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Am I required to wear a neck guard and/or mouth guard? (9/1/2023)

Mouth Guards Neck Guards
USA Hockey All players, including goalies, 12 and under through 18 and under are required to wear a colored (nonclear) internal mouthpiece Recommended
MAHA No Specific callout No specific callout
LCAHL No specific callout Optional, but highly recommended
I-275 Required Required

USA Hockey (2021-25 Official Rules of Ice Hockey)

Rule 303 Goalkeeper’s Equipment
(b) It is compulsory for all goalkeepers to wear helmets and full
facemasks. Hanging throat/neck laceration protectors are
recommended. No form fitted facemasks shall be permitted.

Rule 304 Protective Equipment
(Note) Not all protective equipment is mandatory in all
age classifications. However, if not mandated by rule,
USA Hockey strongly recommends that all skaters and
goalkeepers in all age classifications properly wear an
internal mouthpiece, a HECC approved helmet and a
HECC approved full facemask for all games and practices.
(a) Each player is personally responsible to wear protective
equipment for all games, warm-ups and practices. Such
equipment should include gloves, shin pads, shoulder pads,
elbow pads, hip pads or padded hockey pants, protective
cup, tendon pads plus all head protective equipment as
required by USA Hockey rules. It is recommended that
all protective equipment be designed specifically for ice
(b) All protective equipment, except gloves, padded hockey
pants, helmet/facemask and goalkeeper’s leg guards, must
be worn under the uniform.
(Note) Players, including goalkeepers, violating this rule
shall not be permitted to participate in the game until such
equipment has been corrected or removed.
(c) All players, including goalkeepers, in all age classifications
except Adults, are required to properly wear a HECC
approved helmet as designed by the manufacturer and with
no alterations and chin strap properly fastened.
(Note) HECC certification includes an expiration date on
the sticker and a helmet that has an expiration date that
has expired is no longer considered certified. The player
may not wear a helmet that does not have a valid and
current certification sticker.
Players in the Adult classification must wear a hockey
helmet (including non-HECC approved) with chin strap
properly fastened.
All players on the players’ and the penalty bench must
wear the protective helmet/facemask while in the bench
area. For a violation of this rule, after a warning by the
Referee, a misconduct penalty for an equipment violation
shall be assessed to the offending player.
(d) All players, including goalkeepers, in all age classifications
below Adults, are required to wear a facemask certified
by HECC, plus any chin protection that accompanies the
(Note) Any helmet or facemask that is altered except as
permitted in Rule 304(c) shall be deemed to be illegal
equipment and shall not be allowed to be used in a game.
The player, or such equipment, shall be removed from the
game until corrected. (This shall include helmets from
which a part has been cut or removed, facemasks from
which the chin-cup has been removed or any other such
alterations from the original manufacturing specifications.)
(e) In all classifications, including Adults, if a skater’s helmet/
facemask comes off during play, the officials shall stop play
immediately. The skater shall be ruled off the ice and may
not participate in the game until completion of the ensuing
In all classifications, if the goalkeeper’s helmet/
facemask comes off during play, the officials shall stop play
immediately. However, the goalkeeper shall not be ruled off
the ice prior to the face-off.
A minor penalty for delay of game shall be assessed to
a goalkeeper or skater who causes a stoppage of play by
deliberately removing their helmet/facemask during play.
(f) All players, including goalkeepers, in the 12 & under
(Youth and Girls’) through Youth 18 & under (including
High School) and Girls’ 19 & under age classifications are
required to wear a colored (non-clear) internal mouthpiece
that covers all the remaining teeth of one jaw, customarily
the upper.
It is strongly recommended, in all classifications,
that all players wear a mouthpiece form fitted by a dentist.
For the first violation of this rule, the team shall be
issued a warning. A misconduct penalty for an equipment
violation shall be assessed to any player or goalkeeper of
that team for a subsequent violation during that game.
(g) USA Hockey recommends that players wear a neck
laceration protector, choosing a design that covers as much
of the neck area as possible.

(h) All players who wear the required, or recommended,
protective equipment must wear it in the manner for which
it is designed.
For violation of this rule, following a team warning, a
misconduct penalty for an equipment violation shall be

USA Hockey (2021-25 Official Rules and Casebook of Ice Hockey)

Situations: 18, 19, 20, 21

LCAHL (Bylaws of Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League Revised July 2015)

Section 18.4 Neck Guards
Neck guards are optional but are highly recommended for all Players.

I-275 (I-275 Mite and Mini-Mite Hockey League Rules and Regulations Revised September 19, 2022)

Equipment/Procedures: All teams' players, playing in the I-275 League must wear neck guards and mouth guards. Players without a neck guard or mouth guard will be asked to leave the ice surface until compliant. Teams failing to follow this rule will face disciplinary actions as determined by the EC.
Players are required to have full regulation ice hockey equipment as defined by USA Hockey.