Minor hockey organizations are responsible for the reasonable safety and well- being of all minor athletes (under the age of majority) while participating in sports activities. Supervisory responsibilities play an integral part of a coach’s role.
Interaction between coaches and players must be based on each organization’s code of conduct that establishes respect, dignity, health, and well-being for all athletes.
Ultimately, coaches assume the role of parent/guardian when traveling with teams and must make every reasonable effort to provide adequate supervision of the players. It is imperative that the rules and player expectations are clearly defined, discussed and presented to all participants including the parents and players prior to departing for a road trip. When parents travel with the team, it is imperative that the coach meet with the parents to ensure that their sons and daughters adhere to all team rules including use of drugs and alcohol, smoking, curfew, etc. It is important that this discussion take place prior to departure and not after an incident occurs on the road. The supervision ratio should be based on the age and physical limitations of the players. Although the coach assumes full responsibility for the members of the team, it is reasonable to assume that he/she will require “free time” and in his/her absence, a pre-assigned member of the supervisory staff will be appointed to assume the leadership role for players to ensure that policies and procedures as previously agreed upon are adhered to by all participants. For the protection of all participants, it is recommended that the members of the coaching and supervisory staff be screened in compliance with the policies of the local Association and/or Branch.
Rules and regulations regarding the illegal use of drugs and alcohol, smoking, curfews, inappropriate behaviour including abuse, harassment, and bullying should be reviewed with team members, parents and team personnel. Coaches are well advised to ensure that these rules and regulations follow those of the Association, Branch and Hockey Canada.
Information on the location, telephone numbers, cellular numbers, and email addresses where the team will be staying is important to ensure that players and parents are able to make immediate contact in the event of an emergency.
If players are staying in a hotel/motel, it is important that the recommendations as outlined in the Respect in Sport program are reviewed. Coaches (and staff) should pre- assign players to rooms. Ideally personnel and players should not share accommodations regardless of the cost saving or other benefits. If sharing a room, please ensure that the two-deep rule is observed at all times. If only one player and one supervisor are alone in the room for a brief period of time, the outer door should be left open. People of different genders should not share rooms. No one other than the occupants of a given room will be permitted in the room unless the door is left open for visual access to outsiders. No guests outside of the team members will be permitted in the rooms at any time. Guests must only be met in common areas including hotel lobbies, restaurants, etc. Team and small group meetings should be held in common areas such as a conference room. No sexual contact will be permitted by players who are minors while traveling with the team.