Puck impact response of ice hockey face masks.
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A sample of new ice hockey face masks was struck over the nose or eye of a headform by pucks shot at velocities of 11-39 m/s (25-87 m.p.h.). Deformation of the masks was studied from high speed film. Acceleration pulses transmitted to the center of gravity of the headform were recorded. Peak accelerations never exceeded 86 G's and were well below reported concussion thresholds (200 G's). The film showed contact of the mask or puck with the face at puck velocities of 28 m/s (60 m.p.h.) and above. These results indicate a somewhat lower "safe" puck impact velocity (28 m/s) than that stated by the Canadian Standards Association (32 m/s) under the standard which applied to these masks. Some boys 12 years and older can shoot pucks at 28 m/s (60 m.p.h.). We urge that all manufacturers of sports protective equipment incorporate state of the science, quantitative evaluations of their products, beyond minimum CSA standard testing, in their design programs to improve the quality of information transmitted to the public.
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