Helmet Use During On-Ice Activities Policy
Helmet use is mandatory in the situations described in the following Helmet Usage section. Individual on-ice activities may have additional helmet or equipment requirements.
All individuals who do not meet the criteria outlined in this policy will be asked to comply with this policy by using an approved helmet or asked to leave the ice surface. In all situations not specifically described, the Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services Department strongly recommends all on-ice activity participants wear an approved helmet during any on-ice activity, regardless of participant age or skating ability. Research suggests that wearing an approved helmet while on the ice greatly reduces the risk of injury.
It is the responsibility of Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services staff and volunteers (including outdoor rink volunteers) who are present before and during City of Ottawa led on-ice activities to ensure adherence to this policy. It is the responsibility of Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services Management to ensure all relevant staff have read and understand this policy.
Please see Definitions section for additional explanation.
On-Ice City of Ottawa Programs
All children, youth and adults participating in indoor or outdoor City of Ottawa registered on-ice programming are required to wear an approved helmet. A hockey helmet with a cage (face shield) is recommended, especially for young children. Individual on-ice activities may have additional helmet or equipment requirements.
All skaters 10 years and under, are required to wear an approved helmet during all indoor or outdoor public or specialty skating sessions staffed by City of Ottawa
employees or volunteers that occur on City of Ottawa ice surfaces. It is highly recommended skaters of all ages wear an approved helmet.
Staff and Volunteers
It is mandatory that all RCFS staff and volunteers wear an approved helmet at all times while performing duties on all indoor or outdoor ice surfaces, including first aid response, photography, coaching, etc. It is mandatory that all Facility Operations (FOS) staff, contractors, City staff or volunteers responding to an emergency, or other City staff or volunteers not named in this policy, wear an approved helmet or a CEN 1077 safety standard compliant helmet at all times while performing any type of duties on ice surfaces.
All organizations such as hockey groups, leagues, associations, schools and community groups that permit, rent, or contract City of Ottawa operated ice surfaces are to abide by this policy, their contract as well as their organization’s guidelines and policies as they relate to the use of helmets. For all individual, community or company private bookings such as special events or birthday parties, it is required that all children under the age of 10 wear an approved helmet while on the ice and highly recommended that all users wear an approved helmet.
Parents / guardians of infants under 12 months of age must adhere the City of Ottawa Public Skating rules of conduct. Infants under 12 months of age who cannot wear a CSA certified hockey helmet must be safely secured in a stroller at all times. Parents / guardians may not carry infants on the ice. It is recommended all occupants of wheelchairs, sledges, strollers or any other mobility device on the ice wear an approved helmet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why CSA approved hockey helmets?
CSA hockey helmets are multi-impact helmets designed to help protect against head injuries occurring on ice, whether from a fall or collision. It is important to ensure that when a skater is on the ice, they are protected with equipment designed for their sport or activity.
Is full face protection required as well?
Face protection (face mask, cage, etc.) is not mandatory (with some exceptions for specific activities/programs); however young skaters may benefit from the added protection.
How can I identify a helmet that is CSA approved? Where will the logo appear on the hockey helmet?
This CSA approved logo will be found on the back of the helmet affixed to the outer shell of the helmet:
For more information about CSA standards visit CSAGroup.org.
How do we accommodate participants who are unable to wear a helmet?
The inability to wear a helmet on ice must be determined on an individual case-by-case basis. City of Ottawa staff have delegated authority to make reasonable
accommodations for individual participants. For example, accommodations may allow the use of a non-compliant or modified helmet.
- City of Ottawa – Skating: Ottawa.ca
- Ottawa Public Health – Helmet Safety: OttawaPublicHealth.ca
- BMJ Learning – Injury Prevention: Injury Prevention
- Indoor Public Skating Rules: Ottawa.ca
- Approved Helmets: For the purpose of this policy only Canadian Safety Association (CSA) certified hockey helmets with all helmet straps attached. All CSA certified helmets have a sticker indicating their certification.
- City of Ottawa On-Ice Programs: Any on-ice activity or program for which clients have registered to participate with the City of Ottawa’s Recreation, Culture and Facility Services department.
- Children/Youth: Any person under the age of 18 at the start of an on-ice activity.
- Adult: Any person 18 years of age of or older at the start of an on-ice activity.
- Public/Specialty Skate: A leisure or specialty skating session for patrons of any age, for which City of Ottawa staff are present.
- Staff/Volunteers: Any individual participating in or contributing to any on ice activity who is employed by or otherwise representing the City of Ottawa or a City of Ottawa partner or affiliated organization, group or individual.
- Contract Holder: Any organization, individual or group that permits, rents, contracts, or are in anyway otherwise allowed to use a City of Ottawa operated ice surface.