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Players under 18 are now required to wear neck protection in USA Hockey games, enhancing safety on the ice.
Photo credit: Sportsnet

USA Hockey Mandates Neck Protection For All Youth Players

Published January 28, 2024 at 4:05 PM
BY

There's big news out of USA Hockey.
They've announced all players under 18 have to wear neck protection starting August 1, 2024. It's a big move, sparked by a tragic incident involving Adam Johnson from England's Nottingham Panthers, who lost his life to a neck injury from a skate blade cut.

Mike Trimboli, president of USA Hockey, stressed in the official statement how safety is always a top priority, saying,
Safety is always at the forefront of our conversations.


It's been a lengthy process, as the people at USA Hockey had some discussions and consultations to ensure they got it right. It's all about minimizing risks and creating a safer environment for young athletes in the game.


Prioritizing Player Safety: USA Hockey's Mandate for Under-18 Players:



While players over 18 aren't required to wear neck protectors, USA Hockey strongly recommends it. They're all about promoting player safety and reducing the chances of severe injuries during games and practices.

This move isn't just about the USA. It's part of a bigger trend in hockey, with the International Ice Hockey Federation already making neck guards mandatory for all levels of its tournaments. It's a global effort to make the game safer for everyone involved.

A Global Effort: Trends in Hockey Safety Beyond the USA:



Canada's already on board, with all three Major Junior Hockey leagues making neck protection mandatory since November 2023. It's setting the tone for other leagues and organizations to follow suit, putting player safety first.

While the NHL is still discussing neck protection mandates, USA Hockey's decision is a clear signal: player safety, especially for young athletes, is non-negotiable. It's a step in the right direction to ensure hockey remains fun, competitive, and, above all, safe for everyone.
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January 28   |   160 answers
USA Hockey Mandates Neck Protection For All Youth Players

Should neck protection be mandatory for all hockey players under the age of 18?

Yes14993.1 %
No116.9 %
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