I thought ALL coaches on the ice had to wear helmets? Why is it I see coaches on the ice without them? Why would they do that?
Yes, it is a rule that ALL coaches when on the ice MUST wear a helmet in any USA Hockey or AHAI team event. Coaches are subject to a one game suspension. The rule was instituted because we were seeing our youth coaches injured in practices. Some have even died as a result of a head injury during practice. Just three seasons ago two coaches suffered catastrophic head injuries in practice; one was a mite coach who had his feet swept by a Mite player falling behind him. Another was struck in the head by a puck at center ice by a midget level player in a zone clearing attempt off the glass.
Why a coach would choose not wear a helmet is a little ignorant in my eyes. Occasionally, the coach is running a camp (or other event) that is not USA Hockey or AHAI sanctioned, and they can choose not to wear that protection. Why they would make that choice remains a mystery to me. I have heard coaches grumble that it “messes up their hair” and others complain it makes them “look stupid”. Somehow I don’t think a coach’s vanity is a sufficient excuse not to wear a helmet, whether it be during a USA Hockey sanctioned practice or any other event bringing a coach into contact with players, ice, boards and pucks. It just seems stupid not to wear a helmet to me, and obviously to you too!