USA Hockey SafeSport Program Darryl Thompson, ASHA President Andrew Good, Alaska SafeSport Coordinator Special Thanks to: Steve Laing CAHA President and Pacific District SafeSport Coordinator USA Hockey, SafeSport Committee And Sandy Blumberg, California SafeSportCoordinator
What is Safesport? The USA Hockey Safesport Program brings together the various policies and procedures already in place within USA Hockey that are specifically designed to protect participants. The SafeSport Program takes these existing policies and adds several components to make a cohesive and comprehensive program that can be systematically delivered. This includes training, reporting and follow-up, response protocols, as well as monitoring and supervision procedures.
When does it start? Beginning with the 2012-13 season, every USA Hockey Affiliate will have an Affiliate SafeSport Coordinator whose duties will include monitoring the training of local program administrators and others within the Affiliate, serving as the Affiliate’s initial contact for: • Reporting suspected abuse, misconduct, or other violations. • Compiling information on disciplinary issues with the Affiliate. • Reporting such information to USA Hockey. Your ASHA SafeSportAffiliate Coordinator is Andrew Good firstname.lastname@example.org (907)355-8031.
Policies within the SafeSport Program USA Hockey is committed to creating a safe and positive environment for its participants’ physical, emotional, and social development and to ensuring that it promotes an environment free from abuse and misconduct. The SafeSport Program includes policies which address types of abuse and misconduct and sets forth the boundaries for appropriate and inappropriate conductby addressing: • Sexual Abuse • Physical Abuse • Emotional Abuse • Bully, Threats and Harassment • Hazing
Proactive SafeSport Policies These policies are implemented to reduce the risks for potential abuse: • Locker Room Policy • Social Media, Mobile and Electronic Communications Policy • Travel Policy • Billeting Policy All USA Hockey members shall familiarize themselves with each form of misconduct and shall refrain from violating any of these policies. It is the personal responsibility of each person (whether employees or volunteers) to immediately report observations concerning abuse or misconduct.
Sexual Abuse …definition Sexual abuse occurs when an employee, volunteer, independent contractor, or other participant (including a minor participant) touches a minor participant for the purpose of causing the sexual arousal or gratification of either the minor participant or the employee, volunteer, independent contractor, or other participant (from here out referred to as participant categories). It also occurs if the above is true and occurs at the REQUEST OF or WITH THE CONSENT OF a participant category.
Sexual Abuse cont. • Sexual abuse can occur between adultsand may also include: • Non-touching offenses, such as sexually harassing behaviors • An adult discussing his/her sex life with a minor • An adult asking a minor about his/her sex life • An adult requesting or sending nude or partial dress photo to a minor • Exposing minors to pornographic material • Sending minors sexually explicit electronic messages or photos (“sexting”) • Deliberately exposing a minor to sexual acts • Deliberately exposing a minor to inappropriate nudity
Physical Abuse ….definition Physical Abuse means physical contact with a participant that intentionally causes or has the potential to cause the participant to sustain bodily harm or personal injury. It also includes: • Physical contact with a participant that intentionally creates a threat of immediate bodily harm or personal injury. • Providing alcohol to an under age participant • Providing illegal drugs or non-prescribed medications to any participant
Physical Abuse cont. To be clear about concerns with “hockey-related” behaviors. Physical Abuse does NOT include: • Physical contact that is reasonably designed to coach, teach or demonstrate a hockey skill. • Shooting pucks at a goaltender. • Demonstrating checking and other hockey skills • Communicating with or directing participants, during the course of a game or practice, by touching them in a non-threatening, non-sexual manner.
Emotional Abuse ….definition Emotional abuse involves a pattern of deliberate, non-contact behavior that has the potential to cause emotional or psychological harm to a participant. These behavior may include verbal acts, physical acts, or acts that deny attention or support. Emotional abuse does not include generally accepted and age appropriate coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, motivation, team building, appropriate discipline, or improving athletic performance.
Emotional Abuse cont. Examples of emotional abuse include, without limitation, the following: • A pattern of verbal behaviors that • Attacks a participant personally by, e.g., calling them worthless, fat, or disgusting. • Repeatedly and excessively yelling at a particular participant or participants in a manner that serves no productive motivational purpose. • Physically aggressively behaviors, such as • Throwing sport equipment, water bottles, or chairs at participants • Punching walls, windows, or other objects Note: Bullying, harassment, and hazing, often involve some form of emotional misconduct.
