Dear Members,

I hope this letter finds you well. Scottish Ice Hockey, in collaboration with Ice Hockey UK (IHUK) and England Ice Hockey (EIH), remains committed to prioritising the safety of our players. Our previous statement on October 30, 2023, acknowledged the imperative for immediate and long-term actions in response to the tragic passing of Adam Johnson due to an on ice incident.

In line with this commitment, Scottish Ice Hockey will be implementing short-term measures to enhance player safety. Specifically, the mandating of neck laceration protectors, commonly known as neck guards, will come into effect on January 1, 2024, as detailed below, referencing IIHF Rule 9.12 on Neck Laceration Protectors.

Ref: IIHF Rule 9.12 Neck Laceration Protectors

In October 2023, Ice Hockey UK (IHUK), Scottish Ice Hockey (SIH), and England Ice Hockey (EIH) jointly issued updated safety guidelines regarding the use of neck laceration protectors by all players. With the exception of activities already covered by IIHF regulations, enforcement of IIHF Rule 9.12 on Neck Laceration Protectors in the UK will commence on January 1, 2024. To provide clarity, the instruction mandates the following:

  • Neck guards must be worn by all players during on-ice activities, encompassing both training sessions and games/tournaments.
  • Players are required to treat neck guards as standard protective equipment while on the ice, whether playing or training.
  • Like other protective gear, neck guards must be worn without alterations and in accordance with the manufacturers’ specifications.
  • Coaches are strongly encouraged to wear neck laceration protectors while on the ice.

It is imperative that neck guards 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 coaches across all levels of ice hockey in the United Kingdom, excluding Recreational Hockey. Due to supply issues, the mandated wearing of neck guards for Recreational Hockey will be effective from April 1, 2024. However, this date is subject to review based on the supply situation, and we retain the right to implement the mandate earlier if deemed necessary.

Your safety is our utmost priority, and these measures are essential in fostering a secure environment for everyone involved in Scottish Ice Hockey. We appreciate your cooperation and commitment to the well-being of our players.

Yours Faithfully,

John Colley
Chairman, Scottish Ice Hockey