Ask AHAI: Are there any rule changes for the 2019-20 Season?

By Mike Mullally, AHAI Director & Laura Johnson, AHAI Registrar

QUESTION: I have heard that there were some new changes from USA Hockey that will affect many of our teams. Is this true?

ANSWER: Yes. We have two new rules of great importance. First is the Return to Play Form and the second is the SafeSport requirement for our players who are 17 and older.

The Return to Play Form MUST be used for any player removed from a game/practice for a suspected concussion. The form must be signed by a Health Care Professional, the parent, and the team coach. Only then can the player be returned to play with their team. Please click HERE for Return to Play Form. According to Illinois Law, the Health Care Professional is “a treating physician chosen by the student or student’s parent or guardian, or an athletic trainer under the supervision of a physician”.

Additionally, USA Hockey and AHAI will not allow a player 17 or older by December 31 of this year to be added to a roster unless he or she has completed USA Hockey SafeSport training.

As you may know, the United States government enacted the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and SafeSport Authorization Act of 2017 on February 14th, 2018. USA Hockey has been working on addressing the changes necessary for the USA Hockey SafeSport Program based on this Act.

Click HERE for a memorandum from Casey Jorgensen, USA Hockey General Council, which provides details about these changes.

The changes approved at the USA Hockey Annual Congress in June to comply with the government requirements will directly impact players in Illinois.

To comply with the government requirement, USA Hockey does not want players or officials turning 18 to become ineligible in the middle of a season.

Therefore, USA Hockey is requiring all players 17 years of age or older on or before December 31st of that playing season and who play on a team in a classification that allows minor aged players, to complete SafeSport Training before being added to a team and prior to participation with the team (on-ice or off-ice). This requirement applies to all teams in the age classifications Youth, Girls, High School, Junior Hockey, Flex Hockey and Disabled Hockey programs that allow both minor age and adult age players (anyone over 18 years).

Players in the group identified above that have not completed the SafeSport Training cannot be placed on the team’s roster in the USA Hockey registration portal (where rosters are created). The computer program will prevent the player from being added to the team until they have completed the training. Because the player is not on the Official Roster, they are prohibited from participating with the team until the training is completed and the player can be added to the roster.

The SafeSport Program is free. You must have a USAH Registration Confirmation Number to register to take the training. Players registered with USAH for the 2018/19 season can use the USA Hockey Confirmation Number from that season (which is valid until August 31, 2019) to register to take the training. They may also register with USA Hockey for the 2019/20 and use that confirmation number to register for the course. Effective September 1, 2019, registration for the program requires a 2019/20 USA Hockey Registration.

To take the SafeSport Program, access the online program via the USA Hockey Website



Categories: AHAI, ASK AHAI, Hockey Headlines

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