Monday, December 01, 2008
A BC Hockey Helmet Policy takes effect today, requiring all minor hockey coaches to wear a CSA approved helmet during BC Hockey on-ice sanctioned events.
The failure to wear a helmet by a minor hockey coach in a BC Hockey sanctioned activity will result in the pulling of BC Hockey’s sanction of the event. Unsanctioned events are not covered by the association’s insurance policy.
The motion that led to the policy was brought forward with safety of the coaches in mind, with a focus on the types of injuries that can result. There have been several instances in recent years where minor hockey coaches have sustained severe injuries at while on-ice at practice. These injuries may have been prevented if a CSA approved helmet was worn and have led to a number of Branches of Hockey Canada adopting similar helmet on coach’s policies. In fact BC becomes the seventh province to adopt such a policy. Hockey Alberta has also introduced a similar policy that is set to effect January 1, 2009.
After the decision was announced a challenge was brought forward by an individual who observes the Sikh religion and who is therefore claiming that the turban he wears in observance of his religious beliefs in fact restricts his ability to wear a helmet to comply with the policy. Recently BC Hockey’s Executive Committee has adjusted the policy slightly in responding to this complaint. An exemption to the helmet policy may now be requested on the basis that the wearing of a helmet would interfere with the observance of a religious custom. The granting of such an application will require the applicant to provide a signed BC Hockey Helmet Policy Waiver form to participate in any BC Hockey sanctioned activity.
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