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USA Hockey Guidance on Helmets, Clear Shields and Cloth Masks

HDA News, Rules • May 27, 2020

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO (May 27, 2020) – As together we make our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, USA Hockey has been asked if wearing a helmet with a full clear shield is better than a visor (half-shield) or cage. In addition, many are asking about players wearing a face mask to cover their mouth/nose while practicing or in games. Below is information that we hope is helpful.


There is no scientific proof that a full clear shield on a hockey helmet provides better protection against infectious diseases compared to a visor (half-shield) or cage. That said, a full clear shield is likely better than a visor (half shield) or cage:

  1. Can act as a barrier in case someone in close proximity coughs or sneezes
  2. May be a deterrent to decrease touch of the face (vs. cages where players stick their fingers through the cage)
  3. Likely to prevent spitting on the ice/bench (should be enforced regardless)

It should be noted that a full clear shield will not prevent the inhalation of aerosolized droplets.

And it is important that regardless of what kind of mask a player wears that it be cleaned thoroughly after each use.