Code of Conduct / Harrrassment & Abuse (Riverside Minor Hockey)

PrintCode of Conduct / Harrrassment & Abuse


This Code of Conduct is adopted from the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF), which governs the Ontario Minor Hockey Association, (OMHA) which governs Riverside Minor Hockey Association, (RMHA).

This Code of Conduct identifies the standard of behavior which is expected of all OHF Member Partners and Local Associations including the OMHA., RMHA and all of their members including, athletes, coaches, parents, directors, volunteers, staff, chaperones and others.

The OHF, OMHA and RMHA are committed to providing a sport environment in which all individuals are treated with respect. Members shall conduct themselves at all times in a fair and responsible manner. Members shall refrain from comments or behaviors, which are disrespectful, offensive, abusive, racist or sexist. In particular, behavior, which constitutes harassment or abuse, will not be tolerated.

During the course of all OHF, OMHA and RMHA activities and events, members shall avoid behavior, which brings the OHF, OMHA and RMHA or the sport of hockey into disrepute. RMHA upholds a zero-tolerance policy to abusive use of alcohol or drugs at any RMHA sponsored event.

Members shall not use unlawful or unauthorized drugs/narcotics or performance enhancing drugs or methods.

OHF members shall at all times adhere to the OHF, OMHA and RMHA operational policies and procedures, to rules governing the OHF, OMHA and RMHA events and activities and to rules governing any competition in which the member participates on behalf of the OHF,OMHA and RMHA.

NOTE: These policies and Procedures are not intended to address matters related to the Rules of Competition as set out in the OMHA Regulations & Policies

Members of the OHF, OMHA and RMHA shall not engage in activity or behavior, which endangers the safety of others.

Failure to comply with this Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action, suspension or release from membership. Such action may result in a member losing privileges that come with membership in the OHFOMHA and RMHA including the opportunity to participate in OHF, OMHA and RMHA activities.

It is expected that all parties involved in Riverside Minor Hockey Association shall act in a manner which best exemplifies sportsmanship, fair play and diplomacy. It is the objective of this association to act in the best interest of the youth of this community for which it exists.

The following are considered violations of the Code of Conduct, which will not be tolerated at any time from anyone involved in a RMHA activity:

  • Harassment

  • Abuse

  • Acts of indecency

  • Acts of violence

  • Provocation of violent acts

  • Use of profane gestures or language

  • Hazing activities


Including: Past Presidents / Honourary Members / Executive Members / Board Members
Not only should Board members be required to follow the established Code of Conduct as outlined in this document, but are impelled to set an example for all other members in the association community. A good organization starts at the top.

 The purpose of a Board of Directors is to universally police major administrative and policy decisions made by management and to ensure that management operates within the law. Failing this, the Board can be sued.
Directors can be held personally liable for wrongful acts or omissions committed in the performance of their duties.
Directors can be held jointly liable for the acts committed by other Directors even if the Director was not present for the meeting.

Directors can be held personally responsible for acts of discrimination against others because of race, age, or sex.
In a Directors' lawsuit it is often not the decision that was made, but how the decision was arrived at that counts.
A Director should always demonstrate the following qualities;

  • HONESTY: acting with integrity, telling the truth, non-fraudulent

  • CONFIDENTIALITY: keeping Board business in the Board Room

  • OBEDIENCE: following Bylaws as well as being generally lawful

  • LOYALTY: dutiful to the association first, self-interests secondary

  • DILIGENCE: attending meetings, staying informed and participating

  • SKILL: use care and skill of a prudent person in comparable circumstances

A Director should take an ACTIVE roll but choose an area where they can use their talents to GET THE JOB DONE!


Including: Players / Coaches / Managers / Trainers / Convenors & Game Officials (On & Off ice)
It is ultimately the responsibility of the adults in charge to assure that all behavior is within the realm deemed acceptable by this Code of Conduct. However, unfortunate as this is, it is sometimes the adult who violates this code and sets the example for the youth to follow. All participants should be aware of the Code of Conduct so that they consider the consequences before they act.
The House League Convenor or Team Manager is responsible to act on the goings on in the home arena during a game or practice. If the responsible party feels that a situation is beyond control it is up to them to ensure that the proper authorities have been summoned.

