(Note) Not all protective equipment is mandatory in all age classifications. However, if not mandated by rule, USA Hockey strongly recommends that all skaters and goalkeepers in all age classifications properly wear an internal mouthpiece, a HECC approved helmet and a HECC approved full facemask for all games and practices.
(a) Each player is personally responsible to wear protective equipment for all games, warm-ups and practices. Such equipment should include gloves, shin pads, shoulder pads, elbow pads, hip pads or padded hockey pants, protective cup, tendon pads plus all head protective equipment as required by USA Hockey rules. It is recommended that all protective equipment be designed specifically for ice hockey.
(b) All protective equipment, except gloves, padded hockey pants, helmet/facemask and goalkeeper’s leg guards, must be worn under the uniform.
(Note) Players, including goalkeepers, violating this rule shall not be permitted to participate in the game until such equipment has been corrected or removed.
(c) All players, including goalkeepers, in all age classifications except Adults, are required to properly wear a HECC approved helmet as designed by the manufacturer and with no alterations and chin strap properly fastened.
(Note) HECC certification includes an expiration date on the sticker and a helmet that has an expiration date that has expired is no longer considered certified. The player may not wear a helmet that does not have a valid and current certification sticker.
Players in the Adult classification must wear a hockey helmet (including non-HECC approved) with chin strap properly fastened.
All players on the players’ and the penalty bench must wear the protective helmet/facemask while in the bench area. For a violation of this rule, after a warning by the Referee, a misconduct penalty for an equipment violation shall be assessed to the offending player.
(d) All players, including goalkeepers, in all age classifications below Adults, are required to wear a facemask certified by HECC, plus any chin protection that accompanies the facemask.
(Note) Any helmet or facemask that is altered except as permitted in Rule 304(c) shall be deemed to be illegal equipment and shall not be allowed to be used in a game. The player, or such equipment, shall be removed from the game until corrected. (This shall include helmets from which a part has been cut or removed, facemasks from which the chin-cup has been removed or any other such alterations from the original manufacturing specifications.)
(e) In all classifications, including Adults, if a skater’s helmet/facemask comes off during play, the officials shall stop play immediately. The skater shall be ruled off the ice and may not participate in the game until completion of the ensuing face-off.
In all classifications, if the goalkeeper’s helmet/facemask comes off during play, the officials shall stop play immediately. However, the goalkeeper shall not be ruled off the ice prior to the face-off.
A minor penalty for delay of game shall be assessed to a goalkeeper or skater who causes a stoppage of play by deliberately removing their helmet/facemask during play.
(f) All players, including goalkeepers, in the 12 & under (Youth and Girls’) through Youth 18 & under (including High School) and Girls’ 19 & under age classifications are required to wear a colored (non-clear) internal mouthpiece that covers all the remaining teeth of one jaw, customarily the upper. It is strongly recommended, in all classifications, that all players wear a mouthpiece form fitted by a dentist.
For the first violation of this rule, the team shall be issued a warning. A misconduct penalty for an equipment violation shall be assessed to any player or goalkeeper of that team for a subsequent violation during that game.
(g) USA Hockey recommends that players wear a neck laceration protector, choosing a design that covers as much of the neck area as possible.
(h) All players who wear the required, or recommended, protective equipment must wear it in the manner for which it is designed.
For violation of this rule, following a team warning, a misconduct penalty for an equipment violation shall be imposed.