USA Hockey “SafeSport” Guidelines as adopted by the Nashville Jr. Predators
Nashville Jr. Predators is a non-profit youth ice hockey association that does business as the Nashville Jr. Predators. The moniker Nashville Jr. Predators (the “NJP”) refers to all wholly-owned subsidiaries of the NJP including, but not limited to, the Nashville Jr. Predators and/or the Jr. Predators.
Nashville Jr. Predators’ Policy on Travel
The Nashville Jr. Predators has some teams that travel regularly to play individual games, two or more games at a time, or in tournaments. The NJP also has some teams where travel is limited to only a few events per year. Local NJP games are played at Ford Ice Center in Antioch, Tennessee, Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville, Tennessee or at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. The NJP 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 the NJP 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 local, state and federal laws. The employees, coaches, and/or volunteers of NJP 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 in writing by the minor player’s parent.
Where an employee, 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 an employee, coach and/or volunteer is involved in the player’s local travel, a parental release should be obtained in advance. Employees, 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 an employee, coach or volunteer of the NJP 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 the NJP or one of its teams sponsors, coordinates or arranges for travel so that our teams can compete locally, regionally, nationally or internationally. Because of the greater distances, coaches, staff, volunteers and chaperones will often travel with the players. When possible, the NJP 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 the NJP or the team. This individual will be the point of contact to confirm your intention to travel and to help with travel details.
The NJP and teams 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. The NJP will make efforts to provide adequate supervision through coaches and other adult chaperones. The NJP 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).
Because of the greater distances, coaches, staff, volunteers, and chaperones will often travel with the players. No employee, 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 local, state or federal law, a vehicle in safe working order, and compliance with all local, state and federal laws. All chaperones shall have been screened in compliance with the USA Hockey Screening Policy and all team drivers shall have been screened and the screen shall include a check of appropriate Department of Motor Vehicle records. 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 team’s head 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. The team’s manager or coaching 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
The NJP 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 the NJP 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. Reports of any actual or suspected violations, you may email USA Hockey at SafeSport@usahockey.org or may call 1-800-888-4656.
Nashville Jr. Predators Policy on Abuse
It is the policy of the Nashville Jr. Predators and USA Hockey that there shall be no physical abuse of any participant involved in any of its Member Programs by any employee, volunteer, independent contractor or other participant.
Physical abuse means physical contact with a participant that intentionally causes or has the potential to cause the participant to sustain bodily harm or personal injury. Physical abuse also includes physical contact with a participant that intentionally creates a threat of immediate bodily harm or personal injury. Physical abuse may also include intentionally hitting or threatening to hit an athlete with objects or sports equipment.
In addition to physical contact or the threat of physical contact with a participant, physical abuse also includes the providing of alcohol to a participant under the age of consent and the providing of illegal drugs or non-prescribed medications to any participant.
Without limiting the above, any act or conduct described as physical abuse or misconduct under applicable federal or state law constitutes physical abuse under this Policy. Physical abuse does not include physical contact that is reasonably designed to coach, teach, demonstrate or improve a hockey skill, including physical conditioning, team building and appropriate discipline. Permitted physical conduct may include, but is not necessarily limited to, shooting pucks at a goaltender, demonstrating checking and other hockey skills, and communicating with or directing participants during the course of a game or practice by touching or moving them in a non-threatening, non- sexual manner.
Any NJP member who engages in any act of physical abuse is subject to appropriate disciplinary action including but not limited to suspension, permanent suspension, and/or referral to law enforcement authorities.
It is the policy of the NJP & USA Hockey that there shall be no emotional abuse of any participant involved in any of its Member Programs by an employee, volunteer, independent contractor or other participant.
Emotional abuse involves a pattern of deliberate, non-contact behavior that has the potential to cause emotional or psychological harm to a participant. These behaviors may include verbal acts, physical acts or acts that deny attention or support.
Examples of emotional abuse prohibited by this Policy include, but are not limited to the following: a pattern of (a) verbal behaviors that (i) attack a participant personally by, for example, calling them worthless, fat, or disgusting; or (ii) repeatedly and excessively yelling at a particular participant or participants in a manner that serves no productive motivational purpose; and (b) physically aggressive behaviors, such as (i) throwing sport equipment, water bottles, or chairs at participants; or (ii) punching walls, windows, or other objects.
