Nov 21, 2019

Developed by
Chris Carcerano



SafeSport

There are several changes to the SafeSport program that are currently in effect, and more changes are still to come. These changes will affect every registered member of a youth program in USA Hockey, including travel and in-house/recreation programs. Below is a comprehensive overview.

Oversight

The SafeSport program has changed – it is now part of federal legislation and the SafeSport program now falls under the oversight of a federally designated organization (USCSS). The four (4) governing documents are as follows:

  • Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and SafeSport Authorization Act of 2017 (the “SafeSport Authorization Act”) on February 14, 2018 - Click Here
  • MAAPP: U.S. Center for SafeSport’s (“USCSS”) Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies, dated January 23, 2019 (the “MAAPP”) - Click Here, and any subsequent updates to these policies;
  • USCSS SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement (the “Code” or the “SafeSport Code”) published April 15, 2019 - Click Here, and any subsequent updates to these policies;
  • The USA Hockey SafeSport Handbook - Click Here

“SafeSport Code” and the “SafeSport Handbook” are two VERY different things

  • The SafeSport CODE is published by the USCSS. It provides clarification, detail, process and definitions to the terms and conditions in the legislation.
  • The Code can be updated at any time by the USCSS – the posted version can change at any time. The version you reference today could change tomorrow, and it is each person’s responsibility to take responsibility for not assuming the Code is accurate as a static document.
  • The Code contains NEW policies – such as “aiding and abetting”. Each SafeSport Coordinator needs to read the Code regularly to ensure they understand the potential violations.
  • Note that the MAAPP’s are NEW POLICIES, and they are part of the CODE. The MAAPP’s specify criteria for 1:1 interaction between adult and minor participants, massages and rubdowns, locker room policies, and social media and electronic communications. These must be followed IN ADDITION to policies outlined in the USAH SafeSport Handbook.
  • The USA Hockey SafeSport HANDBOOK is USA Hockey’s guide to how to navigate the legislative documents and provides direction on how to mitigate risk to athletes in the hockey environment (taking into account the differences in our sport, such as: locker rooms, our equipment [some can be designated as weapons], the rules/way the game is played, travel, the rink environment, etc.). It also includes hockey-specific policies, and the reporting, investigative and disciplinary review processes followed by USA Hockey.

Compliance

Each Member Program is now solely responsible for its membership’s compliance with SafeSport. The Member Program must agree to the terms and conditions at the time of CAHA’s Annual Member Registration Renewal (Member Services) before paying annual fees.

SafeSport Training

  • The only recongnized SafeSport training must be taken by following the Registration link at https://www.usahockey.com/safesporttraining/
  • The state affiliate (CAHA) will no longer be providing organized SafeSport education to interpret the USCSS program. Under the USCSS, the only recognized training is the online SafeSport education provided by the USCSS. This is why the accountability for SafeSport compliance is solely on the individual member of each Member Program.
  • Depending on availability, the CAHA SafeSport Coordinator can arrange onsite training or webinars to run through SafeSport scenarios, reporting, etc.
  • Annual Online Education: SafeSport training will be taken ANNUALLY (not every 2 years). A refresher will be available after the full course is taken.
  • Expiration: Beginning in 2019 - if a Member takes SafeSport training, it is good for ONE season (it may not be one calendar year, depending on the date). *Members who took the training in the 2018-2019 season will be honored for their two-year expiration; however, it will expire March 31, 2020 (regardless of any previously stated date).
  • NEW! Effective with the 2019-2020 season: Any athlete seventeen (17) years of age or older on or before December 31 of that playing season, and that plays on a team in a classification that allows minor age players, shall complete appropriate SafeSport training prior to the ability to be rostered on that team and prior to any participation.
    • There is no exception to this requirement
    • These 17 and 18 year-olds will take the same training an adult takes (parent/guardian must acknowledge the training online)
    • Certificate of completion must be emailed to the Member Club’s Registrar, and the player cannot be rostered until they appear on the USA Hockey database
    • SEVENTEEN AND EIGHTEEN YEAR OLDS ARE NOT BACKGROUND SCREENED – THEY ARE ONLY REQUIRED TO TAKE SAFESPORT EDUCATION.
  • NEW! Effective with the 2019-2020 season: All USA Hockey Affiliates (CAHA) must provide information about online SafeSport education to both parents and minor age players.
    • The USA Hockey SafeSport Webpage will post this information when it becomes available.
    • Parents/guardians must acknowledge the online training before a minor can take it.
    • No identifying information on minors taking the training (unless they are 17 years of age) will be collected or reported.

