Risk Management :: Head Contact Rule/Concussion Policy
HNS Concussion Policy
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Rule 6.5 Head Contact
Hockey Canada's Rule 6.5 regarding head contact is effective immediately and it is extremely important that our members take the time to review and understand the componants of said rule.
Please review the literature below and use it for quick reference of the new rule.
For more information regarding the rule including printable advertisments and rule book insert stickers please visit - www.hockeycanada.ca/headcontactrule
(a) In Minor and Female, a Minor Penalty shall be assessed to any player who accidentally
contacts an opponent in the head, face or neck with his stick or any part of the player’s body
(b) In Minor and Female, a Double Minor Penalty or a Major and a Game Misconduct Penalty,
at the discretion of the Referee and based on the degree of violence of impact shall be
assessed to any player who intentionally contacts an opponent in the head, face or neck
with her stick or any part of the player’s body or equipment.
(c) In Junior and Senior, a Minor and a Misconduct penalty, or a Major and a Game Misconduct
penalty, at the discretion of the Referee based on the degree of violence of impact, shall be
assessed to any player who checks an opponent in the head in any manner.
(d) A Major and a Game Misconduct penalty, or a Match penalty shall be assessed any player
who injures an opponent under this Rule.
(e) A Match penalty shall be assessed any player who deliberately attempts to injure or
deliberately injures an opponent under this Rule.
Note: All contact above the shoulders (neck, face and head) is to be called Head Contact under
one of the above (In minor and female).
THIS RULE CHANGE WILL COME INTO EFFECT IMMEDIATELY
Clarifications On Head Contact For Junior & Senior Hockey ONLY
Referees should be aware of the tragic consequences of head injuries and concussions and
strictly enforce the rule. It is the responsibility of players, team officials and Referees to make
every attempt possible to reduce the incident of this frightful injury. Team officials can teach
players legitimate methods of checking an opponent, while players can be educated to the
dangers of checks to the head. The Referee has the responsibility to penalize players who contact
an opponent in the head. If the Referees are consistent and strict in calling infractions that may
lead to concussions, then along with the cooperation of players and team officials, these type of
fouls and the chances of a player suffering such injuries can be significantly reduced. The Head
Contact penalty is based on the “degree of violence of impact” and can be defined in three
categories: minimal, moderate and severe.
Minimal impact would be called under other appropriate rules. e.g. elbowing, highsticking,
roughing, roughing after the whistle, etc. A glancing blow or minimal impact to the head where a
penalty is warranted. Moderate impact would be a more significant degree of violence without
injury that warrants a Minor and Misconduct penalty under the Head Contact rule. Severe impact
would be a high degree of violence, with or without injury, that warrants a Major and Game
Misconduct or a Match penalty, at the discretion of the Referee under the Head Contact rule.
What previously may have been considered a legal check with a shoulder check to the head
shall now be penalized as Head Contact if moderate or severe impact is made. These Head
Contact infractions can occur anywhere on the playing surface as a result of the initial contact
to the Head. Head Contact could also be the result of an open ice hit, with or without the fouled
player’s head being down. Body checking has not be been removed from the game, but high hits
or targeting the head shall be penalized. A fight is still to be called a fight, not Head Contact.
Referees are to strictly enforce penalties that call for infractions as a result of low hits as these
types of infractions may increase. The penalty signal for “Head Contact” will be patting flat (open
palm) of the non-whistle hand on the side of the head.
2011/2012 RULE CHANGE