I've seen kids get hit in the ear with the puck and thankfully they had an ear guard in. Wasn't pretty, could have been worse.
U18 is the key. It is still considered Youth Hockey until Jrs, College or Men’s League. As a parent is worth the risk?
Guys I get it, but it was a school assigned helmet. I just thought if he wore it all last year it should be fine this year also. He already bought some guards and put them in for todays game, just had not heard of it before.
High schools fall under NFHS rules (instead of USA Hockey), I am almost certain (not 100%) that preps do as well.
This link compares USA to NFHS to NCAA:
Section 3 is equipment: but ear guards are not mentioned (might be too minor to highlight).