Mandatory Processes - Safety and Risk Management

“The goal is for all members to implement effective safety programs at the local hockey level, exercising a proactive, teamwork oriented approach to safety; where safety is the first priority at all times, on and off the ice.  Safety is an ongoing process, not a one-time activity.”
The following is a condensed version of the Hockey Canada Safety Program participant’s manual.  It is important that you take the time to familiarize yourself with these rules and ensure that they are implemented with your team to the best of your abilities.

Mandatory Processes – Volunteers & Team Officials

  1. Each team MUST have a qualified Hockey Canada Safety Person, HCSP in place prior to playing a game. Having a HCSP is not optional and there are NO exceptions.
  2. Failure to have a qualified HCSP by Dec 1st may result in your team being ineligible to play games or practice. PCAHA will exclude your team from playoffs, and possibly fine your Initiation team.
  3. You are not allowed to play a game without at least 1 HCSP in attendance. If your HCSP is not going to be in attendance, your Manager must ensure that a HCSP from another team is available to cover those duties.
  4. The HCSP is a recognized team official and is to be treated as such.  They are not required to have coaching certification. Choose someone who can be at as many practices and games as possible.  It is strongly suggested the HCSP not be a coach.
  5. ALL team officials and volunteers over the age of 16 who have access to the bench, players or the dressing room must:

a. complete Criminal Record & Vulnerable Sector checks                               b. be certified in Respect in Sport.

  1. Players under the age of 16, currently registered with VMHA, may not be on the bench, but they may help out on the ice on an occasional basis. Refer to On-Ice Helper Bulletin for a complete explanation. During games, only rostered officials may be on the bench.
  2. Coaches and assistants must have their appropriate coaching level completed by December 15th
  3. Respect in Sport and the Hockey Canada Safety Person courses are now offered on-line through Hockey Canada - Hockey University. On-line Hockey University registration available here.

Mandatory Processes - Safety

  1. You should not be standing in the dressing room if players are showering but you can, for that short time, stand outside the door and knock every couple of minutes, stick your head in and see how things are going… trouble happens when there is no supervision.
  2. Do not allow pictures or video to be taken in the dressing room. All cell phones must be off before entering the room.
  3. It is mandatory that all teams obtain a 1st Aid Kits from VMHA. The 1st Aid Kit must be on the bench at all practices and games.
  4. The Risk_Team_Injury_Log MUST be completed no matter how minor the incident.
  5. The Risk_Hockey_Canada_Injury_Report_Form_2012-05-17 MUST be completed for anything other than very minor incidents. Two copies must be made. The original is to be submitted to BC Hockey by the injured party or their guardian.
  6. If someone has been injured and unable to play hockey or if they are removed for the remainder of a game or practice due to injury, they must have a “Return to Play” form completed by their own family physician and kept with their Medical Information Form.  If it is a player that has been injured, where possible, they should participate in a practice and be observed before being allowed to play in a game.
  7. Familiarize yourself with concussions, and NEVER underestimate the damage they can do. Make use of the Hockey Canada Concussion Awareness App. 
  8. If there is blood involved in an injury, every effort must be made to ensure that no one comes into contact with the blood.  People / items with blood on them must be removed from the area and the blood must be removed from the ice.  To avoid contact, use the gloves from your 1st Aid Kit.
  9. Due to privacy laws, all medical information is to be considered strictly confidential.  At the end of the season, injury reports, medical information cards and injury logs are to be destroyed or returned to the player or their guardian in order to protect their privacy.
  10. At any stage of the season, the Association Risk Manager can request to see your documentation such as medical information cards, contracts and injury logs.
  11. Children grow quickly. Conduct periodic equipment checks.
  12. Conduct facility inspections to include the ice, benches and gates, dressing rooms, and other training areas.
  13. Supervise all training, including pre-game warm-ups. Ensure it is done in a safe area.

