I beleive that rule is in place to ensure that the ends of shooting strings (for example) don't make their way through a face mask and into the eye of a player. I've been in games where players have been called on that and as crazy as it sounds it does happen. A player in a Rock game a few years ago dropped like a "rock" after being hit in the eye by a string end. He was in a LOT of pain.
The bottom line is that coaches need to make sure their players know the rules and that they follow them. If a player cuts a few extra inches off the end of his shaft or thinks he's better off with out a chin strap he can't make that the team's problem. For a coach it's pretty hard to unscramble an egg on the sidelines during a game so I'd sit him until it's rectified.
Posted on May 24, 2012, 1:27 PM from IP address 126.96.36.199