Bay Arena introducing new helmet policy
Helmets and the use of them have long been a hot button topic for arenas around the country. The discussion has centred around the use of them during recreational skates. Traditionally, it has been customary for children to be required to wear them for safety purposes, but now arenas like the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts are exploring doing the same for everyone using their ice. As of Jan. 1, the Bay Arena will implement a policy that does just that.
The Bay Arena in Bay Roberts has plans to look after your noggin and the noggin of others.
Starting in the New Year, the stadium will be implementing a new helmet policy that dictates all users must wear a helmet if they want to take advantage of the facility.
The policy states that effective Jan. 1, 2015, all participants during ice related activities at The Bay Arena must wear a Canadian Standards Association (CSA) approved protective helmet for ice sports.
“Anyone who goes on the ice has to wear a helmet,” said stadium manager Norm Hill.
However, the approved helmets are not limited to hockey helmets. Also approved under the new policy are snowboard helmets, ski helmets and ice halos.
Hill said the group made the decision to develop the policy after an incident last March that saw a patron fall and bang their head on the ice.
After that happened, Hill traveled to a conference in Moncton, N.B. There, he spoke with the local stadium manager about the incident.
“They had the same policy we’re putting in,” he said.
The Clarenville Event Centre is looking at a similar policy, according to Hill.
The Bay Arena previously had a helmet policy in place that only applied to younger skaters.
There is only one exception to the new policy. Figure skaters with the Conception Bay North Skating Club, and other similar organizations, who are registered with Skate Canada and have successfully completed the Can Skate program are exempt from wearing a protective helmet during practice and competitions.
A new year, new policy
Initially, the plan was to roll out the new policy in September when the stadium first opened. But Hill decided to give it “two or three months.” Posters were placed around the rink informing the public of the upcoming changes.
“Safety is on everyone’s mind,” he said.
The situation is different in nearby Harbour Grace. There is no such ban at the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium, but newly minted manager Mike Adam is not ruling it out.
“It is something we’re looking at,” he said. “It is definitely the trend.”
While Harbour Grace does not have a specific policy in place, they do “highly encourage” people to wear a helmet when they skate.
Hill recognizes there may be some who will find it odd getting used to the new policy, but expects it to be a smooth transition overall.
“It is there for your protection,” he said.
The Bay Arena in Bay Roberts.