Posted on January 14, 2022
In response to the recent tragic death of a local teen hockey player during a game, State Representative Nicole Klarides-Ditria (R-105) today on WDRC’s Talk of Connecticut with Gary Byron said she plans to introduce legislation during the upcoming session to require all hockey players wear a neck guard or similar protective device during practice or games.
“It’s incredibly heartbreaking what happened last week and sadly this tragic accident may have been preventable had the teams been required to wear neck guards,” Rep. Klarides-Ditria, a certified sports athletic trainer said. “Fast-paced and physical sports like hockey can sometimes be dangerous which is why players wear shin pads, gloves and other protective equipment, a neck guard is one more small piece to keep players safe.”
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) requires all hockey players to wear neck guard protection, however those rules do not apply to private schools or youth hockey programs.
Rep. Klarides-Ditria has spoken with House Republican Leader Vin Candelora and Deputy Republican Leader Tom O’Dea, and several local hockey coaches who support the concept. She’s also discussing the proposal with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to generate support for the measure and to work on the details before the bill is drafted.
“The safety of our children is a priority in the legislature and I’m hopeful this proposal – or a similar measure – will pass the legislature this session with broad bipartisan support,” Rep. Klarides-Ditria said. “Coaches and athletic trainers focus on trying to prevent and treat athletic injuries to keep players safe, but with this simple rule change the legislature has the potential to save lives.”