The Stonewall Arena hopes a band of pale orange paint around the rink will help prevent life-threatening injuries during hockey games.

In August, the arena painted an orange "look-up line" around the ice, 42 inches wide, to alert players when they are approaching the boards. Since then, it's caused quite a stir.

"It might look a little weird for the first bit but if everyone starts looking at it and asking questions at least it's doing its job," said Stonewall's supervisor for parks and the arena, Brett Chatfield.

The idea to paint a look-up line was suggested to Chatfield from the general manager of the Stonewall Jets, Ralph Nespor, who saw it used in Bottineau, North Dakota

Colliding into boards is one of the culprits behind severe head injuries, according to the Canada Safety Council. In November, Manitoba's junior hockey community was rocked by a fall into the boards that paralyzed 20-year-old player, Braden Pettinger.

When players are pushed into boards, here's a good chance they can get more injured than if they're hit on open ice, said Chatfield.

The look-up line does two things, he said. It warns players with the puck to pay attention to hits from behind and it tells other players, if they hit a someone in this area, the player may get really hurt.

"It helps the refs and coaches for teaching the kids how to hit properly too," Chatfield added.

Look-up line

A poster displayed at Stonewall Arena. (Courtesy of Brett Chatfield)