Essex Skating Facility Adds Look-Up Line

Published 08/25 2014 09:33PM

Updated 08/25 2014 11:04PM

Essex, VT -- Monday the Essex Youth Hockey Association gathered to add another line to the ice at the Essex Skating Facility. But unlike the blue line or the red-center line, this one had nothing to do with the rules. The team was adding the Look-Up Line.  

"Which is a visual prompt, a line that's painted on the ice, a visual prompt for kids to be aware of their surroundings." explained EYHA President John Laliberte. "So that, if they're approaching the boards, they can look up and potentially avoid serious injury."

The Look-Up Line comes out 40-inches from the boards. Sometimes it is just a stripe or it could be solid orange all the way to the wall. It was developed by Massachusetts hockey player Thomas E. Smith who suffered two separate spinal cord injuries while playing hockey.

"When it's brand new it'll be something that will kind of stand out to them." Laliberte said. "As time goes on, and they become more accustomed to it, it'll just be part of their playing environment, a part of what they see on the ice. Just like all the other lines that our out there and they know what they mean."

Essex was the second rink in Vermont to add the Look-Up Line. Cairns Arena in South Burlington added it to one of their rinks over the weekend.

"Obviously, we're very much interested in the safety of our players." said Laliberte. "That's one of our paramount concerns. So, we thought that it would be a great idea to have in our rink where our kids play. We wanted to see if we could be one of the first rinks in Vermont to do it. We though that would propel a lot of other associations to follow our lead and get it in more rinks around the state."

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