SafeSport Policies

The following policies are USA Hockey Safesport recommended policies. KYHA prohibits all types of physical, sexual, emotional abuse, bullying, threats, harassment, and hazing, as described in the USA Hockey SafeSport Handbook. KYHA coaches, managers, employees, volunteers, players, and members will be subject to disciplinary action for engaging in any misconduct or abuse or that violates the USA Hockey SafeSport and KYHA policies.

Observable and Interruptible

One-on-one interactions between a minor Participant and an Applicable Adult at a Facility are permitted if they occur at an observable and interruptible distance by another adult and the other adult is made aware of the interaction. One-on-one interactions between minor Participants and an Applicable Adult at a Facility are prohibited, except for meetings with mental health care professionals and health care providers as described below, and under emergency circumstances.

Meetings

Meetings between Applicable Adults and minor Participants at a Facility may only occur if another adult is present and is advised the meeting is taking place, except under emergency circumstances. Such meetings must occur where interactions can be easily observed and at an interruptible distance from another adult. If a one- on-one meeting takes place in an office at a Facility, the door to the office must remain unlocked and open. If available, it will occur in an office that has windows, with the windows, blinds, and/or curtains remaining open during the meeting.

Individual Training Sessions

Individual training sessions between Applicable Adults and minor Participants are permitted at a Facility if the training session is observable and interruptible by another adult. It is the responsibility of the Applicable Adult to obtain the written permission of the minor’s legal guardian in advance of the individual training session if the individual training session is not observable and interruptible by another adult. Permission for individual training sessions must be obtained at least every six months. Parents, guardians, and other caretakers must be allowed to observe the training session.

Out-of-Program Contacts

Coaches are prohibited from interacting one-on-one with unrelated minor Participants in settings outside of the program that are not observable and interruptible (including, but not limited to, one’s home and individual transportation). All other Applicable Adults are prohibited from interacting one-on- one with unrelated minor Participants in settings outside of the program that are not observable and interruptible (including, but not limited to, one’s home and individual transportation), unless parent/legal guardian consent is provided in advance. Nonetheless, such arrangements may raise risks of actual or perceived misconduct, and are strongly discouraged.

Youth players are particularly vulnerable in locker rooms, changing areas and restrooms due to various stages of dress/undress and because players are often less supervised than at other times. Athlete-to-athlete problems, such as sexual abuse, bullying, harassment or hazing, often occur when a coach or other responsible adult is not in a position to observe – this is especially true in locker rooms. Adherence to a locker room policy enhances privacy and significantly reduces the likelihood of misconduct. Proper supervision of the locker room areas also helps ensure that players that may have suffered an injury during a game or practice have an adult present to confer with regarding such injury. USA Hockey is concerned with locker room activities between minor Participants; minor Participants and adult Participants; adults being alone with individual minor Participants in locker rooms; and with non-official or non related adults having unsupervised access to minor Participants at team events.

Locker Room Logistics

There are a total of 12 locker rooms to be used by teams at the Kraken Community Iceplex. Locker rooms 1-4 are only changing rooms and have no bathroom facilities. Locker rooms 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, all have shared/combined bathroom and shower facilities. 

Locker room monitoring - Safesport

It is the policy of USA Hockey and KYHA that all teams have at least one responsible screened adult present 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. Acceptable locker room monitoring could include having locker room monitors in the locker room while participants are in the locker room, or could include having a locker room monitor in the immediate vicinity (near the door) outside the locker room that also regularly and frequently enters the locker room to monitor activity inside. If the monitor(s) are inside, then it is strongly recommended that there be two monitors, both of which have been screened. Any individual meetings between a minor participant and a coach or other adult in a locker room shall require that a second responsible adult is present. The responsible adult that monitors and supervises the locker room shall have a background check completed by USA Hockey and received a SafeSport certification.

Officials Locker room 

Kraken Community Iceplex will have separate locker rooms designated for both female and male officials. Both officials' locker rooms are equipped with sink, toilet and shower facilities. In situations with Minor officials working with or sharing locker rooms with adult officials, the adult officials should take precautions to minimize and avoid extended unobserved time alone with minors. This can be addressed by:

  1. Inviting the parent into the locker room;
  2. Asking another official to wait in the locker room before leaving; and/or
  3. Leaving the locker room door open.

Supervisors and assignors of officials must always avoid any one-on-one interactions with any official (regardless of age or gender) unless such interactions occur at an observable and interruptible distance by another adult.

Locker room access 

Locker rooms at Kraken Community Iceplex will be locked when not in use. Room keys can be checked out at the front desk in exchange for a drivers license or credit card. Youth teams will need a certified coach or team official with a completed background check and SafeSport certification to check out the room keys. Locker rooms are generally available 30-40 minutes before the scheduled ice session. 

Prior to returning the key, the team is responsible for cleaning up any trash and placing it in the receptacle. Should the facilities staff find any damage done to the locker room the offending team may be responsible for any damages sustained to the locker room. 

Parents/Guardians 

Except for players at the younger age groups (8U and younger) we discourage parents from entering locker rooms unless it is truly necessary. If a player needs assistance with his or her uniform or gear, if the player is or may be injured, or a player’s disability warrants assistance, then we ask that parents let the coach know beforehand that he or she will be helping the player.

