Ridgefield Amateur Hockey Association (RAHA) has some teams that travel regularly to play individual games or in tournaments. RAHA 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 practice and local games (“local travel”), and team travel involving a coordinated overnight stay (“team 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 state laws.
- The employees, coaches, and/or volunteers of RAHA 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.
- 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 RAHA 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 RAHA or one of its teams 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, RAHA 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 for the team (usually the team manager).
- RAHA will post specific travel itineraries when they become available including a more detailed schedule and contact information for chaperones. RAHA will make efforts to provide adequate supervision through coaches and other adult chaperones with 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 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 sometimes 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 state law, a vehicle in safe working order, and compliance with all state laws. All chaperones shall have been screened in compliance with the USA Hockey Screening Policy.
- Family members who wish to stay in the team hotel are permitted and encouraged to do so.
- In all cases involving travel, parents have the right to transport their minor player and have the minor player stay in their hotel room.
- In all cases involving travel when a parent is not present, it is the parent’s responsibility to assign a responsible adult as the guardian or their child for any travel or accommodations.
- The 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.
- 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.
- Meetings do not occur in hotel rooms, but the team may reserve a separate space for adults and athletes to socialize.
- No coach or chaperone shall at any time be under the influence of alcohol or drugs while performing their coaching and/or chaperoning duties.
- During team travel, coaches, team personnel and chaperones will help players, fellow coaches and team personnel adhere to policy guidelines, including, without limitation, the RAHA Travel Policy, the RAHA Locker Room Policy and the USA Hockey SafeSport 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
RAHA 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 RAHA 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.