SafeSport Completion/Proof

Results will automatically upload into the USA Hockey database if a Member successfully completed the course.

  • If successful, that Member will receive an emailed certificate of completion (ONE PAGE, NOT 3).
  • That certificate should still be emailed to the Member’s program Registrar as proof; but it will NOT be uploaded anywhere by CAHA. Only the USA Hockey database will be used as verification.
  • If there are any discrepancies, it is the responsibility of the Member to contact USA Hockey and reconcile any issues.

Reporting

  • There are new reporting requirements for member programs and state affiliates (discussed below). Failure to report can carry serious penalties, including suspension of the reporting party, and (depending on the offense) suspension of the program’s membership in the affiliate and/or USA Hockey. The USOC and USCSS will conduct random audits of SafeSport records throughout all NGB’s, from the member program level to the national office level. Compliance with the required reporting is critical.
  • Each Member Program’s SafeSport Coordinator MUST report monthly to the CAHA SafeSport Coordinator all known or potential and reported SafeSport incidents. The CAHA SafeSport Coordinator will provide the reporting criteria directly to the Member Program SafeSport Coordinators.
  • Each Member Program’s SafeSport Coordinator MUST REPORT IMMEDIATELY all known, reported, or suspected incidents of child sexual or physical abuse to the USCSS and local law enforcement as outlined in the SafeSport Legislation, the SafeSport Code, and the USA Hockey SafeSport Handbook.

Consequences

SafeSport violations have the potential to result in penalties ranging from suspension through removal of participation (for many years or life), as well as potential monetary, civil, state and federal action. The consequences for non-reporting of known or suspected SafeSport violations could be levied by CAHA, USA Hockey, civil or federal courts.

Participation

Every adult participant (as defined below) who plays a specific role (coach, manager, volunteer, locker room monitor, practice assistant, board member, administrator, etc.) is required to complete the following prior to participation: USA Hockey registration, Background screening, SafeSport Education online. There are no exceptions.

Accountability

Every adult participant (as defined in the legislation) who plays a specific role (coach, manager, volunteer, locker room monitor, practice assistant, board member, administrator, etc.) is held liable for reading, understanding and enforcing the SafeSport policies. It is not the responsibility of the SafeSport Coordinator to train adult participants – it is a personal responsibility to take the online training, read the Handbook, read the SafeSport legislation, read the SafeSport Code and read the Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies.

Non-compliance

There are no “opt-outs” or work-arounds for SafeSport. As an NGB, every member association of a USA Hockey affiliate is required to implement all of the SafeSport protocols and policies in their programs (this includes in-house and rec programs).

Waiver for Disabled Athletes

There is a waiver for SafeSport education for athletes with special conditions meeting criteria who are over the age of 18 - Click Here

Travel Agreement

Minor athletes traveling with other athlete families (other than their parents) must now complete waivers to do so, kept by the local member program. These waivers are available - Click Here

SafeSport Compliance List

NEW: The CAHA SafeSport Compliance List will no longer be updated on the CAHA Website. The results now download directly into the USA Hockey database. The Registrar of each Member Program is the point of contact for checking SafeSport compliance.

Background Screening

  • NOTHING WILL CHANGE WITHIN CAHA FOR ADULT PARTICIPANTS IN 2019-2020.
  • Any active screenings with a 2020 expiration will be honored.
  • There are no notable changes to the management of the Background Screening process in CAHA in the 2019-2020 season.
  • NEW: The CAHA Background Screening Compliance List will no longer be updated on the CAHA Website. The results now download directly into the USA Hockey database. The Registrar of each Member Program is the point of contact for checking Background Screening compliance.

The major changes to the background screening program will occur in the 2020-2021 season (see below for information on what to expect).

All questions regarding SafeSport should be submitted via email only to: cahajaime@gmail.com.

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES ON SAFESPORT, THE SAFESPORT ACT, AND MANDATORY REPORTING