Emotional abuse does not include generally-accepted and age appropriate coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, motivation, team building, appropriate discipline, or improving athletic performance.
A NJP member who engages in any act of emotional abuse is subject to appropriate disciplinary action including, but not limited to, suspension, permanent suspension, and/or referral to law enforcement authorities. Note that bullying, threats, harassment, and hazing, defined below, often involve some form of emotional misconduct.
It is the policy of NJP and USA Hockey that there shall be no sexual abuse of any minor involved in any of its Programs by an employee, volunteer, independent contractor or another participant.
Sexual abuse of a minor occurs when an adult employee, volunteer, independent contractor or other participant touches a minor for the purpose of causing the sexual arousal or gratification of either the minor or the employee, volunteer, independent contractor or other participant. Sexual abuse of a minor also occurs when a minor touches an employee, volunteer, independent contractor or other participant for the sexual arousal or sexual gratification of either the minor or the employee, volunteer, independent contractor or other participant, if the touching occurs at the request or with the consent of the employee, volunteer, independent contractor or other participant.
Sexual contact between or among children also can be abusive if there is a significant disparity in age, development, or size, rendering the younger child incapable of giving informed consent, if there is the existence of an aggressor, or where these is an imbalance of power and/or intellectual capabilities. The sexually abusive acts may include sexual penetration, sexual touching, or non- contact sexual acts such as exposure or voyeurism.
Neither consent of the minor to the sexual contact, mistake as to the participant’s age, nor the fact that the sexual contact did not take place at a hockey function are defenses to a complaint of sexual abuse.
Sexual abuse may also occur between adults or to an adult. Sexual abuse includes sexual interactions that are nonconsensual or accomplished by force or threat of force, or coerced or manipulated, regardless of the age of the participants.
Sexual abuse may also include non-touching offenses, such as sexually harassing behaviors; an adult discussing his/her sex life with a minor; an adult asking a minor about his/her sex life; an adult requesting or sending nude or partial dress photo to minor; exposing minors to pornographic material; sending minors sexually explicit electronic messages or photos (e.g. “sexting”); deliberately exposing a minor to sexual acts; or deliberately exposing a minor to inappropriate nudity.
Without limiting the above, any act or conduct described as sexual abuse, sexual misconduct or child sexual abuse under applicable federal or state law constitutes sexual abuse under this Policy.
Any NJP member who engages in any act of sexual abuse or misconduct is subject to appropriate disciplinary action including but not limited to suspension, permanent suspension, and/or referral to law enforcement authorities.
The NJP supports an environment for participation in hockey conducive to the enjoyment of hockey that is free from threats, harassment, and any type of bullying behavior. The purpose of this policy is to promote consistency of approach and to help create a climate in which all types of bullying, harassing or threatening behavior are regarded as unacceptable.
Bullying is the use of coercion to obtain control over another person or to be habitually cruel to another person. Bullying involves an intentional, persistent or repeated pattern of committing or willfully tolerating physical and non-physical behaviors that are intended to cause fear, humiliation, or physical harm in an attempt to socially exclude, diminish, or isolate another person. Bullying can occur through written, verbal or electronically transmitted expression or by means of a physical act or gesture. Bullying behavior is prohibited in any manner in connection with any USA Hockey sanctioned activities or events.
Examples of bullying prohibited by this policy include, without limitation physical behaviors, including punching, kicking or choking an athlete; and verbal and emotional behaviors, including, the use of electronic communications (i.e., “cyber bullying”), to harass, frighten, degrade, intimidate or humiliate.
While other team members are often the perpetrators of bullying, it is a violation of this policy if a coach or other responsible adult knows or should know of the bullying behavior but takes no action to intervene on behalf of the targeted participant(s).
A NJP participant or parent of a participant who engages in any act of bullying is subject to appropriate disciplinary action including but not limited to suspension, permanent suspension and/or referral to law enforcement authorities. The severity and pattern, if any, of the bullying behavior and/or result shall be taken into consideration when disciplinary decisions are made.
A threat to harm others is defined as any written, verbal, physical or electronically transmitted expression of intent to physically injure or harm someone else. A threat may be communicated directly to the intended victim or communicated to a third party. Threatening behavior is prohibited in any manner in connection with any USA Hockey sanctioned activities or events.
