Hockey Saskatchewan supports the use of long-term and short-term billeting in support of participation in hockey activities. Hockey Saskatchewan wants to ensure that associations and leagues develop further policy to ensure the safety of all the partners involved.
Minor and Junior Hockey – Male and Female
Tournaments and Short Term Events
Minor Hockey teams may take advantage of billeting for young players for tournaments and team exchanges. This can be an affordable and beneficial experience for players.
Short term billeting for billeting families means opening up their homes to young hockey players that will give them an opportunity to share experiences within a family unit. For the player it is a chance to share different cultural and social experiences.
To ensure a safe enjoyable environment for all involved, Hockey Saskatchewan recommends the following:
For Team Officials
- The billeting families to apply and be approved by the minor hockey association. (may include police check, vulnerable person’s check or other reference checks) – for more information refer to Hockey Canada Screening Toolbox: http://members.hockeycanada.ca/screening/
- Minor hockey association to ensure that only responsible, reliable billets, are chosen
- Ensure that the parents of the billeted players are aware of the billeting families’ contact information and if possible meet the family via phone or in person.
- Inform the billets of any special needs of players including any medication guidelines, special dietary requirements or other conditions that they need to be aware of for safety purposes.
- Ensure that the players are fully aware of their ability to contact team officials at any time if there are any issues with the host family.
- The players and the host families need to be aware of all guidelines and host families are to have full schedules for the team’s events.
- Ensure the host family has access to the player’s medical insurance information for emergency purposes (once the experience is over – this information should be returned to the player).
- Ensure the host family has emergency numbers for the team officials and the billeted player’s parents.
For Host Families
- Players are not to share a bedroom with anyone other than the hosting players provided they are the same gender and within the same age category.
- If there is more than a 2-year age difference the players should not share a bedroom- if this is unavoidable due to space, a third person should be present.
- No sexual contact will take place between visiting players and hosting players, the host family, of those who live with the host family.
- Transportation to and from sporting events will be overseen by the host athlete/family.
- Visiting players are not to accept rides from anyone other than designated people.
- Make your billet feel at home – good family hospitality.
- Provide your billet with necessary meals as required based on the scheduled games, practices and outings.
- Team members are to be advised that unauthorized ‘after hours’ social functions are strictly forbidden. They are to only attend functions designated by the organizing committee or organized by their team officials.
- If your billet does have permission to go out, give them a definite deadline by which to be home – know where they are going.
- Do not lend your billet any motor vehicle.
- It is important that your billet has access to a telephone, however, Team members are expected to pay for any telephone calls.
For Billeted Players
- Be polite and courteous at all times.
- Be considerate and offer to assist your hosts when you can.
- As a guest you are expected to follow the normal routine of your host family.
- Check and obey all house rules, if unsure speak to with your team officials or your parents.
- Always keep your hosts informed of your schedule and if delayed unexpectedly, contact your hosts immediately.
- Do not borrow money or motor vehicles from your hosts.
- Ask before using any electronic devises (e.g. home computers, games)
- Remember unauthorized “after hours” social functions are strictly forbidden. You may only attend functions designated by the Organizing committee or organized by your team officials.
- Remember – You are a guest in someone else’s home.
Long Term Billeting
It is recognized that some youth players leave home to play hockey in a location away from their usual home. In those situations, the organization or team typically arranges for the player to live with a host or billet family. Having youth players live outside their homes can increase risk to the player if insufficient guidelines are not followed. All organizations and teams that arrange for players to live with billet families are to have written guidelines and protocols in place to govern the arrangements.
These are general guidelines and there may be more specific guidelines set out by individual teams or leagues.
Guidelines for Administrators:
- Identify a billet coordinator(s) for all teams that billet players. This person(s) is to ensure ongoing communications with the team manager, identify and screen potential billet families, match players to billets in consultation with the team manager, ensure remuneration for billet families, monitor the relationship between the player and billet families and report any issues to the team managers, ensure that guidelines for players and billets are adhered to, establish and maintain communication with the player’s parents and take necessary action to correct any problems.