All Coaching Staffs will hold proper qualifications as mandated by Hockey Canada, the OHF and/or OMHA.
The constitution and Bylaws of RMHA will continue to apply in all cases as well as the violations that are provided in the code of conduct.


Including: Parents / Friends & Family / Spectators
It is ultimately the responsibility of the adults in charge to assure that all behavior is within the realm deemed acceptable by this Code of Conduct. However, unfortunate as this is, it is sometimes the adult who violates this Code and sets the example for the youth to follow. All participants should be aware of the Code of Conduct so that they consider the consequences before they act.
Riverside Minor Hockey welcomes and encourages fans and onlookers to cheer on their favorite teams and players. However, all observers must be aware that they are participating in a RMHA event and are subjected to the same Code of Conduct as the actual participants.

At all times that RMHA is using, leasing or renting a public facility such as an arena, the association reserves the right to refuse entry to any persons. If it is deemed that an observer is not acting within the Code of Conduct established by RMHA, the Association will exercise their right to have these persons removed from the facility. Observers may be banned from attending any RMHA function if they choose not to cease violating the Code of Conduct.

Harrassment and Abuse

The Riverside Minor Hockey Association is committed to creating and maintaining a sport environment which is free from discrimination and harassment on prohibited grounds, including race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, political opinion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital/family status, language and any other discrimination or harassment prohibited by applicable law.

All children deserve to grow up free from abuse, neglect, and violence but every day in Canada, thousands of children and youth are emotionally, physically, or sexually abused by people they know and trust. Research shows that the tragedy of abuse has a lasting impact on those it touches. The road to recovery is challenging. Some kids make it, but some get lost and continue the cycle... hurting themselves or others.

This is why you need to know about abuse. You need to know how to recognize it, stop it and prevent the cycle from continuing.

Recognizing Harassment and Abuse
When is my child unsafe? Young people are unsafe when someone uses his or her power or position to harm them either emotionally, physically, or sexually this is abuse. Your child's safety is also at risk when she or he is threatened, intimidated, taunted, or subjected to racial, homophobic, or sexist slurs-this is harassment.

What is emotional abuse? Emotional abuse is a chronic attack on a child's self esteem. It is psychologically destructive behaviour by a person in a position of power, authority, or trust. It can take the form of name calling, threatening, ridiculing, intimidating, isolating, hazing, or ignoring a child's needs.
Emotional Abuse is not

  • benching a player for disciplinary reasons

  • cutting a player from a team after try-outs

  • refusing to transfer a player

  • limiting ice time

  • yelling instructions from the bench

What is physical abuse? Physical abuse is when a person in a position of power or trust purposefully injures or threatens to injure a child. This may take the form of slapping, hitting, shaking, kicking, pulling hair, pulling ears, striking, shoving, grabbing, hazing, or excessive exercise as a form of punishment.

What is neglect? Neglect is a chronic inattention to the basic necessities of life such as supervision, medical and dental care, adequate rest, safe environment, exercise, and fresh air. Neglect may occur in sport when injuries are not adequately treated, athletes are made to play with injuries, equipment is inadequate or unsafe, or road trips are not properly

Possible Signs of Harassment / Abuse Your child may not always tell you there is a problem. You know your child best so be aware of unexplained behaviour changes such as
• suddenly becoming aggressive.
• quitting the team or being reluctant to return to the sport activity.
• sleep disorders.
• emotional disorders.
• sliding grades at school.
• changes in appetite.
• fear of washrooms, locker rooms, or closed doors.
• running away.
• sudden and disproportionate interest in sex for their age.

It is important to note that sexualized behaviour in children is the result of sexual abuse, not its cause
• reluctance to talk.
• frequent vomiting.

There may be obvious physical signs such as:
• bruises
• scratches
• inflammation
• lesions
• bleeding
• genital injuries
• sexually transmitted diseases
• pregnancy.

Be vigilant and talk to your child if you see one or more of these signs, but bear in mind that these symptoms do not always indicate abuse.