Any NJP or USA Hockey participant or parent of a participant who engages in any act of threatening or harassing behavior is subject to appropriate disciplinary action including but not limited to suspension, permanent suspension, and/or referral to law enforcement authorities. The severity and pattern, if any, of the threatening behavior and/or result shall be taken into consideration when disciplinary decisions are made.
Harassment in sport includes any pattern of physical and/or non-physical behaviors that (a) are intended to cause fear, humiliation, or annoyance, (b) offend or degrade, (c) create a hostile environment, or (d) reflect discriminatory bias in an attempt to establish dominance, superiority, or power over an individual participant or group based on gender, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, or mental or physical disability.
Examples of harassment prohibited by this policy include, without limitation such non-physical offenses as (a) making negative or disparaging comments about a participant’s sexual orientation, gender expression, disability, religion, skin color, or ethnic traits; (b) displaying offensive materials, gestures, or symbols; and (c) withholding or reducing playing time to a participant based on his/her sexual orientation.
Sexual harassment is a form of harassment prohibited by this policy. It shall be a violation for any employee, volunteer, independent contractor or other participant to harass a participant(s) through conduct or communications of a sexual nature or to retaliate against anyone that reports sexual harassment or participates in a harassment investigation. USA Hockey and/or its Affiliate organizations shall investigate all indications, informal reports and formal grievances of sexual harassment by any employee, volunteer, independent contractor or other participant and appropriate corrective action shall be taken.
Corrective action includes taking all reasonable steps to end the harassment, to prevent harassment from recurring and to prevent retaliation against anyone who reports sexual harassment or participates in a harassment investigation.
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature may constitute sexual harassment, even if the harasser and the participant being harassed are the same sex and whether or not the participant resists or submits to the harasser, when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a participant’s participation in any activity; or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by a participant is used as the basis for decisions affecting the participant; or
- Such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive such that it limits a participant’s ability to participate in or benefit from a hockey related program or activity or it creates a hostile or abusive environment.
Any conduct of a sexual nature directed by a minor toward an adult or by an adult to a minor is presumed to be unwelcome and shall constitute sexual harassment. Acts of verbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility based on sex, but not involving conduct of a sexual nature may also constitute sexual harassment. Legitimate non-sexual touching or other non-sexual conduct is not sexual harassment.
While other team members are often the perpetrators of harassment or sexual harassment, it is a violation of this policy if a coach or other responsible adult knows or should know of the harassment or sexual harassment but takes no action to intervene on behalf of the targeted participant(s).
A NJP participant or parent of a participant who engages in any act of harassing or sexually harassing behavior is subject to appropriate disciplinary action, including but not limited to, suspension, permanent suspension, and/or referral to law enforcement authorities. The severity and pattern, if any, of the harassing or sexually harassing behavior and/or result shall be taken into consideration when disciplinary decisions are made.
It is the policy of NJP that there shall be no hazing of any participant involved in any of its member programs by any employee, volunteer, independent contractor or other participant.
Hazing includes any conduct which is intimidating, humiliating, offensive, or physically harmful. The hazing conduct is typically an activity that serves as a condition for joining a group or being socially accepted by a group’s members.
Examples of hazing prohibited by this policy include, without limitation, requiring or forcing (including through peer pressure) the consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs; tying, taping, or physically restraining a participant; sexual simulations or sexual acts of any nature; sleep deprivation, or the withholding of water and/or food; social actions (e.g. grossly inappropriate or provocative clothing) or public displays (e.g. public nudity) that are illegal or meant to draw ridicule; beating, paddling, or other forms of physical assault. The activity known as “Locker Boxing” (aka fighting with helmet and gloves) is also a form of hazing that can produce head trauma in children and young adults and is prohibited in any USA Hockey Member Program.
Activities that fit the definition of hazing are considered to be hazing regardless of a person’s willingness to cooperate or participate. Hazing does not include group or team activities that are meant to establish normative team behaviors, or promote team cohesion, so long as such activities do not have reasonable potential to cause emotional or physical distress to any participant.
Examples of activities that do not constitute hazing include directing or allowing a younger player to pick up pucks or move nets after practice or bring or fill water bottles, or giving older players first preference in team assignments, responsibilities, accommodations, facilities, or equipment. While other team members are often the perpetrators of hazing toward their teammates, it is a violation of this policy if a coach or other responsible adult knows or should know of the hazing but takes no action to intervene on behalf of the targeted participant(s).
