Hockey Leaders Unveil Declaration of Principles

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey joined the NHL, NHLPA and fourteen other leading hockey organizations from around the world today in New York City in unveiling and signing a Declaration of Principles document designed to guide stakeholders in their efforts to advance policies, programs and initiatives.

“The principles are ones we’ve always believed in at USA Hockey and we’re certainly pleased today to join the global hockey community in furthering efforts to better our sport,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. “We’ve made enormous progress in the U.S. and with the collaboration of all these entities we will continue to further advance hockey, a sport we all believe brings many positives to society as a whole.”

The full text of the Declaration of Principles that was signed by 17 hockey organizations today is below. Those 17 organizations, along with USA Hockey, the NHL and NHLPA, also include the American Collegiate Hockey Association, American Hockey League, Canadian Hockey League, Canadian Junior Hockey League, Canadian Women’s Hockey League, College Hockey Inc., East Coast Hockey League, Hockey Canada, International Ice Hockey Federation, National Collegiate Athletic Association, National Women’s Hockey League, North American Hockey League, U Sports, and United States Hockey League.

Declaration of Principles

We believe every leader of the sport has the responsibility to inspire stakeholders in an effort to deliver a positive family hockey experience. Hockey participation offers families value beyond making a child a better player or even a better athlete. The game of hockey is a powerful platform for participants to build character, foster positive values and develop important life skills. These benefits are available to all players, desirable to every family and transcend the game.

Today, guided by our common values, we jointly pledge to the following Principles.

            We Believe:

  1. Hockey should be an enjoyable family experience; all stakeholders – organizations, players, parents, siblings, coaches, referees, volunteers and rink operators – play a role in this effort.
  2. Hockey’s greatest value is the role it plays in the development of character and life skills.
  3. All hockey organizations – regardless of size or level of competition – bring value to players and families in their ability to deliver a positive family experience.
  4. Physical activity is important for a healthy body, mind and spirit.
  5. There are significant benefits of youth participation in multiple sports.
  6. Hockey programs should be age-appropriate for all players, accounting for each individual’s physical, emotional and cognitive development.
  7. There is great value in all forms of hockey, both on and off the ice.
  8. All hockey programs should provide a safe, positive and inclusive environment for players and families regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and socio-economic status. Simply put, hockey is for everyone.

We believe in our ability to improve lives and strengthen communities globally through hockey. We believe that living by these Principles will provide a healthy, balanced and enjoyable experience for all and inspire impactful service beyond the rink.

NOTES: Over the last two years, the NHL and NHLPA have brought hockey’s leading governing bodies across North America together to discuss ways to increase participation in the sport. One of the most important outcomes of those discussions is the Declaration of Principles launched today. The Principles are meant to serve as an internal compass to guide decisions and behavior for the governing organizations, families, players, coaches, fans, partners and all those who represent the sport of hockey and care about its sustainable success; and will facilitate a more fun and rewarding experience for its participants … The NHLPA and NHL launched a new website today www.thisishockey.org where hockey stakeholders, fans and anyone interested can learn more. A new TV spot, “Thank You, Hockey” – produced by The Vault, New York – was also released online and will air on NBC Sport Network in the United States and Rogers Sportsnet in Canada throughout the hockey season.



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