Sports Engineering

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 65–74 | Cite as

Evaluation of impact attenuation of facial protectors in ice hockey helmets

  • M. Lemair
  • D. J. Pearsall


The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which ice hockey facial protectors can decrease overall head acceleration during blunt impacts, as well as to identify whether attenuation differences exist between visors and cages. Commercial models of three cages and three visors were assessed. Blunt impacts were simulated, permitting the measurement of peak accelerations (PA) within the surrogate headform. Results indicated that face protectors, in combination with helmets, substantially reduced PA during blunt impacts within threshold safety limits (below 300g). In general, cages showed lower PA than visors. Differences between models were also observed during repeated impacts and impact site. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that facial protectors function beyond their role in solely preventing facial injuries, complementing the role of the helmet in attenuating head deceleration during impact. Consequently, the utilisation of facial protectors may reduce the severity and incidence of head injuries.


helmets impact facial protection ice hockey 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. ASTM International (2004) Standard Performance Specification for Ice Hockey Helmets, F1045-04.Google Scholar
  2. Azuelos, Y.H., Pearsall, D.J., Turcotte, R. & Montgomery, D.L. (2004) A review of ice hockey injuries: Location, diagnosis, mechanism, in D.J. Pearsall & A.B. Ashare (eds)Safety in Ice Hockey, American Society for Testing and Materials, West Conshohocken.Google Scholar
  3. Benson, B.W., Mohtadi, N.C.H., Rose, M.S. & Meeuwisse, W.H. (1999) Head and neck injuries among ice hockey players wearing full face shields vs half face shields.Journal of American Medical Association,282(24), 2328–2332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Benson, B.W., Rose, M.S. & Meeuwisse, W.H. (2002) The impact of face shield use on concussion in ice hockey: a multivariate analysis.British Journal of Sports Medicine,36, 27–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Biasca, N., Wirth, S. & Tegner, Y. (2002) The avoidability of head and neck injuries in ice hockey: an historical review.British Journal of Sports Medicine,36, 410–427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Flik, K., Lyman, S. & Marx, R.G. (2005) American collegiate men’s ice hockey an analysis of injuries.American Journal of Sports Medicine,33(2), 183–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Goodman, D., Gaetz, M. & Meichenbaum, D. (2001) Concussions in hockey: there is cause for concern.Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise,33(12), 2004–2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. NOCSAE (2005) Standard Projectile Impact Test Method and Equipment Used in Evaluating the Performance Characteristics Protective Headgear, Faceguard or Projectiles. NOCSAE DOC (ND) 021-98m05a.Google Scholar
  9. NOCSAE (2005) Standard Drop Test Method and Equipment Used in Evaluating the Performance Characteristics of Protective headgear. NOCSAE DOC (ND) 001-04m05a.Google Scholar
  10. Stevens, S.T., Lassonde, M., De Beaumont, L. & Keenan, J.P. (2006) The effect of visors on head and facial injury in national hockey league players.Journal of Science & Medicine in Sport,11(3), 238–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Stuart, M.J., Smith, A.M., Malo-Ortiguera, S.A., Fischer, T.L. & Larson, D.R. (2002) A comparison of facial protection and the incidence of head, neck, and facial injuries in junior A hockey players.American Journal of Sports Medicine,30, 39–44.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© isea 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Kinesiology & Physical EducationMcGill UniversityQuébecCanada

Personalised recommendations