USAH Facemask Guideline – May 2020

Posted on Player Safety:

As USA Hockey continues adapting to the coronavirus situation, the safety of participants always remains our top priority.

FACEMASK QUESTIONS: USA Hockey has been asked about the effectiveness of a full clear shield on helmets in mitigation of COVID-19 and also about whether masks should be worn to cover the mouth and nose under helmets while practicing/playing. See below for guidance and/or click here for information.

As together we make our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, USA Hockey has been asked if wearing a helmet with a full clear shield is better than a visor (half shield) or cage. In addition, many are asking about players wearing a face mask to cover their mouth/nose while practicing or in games. Below is information that we hope is helpful.


There is no scientific proof that a full clear shield on a hockey helmet provides better protection against infectious diseases compared to a visor (half shield) or cage. That being said, a full clear shield is likely better than a visor (half shield) or cage, as it:

1. Can act as a barrier in case someone in close proximity coughs or sneezes,

2. May be a deterrent to decrease touching of the face (vs. cages where players stick their fingers through the cage),

3. Likely to prevent spitting on the ice/bench (should be enforced regardless).

It should be noted that a full clear shield will not prevent the inhalation of aerosolized droplets, and it is important that, regardless of what kind of mask a player wears, it be cleaned thoroughly after each use.


As for face masks to cover your mouth and nose, the CDC does not currently recommend those be used during physical activity.