St. Albert Minor Hockey Association
safety and risk management
Risk Management includes identifying, assessing and eliminating or minimizing risks in an activity, in this case, minor hockey. SAMHA shall adhere to these risk management policies and the policies outlined by Hockey Canada and Hockey Alberta. SAMHA is committed to providing a safe, respectful, and fully inclusive environment for players, parents/guardians, staff, and volunteers.
4.1 DRESSING ROOM POLICY
It will be the Policy of the Association that when any player under the age of 18 is in the team dressing room(s) before, during and after a game or practice, a minimum of two of the following shall be present in the dressing room(s) or immediately outside the dressing room(s) with the door ajar: two team or club/association officials, properly screened or one such official and an adult person associated with the team.
• In no circumstance is a parent or fan to enter the opposing team’s dressing room.
• No member of the Association is permitted to enter the official's dressing room or speak with officials about the game.
• A lone team official should never be in the dressing room with players at any time.
• If an injury occurs and the player leaves the ice, two adults must accompany the player to the dressing room.
Association head coaches in the hockey program, as chief team officials, are fully responsible for all on-ice activities and team-organized off-ice activities of their team. The Head Coach shall at all times be responsible for the conduct of their team, including fans and players. Any coach found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action.
b) Dressing Room Access
The Association will proactively work to ensure that all dressing room spaces and procedures are safe, inclusive, and equitable by anticipating and removing barriers that prohibit the inclusive participation of any and all players. Knowing the reason behind an accommodation request is not necessary for providing accommodations and respect. It is up to the player’s discretion as to whether or not they choose to disclose why they require the accommodation.
• All players will have access to dressing room facilities that most appropriately meet their individual needs, which may or may not include accommodations with respect to gender identity and gender expression;
• All requests for dressing room accommodations will be taken seriously and will be assessed on an individual and confidential basis in order to address the specific needs and requirements of all players;
• SAMHA will work collaboratively with and advocate for players to identify the most appropriate access to dressing rooms, including any interim and long-term accommodation solutions, so as to reflect both individual players’ needs and the potential structural limitations of facilities;
c) Co-ed Dressing Room Policy
In accordance with Hockey Canada, St. Albert Minor Hockey Association firmly believes in accommodating both genders. We further believe in balancing this goal with the safety, privacy, modesty, and wishes of ALL our members without compromising the aspects of camaraderie, social integration, and bonding inherent in a team sport.
This policy attempts to meet all these goals while providing a safe and respectful environment for our participants.
St. Albert Minor Hockey Association stresses the importance that coaches ensure both male and female players have equal access to pre and post-team sessions and to all team-related activities.
Hockey Canada allows co-ed dressing room situations to exist at the U7, U9, and U11 levels, 5-10 years of age, provided participants in a co-ed situation arrive in full equipment or wear a minimum of gym shorts or long underwear as well as a full t-shirt all of which must be in good condition and without holes/tears.
At the U13, U15, and U18 levels, 11 years and above, the following conditions will apply in all co-ed team environments:
a. SAMHA recognizes the importance of equal participation of male and female players at all levels of play and, in pursuit of this goal, will implement policies to ensure the protection of reasonable privacy and safety of all players while ensuring access for all players to coaching time and team participation.
b. It is the responsibility of each individual coach to ensure that no gender is segregated from the rest of the team and no athlete is present in the dressing in less than his or her hockey equipment base layer when mixed genders are present.
c. In all cases where members of a team include both male and female players, the following parameters will be adhered to:
i. When separate facilities exist for both male and female athletes, they shall make use of these separate facilities in order to change to their hockey base layer, and then all athletes will be permitted to come together in the dressing room.
ii. When separate facilities do not exist for both male and female participants, players shall dress and undress in shifts determined by the coach. No athlete is present in the dressing room in less than their hockey base layer in a mixed dressing room environment. If no base layer is worn, the player will not be present in the dressing room in less than a shirt and shorts.
iii. Parents will be made aware of the policy at the beginning of the season as well as presented with the coach’s plan to ensure that their team complies. They will have an opportunity to discuss any concerns they have with the coach prior to implementation.
iv. Players wishing to shower will wait until the opposite gender has left the changing room to do so. Showering will be done by the greater represented gender first and then the lesser. In this circumstance, coaches will ensure that changing is done quickly.
vi. There will be supervision by the coaching staff in the dressing room at all times.
d. In the event that at team cannot agree upon a reasonable plan of action, the following procedure will be followed:
i. All players will show up to the dressing room in his or her well-maintained hockey base layer.
ii. Any player not compliant with this will be requested to use another room to change.
iii. After the game, players will remove their equipment down to nothing less than their hockey base layer before exiting the change room
d) Cell Phones in the Dressing Room
The use of cameras, video equipment, audio equipment, camera phones and other cellular phones is strictly prohibited in the team dressing rooms at any time. Teams may have music in the dressing room. Use of a cell phone is permitted for this purpose ONLY, and its use must be clearly articulated to the team and monitored.
In the case of special events (e.g., championships, etc), where no other location can be found for a photo, cell phones may be permitted in the dressing room for this purpose ONLY, and all players must be appropriately dressed.
A violation of the cell phone policy may result in disciplinary action by the board, which may include suspension from hockey activities.
Parents shall have the responsibility to ensure their child has all necessary equipment and that it is worn properly in accordance with Hockey Canada requirements and/or Hockey Alberta.
4.3 VULNERABLE SECTOR CHECK
As part of our volunteer screening process, St. Albert Minor Hockey Association requires all Association team officials (including coaches, assistant coaches, trainers, on-ice volunteers and dressing room supervisors) shall be required by the Association to submit their names to the RCMP for a Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC).
VSC’s will be completed by team officials on a frequency as determined by the Executive Committee from time to time.
All VSC’s must be submitted to the Registrar by October 15th of the current hockey season. Team officials who fail to comply with this requirement are ineligible to continue as team officials in any capacity until such has been completed.
a) The Admin VP shall review the results of the Vulnerable Sector Check arising from special circumstances with the Disciplinary Committee. All proceedings before the Disciplinary Committee will be held strictly confidential.
b) The Disciplinary Committee as a whole, or any member thereof, shall speak to the team official respecting his or her criminal record to ascertain whether the nature of that team official’s criminal record poses any danger to children, based on the nature and circumstances of the criminal record, the length of time since the record came into existence, the team official’s marital status, work experience, and any other relevant information.
c) A Committee decision that any team official poses a danger to children will result in immediate suspension of that team official from their role as a team official, who than can, at his or her option, choose to discontinue as a team official.
d) The team official can appeal his or her suspension imposed by the Committee, to the Executive Committee, by giving notice to the Executive Committee within seven (7) days of the date of the suspension. Such appeal shall be heard by the Executive Committee at its next regularly scheduled meeting following the date of receipt of the appeal
Updated June 2022