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February 24,2020, Globe and Mail

A story by Wendy Leung, the Globe's Health Reporter, about helmets: "Synthetic head may aid concussion research." Quotes:

"Blaine Hoshizaki, director of the University of Ottawa's Neurotrauma Impact Science laboratory, says that helmets were originally designed to prevent catastrophic head injuries, such as skull fractures. But neither helmets nor the standards for testing them were intended to protect against conditions such as concussion or CTE [chronic traumatic encephalopathy)."

Dr.Lee Goldstein, of the Boston University CTE Centre, says "...advances in helmet design may give people false assurances that they are protected."

December 2019: It looks as though the CSA's monopoly on hockey helmet accreditation is about to get in bigger trouble, with the new trilateral trade agreement: Read more

Helmets have lost some of their luster in both the medical and the sports media. It turns out that they have some important limitations in preventing concussions -- which is really their main purpose, as far as many skaters are concerned. The City of Toronto has hung on to its mandatory helmet policy, requiring all shinny hockey player to put on head armour. Little kids under 6 are also required to wear ONLY CSA-certified hockey helmets -- for pleasure-skating. Hockey helmets are designed to absorb impacts from pucks, sticks, and body-checking.

CELOS, the Centre for Local Research into Public Space (the sponsor of this website) has collected quite a bit of material on all sides of the helmet question. Opinion

A Rink Safety Story

The approach of mandating hockey helmets for little kids effectively blocks families from using the rinks if they don't want to buy another set of helmets in addition to the bike (or trike!) helmets most kids already have.

Read this rink user's story

The Data

Noncompliance by shinny hockey players continues to rise citywide. The city's inability to enforce its own policy should be a flag to rinks management.

Data collected by Rule-Makers

Data collected by CELOS

Helmet Rules Across Canada

PFR Management

It's time to revisit the helmet rules, but with a different procedure than the last time. Instead of a staff decision made at a closed meeting at City Hall, the city should welcome wide-ranging rink-user input. Read our latest letter from Kelvin Seow, City Manager for PFR, and the latest letters to and from Jim Hart, General Manager for the PFR, City of Toronto.

Click on correspondence for everything we've received from city management through the years.

Problems with the City's Helmet Policy


City Rinks Special Edition on Helmets

Read the Special Helmets Issue and its References as published January 9th, 2014


"Restore CSA"

A Calgary group called RestoreCSA: they say that the CSA's monopoly on hockey helmet certification in Canada "appears to be in violation of multiple sections of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)"

On November 28th, 2013, the Federal Industry Minister, James Moore, made a declaration to Parliament that materials developed by the CSA and incorporated into provincial laws are merely "voluntary standards" whose character as independent of the law is unchanged by inclusion within the law. As noted previously, this action invalidates as a legal requirement all inclusions within law as furnished by CSA or other commercial entities." 178 specific CSA standards included within a wide variety of Federal laws.

Z262.1 is the identifier for the CSA standard for Ice Hockey Helmets.

Additional Web links

From Ken Dryden's book Game Change:

"Some helmet skeptics had argued for decades that head protection made a player more, not less, vulnerable. Without a helmet, a player can sense danger even from behind; with a helmet, it's as if his radar is jammed...Helmets lessen the risk of a fractured skull, but do almost nothing to prevent concussions."

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Content last modified on February 27, 2020, at 09:18 AM EST