Locker Room Policy
CLHA acknowledges the Locker Room Monitoring Policy as established by USA Hockey. Our complete policy can be found in the CLHA Policies and Procedures on pages 8-9.
CLHA teams rely heavily on volunteers. If you are willing to volunteer as a locker room monitor, please complete the following by clicking the links to the right:
- USA Hockey volunteer registration
- MN Background screening
- SafeSport training
- CLHA monitor registration
LOCKER ROOM POLICY
Constant monitoring inside locker rooms and changing areas is required. Only coaches, players, and approved personnel are permitted in the locker room. CLHA acknowledges the Locker Room Monitoring Policy as established by USA Hockey:
Monitors must be the same gender as the players, SafeSport trained, and undergo background screening by Minnesota Hockey to serve in this capacity.
- When coaches are not the same gender as the players, coaches may not be in the locker room while players are changing unless the players have a base layer on or come to the rink in a base layer.
- No team or player shall be allowed to enter a locker room prior to a scheduled event until a locker room monitor is present in the locker room and such monitor shall remain in the locker room until the last player leaves the locker room unless coaches are present. When coaches are present in the locker room, they may serve as locker room monitors. If there is only one player in the locker room, the monitor must prop the door open.
- Any coach(es) meeting(s) with an individual, minor player shall be conducted on the ice, on the bench, in the locker room with the other team members and/or locker room monitor(s) present, or in an observable and interruptible setting.
- When a player is ejected from a game there must be at least two adults consisting either of locker room monitors or coaches in the locker room with the suspended player. If there is a break and players go to the locker room without coaches, a locker room monitor must be inside the locker room.
- Alleged violations of these rules shall cause a mandatory hearing to be held in accordance with MH Bylaw Article 6. If warranted, a suspension penalty may be levied upon the head coach or person in charge of the team if the head coach is not present. The penalty for violations of this rule shall be $500 for the first offense, $1,000 for the second offense, and $2,500 for the third offense. These fines are the responsibility of the offending team and shall be paid to the applicable district.
Co-ed locker rooms
The Co-ed Locker Room policy attempts to balance the social integration and camaraderie of a team sport while providing a safe and respectful environment for all of our participants.
The options below comply with USA Hockey’s Co-ed Locker Room Policy and the CLHA coach will have discretion for choosing which option their team will implement.
- Minimum attire policy: All players should be required to arrive at the rink wearing their hockey base layers or shorts and t-shirts (in good condition - no holes or tears in clothing) under their street clothes. All members of the team must have this minimum attire before entering a co-ed locker room so that no player of one gender has the opportunity to see players of the opposite gender in a state of dress/undress.
- Separate locker rooms: Have boys and girls change/dress in separate, supervised locker rooms. Then approximately ten (10) to fifteen (15) minutes before each game/practice everyone is to be ready in gear in one designated locker room so the coach can address the entire team. If a player (whether boy or girl) is not fully dressed by the time the coach arrives, then that player must go to a separate locker room or bathroom to finish dressing. The onus is on the players to be properly dressed when the coaches actually begin preparing the team for the practice or game.
- Alternate locker room use: Players of one gender dress in the locker room while players of the opposite gender wait outside. When one group is ready, the players switch places and the players in gear wait for players of the opposite gender to get dressed. No coaching is to be done until all the players are together in full gear. Taking turns is a means of reasonable accommodation; neither gender group should be favored, nor should one group be the group that always has to wait to change.
Please note that with Co-ed programs, it is important that the person(s) monitoring the locker room is of the same gender as the players being monitored. USA Hockey would consider it acceptable to have one (1) locker room monitor immediately outside the locker room and regularly check in on the locker room. If there are two (2) monitors then they can monitor from inside the locker room. Having only one person inside a locker room can expose that person to allegations, so a second person can help protect one another from allegations.
Electronics in locker rooms
Cell phones and/or any type of photographic device(s) usage are not allowed in locker rooms. Using phones, cameras, or any device that can take pictures or videos in a locker room is prohibited. If the use of a phone is required, the user must step outside of the locker room to use it. It would be best for the players to leave such devices with a responsible party before entering the locker room.
NOTICE FROM USA HOCKEY - SECURITY ISSUES IN LOCKER ROOMS
LOCKER ROOM SUPERVISION
The new USA Hockey rule requiring locker room supervision is unfortunately timely. The high school football team hazing incident, however, is only the most recent of such events in Minnesota. And hazing is not the only locker room concern. Innocent rough housing and verbal abuse can be just as damaging to the players. Indeed, some innocent shoving in a New England youth hockey locker room resulted in the player losing his thumb when he grabbed the door to catch his balance. The heavy steel door closed on his thumb.
The USA Hockey rule is simple. It requires that at least one responsible adult be in all hockey locker room at all times when players are present. As always, however, the devil is in the details of execution. Initially, that person may be a coach or some other person. A coach frequently has reason to leave the locker room, and this suggests always having some other responsible adult present. Any person other than a coach should be subject to criminal background screening, just like the coaches. The team can form a group of gender-correct parents, who would be screened and be scheduled so that at least one of them was in the locker room at all times before and after practices and games when the players are there. The designated parent would have to come early and stay late. That parent could also have the locker room key and be responsible for securing the room when the players are on the ice. The parent would have to understand that his or her role is limited to supervision, and that he or she is not an additional coach.
Parents of Mites and Squirts are routinely in the locker rooms before and after practices and games to assist their sons and daughters with their equipment. Implementing the new rule would simply involve having one or more of them come early, remain in the room until the players take the ice, be present when they return, and stay until all players leave the locker room. Older players, of course, do not require such assistance, so the parent would have to come early and stay late on his or her scheduled duty days.
In addition to hazing, rough-housing and verbal abuse, coaches and the supervising parents need to be reminded that many players bring cell phones to hockey practices and games. Sometimes the phone is needed to call for a ride home. Most cell phones, however, include a digital camera. The opportunity for inappropriate locker room photos exists, and our players may not realize the harm such pictures cause when published on the internet. This can be prevented by establishing a team (or association) rule banning cell phones in the locker rooms. The rule can be implemented by having the supervising parent collect the phones when the players enter the locker room and return them when they leave. This team or association rule is another reason for each team to establish a group of parental locker room supervisors.
Quite apart from protecting the players is the issue of protecting coaches. Our society is litigious, and there have been instances where coaches were subject to allegations that they were physically or verbally abusive to a player. If the team arranges for another adult to be in the locker room at all times, an independent witness exists. The parent can verify that there was no abuse, or, heaven forbid, serve as a deterrent and prevent the abuse from happening.
Implementing the new rule will require time and cooperation from everyone. Supervision should not be the coach’s responsibility; for association teams it should be part of the team’s parental duties. Each local association will have to implement the rule for its tryouts, its clinics and its teams, just as Minnesota Hockey will have to implement the rule for its clinics, advanced clinic tryouts, advanced clinics and select teams. The rule originated jointly from the USA Hockey’s Coaching Section and the USA Hockey Risk Management Committee. It was adopted with a near-unanimous vote of the Board of Directors. It is another of the rules designed to protect our players, coaches and volunteers, not unlike background screening and helmets for referees and coaches. Its implementation requires and deserves the assistance of all players, coaches, parents and volunteers.
- Bruce Kruger, Risk Manager, Minnesota District, USA Hockey