- The billeting family will share information with the team officials as required (for example, contact names and numbers, list of people in the home, player sleeping arrangements, type of animals in the house, presence of smokers etc.).
- A screening process is completed that follows the guidelines identified in the Hockey Canada Screening Toolbox. This includes a criminal records check, a vulnerable person’s check for all who are 19 years and older and who are residing in the home. Link to this information is http://members.hockeycanada.ca/screening/.
- In-home interview with all members of the family present
- Reference Checks
- Police Records checks as outlined above
- Orientation with team and league expectations
- Discussion on supervision and evaluation
- A team is expected to have clear guidelines for the host family and the player specific to household rules, curfews, mealtimes, chores, duties and responsibilities and any type of discipline. (This is to be clear prior to the billet experience starting).
- Ensure that the players are fully aware of their ability to contact team officials at any time if there are issues with the host family. (Team officials contact information is to be given to each player).
- It is recommended that players DO NOT house with team officials. Player billet with families that have no direct affiliation to the team.
Guidelines for Host Families:
- Understand your role
- To be a mentor, friend, counselor, good role model
- To provide a clean family-orientated environment
- To provide nutritious meals and snacks
- To provide a private bedroom
- To listen and give encouragement
- To support and build up the player’s self esteem
- To treat the players as ‘one of the family’
- To provide transportation if and when needed
- To provide a non-smoking safe home
- Report to the billet coordinator of the team at minimum on a monthly basis or as required by the team.
- Be familiar with team game and practice schedules and expectations governing conduct, educational standards and curfews.
- Provide 3 balanced meals a day. The player does have some responsibility for snacks (i.e. the billeting family is not responsible for providing ‘athletic supplements’ protein powders” specialized training diets”) – discuss with the team officials or billeting coordinator any special diet needs, allergies etc.
- Ensure that if you cannot provide players with their own room the only person who the player will share a room with is another team-mate (i.e. NOT any other household member).
- Enforce strict curfews established by the team and report any player that does not follow the curfew.
- Ensure that players do not leave the town or city without permission from the team officials and the player’s parents unless it is a team function.
- Ensure players attend all classes, either high school or university, including after away games. All players must notify a team official if they will be late or absent. Players are to give billets a timetable of their classes.
- Ensure that players who are not in school are busy with part time work or as volunteers as approved by team officials.
- Immediately report any incidents involving player safety, security or well=being.
- Report any concerns you have with the player to the billeting coordinator or team official.
- Report positive feedback as well – e.g. player helped at their son’s hockey practice, assisted with another child’s homework.
- Ensure that underage players are not given access to alcohol, do not give players tobacco products or unapproved medications or drugs.
- Ensure that if there are medical needs appropriate steps are taken – i.e. go to emergency room – contact team official, player’s parents.
Guidelines for Players
- Players must remember it is a privilege to live in someone’s home and to project a positive image of yourself and your team.
- Players to be respectful, appreciative and helpful
- Players to keep their areas clean and clean up after themselves
- Players to have their own money for day to day expenses
- Players are responsible for their schooling and homework
- Players are expected to work or volunteer if not in school
- Players to notify the billet family regarding where they are. Follow guidelines for leaving town – i.e. get all permissions required
- Players to respect meal times and be present and on time. If they will not be home or on time to let billet family know. Players are expected to help out with chores at the home as appropriate, e.g. meal clean up.
- Players are expected to follow all curfews and to advise their billet family if they will be late.
- Sleepover’s with partners are not permitted. Any overnight guests must be approved by the billeting family
- Underage players do not consume alcohol. No players to take illegal substances.
- Players to report any issues or concerns that they may have with their billeting family to team officials as well as to their parents.
- Players will share the team practice and game schedule with the billeting family.