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Head Contact Rule Info 

Hockey Alberta would like to remind all of its members and participants that the new Head Contact Rule is in effect immediately for the 2011-12 hockey season.

"Safety of participants is always our number one priority and we feel the implementation of the Head Contact Rule will minimize the risk on the ice and help reduce the number of concussions and other serious injuries caused by head contact,” said Hockey Alberta General Manager, Rob Litwinski

The new rule is a zero tolerance measure for all head contact in minor, female, junior and senior hockey. The rule is as follows:

Minor and Female Hockey

•    A minor penalty shall be assessed for all accidental hits to the head, while a double minor penalty, or a major and game misconduct at the discretion of the referee based on the degree of violence of impact, shall be assessed for any intentional contact to the head.

Junior and Senior Hockey

•    A minor penalty and misconduct or a major penalty and a game misconduct shall be assessed for all checks to the head, at the discretion of the referee. A major penalty and a game misconduct, or match penalty, shall be assessed to any player who injures an opponent under this rule.

“This rule makes it clear that head contact is unacceptable and it is the responsibility of the referee to penalize a player who contacts an opponent above the shoulders,” said Hockey Alberta’s Referee-in-Chief, Curtis Nichols. “Anytime there’s a significant rule change, there is always a transition period while people adapt to the rule. We are asking coaches, fans, parents and players to fully support and embrace this rule during its implementation and understand its purpose is to create a safer environment on the ice for all participants.”   

The new Head Contact Rule was approved by Hockey Canada’s Board of Directors at the national governing body’s Annual General Meeting which was held in May in Calgary.