Syracuse NY youth hockey association


Safety and Heads Up Hockey

Safety for all players is an important concern for OYHA. We've assembled a few resources to help you both prevent and identify on-ice injuries. But equipment alone is not enough; take some time to better understand the techniques and principals to be safe and play heads up hockey!

Message form USA Hockey Regarding Protective Equipment and Helmets (Rule 304)

The Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC) standards are critical to player safety. The guidelines the USA Hockey Officiating Program encourages officials to follow the rules outlined in the Official Rules and Casebook with the following key points:

  • Are all the components of the helmet in place (ear pieces, face-mask J-clips, etc.)?
  • Is the helmet free of excessive wear and in good condition?
  • Does the helmet look similar to models worn by other players?
  • Is the helmet worn properly (fit, chin-strap buckled, etc.)?

If the official can answer these questions with a "yes" then the helmet is likely safe and legal for play and the game does not need a long delay to complete this check. If in doubt, the presence of the current HECC sticker, with valid expiration date, along with the good condition of the helmet, will be the final indicator as to the eligibility for use in USA Hockey sanctioned games. Provided the official(s) have performed this due diligence, it is important to acknowledge that USA Hockey firmly places the responsibility on the individual player to wear the proper protective equipment in the manner in which it was intended. You can view the complete details of USA Hockey Rule 304 here.