Following the tragic death of a high school hockey player, the Connecticut State Representative plans to pass legislation that would require all hockey players to wear a neck guard or similar during training or games.
Teddy Balkind, a sophomore at St Lukes School in New Canaan, died after being badly injured after falling during a JV hockey game against Brunswick School in Greenwich.
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference requires neck guards for competition, but does not regulate private schools. St. Lukes is part of the New England Preparatory School Council, which recommends, but does not require, neck protectors.
One of Balkind’s friends, Sam Brande, a high school hockey player in Massachusetts, started a Change.org petition for USA Hockey to demand neck protectors for youth hockey.
State Representative Nicole Klarides-Ditria plans to introduce legislation during the upcoming session to require all hockey players to wear a neck guard or similar protective device during training or matches.
It is incredibly heartbreaking what happened last week and unfortunately this tragic accident could have been avoided if the teams had had to wear neck protectors, Klarides-Ditria said in a statement. Fast and physical sports like hockey can be dangerous at times. Therefore, players wear shin guards, gloves and other protective equipment. A neck guard is another small piece to keep players safe.
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