Bullying, Threats, and Harassment The purpose of this policy is to promote consistency of approach and to help create a climate in which all types of bullying, harassing or threatening behavior are regarded as unacceptable.
Bullying ….definition Bullyingis the use of coercion to obtain control over another person or to be habitually cruel to another person. Bullying involves an intentional, persistent, or repeated pattern of committing or willfully tolerating physical and non-physical behaviors that are intended to cause fear, humiliation, or physical harm in an attempt to socially exclude, diminish, or isolate another person. Bullying can come in the form of written, verbal, or electronically transmitted expression or by means of a physical act or gesture.
Bullying cont. Examples of bullying, all of which are prohibited by this policy, include, without limitation the following: • Physical behaviors such as punching, kicking, or choking an athlete. • Verbal and emotional behaviors, including the use of electronic communication (i.e., “cyber bullying) to harass, frighten, intimidate, or humiliate. While other team members are often the perpetrators of bullying, it is a violation of this Policy if a coach or other responsible adult knows or should know of the bullying behavior but takes no action to intervene on behalf of the participant(s) targeted.
Threats ….definition A threat to harm others is defined as any written, verbal, physical or electronically transmitted expression of intent to physically injure or harm someone else. A threat may be communicated directly to the intended victim or communicated to a third party. Note: The severity and pattern, if any, of the threatening behavior shall be taken into consideration when disciplinary decisions are made.
Harassment ….definition Harassment includes any pattern of physical and/or non-physical behaviors that (a) are intended to cause fear, humiliation, or annoyance, (b) offend or degrade, (c) create a hostile environment, or (d) reflect discriminatory bias in an attempt to establish dominance, superiority, or power over an individual participant or group based on gender, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, or mental or physical disability.
Harassment cont. Examples of harassment include, without limitation, such non-physical offenses such as: • Making negative or disparaging comments about an athlete’s sexual orientation, gender expression, disability, religion, skin color, or ethnic traits. • Displaying offensive materials, gestures, or symbols. • Withholding or reducing playing time to a participant based on his/her sexual orientation.
Sexual Harassment Sexual Harassment is a form of harassment. It is a violation for any participant category (including other minor players) to harass a participant(s) through conduct or communication of a sexual nature or to retaliate against anyone that reports sexual harassment or participates in a harassment investigation. • USA Hockey and/or its Affiliate organizations shall investigate all indications, informal reports and formal grievances of sexual harassment by any participant category and appropriate corrective action shall be taken. • Corrective action includes taking all reasonable steps to end the harassment, to prevent harassment from recurring and to prevent retaliation against anyone who reports sexual harassment or participates in a harassment investigation.
Sexual Harassment cont. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature may constitute sexual harassment, even if the harasser and the participant being harassed are the same sex and whether or not the participant resists or submits to the harasser. Note: While other team members are often the perpetrators of harassment or sexual harassment, it is a violation of this Policy if a coach or other responsible adult knows or should know of the harassment or sexual harassment but takes no action to intervene on behalf of the player(s) targeted.
Hazing ….definition Hazing includes any conduct which is intimidating, humiliating, offensive, or physically harmful. The hazing conduct is typically an activity that serves as a condition for joining a group or being socially accepted by a group’s members. Examples of hazing include but are not limited to: • Requiring or forcing the consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs • Tying, taping, or physically restraining an athlete • Sexual simulations or sexual acts of any nature • Sleep deprivation, or the withholding of water and/or food • Social actions (e.g. grossly inappropriate or provocative clothing)or public displays (e.g. public nudity) that are illegal or meant to draw ridicule • Beating, paddling, or other forms of physical assault
Hazing cont. The activity known as “Locker Boxing” (aka: fighting with helmet and gloves) is a form of hazing that can produce head trauma in children and young adults and is prohibited in any USA Hockey sanctioned program. Activities that fit the definition of hazing are considered to be hazing regardless of a person’s willingness to cooperate or participate. Hazing does notinclude group or team activities that are meant to establish normative team behaviors, or promote team cohesion, so long as such activities do not have reasonable potential to cause emotional or physical distress to any athlete.
Locker Room Policy Q: Why have a locker room policy? A: Youth players are particularly vulnerable in locker rooms and changing areas due to various stages of dress/undress and because they are typically less supervised than at other times. Athlete to athlete problems, such as sexual abuse and bullying, harassment, and hazing, often occur when coaches or employees are not in a position to observe. Adherence to a locker room policy enhances privacy and reduces the likelihood of misconduct. Players who may have suffered an injury during a game or practice should have an adult to confer with and to observe them regarding such injuries.
