OHL Rule Change


Following the tragic death of Don Sanderson in a hockey fight, long time OHL Commissioner David Branch announced a rule change last week to prevent something like this from ever happening again.

Sanderson who played defence for the Whitby Dunlops in men senior’s AAA league had his helmet dislodged during a fight this year and seconds later struck his head violently on the ice. This 21 year-old who was known by his teammates as a real character guy went into a coma and eventually on January 2 lost his life.

Even though Sanderson didn’t play in the OHL it served as a wake up call for Branch to insert stiffer penalties for either taking off your helmet during a fight or undoing the chinstrap.

Starting last Thursday, the OHL put in a new rule where a player will get a game misconduct and be suspended for the next game if they take off their helmets. Same thing goes for undoing their chinstraps.

Taking the new rule one step further, if one fighting participant takes off his helmet to do battle and the other player doesn’t, then that first player will be receive and extra minor along with the game misconduct and game suspension.

If the helmets become lose as a result of the fight then linesmen are now being told to break it up right away.

Previously in the OHL a team would be fined $100.00 if a player took off his helmet to fight.

Concussions have been a big topic the last few years and this now opens the eyes of many on the need to take action on helmets and headshots.


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