SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1989

The Canadian Standards Association and the Evolution of Head and Face Protection in Canadian Hockey


The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is Canada's foremost and best-known standards development, certification, testing, and inspection organization. CSA has published over 1300 standards in 8 major areas. About one third of these standards are referenced in legislation. Standards benefit society in many ways. They provide protection, guide purchasing, enhance interchangeability, compatibility, and reliability, and they have many other advantages.

The development of a standard involves committees, public reviews, consumer group reviews, and other activities.

In 1959, the need for quality hockey helmets was identified. Their design improved over the years, particularly in terms of impact attenuation. The first CSA standard was published in 1975. Many improvements in the standard have been made since then.

In 1973, the need for quality hockey face protectors was identified, and a CSA standard was published in 1978 to address this need.

Since the inception of these CSA standards, eye injuries and blind eyes have been dramatically reduced. All players who suffered eye injuries and blinded eyes had not worn CSA-certified face protectors.

In 1979, the need for international standards on protective equipment for hockey was identified. The first ISO/TC83/SC5 meeting was held in Ottawa, Canada, where the first drafts of hockey helmet and face protector standards were completed. The second meeting was held during August 1988 in Helsinki, Finland, and the third meeting was held in Stockholm, Sweden, during April 1989. International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards are expected to be published in 1991–1992.

Facially-featured headforms have been developed to test hockey helmets and face protectors accurately.

Testing, certification, inspections, audits, and investigations are also services provided by CSA in support of their standards work.

The institution of standards followed by the certification of products have proven to be effective in reducing sports injuries.

Author Information

Dixon, JL
Sports and Recreational Equipment, Canadian Standards Association, Rexdale, Ont., Canada
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Developed by Committee: F08
Pages: 207–219
DOI: 10.1520/STP24050S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5101-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1274-2