Naturally, with our youngest age groups it is necessary for parents to assist the players getting dressed. We encourage parents to teach their players as young as possible how to get dressed so that players will learn as early as possible how to get dressed independently. In circumstances where parents are permitted in the locker room, coaches are permitted to ask that the parents leave for a short time before the game and for a short time after the game so that the coaches may address the players. As players get older, the coach may, at his or her discretion, prohibit parents from a locker room.

Co-ed locker rooms

The KYHA is proud to provide the opportunity for all youths to play the game of hockey. This means that teams will likely have both male and female players. The KYHA recognizes that there are gender equity issues to deal with when managing co-ed locker rooms. We will consider the privacy rights of both male and female players and provide the appropriate arrangements when available. 

USA Hockey has listed the following solutions as acceptable approaches when dealing with co-ed locker rooms.

  1.  Where  possible,  have  the  male  and  female  players  undress/dress  in  separate locker rooms; then convene in a single dressing room to hold the coach’s pre-game meeting;
  2. Once the game is finished, hold the coach’s post-game meeting; then have the male and female players proceed to their separate dressing rooms to undress and shower (separately), if available.
  3. In those cases where separate facilities are not available, have one gender enter the locker room and change into their uniforms. That gender then leaves the locker room, while the other gender dresses. Both genders would then assemble in the locker room and hold the coach’s pre-game meeting.
  4. Following the game and the coach’s post-game meeting, where separate facilities are not available, the second gender group enters the locker room and undresses, while the first group waits outside until they have undressed and left the room. Once the second group leaves, the first group enters the locker room and undresses.

Cell Phones or electronics in the room

The use of cell phones or other electronics in the locker room is prohibited at the Kraken Community Iceplex. Any player, coach, parent or other team official that is caught using any recording device inclusive of audio, photography and/or video in the locker room will be suspended for a minimum of 1 game, and may be subject to further disciplinary/legal action. 

Prohibited Conduct and Reporting

KYHA prohibits all types of physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, bullying, threats, harassment and hazing, all as described in the USA Hockey SafeSport Handbook. Participants, employees or volunteers in KYHA may be subject to disciplinary action for violation of these locker room policies or for engaging in any misconduct or abuse or that violates the USA Hockey SafeSport Policies. All members are encouraged to report allegations of misconduct to their team manager who will then forward to the SafeSport Representative for investigation.

Electronic Communications

All electronic communication originating from Applicable Adults to minor Participants must be professional in nature. Absent emergency circumstances, if an Applicable Adult with authority over minor Participants needs to communicate directly with a minor Participant via electronic communications (including social media), the Minor’s parent must be copied. If a minor Participant communicates to the Applicable Adult (with authority over the minor athlete) privately first, said Applicable Adult should respond to the minor Participant with a copy to another Applicable Adult or the minor’s legal guardian. When an Applicable Adult with authority over minor Participants communicates electronically to the entire team, said Applicable Adult must copy another adult.

Pursuant to these requirements, all electronic communication between coach and player must be for the purpose of communicating information about team activities. Coaches, players and all team personnel must follow common sense guidelines regarding the volume and time of day of any allowed electronic communication. All content between coaches and players 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, text, social media, or similar communication must also copy or include the player’s parents.

Social Media

Coaches are prohibited from having minor Participants joined to or connected through their personal Facebook page, Instagram or any other similar social media application. 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 the team through that site. All electronic communication of any kind between coach (and any Applicable Adult) and a minor Participant, including use of social media, must be non-personal in nature and be for the purpose of communicating information about team activities or for team oriented motivational purposes.

Group Chats among Players

Minor hockey players often create group chats through texting or other social media applications. Such group chats are concerning because Minors may engage in bullying behavior, sexual misconduct, harassment, threats, discriminatory and other inappropriate conduct that may violate policies of USA Hockey. Group chats among Minor hockey players should be supervised by an adult to mitigate these risks.

Web Conferencing

Coaches, team managers, and others may use web-based conferencing software (i.e, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams) to meet with, train, or otherwise communicate with minor Participants. All web-based conferencing of any kind between a coach (or any Applicable Adult) and a minor Participant must be non-personal in nature and be for the purposes of training, communicating information about team activities or for team-oriented motivational purposes. Any invitation to such communication to any minor Participant must include the player's parents or legal guardians and must adhere to all of the requirements found elsewhere in the SafeSport Handbook as if the virtual meetings were being held in person, including the One on One Interactions Policy and the minimum attire policy (found within the Locker Room Policy). Virtual lessons or live stream videos should be observable and interruptible by another adult such as another coach or parent. Coaches, team managers and players may send pre-recorded technique or training videos, but must copy at least one other Applicable Adult.

Request To Discontinue All Electronic Communications or Imagery with Athlete.

Following receipt of a written request by the parents of a minor Participant that their child not be contacted through any form of electronic communication by coaches or other adults in the program, the Member Program, team, coaches and administrators shall immediately comply with such request without any repercussions for such request.

