Minnesota Hockey adopted a background screening policy which took effect at the start of the 1998-99 season to reduce the risk of players becoming victim to sexual or physical abuse. To carry out this policy, coaches, referees, board members, team managers, locker room monitors, and officers of Minnesota Hockey and its affiliates are required to consent to a background check every other year. To oversee the implementation of this policy, a new standing committee of Minnesota was created - the Screening Committee.
In the summer of 2013, the screening policies and procedures were revised to conform with mandates established by USA Hockey as a part of its SafeSport Policy.
With the elimination of screening consent "paper" forms, the process of becoming screened has been streamlined and automated by enabling participants to complete online screening forms contained on this website. We are currently screening 8,000-10,000 coaches, 2,000-3,000 referees and 10,000-12,000 other volunteers.
All of us in Minnesota Hockey should be proud of the success of this program. It has succeeded because local associations get the word out that screening is required. It has succeeded because registrars have made sure that no team is registered without all coaches being screened. It has succeeded because Minnesota Hockey has funded the criminal background searches at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars each year. It has succeeded because the Screening Committee, the Minnesota Hockey President and the Board of Directors have fulfilled their duties in hearing appeals of disqualification and when appropriate, have sustained disqualification under the tough standards set out in this policy.
Minnesota Hockey is committed to not only continue the success of this policy, but to make the hockey community and the public at-large more aware that this organization, because of the concern for the well-being of the kids playing hockey, has committed significant resources and efforts to make hockey free of any criminal element, safer for the participants regardless of age or gender and a shining example of a sport which can and will "clean its own house".
For more information on the Minnesota Hockey Screening Policy, please don't hesitate to contact Scott Gray, Screening Committee Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org.