(Peninsula Panthers)

In a move to minimize injuries during hockey games, BC Hockey has just announced its decision to make full face masks compulsory for all Junior B players starting in the 2018-19 season.

The Peninsula Panthers of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League was the first and only team in the province to voluntarily don the masks this year.

BC Hockey’s decision to implement this change comes in light of the rising number of dental injuries associated with the sport.

According to their press release, over 370 dental injuries were reported for players wearing half visors, compared to eight for those who wore full face protection. Consequently, the costs of dental insurance claims were $287,775 for the former, and $7,548 for the latter.

The switch to full face masks is therefore the obvious solution to decreasing safety issues as well as keeping costs low.

The decision will impact the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL), Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL),the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL), and the two (2) BC teams participating in the North West Junior Hockey League (Fort St. John Huskies and Dawson Creek Junior Canucks).