Thursday, June 20, 2019
Dear USA Hockey official,
You recently received a summary of several significant changes to the USA Hockey SafeSport Program. This note includes additional specific information pertinent to officials, including related to SafeSport Training requirements, mandatory reporting, and the Minor Athlete Abuse Protection Policies. Thank you for your dedication to USA Hockey programs and efforts to keep our participants safe and our programs free from misconduct or abuse.
All officials who are or will be seventeen (17) years old or older as of December 31 of that registration season must complete the SafeSport Training program as a condition of completing their certification requirements every season.
Beginning this season, the training must now be completed every year prior to participation each season (however, anyone who completed training in the most recent season (2018-19) will retain valid training status for 2019-20, and will complete training annually beginning in 2020-21). The training is provided by the U.S. Center for SafeSport, and each official must first complete the “Core Center for SafeSport Training,” which is completed online and takes approximately 90 – 120 minutes to complete. In subsequent seasons, officials will need to complete the Center for SafeSport’s “Refresher Course,” which is also online and takes 30 minutes or less to complete. There is no cost to complete either training course.
If you (or your son or daughter) are under 18 at the time of training, USA Hockey is required to obtain parental consent for the official to complete training. If you registered on or after May 28, 2019, then the consent was incorporated into your registration; if you registered prior to May 28, USA Hockey will be contacting you soon to obtain the consent of the parents for a minor age official to complete the SafeSport Training.
If you are an adult-aged official, then according to federal law you are considered a mandatory reporter of child abuse, including sexual abuse. In the event of any actual or suspected sexual misconduct or child abuse, you must report such information to the U.S. Center for SafeSport and, when appropriate, to applicable law enforcement.
Minor Athlete Abuse Protection Policies
The Minor Athlete Abuse Protection Policies (“MAAPP Policies”) were mandated by federal law to be put into effect by the U.S. Center for SafeSport, and are included in the USA Hockey SafeSport Program Handbook with specific information for hockey programs. The MAAPP Policies are prevention policies to prohibit and/or avoid situations where risks of misconduct can occur, including:
• One-on-One Interactions. This policy prohibits one-on-one interactions between adult members of USA Hockey or those authorized by a USA Hockey program to have regular contact with or authority over minors, unless they occur at an observable and interruptible distance by another adult. There are exceptions for emergency circumstances. The policy specifically addresses situations where these types of interactions might occur, including in meetings with a player, in individual training sessions and in settings outside the hockey program.
• Locker Rooms. USA Hockey’s existing Locker Room Policy was updated, and includes specific locker room provisions for officials to address situations when officials of different genders share a locker room and to avoid situations where an adult official and a minor are alone in a locker room. Please review the new locker room policies in the USA Hockey SafeSport Program Handbook.
• Travel. Travel is a high risk time for misconduct to occur, including when officials travel together. USA Hockey’s travel policy has been updated for both “local travel” (transportation and travel to and from local games and events) and “organization/team travel” (travel away from the home area and may include overnight stays in a hotel for games or tournaments). Except in the case of emergency, an adult official may not ride in a vehicle alone, travel alone with or share a hotel or sleeping arrangement with an unrelated minor participant.
• Athletic Training Modalities. Although officials generally do not receive treatment at the rink, from trainers or medical personnel, this policy ensures that any type of athletic training, including massages, rubdowns, taping, etc., occurs in an open and interruptible location.
• Social Media and Electronic Communications. This policy has been updated. All electronic communication from an adult official, supervisor, assignor or other person of authority to a minor-aged participant must be professional in nature. Absent emergency circumstances, if an adult official, supervisor, assignor or other person of authority needs to communicate directly with a minor-aged participant via electronic communications (including social media), the minor’s parent must be copied.
A revised copy of the USA Hockey SafeSport Program Handbook can be found at the USA Hockey website at www.usahockey.com/safesportprogram. Please refer to the SafeSport Handbook for details of these and other policies affecting USA Hockey programs. You can also reach out to your Affiliate SafeSport Coordinator or to USA Hockey if you have questions or need assistance.
Thank you again for all of your efforts in support of the safety of participants in USA Hockey programs.