Previously unrecognized, major neck injuries in hockey have become a common problem in Canada and they have increased markedly in the 1980s. At the present time, the incidence remains high and has shown no sign of diminishing. The etiology of the problem appears to be multifactorial. Several epidemiologic factors have been identified and a reporting system established so that prevention programs can be monitored. It is hoped that greater awareness of the risk factors among players, coaches, leagues, referees, and parents will be an effective prophylactic measure in itself. Prevention must involve several approaches by hockey organizations and leagues, players, equipment manufacturers, and health care professionals and researchers.