As a parent, coach, volunteer and administrator we strive to create the safest environment possible for our young players.  So, what components truly make up a safe environment? The following are broad areas that we must create emphasis around and must continue to integrate into the games day to day business!

Skill Development

From the basic skills to the more complex we have to continue to develop all players. From Initiation to Senior at all skill levels we need to integrate LTPD ideals and Hockey Canada’s Development Programming.

Respect

The best way to teach respect is to show respect. When a child experiences respect, they know what it feels like and begin to understand how important it is.
         - Steve McChesney

“Research literature suggests that negative parent behavior affects the safety and enjoyment of those engaged in sport.”
         - Hedstrom & Gould, 2004

Remember, it’s about fairness and respect!

It’s about play!

It’s all about family!

It’s about us all having fun and being kids!

Respect is reflected by five simple statements:

1. Respect the rules.
2. Respect the officials and their decisions.
3. Respect your opponent.
4. Give everyone an opportunity to participate.
5. Maintain your self control at all times.

Rules and Enforcement

Hockey Canada has a high turnover rate among officials from year to year. A big reason for this is abuse. Much of officiating is learned from experience. If we reduce the abuse, we will reduce the amount of officials who quit, resulting in a higher quality of officiating. When someone quits officiating, another rookie official takes his or her place. This can result in the same mistakes being made, and the cycle of inexperience and ineffective officiating continues. Everyone…..please give officials a chance to improve. That is what Hockey Canada’s Shared Respect Initiative is all about, respecting the role of all participants of the game – players, coaches, officials and parents.

Part of respect is respecting the rules, if parents, coaches and administrators respect the rules we will go a long way in influencing our kids to do the same. Stay safe! Respect the Rules!

Equipment

Become knowledgeable about equipment and ensure to take the time to ensure that your son or daughters equipment is adequate.

Facilities/Playing Area

Before and during all games and practices, check and monitor the playing area to ensure that:

    • The ice surface is free from debris, bumps, ruts or bare spots
    • All rink gates are securely closed and will open and close easily
    • There are no protrusions from the glass, boards, nets or ice surface
    • Proper lighting is in use at all times
    • There is no debris on the floor of the players’ bench area that may become stuck on the blades of skates or damage skate blades
    • Facility management has been monitoring air quality for dangerous emissions or gases and you are aware of the symptoms of toxic gas poisoning such as headache, nausea, and dizziness.
    • You notify facility management of risks that require the intervention of staff (e.g. defective lighting or heating). For more serious on ice risks, facility management should be notified immediately and players should not be allowed on the ice until the risk is eliminated.
    • Always follow-up in writing when informing facility management of any safety risks, and copy your letter to both your Association and Branch.
    • As a spectator, watch for pucks and areas where pucks could leave to playing surface!

Click here for a handy facility safety checklist.

Awareness/Education/Cooperation

Throughout all of Hockey Canada’s Development programs you will find resources to help keep your participants in a safe and respectful environment

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