The Locker Room Policy It is the policy of USA Hockey that all Affiliates, Districts, leagues, and local hockey programs have at least one responsible adult present and directly monitoring the locker room during all team events to assure that only participants (coaches and players), approved team personnel and family members are permitted in the locker room and to supervise the conduct in the locker room. Any individual meetings with a minor participant and a coach in a locker room shall require a responsible adult be with the coach. The responsible adult that monitors and supervises the locker room shall have been screened.
Locker Room Policy cont. Further, responsible adults must personally monitor the locker room environment at all times while participants are present and also make sure the locker room is appropriately secured during times when minor participants are on the ice. It shall be permissible for a local organization or team to prohibit parents from a locker room. However, in doing so, the team shall ensure that properly screened individuals monitor and supervise the locker room as required above. With younger players, it is generally appropriate to allow parents to assist the player with getting equipment on and off before and after games or practices and they should be allowed to do so.
The Locker Room Policy cont. There will be NO use of a mobile device’s recording capabilities in the locker rooms of any USA Hockey sanctioned event, provided that it may be acceptable to take photographs or recordings in a locker room in such unique circumstances as a victory celebration, team party, etc., where all persons present in the locker room are either appropriately dressed and have been advised that photographs or recordings are being taken.
The Locker Room Policy cont. All local programs shall publish locker room policies to the parents/guardians of all minor players that are specific to the facilities they regularly use. The local program’s policies shall include the program’s: • practices for supervising and monitoring locker rooms and changing areas. • permission or lock of permission for parents to be in the locker rooms. • prohibited conduct, including at least all forms of abuse and misconduct prohibited by USA Hockey. • specific policies regarding the use of mobile electronic devices and phones and prohibiting the use of a device’s recording capabilities, including voice recording, still cameras, and video cameras.
Co-Ed Locker Rooms If a team consists of both male and female players, both female and male privacy rights must be given consideration and appropriate arrangements made. It is not acceptable under the USA Hockey Sexual Abuse Policy for members to be observing the opposite gender while they dress or undress. Where possible, the male and female players should undress/dress in separate locker rooms and then convene in a single dressing room prior to the game or team meeting. Once the game is finished, the players may come to one locker room and then the male and female players proceed to their separate dressing rooms to undress and shower (separately), if available. If separate locker rooms are not available, then the genders may take turns using the locker room to change then leave while the other gender changes.
Co-Ed Locker Rooms cont. Where possible, when both male and female players are together in the locker room, there should be at least two adults in the locker room that have been properly screened in compliance with USA Hockey’s Screening Policy. Please refer to the USA Hockey Annual Guide for additional information regarding USA Hockey’s Co-Ed Locker Room Policy.
Social Media, Mobile and Electronic Communications Policy Communications involving youth players should be appropriate, productive, and transparent. Effective communication concerning travel, practice and game schedules, and administrative issues among administrators, coaches, players, and their families is critical! • All electronic communication between coach and player MUST be for the purpose of communicating information about team activities. • Coaches and players must follow common sense guidelines regarding the volume and time of day of any allowed electronic communication. • Any content of an electronic communication should be readily available to share with the public or families of the player or coach. • If the player is under the age of 18, any email, electronic text, social media, or similar communication MUST copy or include the player’s parents.
Social Media (Facebook, MySpace, blogs , and similar sites USA Hockey recognizes that social media, mobile, and other electronic communications can be especially concerning where youth participants are involved. Coaches are PROHIBITED from having players joined to their personal social media page. To facilitate communication, an official organization or team page may be set up and players and parents may join (i.e., “friend”) the official organization or team page and coaches can communicate to players through the site. All posts, messages, text, or media of any kind between coach and player must be non-personal in nature and for the purpose of communicating information about team activities or for team oriented motivational purposes.
Email, Text Messaging, other electronic communication Coaches and players may use email and text messaging to communicate. All email and text message content between coach and player must be: • Non personal • Specifically for the purpose of communicating information about team activities. • Copied to the parent(s). Wherever possible, it is highly suggested that coaches be provided and use the organization web site email center (the coach’s return email address will contain “@organization. com”) for all communications with the team and players.
Request to Discontinue all Electronic Communications or Imagery w/ Athlete Following any written request by the parents or legal guardians of a youth player that their child not be contacted by any form of electronic communication by coaches or other adults, the organization, team and coaches and administrators shall immediately comply with such request without any repercussions for such request. This policy should be explicitly stated and offered along with other policies to all members of a club/team.
