Nova Scotia

New rules for hockey headshots in effect

Minor Hockey Leagues across Nova Scotia are adjusting to new rules on headshots to prevent injuries.

Minor Hockey Leagues across Nova Scotia are adjusting to new rules on headshots to prevent injuries.

Hockey Canada has introduced new penalties to avoid the kind of concussion that put Nova Scotia's own Sidney Crosby out of the game for the past nine months.

Accidental contact of another player's head will mean a two-minute penalty.  If it's intentional, a four-minute penalty will be called.

A player will sit out for ten minutes or game misconduct for any head shot with violence — or if a player is injured.

Darren Cosser, executive director of Hockey Nova Scotia, said everyone understands the need for the new rules.

"Again, it's all about educating parents and then the coaches and players to understand the rule. Now that the season is underway, the rule is being called — there's at least three or four of these being called every game," Crosser said.

"But the teams understand that that's happening and their players are learning."

Cossar said the move will make the game safer, but won't eliminate clean body checks, so fans shouldn't worry about the state of the game of hockey.

The NHL is considering making the same rule in the future.

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