English Ice Hockey Association Introduces Mandatory Neck Guards Following Tragic Incident Involving Adam Johnson


The English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) has announced a significant rule change in response to the unfortunate death of Adam Johnson, a professional ice hockey player. To prioritize player safety, the EIHA will now make it mandatory for all players to wear neck guards starting in January.

Key Takeaway

The English Ice Hockey Association is making the use of neck guards mandatory for players starting in January, following the tragic death of Adam Johnson. The organization aims to prioritize player safety and prevent any recurrence of such accidents in the future.

The decision, made public on Monday, reflects the EIHA’s deep dedication to player well-being. In an official statement, the organization emphasized that the safety of its players should always be the highest priority: “We are firmly committed to exhausting all possible measures to ensure that a tragic incident like this never occurs in our beloved sport again.”

This new mandate comes just two days after Adam Johnson’s untimely demise. The talented player lost his life after sustaining a severe throat cut from a skate blade during an on-ice collision. While EIHA officials initially described the incident as a “freak accident,” the South Yorkshire Police have since launched an investigation.

Adam Johnson’s passing at the age of 29 has prompted the EIHA to take immediate action. Although neck guards will remain optional for the rest of 2023, the organization strongly recommends that players wear them while engaged in ice hockey activities.

The EIHA acknowledged that the mandatory rule change would have been implemented immediately, if not for anticipated supply issues. However, the organization remains resolute in its commitment to preventing similar tragedies, stating, “Losing a player’s life in the pursuit of sport is simply unacceptable. We have a responsibility not only to prevent such heart-breaking accidents but also to proactively address other foreseeable incidents in the future.”

While this rule change represents a significant step forward, the EIHA has hinted at the possibility of further modifications. In their statement, they expressed a commitment to engaging in a comprehensive evaluation process at the international level. The organization asserts its determination to play an active and constructive role in shaping future regulations.

In the face of this tragedy, the EIHA’s swift response demonstrates their commitment to player safety. By making neck guards mandatory, they are taking a proactive stance to ensure the well-being of all ice hockey participants. As January approaches, the EIHA and the broader ice hockey community eagerly anticipate a safer and more secure future for the sport.