Mandatory Processes - Injury Management

  1. The team Safety Person must maintain a record of injuries sustained during the season on the Risk_Team_Injury_Log.
  2. The log should record injuries for which a player either requires medical treatment, is removed from play/practice, or is forced to leave the ice for other/unknown medical reasons.Injuries recorded on the log should be reported to BC Hockey via the Hockey Canada Injury Report Form.
  3. The form may be completed by the parent or a team official, but it is the parent's responsibility to mail the form.
  4. Safety people or other team officials should refuse to accept responsibility for mailing the forms in.
  5. When the injury has healed, the Coaches and Safety Person should discuss a plan for the player's return to play.
  6. For any extended absence from play or recovery from a serious injury, a player should attend at least one non-contact practice so that the coach can assess the player's condition, awareness, and ability to protect themselves on the ice.
  7. A Return to Play, signed by a doctor is required for any injury for which a doctor has prohibited play or at the request of the coach or safety person if the player is suspected to have suffered a concussion.

Mandatory Process - Insurance

  1. Rostered team officials are ONLY insured while participating in sanctioned team activities. Any person on the bench during games must be registered as a team official. They must also have completed their Criminal Record & Vulnerable Sector check and Respect in Sport certification. No parent or sibling will be permitted behind the bench without these qualifications, even if only to open the gate doors.
  2. Association, team & league scheduled practices, games, evaluations/tryouts and related activities all fall within the scope of regular day to day operations and do not require specific sanctioning authority.  However, before conducting anything other than regular games and practices, please ensure that you have the event sanctioned OR THERE WILL BE NO INSURANCE IN PLACE. Dry land training are events that must be sanctioned.  Complete the Sanctioning application well before the planned event. Usually it takes 7 – 10 business days to go through the approval process.
  3. In the event of a serious injury resulting in hospitalization or a death, notify your Division Coordinator immediately.
  4. Inform facility manager(s) and the Association Risk Manager of any injuries which may arise as a result of facility hazards or deficiencies.
  5. Individuals doing the clock or scorekeeping should be listed on the game sheet before they enter the box or cross the ice. They will then be insured for that game and that game only.
  6. Original copies of injury reports must be forwarded to Hockey Canada within 90 days of the date of the injury or accident or there is no insurance coverage. It is the responsibility of the parent or their guardian to submit the report and, if applicable, any related expenses to be reimbursed.

Important Things to Know and/or Do

  1. VMHA, BC Hockey and Hockey Canada have a Zero Tolerance Policy with regards to controlled substances, tobacco, drugs and alcohol. That policy extends to all team officials while participating in team activities.
  2. Encourage positive, pro-active communication, at both the team and association levels. If you or your manager cannot solve a problem, take it to your Division Coordinator as soon as possible.
  3. If you travel outside of the country, you must have passports and it is advised you purchase additional health insurance.  Hockey Canada Insurance limit of $5000.00 only applies to hockey related accidents.   Make sure your parents know this before travelling.
  4. Before signing any contracts for facility rental, read the BC Hockey Risk/Safety Manual (found on the BC Hockey website), Section 2.03, Facility Use Agreements – “Arena Contracts and Contract Liability.” There are often items in these contracts that you do not have the authority to sign on behalf of the association and failure to have it approved could result in your being held personally liable in the event of an accident.
  5. Only CSA approved stickers or tape should be placed on helmets as they may otherwise void the manufacturer’s warranty.

Two Deep Rule

Throughout the hockey season appropriate player supervision should be a priority for all minor hockey associations (MHAs) and BC Hockey member teams. As such, BC Hockey endorses and VMHA requires the use of the “Two Deep Method” of supervision that is mentioned throughout Hockey Canada HCSP material and Hockey Canada coaching materials. The attached list describes the “Two Deep Method”. It is recommended that these guidelines are followed by all MHAs.


BC Hockey Two-Deep Method      This document is also available as download PDF here

Thank you for taking the time to volunteer with VMHA.  We truly appreciate your contribution.