Bay Arena in­tro­duc­ing new hel­met pol­icy

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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.

Com­pass file photo

The Bay Arena in Bay Roberts.

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