Suspicions or Allegations of Child Physical or Sexual Abuse
Reporting to Law Enforcement and/or Child Protective Services
An independent investigation can harm youth and/or interfere with the legal investigative process. Accordingly, USA Hockey, its Member Programs and their administrators, employees and/or volunteers shall not attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of allegations of Child Abuse or Sexual Misconduct as a condition for or prior to reporting to appropriate law enforcement authorities. As necessary, however, a person receiving a report may ask a few clarifying questions of the minor or person making the report to adequately report the suspicion or allegation to law enforcement authorities.
In addition to the requirements of the SafeSport Authorization Act making any adult that is authorized by USA Hockey, a member of USA Hockey, or any Member Program, to interact with a Minor or amateur athlete at a Facility or at any event sanctioned USA Hockey or a Member Program a mandatory report of suspicions of child abuse or child sexual abuse, most states have mandatory reporting laws making persons holdings certain positions required by law to report suspicions of sexual or physical abuse of a minor. For mandatory reporting laws, see:
Reporting to the USCSS
In the event that USA Hockey or any USA Hockey Affiliate or Member Program receives a report involving Child Abuse or Sexual Misconduct, USA Hockey, its Affiliates and Member Programs shall immediately report and refer such matter to the USCSS.
Immediate Suspension or Termination
When an allegation of Child Abuse or Sexual Misconduct is made against an employee, volunteer, independent contractor and/or other Participant, USA Hockey and its Member Programs may immediately suspend the Respondent (i.e., a “summary suspension”), may immediately remove that individual from contact with any children in the program, and/or may take other protective actions until the allegation has been investigated by the USCSS and/or USA Hockey. This shall apply whether or not the allegation involves an incident during a hockey program or event. Upon the USCSS’s issuance of a Notice of Exercise of Jurisdiction, any temporary suspension,discipline, or other measures previously imposed by USA Hockey, an Affiliate or Member Program will be automatically and immediately adopted by the USCSS as its own, will be applicable throughout the USCSS’sjurisdiction, and will remain in effect unless and until the USCSS modifies those measures.
However, at such time as the USCSS has accepted jurisdiction of the investigation and resolution of such allegations, then USA Hockey and its Member Programs shall refrain from issuing any new suspensions in response to those allegations; provided that, USA Hockey and Member Programs may still put in place any necessary safety plan(s) or interim measure(s) short of those measures that may deny or threaten to deny a Participant’sopportunity to participate in a protected competition.
In issuing a summary suspension, the Respondent shall be offered a hearing under USA Hockey Bylaw 10, or underthe USCSS’s procedures if the USCSS adopts the suspension as its own.
Any determination under USA Hockey Bylaw 10 or by the USCSS will not necessarily affect USA Hockey’s or the Member Program’s ability to immediately suspend or terminate the Respondent from employment or performing services for organization. Please refer to Section V of this Handbook on Responding to Abuse and Other Misconduct for more information on imposing discipline and hearing requirements.
A Participant’s failure to report in compliance with this policy is a violation of this policy and grounds for disciplinary action, including but not limited to termination of an employee and/or dismissal of a volunteer.
Other Misconduct and Policy Violations
When a bullying, threats, harassment, hazing, emotional, physical or other abuse allegation is not reportable under relevant state or federal law, the Member Program, applicable Affiliate or USA Hockey shall internally address and investigate those alleged policy violations and misconduct, and impose discipline where appropriate. If investigated by the Affiliate or a Member Program, the Affiliate SafeSport Coordinator or designee shall conduct or oversee the investigation.
Likewise, violations of USA Hockey’s One-on-One Interactions Policy, Locker Room Policy, Athletic Training Modalities Policy, Social and Electronic Communications Policy, Travel Policy and Billeting Policy shall be reported to the Member Program, applicable Affiliate or USA Hockey to address, rectify and impose discipline where appropriate.