A NJP participant or parent of a participant who violates this hazing policy is subject to appropriate disciplinary action, including but not limited, to suspension, permanent suspension and/or referral to law enforcement authorities.
Nashville Jr. Predators’ Policy on Reporting
In some cases an employee or volunteer may be hesitant about reporting suspected abuse because they are unsure about the credibility of the person making the allegation, are unsure about the credibility or validity of the facts on which the allegations are based, or are concerned about the potential consequences of a false report. It is critical that employees and/or volunteers should not attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of child physical or sexual abuse allegations as a condition for or prior to reporting their concerns.
Child Physical or Sexual Abuse
Because sexual abusers “groom” children for abuse – the process used by offenders to select a child, to win the child’s trust (and the trust of the child’s parent or guardian), to manipulate the child into sexual activity and to keep the child from disclosing abuse – it is possible that an employee, volunteer, parent or participant may witness behavior intended to groom a child for sexual abuse. All questions or concerns related to inappropriate, suspicious or suspected grooming behavior must be reported to USA Hockey or the SAHA SafeSport Coordinator.
Peer-to-Peer Sexual Abuse
Approximately 1/3 of all child sexual abuse occurs at the hands of other children and the obligation to report extends to peer-to-peer child sexual abuse. Whether or not a sexual interaction between children constitutes child sexual abuse turns on the existence of an aggressor, the age difference between the children, and/or whether there is an imbalance of power or intellectual capabilities. If you have any concerns that an interaction between children may constitute sexual abuse, report it to the appropriate law enforcement authorities and to USA Hockey or the SAHA SafeSport Coordinator immediately.
Reporting Other Misconduct and Policy Violations
If any staff member and/or volunteer receives an allegation or observes misconduct or other inappropriate behavior, such as grooming, that is not reportable to the appropriate law enforcement authorities, it is the responsibility of each staff member and/or volunteer to report their observations to USA Hockey or the SAHA SafeSport Coordinator immediately.
USA Hockey also strongly encourages parents, players and other hockey participants to communicate violations of the USA Hockey SafeSport Program Handbook and/or allegations and suspicions of child physical and sexual abuse to USA Hockey or the SAHA SafeSport Coordinator immediately.
Report to Whom and How
Suspicions or allegations of child physical or sexual abuse must be made to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. In order to further protect USA Hockey programs and participants, such reports must also be made to USA Hockey and/or the SAHA SafeSport Coordinator. A compilation of information on when a person must make a report to law enforcement authorities can be found at the following:
- www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/manda.cfm; or
All reports of violations of any of the USA Hockey SafeSport policies or any violations of this SafeSport Program Handbook shall be made to USA Hockey and/or to the SAHA SafeSport Coordinator.
In some instances, a victim or complainant may feel more comfortable reporting to their local program administrator. Any reports to a local program administrator shall be forwarded by that administrator to USA Hockey. Depending on the circumstances, USA Hockey or the SAHA SafeSport Coordinator may refer that report to the local program administrator for initial action, investigation and/or discipline.
How to Report to USA Hockey
Reports to USA Hockey may be made by:
- Clicking on the “Report to USA Hockey” link on the USA Hockey SafeSport Program webpage (usahockey.com/safesport);
- Emailing to SafeSport@usahockey.org; or
- Calling 800-888-4656.
The USA Hockey SafeSport Program webpage contains contact information for each Affiliate SafeSport Coordinator, and reports may also be directed to the SafeSport Coordinator for the applicable Affiliate.
USA Hockey and its Affiliates will take a report in the way that is most comfortable for the person initiating a report including an anonymous, in-person, verbal or written report. If reporting by email or use of the Reporting Form on the SafeSport Program webpage, it is strongly encouraged that the following information be included:
- Name(s) and contact information of the complainant(s);
- Type of misconduct alleged;
- Name(s) of the individual(s) alleged to have committed the misconduct;
- Approximate dates the misconduct was committed;
- Names of others who may have information as to the alleged misconduct; and
- Summary statement of the reasons to believe that misconduct has occurred.
To the extent permitted by law, and as appropriate, USA Hockey and all USA Hockey Member Programs shall keep confidential the complainant’s name on request, not make public the names of potential victims, the accused perpetrator or the people who made a report of child physical and sexual abuse to the authorities.
