The Look-Up Line™, ice hockey’s first warning track; is an adjunct to decreasing the risk of head and catastrophic spinal cord injuries. The Look-Up Line™ does NOT affect the speed, intensity or heritage of the game of hockey, and does not require new playing rules directed at the player.

Most major sports are conducting their own injury research and looking for ways to reduce the occurrence of head and spinal injuries. New studies are focusing on better diagnostics and treatment procedures however we believe a preventative approach is far more effective. The safety challenge in ice hockey lies with how to continue developing bigger, faster and stronger athletes while trying to operate within a progressively safer framework. The best solution to a complex problem is often the most simple, and we believe the Look-Up Line™ is the answer to a safer game of ice hockey.

The Look-Up Line™ is a thought provoking tool that serves multi-purposes:

1. Warn players to keep their heads up to prevent head and neck injuries.

2. Warn players to be careful not to body check (contact) opposing players from behind.

3. Allow players time to make proper bodily adjustments before hitting the boards.

4. Alleviate the failure to warn (board related) issue that currently exists in hockey.

5. Remind on ice coaches and officials to continue to warn players about safety in hockey.

The Look-Up Line™ is a warning track extending 40 inches in width around the circumference of the rink. The Look-Up Line™ is colored pantone 151C safety orange and does not interfere with any other lines on the hockey surface. The 40 inch width warning track allows for no overlapping of any face-off dots, lower circles, or hash marks.


Change is difficult, however when the change keeps athletes safer without negatively impacting play, it is undeniable. All of the following sports have made the proper playing surface modifications to help ensure a participants’ safety before hitting a solid object:


  • In 1974 the NFL moved goalposts to the back of the end zone.
  • Additionally it is required that players and coaches stand 5 yards back from the field of play.


  • The NBA evolved it’s hoop to the current padded L-shaped framing posts to ensure player safety.
  • Players, coaches and fans are required to sit at least 3-5 feet back from the court of play.


  • In July 1949 the MLB implemented a warning track ranging 10-15 feet around the perimeter of their fields.


  • All Olympic size pools have black lines on the bottom of the pools in each swimming lane. These lines end roughly 6-½ feet before the edge of the wall.

These modifications all have one thing in common: They give athletes the opportunity to pick up their heads and make proper bodily adjustments before hitting a solid object, something the Look-Up Line™  will do for hockey players.


In just under one year since it was first put down at the Pingree School in Hamilton, MA we are proud to say that the feedback has been amazing!  Currenly over 225 rinks have confirmed that they will install the Look-Up Line™ on their ice by October 2014.  The Thomas E. Smith Foundation is confident that through collaboration and support we will continue to grow this number, and that progressive thinking will drive the change to make hockey safer for players at all levels.

Please Click the Video Below to Learn How to Install the Look-Up Line™ in Your Rink:

For more information about the Look-Up Line™ please contact info@justcureparalysis.org


Thomas E. Smith-Boston Bulldogs Jr. A ’09

Timothy A. Roberts- Buffalo Sabres ’87

Stefan L. Brannare- Pittsburgh Penguins ’97

Contributing Founders:

J. Tucker Mullin- St. Anselm College ’13

Dr. Alan Ashare- USA Hockey

Buddy Taft- Hockey Coach, Pingree School

Christopher K. Smith- Foundation Director/Hockey Enthusiast

Kandie Hale- USA Hockey Parent

Joe Bertagna- Commissioner, NCAA Hockey East