They are used as somewhat of a distraction, because when you look at the goalie, the first thing you look to is where you want to the puck to go, but if you concentrate on the mask, then the puck wont go where you want it to. i believe the first 2 goalies to have their masks painted were doug favel who had the "starburst" on his mask and gerry cheevers he had the stiches in his mask in the 70's
Players bumping helmets after wins and with the goalies after a block have been traditions for as long as hockey has been around. It is their way for showing support and congratulating each other.
An NHL team is allowed to have 3 goalies on a team. A team is only allowed to have to dressed goalies to start a game.
They started wearing helmets when a guy got tackled and he got an injury so they decided to make an invention that protects your head from you getting hurt. It's made of hard steel so when you bump into somebody you don't get an injury. That's when they started making helmets......
Leather helmets were used from the 1900's through the 1940's. The first plastic helmets were in the 1950's-60's.
The wearing of helmets became compulsory after the death of Andrey Kivilev in 2003.
The most used, especially in younger leauges, are Schutt and Ridell helmets. In the older leagues you also start to see a more modern designed helmets that is a Revolution helmet
Helmets were worn by most NFL players when the league started in 1920, however they were not made mandatory until 1943. The NCAA did not require players to wear helmets until 1939.
Baseball helmets became popular in the 1950s although wearing a helmet at bat was not made a mandatory rule until 1971.