USA Hockey Coaching Requirements



The USA Hockey SafeSport Program is designed to prevent abuse and maximize the safety of our participants in the off-ice environment. In the 2018-19 season, USA Hockey required that all coaches, all officials over 18, all other volunteers and employees that had regular, routine or frequent access to or supervision over youth participants, and at least one program administrator complete the SafeSport Training. The West Section of NY requires all coaches, staff members and volunteers to complete training prior to working with the players.
As background, the SafeSport Training is part of the SafeSport Program and is intended to heighten awareness of those that are in supervisory positions over youth participants. We recognize that adding additional educational requirements increases the burden on our coaches and other volunteers, but as the primary and most direct leaders and supervisors of our youth teams, it is critical that they are trained in ways that can help prevent abuse within our programs. Additionally, providing a safe environment for your participants helps recruit and retain players, and enhances your program in the eyes of parents.

SafeSport Training is valid for 2 seasons, so a person that completed the training after 4/1/2017 season will not need to retake the training until prior to the 2019-20 season. The initial SafeSport Training course is a little over 100 minutes long. There is currently no refresher course available .

Requirements for Coaches

In the 2018-19 season, all coaches will be required to have completed the training prior to that person’s participation (on ice or off ice) in the USA Hockey program. Anyone taking SafeSport training prior to 4/1/2017, will NOT be valid for this 18-19 season and will need to complete the refresher course prior to participation this season. Any coaches that have not completed any training (primarily new coaches) will need to complete the main course prior to participation in a USA Hockey program.

Requirements for Other Program Volunteers

As with last season, other volunteers in USA Hockey programs that have regular, routine or frequent access to or supervision over youth participants, such as team managers, locker room monitors, chaperones, etc., are required to complete the SafeSport Training prior to such access.

USA Hockey strongly encourages that all board members and other program administrators, even if they do not have regular, routine or frequent access to or supervision over youth participants, complete the SafeSport Training. Programs that extend the training out to their board members and administrators will benefit by strengthening their program and making it a safe place for participants. As the leaders of local programs, board members and administrators should possess the information to monitor their organization and enforce policies, and should also complete the same training as is required for coaches and other volunteers.

How to Take the Training

The SafeSport Training and SafeSport Refresher courses are available to take right now so your program, coaches and other volunteers can get a head start on the season. The training is available at no cost. The training was produced by the United States Olympic Committee and the initial training is comprised of short video segments that take approximately 90 minutes to complete (the refresher course is approximately 35 minutes), however, not all training needs to be completed in one session. You will need your USA Hockey Member Number, which can be obtained at (under Member Options, click on ‘Request Duplicate Registration Confirmation’).

If an employee or volunteer in your program is not currently a USA Hockey Member, they can obtain a Member Number to take the training, by registering with USA Hockey at no cost in the Ice Managers/Volunteers category.

Information on how to register and access the SafeSport Training can be found on our website at The website also has information if you have questions about the training or on registering for the training.

We strongly encourage that all of your coaches and volunteers get a head start on the season by completing the SafeSport Training this summer. Thank you for your diligence in helping make our sport as safe as possible!

More information on the USA Hockey SafeSport Program can be found at

USA Hockey logo

USA Hockey Requirements

  • Register as a member of USA Hockey (Cost is $40 plus any affiliate fees if applicable NY fee is $8.00 additional $$$).
  • Complete the background screening (found on your affiliate website).
  • Complete the USA Hockey Safe Sport Training Mandated (required every two seasons). Click here for more information.

Coaching Education Program Requirements

  • Find, register and attend the required certification clinic. (Cost is $40 plus any lunch fees if applicable) You can only attend one clinic per season. (The coaching clinic season for Levels 1-3 officially runs from September 1 to December 31). Continue below to find a clinic. (fees are subject to change)
  • Complete the online age-specific module(s) for the age level of play you are coaching. (Cost is $10 per module) (The online modules are available from September 1 to December 31.) Click here for the modules.(fees are subject to change)
  • Must attend the required clinic and complete the necessary online age-specific module(s) by December 31 of the current playing season to continue coaching on January 1.


All coaches and volunteers that have routine contact with the players must be screened.

NY State Hockey Manadates the following:

As stated in the USA Hockey SafeSport handbook, each coach, volunteer or employee who has regular, routine or frequent access to youth participants must have a background screening completed.  ALL persons needing the Background Screening are required to register with USA Hockey. 

Non-U.S. citizens and/or non-permanent residents will be responsible for any additional fees to undergo an international screening under this process. The Background Screening application must be completed before you begin working with your Member Association. 

The screening procedure governing adults age 18 and over, who have routine access to participant members under the age of 18, shall be adhered to by all Associations. The following screening deadlines and procedures will be strictly enforced:



Helmet Rule

“All ice hockey coaches, instructors and participants, while coaching or participating on-ice with a Buffalo Jr. Sabres Team, MUST wear an ice hockey helmet when they are on the ice.  This includes participating in all on-ice sessions including, but not limited to, games, practices, scrimmages and clinics.  The helmet must be properly worn with the chin strap properly attached.”  No Exceptions