On Sept. 6, the NHL, the NHLPA, USA Hockey and 13 other leading hockey organizations from around the world unveiled a Declaration of Principles document that aims to advance policies, programs and initiatives in making hockey a safe and welcoming environment for everyone.
“The principles are ones we’ve always believed in at USA Hockey and we’re certainly pleased today to join the global hockey community in furthering efforts to better our sport,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. “We’ve made enormous progress in the U.S. and with the collaboration of all these entities we will continue to further advance hockey, a sport we all believe brings many positives to society as a whole.”
The Michigan Amateur Hockey Association wholeheartedly endorses the new declaration; read it in its entirety below:
We believe every leader of the sport has the responsibility to inspire stakeholders in an effort to deliver a positive family hockey experience. Hockey participation offers families value beyond making a child a better player or even a better athlete. The game of hockey is a powerful platform for participants to build character, foster positive values and develop important life skills. These benefits are available to all players, desirable to every family and transcend the game.
Today, guided by our common values, we jointly pledge to the following Principles.
1. Hockey should be an enjoyable family experience; all stakeholders – organizations, players, parents, siblings, coaches, referees, volunteers and rink operators – play a role in this effort.
2. Hockey’s greatest value is the role it plays in the development of character and life skills.
3. All hockey organizations – regardless of size or level of competition – bring value to players and families in their ability to deliver a positive family experience.
4. Physical activity is important for a healthy body, mind and spirit.
5. There are significant benefits of youth participation in multiple sports.
6. Hockey programs should be age-appropriate for all players, accounting for each individual’s physical, emotional and cognitive development.
7. There is great value in all forms of hockey, both on and off the ice.
8. All hockey programs should provide a safe, positive and inclusive environment for players and families regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and socio-economic status. Simply put, hockey is for everyone.
We believe in our ability to improve lives and strengthen communities globally through hockey. We believe that living by these Principles will provide a healthy, balanced and enjoyable experience for all and inspire impactful service beyond the rink.
For more information, visit ThisIsHockey.org.