Minor hockey season is underway throughout Ontario. As youngsters in Sault Ste. Marie and all over northern Ontario and across the province have laced up the skates for a new season, all who are involved in the game should be reminded that hockey is designed to be a safe, welcoming environment for players of all skill levels and background.
For example, as the Sault Major Hockey Association has clearly stated on its website, “players should look forward to coming to the rink every day to spend time with their teammates and friends.”
Sault Major is on record as saying that it is committed to “providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all hockey participants so they can learn the game of hockey and the skills necessary to participate in the game in a fun, positive and secure atmosphere.”
Which brings us to bullying and what Sault Major says is its stance. And hopefully what Sault Major will enforce without exception.
“Bullying of any kind is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at any tryout, draft game, practice, game or other SMHA sanctioned event associated with our hockey program. The Sault Major Hockey Association follows and adopts all practices recommended and mandated by Hockey Canada, the Ontario Hockey Federation and the Northern Ontario Hockey Association. As part of the registration process, all players and coaching staff agree to a code of conduct prior to beginning their season. It is about fair play and respect for everyone.”
CODE OF CONDUCT
The Code of Conduct identifies the standard of behaviour, which is expected of all Sault Major Hockey Association athletes, coaches, parents, directors, volunteers, staff, chaperones and others. The SMHA is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect. Members and participants of the SMHA shall conduct themselves at all times in a manner consistent with the values of the SMHA which include fairness, integrity and mutual respect. Sault Major Hockey Association follows the Code of Conduct as set out by the NOHA, OHF and Hockey Canada.
- The SMHA is committed to providing a sport environment in which all individuals are treated with respect.
- During the course of all SMHA activities, athletes, coaches, parents, directors, volunteers, staff, chaperones and others within each of the NOHA member associations:
- a) Shall conduct themselves, at all times, in a fair and responsible manner and refrain from comments or behaviours that are disrespectful, offensive, abusive, racist or sexist. In particular, the SMHA will not tolerate behaviour that constitutes harassment or abuse or bullying, and;
- b) Shall avoid behaviour which brings the SMHA or the sport of hockey into disrepute, including but not limited to the abusive use of alcohol and/or non- medical use of drugs, and;
- c) Shall not use unlawful performance enhancing drugs or methods, nor shall they engage in any activity or behaviour that endangers the safety of others, and;
- d) Shall at all times adhere to the Hockey Canada, OHF, NOHA and SMHA operational policies and procedures, to rules governing Hockey Canada, OHF, NOHA Member Associations events and activities and to rules governing any competition in which the member participates on behalf of the OHF, NOHA and NOHA Member Associations.
- The SMHA will not tolerate behavior that constitutes harassment, abuse or bullying. Inappropriate behavior and language by any player, coach, assistant coach, trainer, manager or other staff member may have an effect on many aspects of a hockey game. Coaching staffs will be held responsible for the conduct of their players during all team functions.
- Failure to comply with this Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, the loss or suspension of certain or all privileges connected with the respective Member Association and/or NOHA including the opportunity to participate in NOHA and its Member Association activities. Such discipline may include the removal or ban from an arena, games, practices and other team activities.