Hockey Belgium have made wearing of masks for the penalty corner mandatory at junior level from the 2023/24 season.
The new edict applies to all defenders on the PC line at under-10 level.
If there is no goalkeeper, there may be five players in the goal, with a PC mask from under-14 level.
If no masks are present, or one or more are missing, the defenders without protection are prohibited from taking part in the PC.
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“Wearing a PC mask is therefore mandatory at all youth competitions, but also highly recommended for adults,” Hockey Belgium said in a statement.
“The union gives extra time to the teams to be ok with the masks. As a result, the obligation will only come into effect from 1 October 2023.
“For the safety of the children, it is of course highly recommended to wear the necessary masks on the first day of play.”
England Hockey “strongly recommends” face masks should be worn across all age groups when defending a penalty corner, rather than any mandatory ruling.