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Should helmets be fastened tighter? November 9, 2009

Posted by calvin in Uncategorized.
Tags: ,

Take a look at the following, but only if you have a strong stomach:

Kitchener Rangers player in hospital after brutal hit

If, like me, you don’t have a strong stomach for this sormt of thing, here’s what happened – Ben Fanelli, a player for the Kitchener Rangers, was bringing the puck behind his own net. Michael Liambas, of the Erie Otters, was heading toward him, so Fanelli tried to reverse the puck to get it to his defense partner. Liambas hit him high, and Fanelli’s helmet flew off as he fell to the ice. He was unconscious on the ice for 40 minutes, and is now is critical condition at a local hospital.

Ok, there’s the story. Now for the debate. We all know the players keep the straps on their helmets just tight enough to keep them on their heads. We’ve all seen the helmet go flying off a player’s head when he gets hit, even if it’s not a vicious hit like this one was.

Fanellli suffered a fractured skull and also broke his orbital bone. The question is: if his helmet had been properly secured, would he have been hurt so badly?

Please don’t think I’m taking Liambas’ side in this – it was a dirty hit, from a player who appears to have a volatile temper and may very well be a danger to everyone around him. However, the question remains – would hits cause less injury if the helmets stayed on more often?



1. Derek J. Punaro - November 10, 2009

One would think the players would realize it’s in their best interest to keep their helmets securely attached to their head. But it does lead down the slippery slope of the “safer” you tend to make a game, the more violet the game becomes. I look at football as being near the limit of how rough it can be. The body can only absorb so much abuse, regardless of how much conditioning it undergoes and how much protective equipment is added to it. The players just get stronger and hit harder, to the point where you’re as concerned about who your team is going to lose to injury that week as you are the final score.

Hockey could head down the same path if it’s not careful.

2. Shelby Rose - November 9, 2009

The helmets have padding inside for a reason. To soften the impact of a hit if someone’s head goes into the boards or hits the ice. I think if the helmets were more securely fastened on players, there wouldn’t be so many injuries like this. Then again, there have been plenty of cases where a helmet being on still doesn’t help when someone is viciously hit…

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