Anonymous reporting may make it difficult for USA Hockey or SAHA to investigate or properly address misconduct or abuse. However, USA Hockey recognizes it can be difficult for an athlete, teammate, friend or family member to report an allegation of misconduct and strives to remove as many barriers to reporting as possible.
Anonymous reports may be made by doing one of the following:
- Completing the Reporting Form without including their name.
- Expressing concerns verbally to USA Hockey;
- Reporting to the SAHA SafeSport Coordinator;
- Reporting to their local program administrator;
- Emailing to USA Hockey at SafeSport@usahockey.org; or
- Emailing to the SAHA SafeSport Coordinator.
Regardless of outcome, it is the policy of USA Hockey and all USA Hockey Member Programs to support the complain-ant(s) and his or her right to express concerns in good faith. Neither USA Hockey nor any USA Hockey Member Program will encourage, allow or tolerate attempts from any individual, group or organization to retaliate, punish, allow or in any way harm any individual(s) who reports a concern in good faith. Such actions against a complainant will be considered a violation of the USA Hockey SafeSport Program and grounds for disciplinary action.
Bad-Faith Allegations A report of abuse, misconduct or policy violations that is malicious, frivolous or made in bad faith is prohibited. Such reports will be considered a violation of the USA Hockey SafeSport Program and grounds for disciplinary action. Depending on the nature of the allegation, a person making a malicious, frivolous or bad-faith report may also be subject to civil or criminal proceedings.
Nashville Jr. Predators Policy on Social Media
Social media makes it easy to share ideas and experiences. The NJP recognizes, however, that social media, mobile and other electronic communications can be especially concerning where minor participants are involved.
NJP Coaches are prohibited from having players joined to their personal Facebook page or any other similar social media application. To facilitate communication, an official Nashville Jr. Predators team page will be set up and players and parents may join (i.e., “friend”) the official organization and/or team page and coaches can communicate to players though the site. All electronic communication of any kind between coach and player, including use of social media, must be non-personal in nature and be for the purpose of communicating information about team activities or for team oriented motivational purposes.
Email, Text Messaging and Similar Electronic Communications
Coaches, team managers and players may use email and text messaging to communicate. All email and text message content between coaches/team managers and players must be non-personal in nature and be for the purpose of communicating information about team activities. Emails and text messages from a coach to any minor participant must include a copy to parents. Where possible, a coach and/or manager will use the Nashville Jr. Predators web site email center for all communications with the team and players.
Request To Discontinue
All Electronic Communications or Imagery with Athlete following receipt of a written request by the parents of a minor player that their child not be contacted by any form of electronic communication by coaches or other adults, the local program, team, coaches and administrators shall immediately comply with such request without any repercussions for such request.
Abuse and Misconduct
Social media and other means of electronic communication can be used to commit abuse and misconduct (e.g., emotional, sexual, bullying, harassment, and hazing). Such communications by any employee, volunteer, independent contractor or other participant of the NJP and/or USA Hockey Member Program will not be tolerated and are considered violations of USA Hockey’s SafeSport Program.
Infractions of the NJP & USA Hockey’s Mobile and Electronic Communications Policy should be reported to the appropriate person as described in reporting section of these guidelines concerning reporting. A USA Hockey participant or parent of a participant who violates this Social Media, Mobile and Electronic Communications Policy is subject to appropriate disciplinary action including but not limited to suspension, permanent suspension and/or referral to law enforcement authorities.
Nashville Jr. Predators’ Policy on Locker Rooms
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 the Nashville Jr. Predators’ goals. The NJP adheres to USA Hockey’s SafeSport Program as a means of protecting 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, the NJP 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 the Centennial Sportsplex, there are nine locker rooms available for our program’s use. Eight of the locker rooms share a restroom and shower area with one or more locker rooms. At the Ford Ice Center, there are eight locker rooms available for our program’s use; all of these locker rooms share a restroom and shower area with one or more locker rooms. At the Bridgestone Arena, there are several locker rooms available for our program’s use; most of these locker rooms have their own restroom and shower area. There are, however, a few locker rooms that do not have a restroom or shower area.
