Wednesday, July 20, 2011
10.1.3.1 Chin guards, form fitting shields such as nose guards, turtle shell bras, tailbone protectors and shin guards may have a hard protective shell. No other optional protective gear may have hard protective shells.
Following yesterday's rule allowing optional protective gear, today's rule specifies which optional equipment may have a hard protective shell. Only a specific list of items may have a hard shell, and those only because they are, for the most part, form fitting, but also because they protect parts of the body that are not legal blocking zones. A hard shin guard is ok because skaters are not allowed to use their shins to contact another skaters; if they do so, the affect on safety is great enough that the shin guard won't really be impacting it much greater. A skater using a shin guard to block will end up with a Low Blocking penalty. Same goes for chin guards, and far shields; both Blocking With the Head. The impact to safety from a turtle shell bra or tailbone protector is much less than the benefit of wearing them, thus they are approved with hard shells. Shoulder pads, shorts, arm guards, and other similar protective equipment would pose a threat to the safety of other skaters as those are the areas where the most contact is made.