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IIHF mandates use of neck laceration protectors on all levels of its competitions

The International Ice Hockey Federation has mandated the use of a neck laceration protector at all levels of its competitions.

The IIHF made the announcement Monday and said the decision was based on a recommendation of its medical committee.

It also stated that the exact date the mandate goes into effect for senior categories will be determined by supply of neck guards. Until then, the IIHF recommends the use of the protectors by all players taking part in its competitions.

The use of the protectors has been on the rise since the death of Adam Johnson, an American hockey player competing in England. Johnson's neck was cut by a skate on the ice during a game on Oct. 28 and he was pronounced dead in hospital. He was 29.

The Western Hockey League joined the Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in mandating the use of neck guards following Johnson's death.

The Ontario University Athletics conference in U Sports has also made neck protection mandatory, while the idea of cut-resistant equipment is in discussions in the NHL.

The IIHF's decision comes with the world junior hockey championship set to begin Dec. 26 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2023.

The Canadian Press