What To Do If A Child Reports Harassment / Abuse
There is a significant under-reporting of harassment and abuse. If your child tells you there is a problem:
• listen and believe.
• never ignore even to seemingly trivial calls for help.
• support your child.
• discuss their options with them.
• help them to restore a sense of control in their lives by involving them in deciding how to deal with the problem.
• reassure them continuously.
• take them somewhere where they can talk freely.
• speak on a level they can understand

What you hear may shock you. No matter what you are told, stay calm and show that you are listening. Children need to know that harassment is not their fault, nor a reflection on them. Possible responses include, "I believe you." "This is not your fault. You are a victim." "I am going to help you."

Harassment and abuse can inflict deep psychological damage on young people. Arrange for counselling to help your child come to terms with what has happened. Other family members may need this support as well.

Your response to eliminate the harassment should be determined by the nature of the behaviour and the age of the victim. Options include talking to the coach, manager or club president. This can often clear up a simple problem quickly. If you feel that the situation cannot be resolved at this level, other avenues include:
• reporting the harassment to the club's board of directors
• reporting the harassment to the provincial sport organization.

Contact your club for the phone number of the provincial sport organization. Many organizations have harassment policies in place which outline how the complaint will be heard. reporting the harassment to the national sport organization. Contact your club for the phone number of the provincial sport organization. Most organizations have harassment policies in place which outline how the complaint will be heard. Calling Kids Help Phone: 1 800 668-6868. Trained counsellors are available 24 hours a day to help children deal with painful situations.

Suing under the Civil Code. You may sue anyone who had an opportunity to do something about the abuse, and didn't. This could include the perpetrator, the employer, the national sport organization, the provincial sport organization, the club, and so on.
Calling the rape crisis centre, calling Crimestoppers. This allows you to leave an anonymous tip with a police officer.

Reporting the suspected harassment to your provincial Human Rights Commission.
If you have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child may be suffering abuse, you must report it immediately to the local child protection agency or police. Across Canada, a person is considered a child up to the age of 16 to 19, depending upon the province.

Recognizing The Offenders And The Victims
Abusers come in all shapes and sizes. They come from all age groups, and all cultural and religious groups. However, most abusers are heterosexual males.
Offenders put a lot of time and energy into creating situations in which they have access to children.
Abusers are not strangers in trench coats. They often have likable attributes. Children are most at risk from someone they know. The majority of offenders are known to the child, with relatives accounting for 35 - 40 per cent.
All children are at risk. However, girls are more likely to be sexually abused than boys, and children with a disability are two to 10 times more vulnerable to abuse.

RMHA participants are encouraged to report suspected discrimination or harassment. Such reports may be made to the President of the RMHA, or to any other person in authority.
All such reports shall be brought promptly to the attention of the RMHA executive, by whoever receives the report. A complainant may request the assistance of an RMHA resource person in understanding these guidelines, in pursuing resolution short of lodging a complaint if appropriate, and in formulating the written complaint. The RMHA resource person shall refer the complainant to counseling upon request, and may explore the possibility of alternative forms of dispute resolution with the complainant following the complaint, if appropriate. Should a complainant choose to retain legal counsel at any stage of a complaint or appeal, it shall be at the complainant's own expense.

The Complaint
Although anyone may report discrimination or harassment, a complaint may be made only by persons affected by the alleged discrimination or harassment, or by the President on behalf of the RMHA. A complaint shall be in writing, and signed by the complainant or by the President if the complaint is brought on behalf of the RMHA. The complaint shall be submitted to the President of the RMHA.
The complaint should include particulars of the discrimination or harassment, including details of the incident or incidents, including dates, times, locations, description of action, account of dialogue, the name of the perpetrator(s) and any witnesses or names of other individuals who may also have experienced discrimination or harassment. The complaint should detail any corrective action taken to date. The parties to a complaint are the RMHA, the respondent(s) and the complainant(s), if any. The complainant may withdraw the complaint at any time. However, such a complaint may be continued as a complaint by the President on behalf of the RMHA, if the RMHA does not consent to the withdrawal.

