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New Travel Policies Improve Off-Ice Safety

By Scott Gray, SafeSport Coordinator, 04/16/13, 10:45AM CDT

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Travel to games and tournaments is a significant part of youth hockey participation, and it is also an event that places are players in potential situations for abuse and misconduct - particularly during overnight stays. USA Hockey requires that all local programs shall have a travel policy applicable to youth teams that is published and provided to all players, parents, coaches, and other adults traveling with the team. The policy should apply to both local travel as well as out of town events and should have different policies for each. These travel policies shall include:

Local:
1. Make parents responsible for local travel arrangements.
2. Non-parent drivers shall not drive alone with an unrelated minor.
3. Non-parent drivers shall not be alone at any time with an unrelated minor. Drop offs and pick-ups should be coordinated in groups.

Out of town:
1. Regardless of gender, a coach shall not share a room with a single player unless the coach is a parent or guardian.
2. Anyone providing team travel assistance must be screened and possess valid driver's licenses and insurance.
3. Adequate adult chaperone supervision should be provided at all times (recommend one adult for five to eight players).
4. Room monitoring and curfew checks should be made by at least two screened adults.
5. Pay per view channels should be blocked in players’ rooms.
6. No individual meetings shall take place in players’ rooms.
7. Players shall be allowed to make “check in” calls to their parents.
8. Travel itineraries including a list of all adult personnel and contact information shall be provided to parents.
9. Parents will be contacted first, prior to any disciplinary action be taken against a player.
10. No coach or chaperone shall be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while performing their chaperone/coaching duties.
11. In all cases, parents have the right to transport their child and stay with them in their hotel room.

The bulk of this policy is basic common sense. What is listed above should provide a basis for a travel policy but certainly isn’t limited to these topics. Your local program can freely make as detailed and as stringent a travel policy as it sees fit. By being aware of, and enforcing these simple travel rules, we can take a giant step towards limiting any occurrences of abuse during a time when our youth players face potential risks.

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