The Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC), organized in 1976, is an independent volunteer organization that selects standards including test methods to validate that HECC certified equipment is made according to the selected standard.
HECC is not a standard making group but does select the standard to be used. HECC has selected the ASTM standard for hockey helmets and facemasks for the last forty years, except for the CSA (Canadian Standards Association) from which HECC selected their half visor standard (ASTM did not have such a standard).
The HECC Certification Program involves three parts:
HECC does not write standards. HECC only selects standards that have already been approved by some recognized standards-writing organization. These standards serve as a basis for the HECC certification programs. This initial phase of standard writing requires input from three groups, consumers, manufacturers, and general interest. It is important that this is a consensus standard, and that there is equal representation from each of the three groups. If manufacturers dominate the standard acceptance procedure, it is possible that a standard will not be stringent enough to provide minimum protection. On the other hand, dominance by consumers may result in a standard that is impractical from a manufacturing or an economical standpoint. The general interest members include university researchers, medical professionals, and test laboratory personnel, who can add expertise that is not included in the manufacturer and consumer groups.
At this time, HECC contracts with a single accredited testing agency, Intertek Testing Services located in Cortland, New York. A bid for these services is put out every three years.
Membership in HECC is open to any and all individuals with an interest in safer equipment and better performances in ice hockey. The Executive Committee of HECC consists of five officers and three members plus an alternate from the three groups: general interest members, consumers, and manufacturer representatives. In addition to the elected members, a Chairman of the Certification Committee is appointed by the President to serve on the Executive Committee. HECC hires a legal counsel to advise HECC on legal matters.
QUESTION: Can a referee call a High-Sticking penalty against a player if the player's stick hits the referee above the shoulder after the referee drops the puck during a face-off?
ANSWER: Officials cannot penalize accidental stick contact with a player, even if it results in an injury. However, any intentional attempt to injure an official or intentional injury of an official should result in a Match Penalty.
QUESTION: Are neck-guards and mouthpieces mandatory at 10U level?
ANSWER: Under the USA Hockey Youth Playing Rules, mouthpieces and neck-guards are not required equipment at the 10U level. However, leagues and hockey associations are entitled to strengthen equipment rules with approval by the local governing USA Hockey Affiliate. Therefore, we encourage you to check to see if any additional rules apply in your games.
QUESTION: Team A is shorthanded, and Team B is called for a penalty but play continues because Team B has not touched the puck. During this time, Team A scores. Is the penalty called on Team B wiped out as it would be if the teams were at even strength?
ANSWER: In this situation, the Team B penalty (assuming it is a minor) is recorded but not served. Play resumes 5 v. 4.
QUESTION: In a U10 game, a penalty is assessed to the attacking team. Due ti an officials' error, the face-off is not moved outside the attacking zone. The attacking team scores, and the coach notifies officials of their error. The officials disallow the goal and have ensuing face-off in neutral zone. Is it correct for the goal to be disallowed on the officials error?
ANSWER: Due to the fact that this goal resulted after a face-off location error by the officials, the goal must be allowed.
QUESTION: If a goalkeeper and an opposing player receive coincident minor penalties does someone have to serve the penalty time for the goalkeeper even though it’s a coincident minor?
ANSWER: The “spirit and intent” of the Goalkeeper Penalty rules (Rule 407) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules is the offending team must lose a player when a goalkeeper commits an infraction. Therefore, despite the fact that the two minors are coincidental and result in immediate substitution (play resumes 5 v. 5), the offending team must still place a substitute player (who must be one of the players on the ice at the time of the infraction) in the penalty bench to return at the first stoppage after two minutes.
The USA Hockey Playing Rules are now available as a mobile device app! Check your Apple, Android, or Windows app store to download this playing rule app free of charge.
Check out the USA Hockey mobile-friendly online rulebook application! Enter usahockeyrulebook.com into your mobile device’s web browser to gain instant access to the USA Hockey Playing Rules (must have mobile or internet service).
The USA Hockey Playing Rules Casebook and other educational material can be found under the OFFICIALS tab at USAHockey.com.
Tag(s): Player Safety & Health