Northern Ontario minor hokey players are no longer required to wear a mouth guard while on the ice.

The Northern Ontario Hockey Association has decided to change the rules to make it optional instead of mandatory. Executive Director Jason Marchand says this boiled down to the fact that there is no proof that mouth guards prevent concussions. Marchand says the mouth guards do prevent dental injuries and that’s why the equipment use is optional. He says that those who choose to use mouth guards must do so properly or the player will receive a misconduct penalty.

This change will not apply to the junior aged players in the NOJHL. Those players are only required to wear a half visor, and the insurance policy requires junior players to wear a mouth guard on a mandatory basis.