Half Shield Debate Continues

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Half shield debate continues

The NCAA Division I men’s hockey coaches voted for it. College players have voted for it in a survey. Count WCHA Supervisor of Officials Greg Shepherd as being for it.

It could be implemented as soon as the 2012-13 season.

But it still has a big hurdle to climb.

If somehow it gets through the NCAA rules committee that meets in early June, men’s players could be wearing half shields over their faces instead of full facemasks.

With most players playing junior hockey before they play in college, they go from wearing full facemasks all through youth hockey and high school and then go to juniors where most play with half shields. When they move up to college and have gotten bigger, stronger, faster, the mix for more injuries and more serious injuries goes up.

Junior hockey also allows fighting, which some people argue, also reigns in some of the more dangerous hits. The thought process there is, if you take a run at a player or hit him with an illegal blow, you not only are going to get a penalty, but face the wrath of the opposing team’s enforcer. Fight in college hockey and you will get a suspension.

Shepherd said that if the rules committee would approve the move to half shields, it would likely do it for men’s hockey in Division I and Division III, but it is a possibility that it could be for Division I only.

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