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Ottawa minor hockey association drops mandatory mouth guard requirement

It's no longer mandatory for kids in the Ottawa District Minor Hockey Association to wear mouthguards.

For years they were believed to prevent concussions, but new research finds that's not the case.

The ODMHA is still strongly recommending kids wear them, but that's ultimately a decision left up to the family.

Some parents told CTV Ottawa, they still felt mouthguards were an important piece of equipment.

"I think it's a parent's individual decision," she said. "For myself, I think any extra protection that they can get, because it can get pretty rough out there sometimes, you know they fall, they bang into people and any extra protection they can get is always a good thing."

"I certainly wear one when I play men's league hockey and I feel safer wearing one," said Nepean Dragons coach Chris Deruiter.

Some coaches said they would still call for mouthguards on the ice, even though they could not penalize kids for not wearing them.

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