May 4, 2012, 3:29 PM EDT
It may seem counterintuitive at first, but the NCAA is reportedly on the verge of eliminating full face shields in order to make the game safer.
From College Hockey News:
The NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee is planning to formally recommend, at its June meetings in Indianapolis, that college hockey change from full shields to three-quarter visors.
… there is a passionate belief throughout college hockey that full shields impair peripheral and up-and-down vision, and create unsafe conditions in and of themselves.
The college hockey contingent has acknowledged that more facial lacerations and dental injuries could result from the elimination of full shields, but believe the tradeoff is worth it.
Any hockey player that’s been forced to wear a full shield will tell you it cuts down on your vision.
Granted, it’s debatable whether moving to a three-quarter visor will improve peripheral vision. However, one situation where serious head and neck injuries could be reduced is when a player loses the puck in his feet and has to look down to locate it.
In that situation, a full cage can get in the way, and we all know what can happen when a player is skating around with his head down.
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