Published: Jan 1989
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Full facial and visor-type face protectors were struck over the nose and eye region of a headform by a hockey puck shot at speeds of 27 to 45 m/s (60 to 100 mph). Deformation characteristics of wire face masks, polycarbonate face masks, and polycarbonate visors (eye protector) were studied using high-speed film.
The test results demonstrated that the full facial protectors (both wire and polycarbonate) did not permit any contact with the face until puck velocities exceeded 33.5 m/s (74 mph). In comparison, facial contact with the visor occurred during all visor impacts.
The results indicated that the visor-type shields do not provide complete protection in ice hockey. While the visor may prevent the loss of an eye, wearing it in place of full facial protection will not reduce the potential for serious facial lacerations or oral injuries. The data indicate conclusively that full face shields still offer the best protection against impacts which commonly occur in ice hockey.
ice hockey, hockey face masks, full facial protectors, hockey visors, facial injuries
Biokinetics and Associates Ltd., Ottawa, Ont.
University of Waterloo, Ont.