SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1989

Impact of Full Face and Visor Type Hockey Face Guards


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.

Author Information

Smith, TA
Biokinetics and Associates Ltd., Ottawa, Ont., Canada
Bishop, PJ
University of Waterloo, Ont., Canada
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Developed by Committee: F08
Pages: 235–239
DOI: 10.1520/STP24052S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5101-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1274-2