|VOLUNTEER ADMINSTRATOR'S GUIDE FOR
YOUTH ICE HOCKEY PROGRAMS
As USA Hockey moves into the next decade we have attempted to identify areas of our sport that are critical to its future growth, so that energy and resources may be focused as we position ourselves for the 21st Century.
USA Hockey launched its development programs with the Coaching Education Program in the 1970's and the Officiating Program in the 1980's. These programs were improved and joined in the 90's by the creation of the MODEL PROGRAM - the first phase of which is the Initiation Program.
With the Model Program, USA Hockey launched its initiative to encourage FUN and SKILL Development in a recreational environment, feeling that there should be a broad base that allows all to play, while at the same time making available the infrastructure so that those with the interest and skill could develop to the most advanced level.
It was from this background that the Hockey ADMINISTRATORS PROGRAM was conceived. For too long volunteers who administer youth hockey have had their needs neglected. It is important that they receive the same assistance in acquiring information and skills as is given to players, coaches and officials.
This program alone is not designed to make people into hockey administrators, but rather to help make them become more competent. The program is intended to achieve the following objectives:
REFLECT ON CURRENT PRACTICE
The information contained in this manual is intended to stimulate
thought on current administrative practice. Readers are expected
to be willing to learn and try out new ideas. Some, perhaps much, of
what is included may not be new, but can be useful in reflecting
upon current methods.
Administrators are encouraged to come together so that ideas can
be exchanged, successes discussed and failures examined.
This manual is intended to be an administrative resource for future
reference. Some sections will provide greater detail than others.
You are not expected to remember all the detail, but rather, should
consider this as a source of information, a place to return when you
need to check a point or seek advice.
The information contained in this manual is intended to be generic
so that local associations can develop more specific information
packages to present to their volunteer administrators in a meeting/
Like any program, the success will depend on positive criticism and
input from its users.
Please consider this guide as a resource catalog for youth hockey
administrators. If you have any ideas or suggestions you would like
to submit to this publication to help others that become involved in
the administration of youth hockey, please pass them along to USA
By continuing to share ideas, we will make the game better for
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. USA HOCKEY
2. THE LOCAL ICE RINK AND THE YOUTH ICE HOCKEY PROGRAM
FUNCTION AND STRUCTURE OF A YOUTH ICE HOCKEY
4. ORGANIZING FOR THE SEASON
Assignment of Coaches
Contracting for and Allocating Ice
Game and Practice Schedule
Referees and Minor Officials
Monitoring the Season
5. CONDUCTING AN EFFECTIVE MEETING
7. FUND RAISING
Other Fund Raising Ideas
10. LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF A VOLUNTEER ADMINISTRATOR
Legal Responsibilities of Volunteers
Appendix - A Process for Handling a Medical Emergency
11. WORKING COOPERATIAVELY WITH OFFICIALS
12. CODES OF CONDUCT FOR YOUTH HOCKEY
Your Youth Ice Hockey Program (YIHP) operates under the jurisdiction of USA Hockey and its affiliates. This chapter discusses USA Hockey and the resources available to you from USA Hockey.
USA HOCKEY AND ITS AFFILIATES
USA Hockey was established in 1937 as the Amateur Hockey Association of the United States (AHAUS), and was officially changed to USA Hockey in 1990. USA Hockey is the national governing body for ice hockey. As the exclusive representative to the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), USA Hockey is responsible for the selection and training of the National and Olympic Hockey Teams for international competition.
USA Hockey is the organization that oversees the activities of thousands of youth hockey players and hundreds of YIHPs. The business of USA Hockey is conducted largely by volunteers and funded by registration fees, donations, grants, and corporate sponsorships. Although there is a small paid staff, the organization is governed by a Board of Directors who are volunteers elected from the ranks of volunteer administrators (see Figure 1). The Directors are members of six Councils: Youth, Junior, Senior, International, Legal and Marketing and seven Committees: Finance, Nominating, Rules, Insurance, Technical, Investment, and Safety and Protective Equipment. The councils are vitally important to the organization as they set policies and procedures as well as give direction to the staff at the National Office for their particular programs.
USA Hockey has divided the United States into eleven Districts (see Figure 2). Each District has a Registrar to register teams and players, a Referee-In-Chief to register and instruct officials, an Initiation Program Administrator and a Coach-In-Chief to provide clinics and workshops and a Risk Manager to address safety issues. Each District includes one or more states. Some districts are comprised of only one state - for example: Michigan, Massachusetts and New York - while the Southeastern District includes the District of Columbia and eleven states. USA Hockey annually brings together teams from each district of the U.S. to compete in National Tournaments.
Most states and all Districts have an Affiliate Association authorized by USA Hockey to govern and administer amateur hockey in its territory in accordance with USA Hockey regulations. (This Affiliate will be referred to as the State Association, although that may not be strictly accurate in all cases). The State Association has its own Board of Directors and provides additional rules under which the YIHP in its jurisdiction must operate. Typically, the State Associations have divided their territories into districts, established different classes of competition within each age group, and hold State Championships in each class.
The State Associations also supervise leagues to provide regular competition for teams within a smaller area. These leagues may establish additional rules of play for their specific situations.
As an administrator of the YIHP, you are expected to know the rules of every organization in which your players participate. If you have not been provided with rule books by the organizations to which your YIHP belongs, be sure to request them prior to the time you begin your seasonal organization.
Benefits of Affiliation with USA Hockey
Affiliation of your YIHP with USA Hockey and its affiliates has many advantages. Some of the most important are:
For the player, USA Hockey conducts annual regional and national
championships in various age classifications, sponsors, regional and
national player development camps at the United States Olympic
Training Centers and other suitable facilities, distributes Hat Trick,
Playmaker and Zero Club awards and provides an excellent insurance
For coaches and officials, USA Hockey conducts clinics and produces
training manuals and films through the Coaching Education Program
and the Officiating Program. These programs can enrich the knowledge
of either a coach or officials through careful study, training and
examination. USA Hockey also promotes uniformity in playing rules and
Through its Hockey Equipment Certification Committee (HECC), USA
Hockey studies and approves hockey protective equipment to minimize
the risk of serious injury. For example, only HECC-approved facemasks
and helmets may be worn during games played under USA Hockey rules.
USA Hockey has not forgotten parents either, supplying these vital
members of amateur hockey with a "Parents Introduction to Youth Hockey",
which includes tips on buying equipment, rules of the game, the role
parents should play, and much more.
Another publication which keeps players, coaches, officials and parents
in touch with USA Hockey is American Hockey Magazine published nine
times a year. The main communication vehicle for USA Hockey, the
magazine is sent to every registered member of the organization as a
benefit of membership.
USA Hockey acts as a clearinghouse for information to assist local
organizations find solutions to problems at the grass roots levels, and
annually publishes and "Official Guide" of the USA Hockey By-Laws,
Constitution, Rules and Regulations, Board of Directors, Officers,
Affiliate Associations and Staff.
The organization works with the National Hockey League on matters
of mutual interest and coordinates activities with the other hockey
federations throughout the world.
USA Hockey is involved in numerous activities and programs. Additional
information may be found in the USA Hockey Annual Guide, or from
your USA Hockey District Director.
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