A new rule will now be applied to minor and female hockey across Oakville, Canada and is effective now for the 2011-2012 hockey season. The goal is to reduce concussions and injuries associated with head trauma. They are calling the head contact rule RESPECT.
Even when players are wearing the required gear, they can suffer serious injuries if gameplay is not properly regulated. Players are requested to watch some of the videos that outline safety including recommended equipment and the new head contact rule. There is now zero tolerance for head contact in these levels.
The new head contact rule is referred to as Rule 6.5 and states that in Minor and Female, a Minor Penalty shall be assessed to any player who accidentally contacts an opponent in the head, face or neck with his stick or any part of the player’s body or equipment. A Double Minor Penalty or a Major and a Game Misconduct Penalty shall be assessed to any player who intentionally contacts an opponent in the head, face or neck with her stick or any part of the player’s body or equipment.
Further more, in Junior and Senior, a Minor and a Misconduct penalty, or a Major and a Game Misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player who checks an opponent to the head in any manner and a Major and a Game Misconduct penalty, or a Match penalty shall be assessed any player who injures an opponent under this Rule. Finally, a Match penalty shall be assessed any player who deliberately attempts to injure or deliberately injures an opponent under this Rule.
Note: All contact above the shoulders (neck, face and head) is to be called Head Contact under one of the above (In minor and female).
Read more about what can be called and to what degree on the official OMHA website.