All teams in our program regularly travel to play games at other arenas, and those locker rooms, rest rooms and shower facilities will vary from location to location. NJP 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
The NJP 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 under-stand that this would likely make some players uncomfortable and may even place our staff at risk for unwarranted suspicion.
The NJP conducts 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 (Mite & Squirt), 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. Where possible, the NJP 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. 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 in the locker rooms. If phones or other mobile devices must be used, they should be taken outside of the locker room. [It is permissible to have a team manager collect phones.]
Prohibited Conduct and Reporting
The NJP 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 the NJP 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.
Nashville Jr. Predators Policy on Billeting
It is recognized that some NJP players do leave home to play hockey in a location away from their parents. In those circumstances, the organization or team typically arranges for the player to live with a host or billet family. Having youth players live outside their homes increases risk for abuse and misconduct to occur. As required by USA Hockey SafeSport, all organizations and teams that arrange for players to live with billet families shall have written policies and procedures in place to govern the arrangement.
The NJP billeting policies and procedures shall meet the following requirements:
- No more than two players should be housed with any one billet family;
- All adults living in the household of the billet family shall be screened in accordance with the USA Hockey Screening Policy prior to the player moving in with the family;
- It is strongly recommended that all billet families be two-parent homes. However, single parent billet families may be acceptable, but the organization or team shall take additional reasonable steps to regularly monitor the billeting arrangement and its compliance with the USA Hockey SafeSport Policies;
- All adults living in the household of the billet family shall have completed training in compliance with the Education and Awareness Training Policy prior to the player moving in with the family;
- Billet families and the player and player’s parents shall all sign an agreement with the NJP that they will comply with the rules and regulations for the billeting arrangement and the USA Hockey SafeSport Policies;
- Based upon the requirements of the applicable state law, the player’s parents shall sign and provide a power of attorney and/or guardianship to the billet family adults to allow for them to make emergency medical and schooling decisions;
- The NJP shall have a billet coordinator who shall be responsible for overseeing compliance with the Nashville Jr. Predators billeting policy and all other USA Hockey SafeSport Policies;
- The team shall have a mandatory curfew for all billeted players. The host family may have an earlier curfew;
- Players shall agree to comply with the house rules of the billet families, including curfews, chores/ cleaning, telephone usage, etc. Complaints about unusual rules shall be addressed with the team billet coordinator;
- Players shall not stay overnight at any other home except with the permission of the player’s parents and advance notification to the billet family and team billet coordinator;
- Players are not to drive billet family vehicles without automobile liability insurance as required by applicable state law, and documentation and approval of the billet family;
- NJP requires all billet families maintain appropriate homeowners/renters insurance; and
- Players staying with a billet family shall be permitted to make regular check-in phone calls to parents. Team personnel and billets shall allow for any unscheduled check-in phone calls initiated by either the player or parents.
Nashville Jr. Predators Certification
The Nashville Jr. Predators hereby certifies that, in compliance with USA Hockey SafeSport program, it has adopted the most current version of the SafeSport Program Guide into its applicable by-laws.
The NJP shall monitor its program and enforce the compliance of its teams with respect to the locker room policy, the travel policy, the social media policy, the mobile and electronic communications policy, and the billeting policy referenced in these guidelines.
The NJP shall monitor their personnel so that the program’s coaches, officials, program administrators, and other program volunteers and employees that will have routine access to minor participants, have completed the required training in accordance with the education and awareness training policy prior to such persons beginning in their position or otherwise having access to youth participants.
The NJP shall monitor their personnel so that all coaches, officials, program administrators, and other program volunteers and employees that will have routine access to youth participants, have been properly screened in accordance with the USA Hockey screening and background check policy prior to such persons beginning in their position or otherwise having access to youth participants.
The NJP shall promptly address any reports of abuse and misconduct, and make all such reports as are required under the USA Hockey SafeSport Program or applicable law.
The NJP shall conduct reviews and evaluation of its program and program and team personnel to monitor and promote compliance with the USA Hockey SafeSport Program.
The NJP shall report and provide information as required or requested to the S.A.H.A. SafeSport Coordinator on the local program’s compliance with the USA Hockey SafeSport Program.
Signature: __________________________________________ President, Nashville Jr. Predators
Print: __________________________________________ Dated: ____________________________
Signature: __________________________________________ SafeSport Coordinator, Nashville Jr. Predators
Print: __________________________________________ Dated: ____________________________