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YAHA Locker Room Policy

Yakima Amateur Hockey Association (YAHA) Locker Room Policy

In addition to the development of our hockey players and enjoyment of the sport of hockey, the safety and protection of our participants is central to YAHA’s goals. YAHA adheres to USA Hockey’s Safe Sport Program as a means to help protect its
participants from physical abuse, sexual abuse and other types of misconduct, including emotional abuse, bullying, threats, harassment and hazing. To help prevent abuse or misconduct from occurring in our locker rooms, YAHA has adopted the following locker room policy. This policy is designed to maintain personal privacy as well as to reduce the risk of misconduct in locker rooms.

At Yakima Ice Rink there are four locker rooms available for our program’s use. There is one restroom facility and no shower facility. Some teams in our program may also occasionally or regularly travel to play games at other arenas, and those locker rooms, rest rooms and shower facilities will vary from location to location. YAHA team organizers will attempt to provide information on the locker room facilities in advance of games away from our home arena. At arenas for which you are unfamiliar, parents should plan to have extra time and some flexibility in making arrangements for their child to dress, undress and shower if desired.

Locker Room Supervision
YAHA has predictable and limited use of locker rooms and changing areas. This allows for direct and regular monitoring of locker room areas.

It is the policy of YAHA and USA Hockey that each team must have at least one responsible screened and trained adult (which may include coaches, managers or other volunteers) present at all times and monitoring the locker room during all team events to assure that only Participants (coaches and players), approved team
personnel and family members are permitted in the locker room and to supervise the conduct in the locker room. While it is not always possible, two locker room monitors are preferable.

Preferred locker room monitoring includes having locker room monitors inside the locker room while Participants are in the locker room; at a minimum, locker room monitors must be in the immediate vicinity outside the locker room who also
regularly and frequently enter the locker room to monitor activity inside. YAHA will work with our teams and coaches to adequately ensure that locker room monitors are in place at all appropriate times.

Further, Adult Participants must also secure the locker room appropriately during times when Minor Athletes are on the ice. If a Minor Athlete goes to a locker room during practice or a game, and does not return in a timely fashion, then an Adult Participant (or if possible two) should check on the Minor Athlete's whereabouts. With younger players, it is generally appropriate to allow parents to assist the player with getting equipment on and off before and after games or practices and they are allowed in the locker room to do so.

Except for players at the younger age groups, we discourage parents from entering locker rooms unless it is truly necessary. If a player needs assistance with his or her uniform or gear, if the player is or may be injured, or a player’s disability warrants assistance, then we ask that parents let the coach know beforehand that he or she will be helping the player.

Naturally, with our youngest age groups it is necessary for parents to assist the players getting dressed. We encourage parents to teach their players as young as possible how to get dressed so that players will learn as early as possible how to get dressed independently. In circumstances where parents are permitted in the locker room, coaches are permitted to ask that the parents leave for a short time before the game and for a short time after the game so that the coaches may address the players. As players get older, the coach may, in his or her discretion, prohibit parents
from a locker room. 

All interactions between an Adult Participant and a Minor Athlete within any locker rooms or changing areas must adhere to the One-On-One Interactions Policy, provided that exceptions apply (i) for teammates that meet the Close-in-Age exception, (ii) when a Dual Relationship exists, (iii) when a Minor Athlete needs an Adult Personal Care Assistant, or (iv) in the case of emergency. Minor Athletes that are teammates with an Adult Participant that is more than four years older than the Minor Athlete, may share a locker room, but must not be alone in the locker room unless the interaction is Observable and Interruptible.

Coaches sometimes may need to use the team locker room to get dressed before or after practices. Coaches must always have at least a base layer of clothing at all times while changing, or must use a private area to change into acceptable clothing. An Adult Participant (other than for teammates to whom the Close-in-Age exception applies) shall not intentionally or recklessly expose his or her breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals to a Minor Athlete.
Any Adult Personal Care Assistant helping a Minor Athlete in the locker room must have the parent's written consent and have met the requirements of the SafeSport Training and Background Check policies.

Co-Ed Locker Rooms
As a team sport in which youth teams can often include players of different genders, special circumstances may exist that can increase the chance of abuse or misconduct. If the team consists of players of different genders, the privacy rights of all players must be given consideration and appropriate arrangements made. It is not acceptable under USA Hockey's Sexual Misconduct Policy for persons to be observing the opposite gender while they dress or undress. Depending on circumstances, such as the availability of locker rooms, and at the discretion of the coach, one of the following options shall be utilized to accommodate co-ed team members:

a. Minimum Attire; all players will 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. If a player is not wearing the required minimum attire, that player will be directed to a restroom or private area to change into his/her minimum attire before entering the locker room. For the purposes of this policy, sports bras and/or underwear are not considered base layers.

b. Separate Locker Rooms; players of different genders 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 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 being properly dressed when the coaches actually begin preparing the team for the practice or game.

c. Alternate Use of One Locker Room; players of one gender dress in the locker room while players of the opposite gender wait outside. When the one group is ready (this may mean dressed in gear but not skates and helmets), then the players switch places and the players in gear wait for players of opposite gender to get dressed. No coaching is to be done until all the players are together in the locker room. Taking turns is a means of reasonable accommodation; neither gender group should be favored, nor should one group be the group who always has to wait to change.