Re: Helmet Certification
We are aware that there has been much confusion surrounding the new Rule concerning approved helmets. Initially, the notice from AHAI simply referenced the Rule itself which reads as follows: (Rule 304 states: (Note) HECC certification includes an expiration date on the sticker and a helmet that has an expiration date that has expired is no longer considered certified. The player may not wear a helmet that does not have a valid and current certification sticker).
We interpreted the second sentence of the foregoing as requiring the presence of a sticker. Upon further inquiry, however, we have been able to confirm that a helmet which contains no sticker may still be legal as long as it appears on the Hockey Helmet Certification Council (HECC) approved list. This list can be viewed at www.hecc.net.
A helmet can also be approved by a referee based solely upon a visual inspection of the helmet. However, as an organization, we feel that this is too arbitrary and will expose our players to removal from the ice at the whim of any referee. Therefore, PYHA will be implementing the Rule at all levels of play as follows:
1. If the helmet has a sticker, then that sticker will be conclusive. If it is within the expiration date, then the helmet is good. If it is outside the expiration date, you cannot use it for any PYHA play.
2. If the helmet has no sticker, then it is up to you to confirm that the make and model of your helmet is on the HECC list. You should obtain a copy of the list from the HECC website and be prepared to present it to us, with your helmet model being listed, as proof that the helmet is compliant. That is to say, if there is no sticker, the burden is on you to establish it as compliant, not on PYHA to establish that it is not.
Please understand that absent a current sticker on the helmet, your player is subjecting himself or herself to the discretion of every referee that you will see this season. Therefore, we are strongly recommending that every player obtain a helmet with a current sticker. However, for the purposes of participating in PYHA activities, we will approve helmets for use as outlined above.
NOTE: We are also strongly recommending that every member with no sticker keep the HECC list with them at all times just in case some referee attempts to remove your player from a game.