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Hockey Canada Goes Full Face Protection For All Levels Of Junior As Of December 15, 2022

Players in Junior A level or Tier II across Canada may soon look a bit different.

According to Hockey Canada, players will have to move to cages rather than visors, which have become the norm in leagues across the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL).

In a statement, Hockey Canada said the move to full facial protection was implemented prior to the start of the new season.

“This past June, the 13 Members approved a playing rule change extending full facial protection under our playing rules to include Junior A,” the statement from Hockey Canada reads.

The statement continued to say the rule is to be implemented no later than Dec. 15, 2022.

According to a tweet by SJHL Commissioner Kyle McIntyre, Hockey Canada notified members of the CJHL on Oct. 21.

In a follow up tweet with user @kaiper68, McIntyre added that in the event of a fight, additional infractions may be laid on players who take off their helmets or cages in an altercation.

This rule change, if fully implemented will all but eliminate fighting in junior hockey outside of Major Junior in Canada.

Players in Junior A level hockey across Canada may soon look a bit different.

According to Hockey Canada, players will have to move to cages rather than visors, which have become the norm in leagues across the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL).

In a statement, Hockey Canada said the move to full facial protection was implemented prior to the start of the new season.

“This past June, the 13 Members approved a playing rule change extending full facial protection under our playing rules to include Junior A,” the statement from Hockey Canada reads.

The statement continued to say the rule is to be implemented no later than Dec. 15, 2022.

The rule change will affect leagues such as the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) and the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL). According to a tweet by SJHL Commissioner Kyle McIntyre, Hockey Canada notified members of the CJHL on Oct. 21.

Hockey Canada notified the CJHL last Friday that full face masks must be implemented by December 15, 2022.— SJHL Commissioner (@SJHLCommish) October 25, 2022

In a follow up tweet with user @kaiper68, McIntyre added that in the event of a fight, additional infractions may be laid on players who take off their helmets or cages in an altercation.

There is a mandatory penalty throughout the CJHL for removing helmet/masks in altercations. I am learning about this on the fly.— SJHL Commissioner (@SJHLCommish) October 25, 2022

The SJHL and McIntyre declined to comment on the change.

The CJHL, however, responded with a statement to CTV News.

“The CJHL is engaged in discussions with the Hockey (Canada) Board on the directive presently, and will reserve public comment, until those discussions have been completed. We will be happy to comment, once those discussions are fully exercised,” reads the statement from President Brent Ladds.

Considering Hockey Canada has much larger issues to tackle within its confines, the timing of this rule change is simply strange. Was it meant to be a distraction from all the other news within Hockey Canada?

When any business is already alienating its customers, an additional move to alienate them further is just another example of bad leadership. While there are already safeguards in place for junior players, and the CJHL is a pioneer in concussion testing, the timing of this is simply suspect to be kind.

Players, parents, and leagues have always had the option of mandating or opting to wear full face protection. To make a rule, and implement this rule mid-season, is just another baffling move by Hockey Canada in a series of baffling moves.

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