USA Hockey supports an environment for participation in hockey conducive to the enjoyment of hockey that is free from threats, harassment, and any type of bullying behavior. The purpose of this policy is to promote consistency of approach and to help create a climate in which all types of bullying, harassing or threatening behavior are regarded as unacceptable.
Harassment in sport includes any pattern of physical and/or non-physical behaviors that (a) are intended to cause fear, humiliation, or annoyance, (b) offend or degrade, (c) create a hostile environment, or (d) reflect discriminatory bias in an attempt to establish dominance, superiority, or power over an individual participant or group based on gender, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, or mental or physical disability.
Examples of harassment prohibited by this Policy include, without limitation such non-physical offenses as (a) making negative or disparaging comments about a participant’s sexual orientation, gender expression, disability, religion, skin color, or ethnic traits; (b) displaying offensive materials, gestures, or symbols; and (c) withholding or reducing playing time to a participant based on his/her sexual orientation.
Sexual Harassment is a form of harassment prohibited by this Policy. It shall be a violation for any employee, volunteer, independent contractor or other participant to harass a participant(s) through conduct or communications of a sexual nature or to retaliate against anyone that reports sexual harassment or participates in a harassment investigation. USA Hockey and/or its Affiliate organizations shall investigate all indications, informal reports and formal grievances of sexual harassment by any employee, volunteer, independent contractor or other participant and appropriate corrective action shall be taken. Corrective action includes taking all reasonable steps to end the harassment, to prevent harassment from recurring and to prevent retaliation against anyone who reports sexual harassment or participates in a harassment investigation.
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature may constitute sexual harassment, even if the harasser and the participant being harassed are the same sex and whether or not the participant resists or submits to the harasser, when:
1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a participant’s participation in any activity; or
2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by a participant is used as the basis for decisions affecting the participant; or
3. Such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive such that it limits a participant’s ability to participate in or benefit from a hockey related program or activity or it creates a hostile or abusive environment.
Any conduct of a sexual nature directed by a minor toward an adult or by an adult to a minor is presumed to be unwelcome and shall constitute sexual harassment.
Acts of verbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility based on sex, but not involving conduct of a sexual nature may also constitute sexual harassment. Legitimate non-sexual touching or other non-sexual conduct is not sexual harassment.
While other team members are often the perpetrators of harassment or sexual harassment, it is a violation of this Policy if a coach or other responsible adult knows or should know of the harassment or sexual harassment but takes no action to intervene on behalf of the targeted participant(s).
A USA Hockey participant or parent of a participant who engages in any act of harassing or sexually harassing behavior is subject to appropriate disciplinary action, including but not limited to, suspension, permanent suspension, and/or referral to law enforcement authorities. The severity and pattern, if any, of the harassing or sexually harassing behavior and/or result shall be taken into consideration when disciplinary decisions are made.