Safer Sport

It is our collective duty to safeguard the safety and enjoyment of everyone participating in ice hockey. Taking measures to reduce risks in the sport is crucial, not only to enhance the overall experience but also to provide reassurance to players, parents, and guardians.

As the rules of hockey are continually developing, it is imperative for those involved in planning and executing hockey activities to prioritise the safety of all participants in our sport.

First Aid provision

Every club is responsible for ensuring they meet the minimum requirements set out by England Ice Hockey.

The following minimum standards are required for all England Ice Hockey fixtures:

  • First aider
  • First aid kit (checked before each game)
  • Risk assessment (shared with visiting team)
  • Medical emergency action plan shared with visiting team (MEAP)
  • A telephone to summon the emergency services

It is recommended that a professional medical practitioner is available for supporting the medical requirements of participants within any EIH competition. This person must be registered with England Ice Hockey and the club and must be named on the gameday team list. The minimum requirements for this can be found in the England Ice Hockey Regulations.

England Ice Hockey also strongly recommends that as many supporting personnel as possible are first aid trained.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (UK Coaching)

UK Coaching, in collaboration with Resuscitation Council UK, St John Ambulance and Joe Humphies Memorial Trust, have produced a free e-learning course around how to prepare for and what to do in the case of someone having a sudden cardiac arrest. The course is around 30 minutes long and can be completed by anyone regardless of previous medical experience. To access this course, please click here.

This course is part of the mandatory requirements for L1 coaches and above.

Injury reporting

To ensure the continued safety of all members, England Ice Hockey require data of injuries sustained across the sport. It is imperative that EIH collects this data in order to influence rules changes and improve the safety of the sport.

All clubs are required to complete EIH online ‘Injury Report Form’ following injuries sustained that require one or more of the following:

  • Treatment deemed as moderate or serious by the trained First Aider or Medical Team Bench Official
  • Any injury resulting in hospital treatment
  • Any potential concussion
  • Any injury resulting in subsequent visit(s) to a GP
  • Administering of medication (for EIH run events only)

In addition, all clubs have a responsibility to record any injuries using accident report forms/accident books. Accident reports should be stored for a minimum of 10 years or until the individual is 25 years old if they are aged U18 at the time of the injury. All personal information should be processed, stored and retained in accordance with both the Club’s Privacy Notice and data protection policies.

In the event of an injury, insured clubs will be liable for the actions of its members.

All clubs associated with EIH have a duty of care towards young people in the sport. It is essential that a young person’s parent or guardian is informed of any injury a child sustained whilst participating in hockey activity. Clubs should ensure that the individual(s) responsible for the delivery of hockey activity have access to relevant medical information and that parent/guardian contact details are readily available in case of an emergency for all junior players and stored in accordance with all relevant data protection legislation.



If in doubt, sit them out!

In 2023, the UK Government and Sport and Recreation Alliance published UK-wide Concussion Guidance for Grassroots Sport which sets out steps to improve understanding and awareness of the prevention and treatment of concussion in grassroots sport where trained medical professionals are less likely to be routinely present. It is targeted at people of all ages.

The UK Concussion Guidelines for Non-Elite (Grassroots) Sport can be viewed here.

England Ice Hockey have adopted this guidance which now applies to all clubs.

‘If in doubt, sit them out’ is the strapline, making clear no-one should return to sport within 24 hours of a suspected concussion.

Players, parents, coaches, teachers and administrators are now asked to read the guidance and familiarise themselves with the necessary steps to:

RECOGNISE the signs of concussion;

REMOVE anyone suspected of being concussed immediately and;

RETURN safely to daily activity, education/work and, ultimately, sport.

Additional training

Concussion Awareness (UK Coaching)

UK Coaching have produced an e-learning course to give you an essential understanding of concussion and its impact on a participant. The course will help you understand what concussion is and how to recognise signs and symptoms, and how to a participant’s safe and sustainable return to play, and can be accessed here.

The course is £10.00 or available free of charge to all registered coaches with their premium UK Coaching subscription provided by England Ice Hockey. This course is a mandatory requirement for L1 coaches and above.

Protective equipment

Skaters’ equipment consists of sticks, skates, protective equipment and uniforms. All protective equipment – except gloves, helmets, neck guards and skates – must be worn entirely underneath the uniform. Equipment must confirm to IIHF safety standards and be used only to protect skaters, not to enhance or improve playing ability or cause injury to an opponent. Full equipment, including helmets and neck guards, must also be worn properly during the pre-game warm-up.

All skaters’ equipment and kit must adhere to the rules set out by the IIHF, with the exceptions imposed by England Ice Hockey as outlined in the Rules and Regulations.

Neck guards

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. 

Policies and resources

Download useful policies, resources and templates below.

Injury Reporting Policy
Concussion Tool CRT6
Child Basic Life Support
Child Choking Algorithm
Adult Basic Life Support
Adult Choking Algorithm
Ice Hockey Kit Poster
Medical Emergency Action Plan Template
Rink Risk Assessment Template
Overseas Travel Risk Assessment Template