Neck laceration protector mandate

On 30 October 2023, England Ice Hockey, along with Ice Hockey UK (IHUK) and Scottish Ice Hockey (SIH), released a statement recognising the need for short, medium and long-term action in response to the tragic death of Adam Johnson.  

Further to this statement, England Ice Hockey can confirm the short-term action of the mandating of neck laceration protectors (neck guards), which comes into effect from 1 January 2024 as instructed below. 

Ref: IIHF Rule 9.12 Neck Laceration Protectors 

In October 2023, Ice Hockey UK (IHUK), England Ice Hockey (EIH) and Scottish Ice Hockey (SIH) issued updated safety information on the wearing of neck laceration protectors (commonly referred to as neck guards) by all players.

Unless engaged in activities already covered by IIHF regulations, this confirms that IIHF Rule 9.12 on Neck Laceration Protectors will be enforced in the UK from 1 January 2024. In brief, the instruction outlines that: 

  • Neck guards must be worn by all players for all on-ice activities. For the avoidance of doubt, this includes on-ice training as well as games/tournaments
  • Players should regard a neck guard as a normal item of protective equipment when on the ice (playing or training)
  • As with any other protective equipment, neck guards must be worn without alterations and as directed by the manufacturers’ specification
  • It is strongly recommended that coaches wear a neck laceration protector whilst on the ice

Neck guards must meet the safety standard ISO 10256-5:2017 and/or BNQ 9415-970/2008.  

Equipment must conform to safety standards and be used only to protect skaters, not to enhance or improve playing ability or to cause injury to an opponent. 

Parental, guardian or any written consent requesting dispensation for a player not to wear a neck guard will not be accepted in any form of ice hockey in the UK.

This mandate applies to all players and the recommendation to coaches in all forms of ice hockey within the United Kingdom.

The mandate will apply for recreational hockey subject to the supply situation. An exception up until 31 March 2024 may be granted on application for recreational hockey players experiencing supply issues. However, this will remain under review and we reserve the right to bring the mandate into force sooner. 

These instructions apply during any on-ice activity. Any individual taking responsibility for players should take all reasonable steps to ensure that this requirement is followed at all times.  

IHUK, EIH and SIH asks that the mandate is communicated to all players and parents / guardians (where U18), and reiterates that players are not allowed to take part in any on-ice activity without wearing appropriate neck laceration protection.

With the assistance of clubs and leagues, the wearing of neck guards by players is now standard practice in ice hockey throughout the UK. 

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A correction to this article has been included regarding recreational hockey.

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