Processing the Complaint
The person responsible for processing the complaint (hereinafter the "RMHA Official") may vary, as follows:
where a complaint involves conduct by an employee of, or person under contract to, RMHA other than the President, the RMHA Official shall be the President.
in all other cases, the RMHA Official shall be the President (or where a complaint involves conduct by the President, an alternate appointed by the RMHA to perform the President's functions under these guidelines).
However, the President (or alternate) may delegate part or all of the President's (or alternate's) responsibilities under these guidelines to the Director Responsible for Harassment and Abuse, except where a complaint is by or against the Director Responsible for Harassment and Abuse.

Complaint Investigation
The RMHA Official may decide not to deal with a complaint: if in the opinion of the RMHA Official, the facts alleged in the complaint would be insufficient, if proven, to establish discrimination or harassment under the RMHA Policy; or if in the opinion of the RMHA Official, the investigation of the complaint would not advance the purpose of the RMHA Policy in the circumstances, because of a significant delay between the alleged events and the time of the complaint. In all other cases, the RMHA Official shall investigate the complaint or appoint and provide terms of reference to an investigator who shall investigate the complaint and make findings of fact. Before the investigation begins, the RMHA Official shall advise each respondent of the complaint and shall provide each complainant and respondent a copy of the written complaint, of the RMHA Policy and these guidelines, and of the investigator's terms of reference, if any. Before the investigation report is issued, each respondent shall have a reasonable opportunity to respond to the allegations. If a respondent declines to do so, or does not respond within the time-frame provided, the investigator's report may nonetheless be issued. All RMHA participants, including the respondent(s), must co-operate fully in any investigation under these guidelines. The RMHA Official may consult with the investigator during the course of the investigation, may review the investigation report in draft and may provide additional terms of reference to, or request clarification from, the investigator. A copy of the investigation report shall be provided to the complainant(s) and the respondent(s).

Assistance to Respondents A respondent may request the assistance of a RMHA resource person without previous involvement in the complaint in understanding these guidelines. The RMHA resource person shall refer the respondent to counseling upon request, and may explore the possibility of alternative forms of dispute resolution with the respondent. Should a respondent choose to
retain legal counsel at any stage of a complaint or appeal, it shall be at the respondent's own expense.

Following Investigation The RMHA Official shall determine whether discrimination or harassment has been established in light of the findings of fact contained in the investigation report, and if so, the nature and particulars of the discrimination or harassment. The RMHA Official's determinations shall be communicated to the complainant(s) and the respondent(s).
Settlement A complaint may be settled at any stage. A resolution agreement should be in writing and signed by all parties.
Mediation The RMHA may provide a mediator, if the RMHA Official views mediation as appropriate and if the complainant and respondent are willing to enter a mediation agreement.
The RMHA Official shall have the authority to impose sanctions, if warranted, in light of the determinations.
The complainant(s) and the respondent(s) shall be given a reasonable opportunity to make submissions to the RMHA Official prior to the imposition of sanctions.

Sanctions may include, but are not limited to:
a recommendation that a person's membership be revoked in accordance with the by-laws of the RMHA.
temporary or permanent suspension from employment with RMHA, or from participation in some or all of the competitions or activities over which the RMHA has jurisdiction. the imposition of such temporary or permanent conditions on continued employment with RMHA, or participation in RMHA activities as the RMHA Official may view as appropriate in the circumstances. the issuance of a warning and/or reprimand.

The RMHA Official shall provide the complainant(s) with such information about any sanctions imposed as is appropriate in the circumstances. Should any sanction that the RMHA Official views as appropriate require a resolution to be passed by either the RMHA Executive Committee or Board of Directors, the RMHA Official shall take such action as is appropriate to have the matter placed before the Executive Committee or Board for its consideration, but the matter will not be considered prior to any appeal under these guidelines.
The RMHA Official may impose interim measures pending the investigation and disposition of a complaint, if the RMHA Official is of the view that the imposition of such measures is in the best interest of the complainant(s), respondent(s) and/or RMHA.
Interim measures are not sanctions, and they may take many forms, including but not limited to:
the imposition of conditions upon the continued participation of the respondent(s) in the activities or work of the RMHA.
suspension of the respondent(s) from participation in the activities or work of the RMHA, with or without pay, or under such other terms as are seen to be appropriate, security arrangements.