Make neck laceration protectors mandatory for USA Hockey players 18 and younger in 2019

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“Hockey is for life” – USA Hockey

Presently, there is no safety certification or safety standard for neck laceration protectors, otherwise known as “neck guards”, in the U.S.

Sharp skate blades and the proximity of the airways, arteries, veins and nerves in the neck region make neck lacerations a potentially catastrophic injury.

In 2011, USA Hockey commissioned the Mayo Clinic of Sports Medicine to test current neck laceration protectors on the market in order to establish standards for such safety wear. Once such standards were realized, the notion was for USA Hockey to mandate the wearing of neck laceration protectors for hockey players 18 years and younger. 

The Mayo Clinic results of the testing were published in the Journal of Sports Medicine in 2014. The results revealed one neck laceration protector on the market passed the high density cut test, 100% of the time. The same neck laceration protector also offered protection of vulnerable anatomic regions of the neck. Yet, no standards for neck laceration protectors resulted from the testing.  

 "We have studied neck laceration protectors in detail and believe that they may be helpful. Unfortunately, many of the currently available designs do not cover the vulnerable anatomic areas. Another study show that some devices shrink after washing with more exposure of the neck region.

In addition, laboratory testing shows that most do not prevent cut-through from a sharpened skate blade.

• All brands failed the 600 N test @ 45˚ angle, except 2 of 2 Skate Armor & 1 of 3 Reebok 11K "
                                     (Clin J Sport Med 2014;0:1-6)

Again, as listed above in an excerpt from the 2014 Mayo Clinic study, one brand did pass the cut test, it is also the same brand that "covers the vulnerable anatomic areas" of the neck. Yet, as of January 3, 2019, neck laceration protectors continue to not be a required piece of safety equipment for USA Hockey players. 

Something to note: Mouth guards are required safety wear by USA Hockey. The wearing of mouth guards has been shown to possibly reduce the risk of concussion and teeth loss.  Well-made and properly fitted neck laceration protectors have been shown to reduce the loss of life. 

Please join us in petitioning USA Hockey set standards for neck laceration protectors and require all USA Hockey players, 18 years and younger, wear proper neck laceration protection when on the ice during USA Hockey sanctioned events beginning in the 2019 hockey season.

 Thank you.

*The person who created this petition, Therese Weiss, is the owner of Skate Armor.