The three essential phases for certification of protective equipment for ice hockey in the United States are described in this article. The initial phase includes the necessary prerequisites for the development of objective scientific standards based on physical tests consistent with current engineering technology. The features of the Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC) including the principal responsibilities of a third party validator for the certification of products to available standards are outlined in the second phase. The final phase consists of the communication and cooperation of rules-making organizations necessary for proper compliance and the ultimate safety of hockey players. Finally, the benefits of certified equipment to players, coaches, parents of players and manufacturers are presented. The certification of ice hockey equipment can be very effective in reducing injuries, if a program is properly organized and administered.
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