The Importance Of Wearing A Face Masks During A Hockey Game

1641 words - 7 pages

Imagine that you are a hockey player and are skating down the ice without a visor on your helmet, and suddenly a player from the other team shoots the puck and it hits you in the eye traveling at 70-90 miles per hour. Your face is covered in blood and you can’t see to skate off the ice. As the athletic trainer cleans the blood up you wonder if you will ever be able to see again. After a trip to the doctor you learn that you will have cloudy vision in that eye for the rest of your life and will never be able to play hockey again. If you had known that this was going to happen, would you have worn a face mask or even a visor? It is possible to go completely blind if you get hit in the eye with a hockey puck, yet many hockey players chose to play without a visor or face mask. A visor will keep players safe, it will not make them any less manly, and if they wear one all the kids who look up to them will want to wear one. Because of this all professional players should have to wear a visor and have a face mask as an option. A visor or shield is a piece of plastic that attaches to a hockey helmet and goes to about a person’s nose. A visor can protect a player from getting hit in the eyes by pucks, and lose sticks (Ask). A face mask is a cage that covers the players face completely and prevents pucks and sticks from hitting a player in the face. The most common hockey injuries are cuts by a player’s mouth and chin form sticks and pucks. A face mask protects against these while a shield does not (Ask). Face masks are required in all levels of hockey except professional, if professionals had the option to wear one they could protect themselves from flying pucks.
Safety is the main reason that hockey players should wear face masks and shields. In the National Hockey League (NHL), there is a new rule that players must wear a visor(Halford). Before this rule players could chose whether they wanted to wear a visor or not. The down fall to this rule is that it is grandfathered in; this means that players in the NHL who have played 26 or more games do not have to wear a visor (Halford). Many players that have gotten hit in the eye are now wearing visors and trying to encourage other players to wear them too. “Sitting in the hospital that night, I really wished I’d been wearing a visor. I played 21 years and never had an eye injury… The first thing that went through my mind was, ‘I don’t want to lose my eyesight.’ I really believe guys should be wearing them. I didn’t say that a week ago.” - NHL player Steve Yzerman on the eye injury he suffered during the 2003-2004 playoff season (Crowe). If Steve had been wearing a visor he would not have been hit in the eye with a puck and would still be playing hockey. While a visor protects the eyes, a face mask protects the whole face. A face mask is required in all levels of hockey except the NHL (Myers). With a visor players can still get hit in the mouth or chin with sticks and pucks, with a face mask, they can’t. A...

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