As women we have two choices if we want to play. The cage or the mask and each can have benefits but I will give my position on all forms of face protection including having nothing on the face.
· There is this thing called self-preservation that leaves you the moment you decided to stand up on a thin piece of steel, running around like a marathon runner while having the risk of being hit from players, sticks, and pucks. All of this is concerns for our safety but I know my risk for injury just like every other hockey player and I refuse to be one of those delicate wall flowers who cannot stand a little action.
· The Face Cage
o The face cage is one of the options female hockey players have on the ice. It can leave some holes for vision and not quite that strong for hits. This is ideal if you wear glasses in the ice and you want to breathe the most. This is also nice if you need your water on the bench without having to lift the face piece.
· The Shield
o The shield is basically a windshield that traps the heat and fogs up. This does offer the most protection and visibility but you will lack the comfort. It is not ideal if you need to drink frequently on the bench or if you need to wear glasses.
· Half Shield/Half Cage Combo
This option will have your eyes protected but your mouth and nose area will have the cage. This option is safe and more comfortable. I always recommend wearing a mouth guard with no matter what face protection you choose. This is the closest women can get to wearing a visor.
· The Visor
The visor is forbidden for women over “safety” issues, we all know the risks. This will have good vision and full breathability. If I could wear this during a game, I would.
· No Face Protection
Early women’s hockey had no protection for the face and head. We played for years without being fully covered and we lived to tell the tale. This would have the most risk for injury.
The story here is if you are over eighteen, let us make our own choice for what we want to wear on our faces. If you play hockey, you are well aware with the risks you have to take and the outcomes of all of the risks.