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USA Hockey Congress Approves Requirement for Neck Laceration Protection Starting August 1

Featured, HDA News • January 28, 2024

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO (January 28, 2024) – The USA Hockey Congress approved legislation requiring the use of neck laceration protection for players in all age classifications, other than adults, in games and practices, as well as for on-ice officials under the age of 18, effective August 1, 2024.

USA Hockey has long recommended the use of neck laceration protection, as well as cut-resistant socks, sleeves or undergarments. The USA Hockey Board of Directors asked the organization’s Safety and Protective Equipment Committee in November 2023 to begin the process of recommending potential rule changes related to neck laceration protection.

Adam Johnson, an American professional hockey player, died after his neck was cut by a skate blade during a game in Europe on October 28, 2023.

“Safety is always at the forefront of our conversations and the action of our Congress reflected that,” said Mike Trimboli, president of USA Hockey. “We appreciate the significant work done by our Safety and Protective Equipment Committee, led by Dr. Mike Stuart, and the many others who were instrumental in the overall evaluation process.”

“I know throughout our organization, the overwhelming opinion was that the time is appropriate to modify our rules related to neck laceration protection,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. “We’re also encouraged that the hockey industry is committed to continuing to work to improve the cut resistant products that protect players to help influence the safest possible landscape for the game.”

The legislation that passed also strongly recommends the use of neck laceration protection by adult players.


Pat Kelleher Dr. Mike Stuart Neck Protection Mike Trimboli Adam Johnson USA Hockey Ice Hockey Rules