NYH SafeSport Policies
Needham Youth Hockey is committed to the safety and protection of our players and coaches and adheres to USA Hockey’s SafeSport Program as a means to help protect its participants from sexual, physical and emotional abuse as well as bullying, threats, harassment and hazing.
All Board Members and Coaches of NYH will be required to complete the USA Hockey SafeSport Training and be in compliance with USA Hockey guidelines.
Needham Youth Hockey’s approach will be to adhere to the standard policies defined in
the SafeSport Program Handbook which can be found in the document section of the website or by clicking on the link below.
These policies include Sexual, Physical and Emotional Abuse, Bullying, Threats and Harassment, Hazing, and Travel.
In addition to SafeSport’s policies, NYH has identified its Top 5 areas of focus for players, parents, and coaches. These are to clarify or supplement the standard SafeSport guidelines.
- Parent Responsibility
Typically coach(es) will be at a rink 20 minutes before practice and 25 minutes before a game. Coaches will look to leave the rink within 10 to 15 minutes after their designated practice or game is complete. Parents maintain responsibility for their player until they can confirm that adult supervision is at the rink and aware their player is in the locker room. Parents should not assume that dropping a player at the front entrance of a rink ensures that a coach or NYH volunteer is at the rink or even aware the child has been dropped off. Though early drop-offs are necessary to give a player time to change, the players remain the parents’ responsibility until adult supervision can be confirmed by the parent. After a game or practice, players should be out of the locker room by the time the Zamboni has completed cleaning the ice for the next session. Parents should be at the rink when a practice or a game is scheduled to end and take responsibility for their child once he/she leaves the locker room. Coaches will review their policies on this matter with parents at the beginning of the season team meeting. Coaches will make every effort to confirm all players are out of the locker room and have rides home; but, it remains the ultimate responsibility of the parents to be present at the rink at the end of a session.
- Cell Phones and Other Mobile Recording Devices
Cell phones and other mobile devices with recording capabilities, including voice recording, still cameras and video cameras, are not permitted for use in the locker rooms. Parents should instruct and coaches will remind players to POWER OFF cell phones and other electronic devices before entering the locker room; these devices should not be visible in the locker room. If phones or other mobile devices must be used, they should be used in public areas or outside the rink. Exception can be made by the adult in charge in the case of a celebration but only when all are dressed and aware that a photo will be taken. A violation of the cell phone policy may result in disciplinary action by the board which may include suspension from hockey activities.
- Co-Ed Locker Rooms
For teams including both male and female players, both male and female privacy rights must be given consideration. At the start of a season, any team with co-ed players must establish a set of guidelines or practices to enable the comfort of all players on the team. Practices can be established via a conversation between coaches and player/parents of the minority gender.
- Parents in Locker Rooms
Except for players at the younger age groups, parents are discouraged 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 if 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. The parent should help his/her player as quickly as possible and then leave the locker room. 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. Under no circumstances should a parent be alone in the locker room with a player (their child or other) and have the locker room door closed.
- Locker Room Monitoring
Prior to and at the end of practices and games, NYH requires an adult presence in the locker room area. The head coach and/or assistant coach will be present in the locker room area (not necessarily inside the locker room). The coach will establish guidelines with parents at the team parent meeting. The coach may request parent volunteers to help monitor the locker room areas. Any volunteer will be required to take USA Hockey’s SafeSport Training to be a locker room monitor.
Prohibited Conduct Consequences and Reporting
Needham Youth Hockey prohibits all types of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, bullying, threats, harassment and hazing, all as described in the USA Hockey SafeSport Handbook. Participants, employees or volunteers of Needham Youth Hockey may be subject to disciplinary action for violation of these USA Hockey SafeSport Policies or for the practices listed above. Disciplinary actions by NYH may include game suspensions to permanent suspensions as decided upon by the NYH Board of Directors. NYH will report abuse violations to the appropriate authorities (as required).
To report any actual or suspected violations, you may email or contact the NYH president via contact information listed on the NYH website.