It is the policy of USA Hockey that there shall be no emotional abuse of any participant involved in any of its Member Programs by an employee, volunteer, independent contractor or other participant. Emotional abuse involves a pattern of deliberate, non-contact behavior that has the potential to cause emotional or psychological harm to a participant. These behaviors may include verbal acts, physical acts or acts that deny attention or support.
Examples of emotional abuse prohibited by this Policy include, without limitation: a pattern of (a) verbal behaviors that (i) attack a participant personally by, e.g., calling them worthless, fat, or disgusting; or (ii) repeatedly and excessively yelling at a particular participant or participants in a manner that serves no productive motivational purpose; and (b) physically aggressive behaviors, such as (i) throwing sport equipment, water bottles, or chairs at participants; or (ii) punching walls, windows, or other objects.
Emotional abuse does not include generally-accepted and age appropriate coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, motivation, team building, appropriate discipline, or improving athletic performance.
A USA Hockey member who engages in any act of emotional abuse is subject to appropriate disciplinary action including but not limited to suspension, permanent suspension, and/or referral to law enforcement authorities.
Note: Bullying, threats, harassment, and hazing, defined below, often involve some form of emotional misconduct.