New Rule For Youth Hockey Players In Montana

The USA Hockey Congress has mandated the use of neck laceration protection for all players, excluding adults, during games and practices starting August 1, 2024. The rule also extends to on-ice officials under 18.

This decision was made following the death of an American hockey player in England whose neck was cut by a skate.

Safety Advocacy and Leadership Recognition

USA Hockey has long advocated for player safety, with the Board of Directors initiating the process for rule changes in November 2023.

Recommendations for Adult Players

In addition to the requirement for younger players, the legislation strongly recommends neck protection for adult players.


  • Effective Date: August 1, 2024, for players in all age groups, except adults, and on-ice officials under 18.
  • Age Levels Covered: Mandatory for players in all age groups, except adults, and for on-ice officials under 18.
  • Disabled Hockey Disciplines: Yes, neck laceration protectors are required for all six disabled hockey disciplines.
  • Purchase Information: Pure Hockey is recommended, and other retailers nationwide also carry the protectors.
  • Penalty for Non-Compliance: Standard enforcement for equipment violations: initial team warning followed by a 10-minute misconduct penalty.
  • Role of Coaches and Parents: Crucial in ensuring proper equipment, including unaltered neck protection.
  • Reason for Requirement: Addressing concerns about lacerations, particularly to vulnerable areas like the neck.
  • Recommended Protector: Choose one that covers the neck area adequately and is worn without alteration.
  • Waivers and Permission: No waivers; the requirement is mandatory for player safety.
  • Effectiveness of Protectors: While not foolproof, proper-fitting protectors significantly reduce the risk of injury.
  • Homemade Protectors: Not acceptable; players must use commercially designed and manufactured protectors.

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