Abuse and Misconduct

Social media and other means of electronic communication can be used to commit abuse and misconduct (e.g., emotional, sexual, bullying, harassment, and hazing). Such communications by any employee, volunteer, independent contractor or other Participant of a USA Hockey Member Program will not be tolerated and are considered violations of USA Hockey’s SafeSport Program.

The KYHA has some teams that travel regularly to play individual games, two or three games at a time, or in tournaments, has some teams where travel is limited to only a few events per year, and some teams where there is no travel other than local travel to and from our own arena. The KYHA has established policies to guide our travel, minimize one-on-one interactions and reduce the risk of abuse or misconduct. Adherence to these travel guidelines will increase playersafety and improve the player’s experience while keeping travel a fun and enjoyable experience. We distinguish between travel to training, practice and local games or practices (“local travel”), and team travel involving a coordinated overnight stay (“team travel”). 

Local Travel

Local travel occurs when the KYHA or one of its teams does not sponsor, coordinate, or arrange for travel.

  • Players and/or their parents/guardians are responsible for making all arrangements for local travel. The team and its coaches, managers or administrators should avoid responsibility for arranging or coordinating local travel. It is the responsibility of the parents/guardians to ensure the person transporting the minor player maintains the proper safety and legal requirements, including, but not limited to, a valid driver’s license, automobile liability insurance, a vehicle in safe working order, and compliance with applicable state laws.
  • The employees, coaches, and/or volunteers of the KYHA or one of its teams, who are not also acting as a parent,should not drive alone with an unrelated minor player and should only drive with at least two players or another adult at all times, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the minor player’s parent.
  • Where an employee, coach and/or volunteer is involved in an unrelated minor player’s local travel, efforts should be made to ensure that the adult personnel are not alone with the unrelated player, by, e.g., picking up or dropping off the players in groups. In any case where an employee, coach and/or volunteer is involved in the player’s local travel, a parental release should be obtained in advance.
  • Employees, coaches, 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. 
  • It is recognized that in some limited instances it will be unavoidable for an employee, coach or volunteer of the KYHA or one of its teams to drive alone with an unrelated minor player. However, efforts should be made to minimize these occurrences and to mitigate any circumstances that could lead to allegations of abuse or misconduct.

Team Travel

Team travel is overnight travel that occurs when KYHA or one of its teams sponsors, coordinates or arranges travel so that our teams can compete locally, regionally, nationally or internationally. Because of the greater distances, coaches, staff, volunteers and chaperones will often travel with the players.

  • When possible, team staff (coach, manager, travel coordinator) will provide reasonable advance notice before team travel. Travel notice will also include designated team hotels for overnight stays as well as a contact person within the team. This individual will be the point of contact to confirm your intention to travel and to help with travel details.
  • Team staff will post specific travel itineraries when they become available. These will include a more detailed schedule as well as contact information for team travel chaperones. The team will make efforts to provide adequate supervision through coaches and other adult chaperones. Adequate supervision consists of 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 we will attempt to arrange chaperones of the both genders. However, we rely on parents to serve as chaperones and may be limited in providing this match.
  • Regardless of gender, a coach shall not share a hotel room or other sleeping arrangement with a minor player (unless the coach is the parent, guardian or sibling of the player). 
  • Because of the greater distances, coaches, staff, volunteers, and chaperones will often travel with the players. No employee, coach, or volunteer will engage in team travel without the proper safety requirements in place and on record, including valid drivers’ licenses, automobile liability insurance as required by applicable state law, a vehicle in safe working order, 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 Department of Motor Vehicle records. A parent that has not been screened may participate in team activities and assist with supervision/monitoring of the players, but will not be permitted to have any one-on-one interactions with players.
  • Players should share rooms with other players of the same gender, with the appropriate number of players assigned per room depending on accommodations.
  • The coach will establish a curfew by when all players must be in their hotel rooms or in a supervised location. Regular monitoring and curfew checks will be made of each room by at least two properly screened adults. 
  • The team personnel shall ask hotels to block adult pay per view channels.
  • Individual meetings between a player and coach may not occur in hotel sleeping rooms and must be held in public settings or with additional adults present.
  • All players will 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.
  • Family members who wish to stay in the team hotel are permitted and encouraged to do so.
  • The team will make every effort to accommodate reasonable parental requests when a child is away from home without a parent.If any special arrangements are necessary for your child, please contact the team personnel who can either make or assist with making those arrangements. 
  • Meetings do not occur in hotel rooms, but the team may reserve a separate space for adults and athletes to socialize. 
  • If disciplinary action against a player is required while the player is traveling without his/her parents, then except where immediate action is necessary, parents will be notified before any action is taken or immediately after the action.
  • 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 minor player and have the minor player stay in their hotel room. 
  • During team travel, coaches, team personnel and chaperones will help players, fellow coaches and team personnel adhere to policy guidelines, including, without limitation, the Travel Policy, Locker Room Policy and Reporting Policy.
  • Prior to any travel, coaches will endeavor to make players and parents aware of all expectations and rules. Coaches will also support chaperones and/or participate in the monitoring of the players for adherence to curfew restrictions and other travel rules.