The NFHS Ice Hockey Rules Committee continues in its belief that the main threat to the health of high school ice hockey is violent and reckless play. The Committee wishes to address the following areas in the hope that violence and reckless play will be minimized.
Mouthguards are required to be worn by all players and goalkeepers in high school hockey. Coaches and players must take the responsibility to make sure mouthguards are worn.
CONTACT TO THE HEAD
Hits to the head are never to be considered a part of the game. Hits from high hands, elbows, forearms, high sticks and shoving the head into the glass add no value to the game and only increase the risk of injury to players. It is imperative to have helmets securely fastened.
CONCUSSION RECOGNITION AND MANAGEMENT
For the past several years, the NFHS has been at the forefront of national sports organizations in emphasizing the importance of education, recognition and proper management of concussions. Any player who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion shall be immediately removed from the game. State association protocol pertaining to concussion management must be reviewed and followed. Please review Rule 2-6-1 and the Suggested Guidelines for Management of Concussions on page 82 of the NFHS Rule Book.
Obscene and abusive language continues to persist as a major problem in high school ice hockey. This type of behavior is completely unacceptable for players or coaches and penalties must be assessed for every occurrence. The penalty for this behavior is a minor and a misconduct. This was reconfirmed by the 2012-13 NFHS Ice Hockey Rules Committee. Placing the team of the offender at a disadvantage sends a clear message regarding the expectation that such behavior will not be tolerated. Officials must be held to the same standard and any incident should be reported to the appropriate state authority. The rules are clear. The minor and misconduct must be assessed in addition to any other penalties assessed at that stoppage of play.