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Protective Gear Check Protocol

Protective Gear Checks must be completed as described in this protocol prior to every JRDA Sanctioned or
Regulation game. The Event Head Referee is responsible for ensuring that these Protective Gear Checks are
completed as described herein. There are separate procedures for pre-game and post-halftime checks. In the
event of discrepancy between these procedures and manufacturer instructions regarding sizing, use, and/or
maintenance, manufacturer instructions take precedence. The Event Head Referee is the final authority on
anything worn on the track, and may request that any item be modified or removed to maintain safety for all

The Event Head Referee may and should enlist other Officials familiar with this protocol to conduct Protective
Gear Checks. No Official who is uncomfortable with performing Protective Gear Checks is required to do so.
Protective Gear Checks should be performed in as public a space as possible, and cannot be performed any
place where Parents/Guardians, Captains, and/or Coaches are excluded. No Protective Gear Check that
involves touching of equipment will be performed on any Skater without their verbal consent before each

Skaters, Parents/Guardians, Captains, or Coaches may request a specific individual perform the Protective
Gear Check for themselves or an associated Skater. Captains or Coaches may request specific individual(s)
(typically Coaches or Bench Staff) perform the Protective Gear Check for their entire team. In such cases, the
Protective Gear Check will be supervised by the Event HR and/or other appointed Official(s) who will facilitate
and observe each individual check to ensure it is properly performed.

Protective Gear Checks are part of Officials’ overall responsibility for safety, as with issuing penalties and/or
warnings for Equipment Violations. Officials do not assume additional responsibility by performing or
supervising Protective Gear Checks. All Skaters (and their Parents/Guardians) are responsible for compliance
with the safety and gear requirements found in this document, the applicable rules, and JRDA Rules Addenda.

The Team Coach is additionally responsible for ensuring that all team Skaters verify equipment prior to

Protective Gear Checks by Coaches and/or Officials are highly suggested for all practices and other on-skates

Performing a Full Protective Gear Check (Pre-Game)

Pre-Game Protective Gear Checks are ideally performed trackside in front of team benches. Each Skater will
be assessed individually. Multiple checks may occur simultaneously provided there are enough individuals to

1) Introduction and Permission
a) Introduce yourself. Explain the gear check and request verbal permission. For example: “Hi. I’m
Shebra, and I’ll be checking your gear for safety purposes. I’ll explain what I’m doing as I do it.
This will require me to touch your gear. Is that okay?”
b) Continue with the gear check only after the Skater has consented.
2) Helmet
a) Visually check the helmet with the Skater wearing it. If the Skater is wearing a helmet cover,
they must remove it when the helmet is checked. The helmet must be worn low over the
forehead, with the front rim approximately at the eyebrows. The shell must be in good repair.
b) Explain to the Skater that you need to touch their helmet and ask them to hold their head still.
c) Apply slight pressure to the helmet, shifting it first front to back, then side to side and finally
gently attempt to lift the helmet vertically off the head. The helmet must not move or tilt
independently of the head. Skaters may wear head coverings such as bandanas under their
helmet, but these must not interfere with the proper fit and function of the helmet.
d) Check that the helmet hard foam lining does not move independently nor come free from the
hard outer shell. A helmet with a hard shell that moves independently of its hard foam lining is
not permitted.
e) Check that the neck strap is snug to the chin, but still allows for the Skater to move their head
without being choked. If the straps feature sliders, the sliders must be located as close to the
earlobe as possible.
f) Optional face shields compliant with the WFTDA Risk Management Guidelines are permitted.
Note: While transparent visors are allowed, and mirrored or iridium visors are prohibited, visors
or face shields that are not 100% transparent (due to tint for example) may be permitted if the
wearer's eyes, including pupils, can be clearly and distinctly seen - as determined by the
Tournament / Game Head Referee. A tinted visor cleared in one instance might be prohibited in
another, because varying conditions may require different allowances. A visor allowable under
one set of conditions might be problematic with different lighting, for example, even at different
times in the same venue.

Note: If Skaters are wearing skates they must take a knee or sit before removing or unclasping their
helmet for adjustments.

Junior Roller Derby Association.

Bold. Confident. United.