Full Face Shields To Be Mandatory For All Junior Hockey Next Season

Blenheim Blades

All levels of Junior hockey, including local Junior B and C teams will wear full face masks beginning next season – Photo by the Blenheim Blades

The Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) announced this week that all levels of Junior hockey under the OHA umbrella would be wearing full facial protection beginning next season.

This includes Junior A leagues such as the OJHL, Junior B including the GOJHL, and Junior C across the province.

“The data with respect to facial and dental injuries while wearing half visors compared
to full facial protection is staggering,” wrote OHA president Karen Phibbs in an OHA Information Bulletin.

“The OHA Board of Directors categorize this as a serious risk management concern that must be
addressed with the utmost regard for player safety and the teams involved.”

Half visors came into use in the OHA over approximately a decade ago at all levels, but according to the OHA, the impact on safety was too great to continue to practice.

“With all players wearing full facial protection in all Junior categories, the OHA is confident that serious facial, and dental injuries will be greatly reduced from our game and the Association will be able to provide a safer environment for player development.”

Although some teams and leagues across Ontario were already self imposing a face shield rule, locally, this rule will impact the Chatham Maroons, Blenheim Blades, Dresden Kings, Wallaceburg Lakers, and Wheatley Sharks, none of whom had facial protection rules in place.

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