Travel Policy Each USA Hockey Member Program shall have a team travel policy that is published and provided to all players, parents, coaches and other adults that are traveling with the team. It is strongly recommended that a signature by each adult acknowledging receipt of and agreeing to the travel policy be obtained by the organization/team. Some travel involves only local travel to and from local practice, games and events, while other travel involves overnight stays. Different policies should apply to these two types of travel.
Travel Policy cont. Elements of all travel policies must include: Local Travel • The local program or team or their administrators should avoid sponsoring coordinating, or arranging for local travel, and the parents/guardians of a youth player should be responsible for making all local travel arrangements. • The employees, coaches, and/or volunteers of a local organization or team, who are not also acting as a parent, should not drive alone with an unrelated player and should only drive with at least two other players or another adult at all times, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the player’s parent or guardian. • Where an employee and/or volunteer is involved in the player’s local travel, efforts should be made to ensure that staff and/or volunteers are not alone with an unrelated player, by, e.g., picking the players up in groups. • Coaches, employees, and volunteers who are also a player’s parent or guardian may provide shared transportation for any player(s) if they pick up their player first and drop off their player last in any shared or carpool travel arrangement.
Travel Policy cont. Organization/Team Travel • Regardless of gender, a coach shall not share a hotel room or other sleeping arrangement with a youth player (unless the coach is the parent, guardian, or sibling of the player). • No coach, employee, or volunteer will engage in team travel without the proper safety requirements in place and on record, including valid drivers’ licenses, proper insurance, well maintained vehicles, and compliance with all state laws. • All chaperones shall have been screened in compliance with the USA Hockey Screening Policy and all team drivers shall have been screened and the screen shall include a check of appropriate DMV records.
Travel Policy cont. • The local program or team shall provide adequate supervision through coaches and other adult chaperones (e.g., a recommended number would include at least one coach or adult chaperone for each five to eight players). If a team is composed of both male and female players, then if at all possible, chaperones shall be arranged of the same gender. • Players should share rooms with other players of the same gender, with 2-4 players assigned per room depending on accommodations. Regular monitoring and curfew checks should be made of each room by at least two properly screened adults.
Travel Policy cont. • Team personnel shall ask hotels to block adult pay per view channels. • Individual meetings between a player and coach may not occur in hotel rooms. • All players shall be permitted to make regular check in phone calls to parents. Team personnel shall allow for any unscheduled check in phone calls initiated by either the player or parents/guardians. • Family members who wish to stay in the team hotel shall be permitted and encouraged to do so. • The team shall comply with reasonable parental requests when a child is away from home without a parent/guardian.
Travel Policy cont. • Specific travel itineraries will be distributed to parents when they are available and will include a detailed itinerary as well as contact information for all team personnel and chaperones. • If disciplinary action against a player is required while the player is traveling without his/her parents, parents will be notified before taking any actions. • No coach or chaperone shall at any time be under the influence of alcohol or drugs while performing their coaching and/or chaperoning duties. • In all cases involving travel, parents have the right to transport their youth player and have the youth player stay in their hotel room.
Billeting Policy All organizations and teams that arrange for players to live with billet families shall have written policies and procedures in place to govern the arrangement. All billeting policies and procedures shall meet the following requirements. • No more than 2 players should be housed with any one billet family (at the Junior level there may be exceptions to the number of players permitted in one billet home if approved by the USA Hockey Junior Council). • All adults living in the household of the billet family shall have been screened in accordance with the USA Hockey Screening Policy prior to the player moving in with the family.
Billeting Policy cont. • It is strongly recommended that all billet families be 2 parent homes. However, single parent billet families may be acceptable but the team or organization shall take additional reasonable steps to ensure compliance with the USA Hockey SafeSport Policies, and those steps shall include regular monitoring of the billeting arrangement. • All adults living in the household of the billet family shall have completed training in compliance with the Education and Awareness Training Policy prior to the player moving in with the family. • Billet families and the player and players’ parents/guardians shall all sign an agreement with the organization that they will comply with the rules and regulations for the billeting arrangement.
Billeting Policy cont. • Based upon the requirements of the jurisdiction, the parents shall sign and provide a power of attorney to the billet family adults to allow for them to make emergency medical and schooling decisions. • Each team shall have a billet coordinator who shall be responsible for overseeing compliance with the Billeting Policy and all other USA Hockey SafeSport Policies. • The team shall have a mandatory curfew for all billeted players. The host family may have an earlier curfew. • Players shall agree to comply with the house rules of the billet families, including curfews, chores/cleaning, telephone usage, etc. Complaints about unusual rules shall be addressed with the billet coordinator.
