In addition to the development of our hockey players and enjoyment of the sport of hockey, the safety and protection of our participants is central to Westfield Youth Hockey Association (WYHA) goals. WYHA adheres to USA Hockey’s SafeSport Program as a means to help protect its participants from physical abuse, sexual abuse and other types of misconduct, including emotional abuse, bullying, threats, harassment and hazing. To help prevent abuse or misconduct from occurring in our locker rooms, WYHA has adopted the following locker room policy. This policy is designed to maintain personal privacy as well as to reduce the risk of misconduct in locker rooms.
At Amelia Park Ice Arena there are four (4) locker rooms plus a meeting room available for our program’s use. Each of the locker rooms has its own restroom and shower area. At Mass Mutual Center locker rooms share a restroom and shower area with one or more locker rooms. At Olympia Ice Arena some locker rooms share a restroom and shower area with one or more locker rooms while others have their own restroom and shower area. Some teams in our program may also occasionally or regularly travel to play games at other arenas, and those locker rooms, rest rooms and shower facilities will vary from location to location. WYHA team organizers will attempt to provide information on the locker room facilities in advance of games away from our home arena. At arenas for which you are unfamiliar, parents should plan to have extra time and some flexibility in making arrangements for their child to dress, undress and shower if desired.
Locker Room Monitoring
WYHA has predictable and limited use of locker rooms and changing areas (e.g., generally 30-45 minutes before and following practices and games). This allows for direct and regular monitoring of locker room areas. While constant monitoring inside of locker rooms and changing areas might be the most effective way to prevent problems, we understand that this would likely make some players uncomfortable and may even place our staff at risk for unwarranted suspicion.
We conduct a sweep of the locker rooms and changing areas before players arrive, and if the coaches are not inside the locker rooms, either a coach or voluntary locker room monitors (each of which has been screened) will be posted directly outside of the locker rooms and changing areas during periods of use, and leave the doors open only when adequate privacy is still possible, so that only participants (coaches and players), approved team personnel and family members are permitted in the locker room. Team personnel will also secure the locker room appropriately during times when the team is on the ice.
Parents in Locker Rooms
Except for players at the younger age groups (Mites and Squirts), 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 in his or her discretion prohibit parents from a locker room.
Mixed Gender Teams
Some of our teams consist of both male and female players. It is important that the privacy rights of all of our players are given consideration and appropriate arrangements made. When possible, WYHA will have male and female players come to the rink already in “under armor” layer so players can cohabitate a locker room without concern for undressing. Male and female players may also change into “under armor” layer in rest room facilities at the rink and join their team in the locker room to complete preparing for practice or game. If necessary, WYHA will have the male and female players dress/undress in separate locker rooms and then convene in a single locker room before the game or team meeting. A referee room or athletic room may be available for female players to dress in. Once the game or practice is finished, the players may come to one locker room for a team meeting and then the male and female players proceed to their separate locker rooms to undress and shower, if available. If separate locker rooms are not available, then the players will take turns using the locker room to change. We understand that these arrangements may require that players arrive earlier or leave later to dress, but believe that this is the most reasonable way to accommodate and respect all of our players.
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 to be used for recording purposes in the locker rooms. Players may use cell phones or other mobile devices for listening to music with headphones or with a docking station. When possible
If phones or other mobile devices should be used outside of the locker room. It may be permissible to have team manager or coach to ban or collect phones.
Prohibited Conduct and Reporting
WYHA 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 WYHA 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. Reports of any actual or suspected violations, you may email USA Hockey at SafeSport@usahockey.org or may call 1-800-888-4656.
Created: October 30, 2014
Westfield Youth Hockey Association’s Travel Policy
Westfield Youth Hockey Association (WYHA) 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. WYHA 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 player safety 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 occurs when WYHA 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 coaches and/or volunteers of WYHA 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 by the minor player’s parent.
• Where a 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 a coach and/or volunteer is involved in the player’s local travel.
•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 a coach or volunteer of WYHA 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 is overnight travel that occurs when WYHA or one of its teams sponsors, coordinates or arranges for travel so that our teams can compete regionally, nationally or internationally. Because of the greater distances, coaches, staff, volunteers and chaperones will often travel with the players. Team Travel policies are not applicable for local or regional tournaments where hotel rooms are booked by each family member and they retain responsibility for their own player.
• When possible, WYHA 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 WYHA or the team. This individual will be the point of contact to confirm your intention to travel and to help with travel details.
• WYHA 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. WYHA will make efforts to provide adequate supervision through coaches and other adult chaperones. WYHA will make efforts so that there is 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), and unless a coach has taken the player to the tournament with his/her parent’s consent and the coach will also have a child or spouse staying in the same room.
• Because of the greater distances, coaches, volunteers, and chaperones will often travel with the players. No, 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. 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. This is not applicable if a player’s parents are traveling to the tournament with the player.
• 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.
Prohibited Conduct and Reporting
WYHA 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 WYHA may be subject to disciplinary action for violation of the Travel Policies or for engaging in any misconduct or abuse or that violates the USA Hockey SafeSport Policies. or may call 1-800-888-4656.
Created: October 30, 2014