This season, a number of officials have identified illegal goalkeeper helmets. The spacing between bars on the cage on the helmet has made them illegal for use. Please be diligent in checking for this equipment during pre-game.

Please note,
NFHS Rule 3-5-5 requires goalkeepers wear helmets and face masks which meet HECC/ASTM Standards. Face masks, helmets and ear protectors shall not be altered from original manufacturer specifications. A goalkeeper’s helmet that is painted shall NOT be considered altered equipment and IS legal for use.

PENALTY: GOALKEEPER – MINOR and the helmet is removed from the game.

All HECC certified goalkeeper helmets come with an HECC sticker. However, it is possible to have a goalkeeper helmet with a NON HECC cage attached which has been purchased that way or changed. This condition makes the helmet illegal for use in NFHS games. For the cage portion, the rule of thumb is if a taped stick can pass through the bars, the cage and helmet are illegal.

Steps to determine the legality of a HECC approved helmet or facemask:

All certified helmets and facemasks should have the HECC approved sticker attached, unless the player has removed the sticker. The first burden of proof is if the equipment has the proper sticker attached it is eligible for use.
Learn the characteristics of the HECC approved helmets and facemasks and be able to recognize a piece of HECC approved equipment visually. Helmets must have ear protection and wire facemasks generally have a small square grid system and an attached chin cup.
Compare the helmet or facemask in question with the HECC approved lists that can be found online, at or at
Refer to the photos below: