Letter to all member clubs across Scottish Ice hockey.
REF: Player Safety Review and Action Plan in response to the tragic passing of Nottingham Panthers player #47 Adam Johnson, after an on ice incident.
It is without question an extremely sad moment in time for our sport across the world and a stark reminder of our, and your duties as custodians of the sport. Like all sports, “it is only sport”, and the safety of our players must be our first priority. We have an absolute duty to do everything within our power to prevent a tragic accident like this from ever happening in our sport again.
With this in mind, and the need for short, medium and long term action, Scottish Ice Hockey have made the decision to carry out the following steps:
1. SHORT TERM (Immediate): Scottish Ice Hockey make a “strong recommendation” that all players at all levels across Scottish Ice Hockey use an approved Ice Hockey Neck Guard/Protector whilst participating in all on ice activities. (This “strong recommendation” is in place until 31 December 2023, after which it will become a mandatory requirement. It is not mandatory with immediate effect due to anticipated supply issues. This will be under constant review between now and mandatory implementation.) All protective equipment must be worn without alterations and as directed by the manufacturers’ specification.
2. MEDIUM TERM (Within 12 Months): Scottish Ice Hockey, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, will conduct a Player Safety Equipment thorough review considering all aspects of player safety equipment including, but not limited to, the use of helmets, mouthguards/gumshields and facial protection, and the application of IIHF rules.
3. LONG TERM (Ongoing): Scottish Ice Hockey will provide its membership with clear guidance on the ongoing and continuous improvement of Player Safety and their duties within this area. This will include the requirement for all clubs to be able to demonstrate that they proactively manage Player Safety within their organisations.
It is unacceptable that any player loses their life playing our sport and it is incumbent upon us to do all we can to prevent a repeat of this tragic accident, but also to prevent other foreseeable incidents in the future. We have a legal and moral duty to respond in a measured and practical way. It is highly possible that other reviews will take place at an international level and Scottish Ice Hockey will participate proactively in this process.
JOHN COLLEY – CHAIRMAN