UPDATED| BC Hockey announces full face masks mandatory for Junior B players next year

Players wearing full face cages. Photo courtesy: Facebook page.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – BC Hockey announced Tuesday that full face protection will be required for all Junior B players starting next season.

This includes the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, Pacific Junior Hockey League and the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League as well as the Fort St. John Huskies and Dawson Creek Canucks.

“We have been talking about it for a year and a half,” said BC Hockey Chief Executive Officer, Barry Petrachenko. It felt like the right time as parents, players and hockey are ready for it.” He added, “I have been in touch with my colleague at Alberta Hockey as they are in the same boat, but at this time they have yet to make the same steps that we made today. It’s a process that we will continue to work at to ensure the best outcome for our players in Junior B hockey in B.C.”

In terms of dental or eye coverage for players, Junior B teams will see a 71 percent reduction in major medical and dental premiums under the Hockey Canada Insurance Program down from $45 dollars to $10 per year with the move to full face protection.

It comes down to insurance,” added General Manager Jeremy Clothier. “Hockey governing bodies pays out huge dollars for insurance for teeth, eyes, etc every year. This should lower that.”

Currently, around five percent of Junior A players competing in the BC Hockey League wear full face protection.

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