Only those players shall be allowed to be substituted.
This same procedure would also apply concerning other items involving protective or dangerous equipment. (Example - sweater sleeves pulled up, exposing elbow pads.)
Note: The proper wearing of a visor: The visor shall extend down to cover the eyes and the lower edge of the nose in frontal and lateral projections.
SITUATION 4 Rule 3.6 (c)
A player loses their helmet and due to an apparent injury, is unable to properly replace the helmet or go to the players’ bench.
Stop play immediately, regardless of which team is in possession of the puck. No penalty would be assessed to the player under this rule. This situation supersedes Rule 2.6 (g) - Injured Players - where play is allowed to continue. The injured player would still be required to leave the ice and may not return until play has resumed. If the player was on a breakaway in the neutral or attacking zone, the Referee would follow the same procedure and shall award a Penalty Shot to the player deprived of a scoring opportunity.
Note: This interpretation also applies to facial protectors.
SITUATION 5 Rule 3.6 (c)
A player is on a breakaway in the neutral or attacking zone and a player of the opposing team loses their helmet while trying to check them. The Referee must let the play continue and watch what the defending player does. If the player without the helmet puts it back on (properly fastened) or goes to their bench, the Referee shall allow the play to go on. If the player without the helmet gets up and chases the player on the breakaway, the Referee must stop play immediately and award a Penalty Shot, as per Rule 7.4 (d) - Tripping. If the goaltender had been removed for an extra attacker, the Referee would award a Goal, as per Rule 4.10 (a)(3) - Awarded Goals. In either case, this infraction would be classified as Fouling from Behind.
Note: This interpretation also applies to facial protectors.
SITUATION 6 Rules 3.6 (c) and 4.9 (c)
A player is on a breakaway in the neutral or attacking zone and a player of the opposing team deliberately removes their helmet in an effort to get a stoppage of play.
The Referee shall award a Penalty Shot to the player deprived of a scoring opportunity. This interpretation also applies to facial protectors.
A goaltender intentionally removes their helmet, facial protector, throat protector, blocker or trapper during the course of a Penalty Shot.
Award a goal.
SITUATION 8 Rule 3.6 (a)
With reference to palmless gloves: The intent of this rule 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 are worn with some holes resulting, such gloves are permissible unless, in the Referee’s opinion, the holes are of such a size that the player can take advantage by being able to use the bare hands to hold an opponent.
SITUATION 9 Rule 3.6 (e)
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 shall be assessed to the complaining team. The checking or verification of a helmet, facial protector or throat protector is not classified as a measurement.
SITUATION 10 Rule 3.6 (e) Note 2
Where a player has been assessed a Minor penalty for wearing a non-certified helmet, facial protector or throat protector, such player shall not be permitted to take their place on the penalty bench until they have obtained a certified helmet, facial protector or throat protector, as the case may be. This entails that a substitute (player on the ice at the time of the infraction) must replace the penalized player on the penalty bench immediately. If the penalized player can obtain a certified helmet, facial protector or throat protector without delaying the game in any manner, they may then serve their penalty. Otherwise, a substitute will have to replace them on the penalty bench. A procedure similar to that explained in Rule 2.6 (e)(f) - Injured Players - will then be in force. If the penalized player obtains a certified helmet, facial protector or throat protector before the penalty has expired, they shall replace the player substituting for them on the penalty bench during the next stoppage of play. If that penalized player takes part in the play before their penalty has expired, they shall be assessed an additional Minor penalty for Ineligible Player.
SITUATION 11 Rule 3.6 (e)
Where a player is required to wear a certified helmet, facial protector or throat protector, and more than one is found to be non-certified, only one Minor penalty shall be assessed during the same stoppage of play.
SITUATION 12 Rule 3.6 (e)
If, after a player has been assessed a Minor penalty for wearing a non-certified helmet, facial protector or throat protector, and that player refuses to change the illegal piece of equipment, the Referee shall assess a Gross Misconduct.
SITUATION 13 Rule 3.6 (e) and Rule 3.6 (e) Note 1
At any time prior to the start of a game, a Referee may notify a team of an illegal piece of equipment, advising them to correct it or change it before the initial face-off. For example, a Referee observes a player or goaltender wearing a non-certified helmet or facial protector during the pre-game warm-up. The Referee may then, without assessing a penalty, notify the player or team that such equipment is not permissible. This may be done without penalty only prior to the start of the game.
SITUATION 14 Rule 3.6 (b) Note 1
If a player is listed on the Official Game Report as an affiliated player (AP) and you notice that they are not wearing an approved full facial protector and/or a BNQ-certified throat protector, check with a team official, if possible, to find out which division the player graduated from. If the player is from minor hockey, the player shall now be requested to wear a CSA-certified full facial protector and BNQ-approved certified throat protector. No penalty would be assessed at this point provided this occurs prior to the start of the game. If the game has started, assess a Minor penalty for Illegal Equipment. If, after the request has been made, the player refuses to wear a CSA-certified full facial protector or BNQ-certified throat protector, they shall be assessed a Gross Misconduct. This situation must be rectified prior to the resumption of play. In any event, a report shall be made by the Referee anytime an affiliated player (as identified on the Official Game Report) is not wearing a CSA-certified full facial protection or BNQ-certified throat protector. This would include cases where the Referee has been notified by the team that the player in question is not a minor hockey affiliate.
SITUATION 15 Rule 3.6 (b) Note 4
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.
SITUATION 16 Rule 3.6 (b) Note 4
Where rinks have a glassed-in penalty bench, it is acceptable for players to remove their helmets and/or masks.
The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) has set the established standard for hockey helmets and facial protectors in Canada. Helmets and facial protectors used within Hockey Canada must display the CSA identification.
The Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ) has set the established standard for hockey throat protectors in Canada. All throat protectors used in minor and female hockey within Hockey Canada must display the BNQ identification.
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.
SITUATION 20 Rule 3.6 (b) & (f)
A goal is scored by Team A and the Referee notices or Team B directs the Referee’s attention to the fact that the Team A player that scored the goal is not wearing a CSA-certified helmet or facial protector (and/or throat protector in minor or female hockey), or the chinstrap is undone.
The goal is allowed and the appropriate penalty is assessed to the offending player on Team A.
SITUATION 21 Rule 3.6 (b) & (f)
Where a player is wearing the throat protector in a manner that is careless or clearly not within intended guidelines, the team shall receive one warning and any subsequent infractions by the same team will be penalized immediately under Rule 3.6 (f). Referees are encouraged to deliver this warning directly to the Coach.
SITUATION 22 Rule 3.6 (f)
Goaltenders in minor or female hockey who wear an attachment to the mask or helmet designed to protect the throat, must still wear a BNQ-certified throat protector.
SITUATION 23 Rule 3.6 (g)
Where a player is wearing the mouth guard in a manner that is careless or clearly not within intended guidelines, the team shall receive one warning and any subsequent infractions by the same team will be penalized immediately under Rule 3.6 (g). Referees are encouraged to deliver this warning to the Coach.
Goaltenders in all divisions of hockey shall be required to wear a CSA-certified hockey helmet to which CSA-certified facial protector has been securely attached and not altered in any way. In cases where a goaltender is wearing a combination facemask/helmet, the helmet portion shall completely cover the head. When the Referee deems such a mask/ helmet not safe, they may request the goaltender to change it.