Locker Room Monitoring Policy

AHAI/WHC Locker Room Monitoring Policies 2023-24

Over the past several years reported incidents of hazing, bullying, and harassment have been on the rise across all youth sports. The most common location for such incidents is in a locker room setting.

To reduce such incidents, AHAI (the USA Hockey affiliate for Illinois) is requiring that a National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) background screened and SafeSport trained monitor be present in the locker room before and after games and practices. This requirement applies to Squirt and older teams (see policy below).

While this is a mandate from Illinois hockey's governing body, it is also an opportunity to reinforce healthy team culture and camaraderie. We believe that our WHC head and assistant coaches have the largest role to play concerning establishing and maintaining a positive team culture. Considering this, we have asked all of our coaches to be more present in the locker rooms and to take the lead on ensuring that their teams comply with this mandate.

Having said that, most of our coaches have jobs outside of hockey and/or coach multiple teams, which will make coverage a challenge for some of them. This is where we will be asking for parent assistance. We already have a network of trained parents (current and past managers, board members, and others) who may be asked to monitor a locker room when coaches cannot.

The default expectation is that one of the team coaches be at games and practices during these set times and actively monitor the locker room. For practices, this will mean coaches arriving a little earlier than previously, and getting their skates/gear on with the team. If a coach is unable to be there in time to monitor the locker room he/she will contact the team manager (or designee). He or she may also be able to work with other team parents to identify and train additional backups if needed.

While backup coverage can likely be arranged by using a parent, parents are not a member of the team like coaches are and their presence will certainly feel more like oversight (particularly for older ages) and likely won’t promote the camaraderie and culture in the same way. To respect the time of our coaches and volunteers we ask that players arrive within the following windows.


(Mites are excluded from this policy for now)

• Pre Game (home & away): 35 min

• Post Game (home & away): 15 min

• Pre Practice: 20 min

• Post Practice: 10 min

Note: Players can certainly show up earlier than 35 min before a game. They should simply drop their bag in

the locker room and wait for a monitor before using the locker room space to prepare.

Roll-out: The mandate from AHAI goes into effect on 12/1, but WHC will be rolling this out in November.

You will hear more from your team coaches and/or managers on this topic.


Effective immediately, the following conditions are REQUIRED of all AHAI Affiliates for locker room use at all team events including conditioning clinics, tryouts, practices, games, and any event that a locker room is being utilized:

  • No players shall be allowed access to the locker room unless an NCSI background screened/Safe Sport trained locker room monitor is present in the locker room.
  • If a single player is present, the locker room should be monitored by at least two adults until additional players arrive.
  • If there is only one adult present, whether a coach or volunteer parent, they should wait for multiple players to arrive before allowing access to the locker room.

The same strategies should be applied after practice with a monitor staying until the last player leaves, and at no time should one adult be alone in the locker room with one player, unless the player is their own child. Affiliates found in violation of this policy will be sanctioned automatically, under Zero Tolerance, in the following manner starting December 1, 2023:

  • 1st team offense: $500 fine to the Affiliate and one game suspension to the head coach
  • 2nd team Offense: $1000 fine to the Affiliate and 3 game suspension to the head coach.
  • Any additional offenses will require the Affiliate president and coaches of the noncompliant team to appear before AHAI's Rules and Ethics Committee to determine appropriate discipline, which may include exclusion from participation in the Illinois State Tournament.

Affiliates are required to publish locker room policies to the parents of all minor participants that are specific to the facilities they regularly use. The Affiliate's policies shall include the program's (a) practices for supervising and monitoring locker rooms and changing areas; (b) permission or lack of permission for parents to be in the locker rooms; (c) prohibited conduct, including at least all forms of abuse and misconduct prohibited by USA Hockey; and (d) specific policies regarding the use of mobile electronic devices and phones and prohibiting the use of a devices recording capabilities. In addition to publishing these changes to AHA's locker room policy, AHAI strongly encourages all Affiliates to go over its locker room policy with parents and players at a team meeting. At that time, the Affiliate should:

  • Clearly explain the rules and expectations for players with respect to locker room activity.
  • Clearly explain the rules and expectations of the locker room monitor, including the corrective action that will be taken if necessary (the player could be benched or suspended, for example.)
  • Ensure players and parents understand the locker room monitor is there to help ensure there is a safe environment for all members of the team.

AHAI is confident that this policy change will reduce incidents of hazing, bullying, harassment, or other inappropriate behaviors caused by an unsupervised locker room. The safety and well-being of every player is and will continue to be AHAI's top priority.

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