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Proper Helmet Fit in Boy's Hockey: A 12-Point Checklist

To provide maximum protection against head injuries, helmets worn by athletes in contact sports such as youth hockey, need to fit correctly, but a new study of boy's hockey players age 8 to 14 years found that less than one third of hockey helmets are properly fitted. (Williams, 2014).

Because no validated helmet fit checklist currently exists in the literature,* researchers created, with the assistance of 2 helmet and protective equipment content experts, the following checklist to assess whether a boy's youth hockey helmet fits properly:

  1. Helmet fits head snugly on all sides.
  2. Helmet covers the base of the skull.
  3. Helmet does not impinge neck movement.
  4. Crown of helmet is 1 to 2 fingers above eyebrows.
  5. Helmet does not cover eyes when pressing down.
  6. Facemask does not slip when pulled to left or right.
  7. Facemask does not slip when pulled up and down.
  8. Chin straps have equal tension.
  9. All snaps and screws are in place.
  10. All padding is in place.
  11. The helmet appears in good condition.
  12. HECC ice hockey certification sticker is visible.
The checklist items with the lowest compliance in the youth helmet players' helmets examined in the study were numbers 7 (52%), 8 (57%), and 8 (78%).
Please note that this is a checklist for assessing proper helmet fit.  It does not provide guidance as to how to obtain proper helmet fit in the initial instance. 


Williams RM, Valovich McLeod TC, Register-Mihalik JK, Mihalik JP, Marshall SW, Linnan LA, Guskiewicz KM. A Preliminary Study of Helmet Fit Characteristics and Knowledge.  Ath Tr. & Sports Health Care. 2014;6(5):206-212.