Billeting Policy cont. • Players shall not stay overnight at any other home except with the permission of the player’s parents and advance notification to the Billet Coordinator. • Players are not to drive billet family vehicles without the proper insurance, documentation and approval of the billet family. • The Billeting Policy shall include requirements that the billet family maintain appropriate homeowners/renters insurance. • Players staying with a billet family shall be permitted to make regular check-in phone calls to parents. Team personnel and billets shall allow for any unscheduled check-in phone calls initiated by either the player or parents/guardians.
Education and Awareness Training It is the policy of USA Hockey that those participants who…. a) have direct contact to or supervision over youth participants b) are responsible for enforcing child abuse and misconduct policies c) are in managerial or supervisory roles d) are new and current employees and/or volunteers SHALL complete appropriate training about child physical and sexual abuse and other types of misconduct behaving having contact with youth participants.
Education and Awareness Training cont. This training shall: • Provide definitions for, and effects of, child physical and sexual abuse • Provide definitions for, and effects of, all forms of abuse and misconduct (emotional, physical, and sexual; bullying, harassment, and hazing) • Identify risk opportunities for child physical and sexual abuse • Address common myths about offenders • Outline patterns, behaviors, and methods of operation of sexual predators. • Identify risk opportunities for abuse and misconduct in sports. • Identify policies, practices, and procedures to recognize, reduce, and report misconduct
Education and Awareness Training cont. Training is based on your position/job description. • Local Program Administrator – These are the local programs (clubs) that register youth players. Required training shall include program leaders, administrators, board members, etc. who are representatives that are primarily and directly responsible for administering and supervising USA Hockey programs at the local level. • Local Program Volunteers/Employees – They will be required to register with USA Hockey as a Manager/Volunteer (free of charge) and complete the USOC’s training prior to having access with youth participants. These designated people shall be well versed in the USA Hockey SafeSport program and shall take the USOC’s online training videos (approx. 90 minutes in length).
Training Mandate Effective for the 2013-14 season, the Affiliate SafeSport Coordinator for each Affiliate (ASHA) shall confirm and certify to the Affiliate that each local program registering youth players in that Affiliate’s area has completed the training on or before November 30th of each playing season. Each Affiliate shall confirm and certify to USA Hockey that each local program in the Affiliate has completed the required on-line training.
Education and Awareness Training cont. Coaches and Officials: USA Hockey will produce a video focusing on prohibited conduct, minimizing risk opportunities, the signs and symptoms of abuse and how to report and respond to suspected abuse. Effective for the 2013-14 season, the video shall be a part of the curriculum of every level 1 coaching clinic and every officiating seminar. In addition, USA Hockey shall send links to the USOC training videos (either all videos or individual lessons) to all USA Hockey coaches and officials on a regular basis.
Education and Awareness Training cont. Parents/Players – Parents and players will be made aware of USA Hockey’s SafeSport Program through a link on the player’s registration confirmation that takes them to a short video describing the program and letting them know about additional materials and training (including USOC’s online training) that is available at www.usahockey.com. That video, along with others, may be emailed to members during the year. USA Hockey will also produce posters, brochures and other materials to publicize the program and the means of reporting suspected abuse or misconduct.
Screening and Background Check Program Purpose of a Screening/Background Check Program • Protect our participants from known offenders. • Deter offenders that have not been caught from joining programs • Protect USA Hockey’s reputation as a sport that is safe from abuse. This include all affiliate programs! • Help insulate USA Hockey, its affiliates, local programs and volunteers from liability that could arise from allowing a previous offender to have access to children. USA hockey will not authorize or sanction any employee or volunteer who has routine access to children unless that person consents to be screened and passes a criminal background screen conducted by the Affiliate or USA Hockey. ASHA’s screening policy requires those who are mandated to be screened be cleared PRIOR to any participation, and imposes disciple for those who engage in USA Hockey activities PRIOR to be cleared.
Affiliate Screening Policies Fortunately, Alaska has been fully compliant with all USA Hockey Screening Policies. Our screening program is robust and meets or exceeds all USA Hockey requirements. ASHA’s screening information can be found on our web site • No later than the 2013-14 season, all screens must include a “national” screen that covers a national crime database, the sex offender registries for all 50 states, and every county database in which the applicant has lived during the previous 5 years. For screens of individuals that will service as a team driver, the screen shall also include a DMV check.