I hope your team’s season is progressing well. I would like to bring an item to your attention which requires your intervention.
I am receiving a rather large number of reports indicating players are participating with illegal or improper equipment. Of particular note are facemasks and helmets for players and goalies alike. The reports indicate that goalies are using illegal facemasks (sometimes referred to as “cat eye” masks). I would refer everyone to USA Hockey Rule 303 and the casebook examples located in the equipment section of the rule book for further information but suffice it to say, if an opening in a player’s or goalkeeper’s facemask is large enough to permit a puck or butt-end of a stick to enter inside, then it is illegal and the player or goalkeeper is not permitted to participate with that piece of equipment.
Based on these reports, I sent an email to all Illinois officials instructing them to be on the lookout for these equipment issues as well as mouth guards (at the appropriate ages) and neck guards for Illinois players.
Coaches, administrators and officials alike are charged with the responsibility of making the game as safe as possible and the helmet/facemask issue is one which you as coaches and administrators may review prior to any game to ensure your players are complying with the USA Hockey rules. No player is permitted to participate in a game with illegal or improper equipment. A violation of the rule will require the official to remove the player from the game and possibly subject the team to a delay of game penalty.
Have a great season and thank you for your dedication to our great game.
Illinois Referee-in-Chief &
Supervisor of Officials
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