The following policies of USA Hockey have been adopted to guide high school members in their planning, programming and play, both now and in the future.

ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY

In an effort to make ice hockey a more desirable and rewarding experience for all participants, the USA Hockey Youth, Junior and Senior Councils have instructed the Officiating Program to adhere to certain points of emphasis relating to sportsmanship. This campaign is designed to require all players, coaches, officials, team officials and administrators and parents/spectators to maintain a sportsmanlike and educational atmosphere before, during and after all USA Hockey-sanctioned games.

Thus, the following points of emphasis must be implemented by all On-Ice Referees and Linesmen:

PLAYERS

A minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct (Zero Tolerance) shall be assessed whenever a player:
1. Openly disputes or argues any decision by an official.
2. Uses obscene or vulgar language at any time, including any swearing, even if it is not directed at a particular person.
3. Visually demonstrates any sign of dissatisfaction with an official's decision. Any time that a player persists in any of these actions, they shall be assessed a misconduct penalty. A game misconduct shall result if the player continues such action.

COACHES

A minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct (Zero Tolerance) shall be assessed whenever a coach:
1. Openly disputes or argues any decision by an official.
2. Uses obscene or vulgar language in a boisterous manner to anyone at anytime.
3. Visually displays any sign of dissatisfaction with an official's decision including standing on the boards or standing in the bench doorway with the intent of inciting the officials, players or spectators.

Any time that a coach persists in any of these actions, they shall be assessed a game misconduct penalty.

OFFICIALS

Officials are required to conduct themselves in a businesslike, sportsmanlike, impartial and constructive manner at all times. The actions of an official must be above reproach. Actions such as "baiting" or inciting players or coaches are strictly prohibited.

On-ice officials are ambassadors of the game and must always conduct themselves with this responsibility in mind.

PARENTS/SPECTATORS

The game will be stopped by on-ice officials when the parents/spectators displaying inappropriate and disruptive behavior interfere with other spectators or the game. The on-ice officials will identify violators to the coaches for the purpose of removing parents/spectators from the spectator's viewing and game area. Once removed, play will resume. Lost time will not be replaced and violators may be subject to further disciplinary action by the local governing body. This inappropriate and disruptive behavior shall include:

  • Use of obscene or vulgar language in a boisterous manner to anyone at any time.
  • Taunting of players, coaches, officials or other spectators by means of baiting, ridiculing, threat of physical violence or physical violence.
  • Throwing of any object in the spectators viewing area, players bench, penalty box or on ice surface, directed in any manner as to create a safety hazard.

SEXUAL ABUSE POLICY

It is the policy of USA Hockey that there shall be no sexual abuse of any minor participant involved in any of its sanctioned programs, its Training Camps, Hockey Clinics, Coaches Clinics, Referee Clinics, Regional and National Tournaments or other USA Hockey events by an employee, volunteer, or independent contractor. Sexual abuse of a minor participant occurs when an employee, volunteer or independent contractor touches a minor participant for the purpose of causing the sexual arousal or gratification of either the minor participant or the employee, volunteer or independent contractor. Sexual abuse of a minor participant also occurs when a minor player touches an employee, volunteer or independent contractor for the sexual arousal or sexual gratification of either the minor participant or the employee, volunteer or independent contractor, if the touching occurs at the request or with the consent of the employee, volunteer or independent contractor.

Neither consent of the player to the sexual contact, mistake as to the participant's age, nor the fact that the sexual contact did not take place at a hockey function are defenses to a complaint of sexual abuse.

Upon proof of violation of this policy, the violator will be permanently banned or suspended from USA Hockey sanctioned programs and/or the programs of its Affiliate Associations.

PHYSICAL ABUSE POLICY

It is the policy of USA Hockey that there shall be no physical abuse of any participant involved in any of its sanctioned programs, its Training Camps, Hockey Clinics, Coaches Clinics, Referee Clinics, Regional and National Tournaments or other USA Hockey events by any employee, volunteer or independent contractor. Physical abuse means physical contact with a participant that intentionally causes the participant to sustain bodily harm or personal injury. Physical abuse also includes physical contact with a participant that intentionally creates a threat of immediate bodily harm or personal injury.

Physical abuse does not include physical contact that is reasonably designed to coach, teach or demonstrate a hockey skill. Permitted physical conduct may include, but is not necessarily limited to, shooting pucks at a goaltender, demonstrating checking and other hockey skills, and communicating with or directing participants, during the course of a game or practice, by touching them in a non-threatening, nonsexual manner.

SCREENING POLICY

It is the policy of USA Hockey that it will not authorize or sanction in its programs that it directly controls any volunteer or employee who has routine access to children (anyone under the age of majority) who refuses to consent to be screened by USA Hockey before he/she is allowed to have routine access to children in USA Hockey's programs. Further, it is the policy of USA Hockey that it will require its affiliates to adopt this policy as a condition of its affiliation with USA Hockey.

A person may be disqualified and prohibited from serving as an employee or volunteer of USA Hockey if the person has:

1. Been convicted (including crimes the record of which has been expunged and pleas of "no contest") of a crime of child abuse, sexual abuse of a minor, physical abuse, causing a child's death, neglect of a child, murder, manslaughter, felony assault, any assault against a minor, kidnapping, arson, criminal sexual conduct, prostitution related crimes or controlled substance crimes;
2. Being adjudged liable for civil penalties or damages involving sexual or physical abuse of children;
3. Being subject to any court order involving any sexual abuse or physical abuse of a minor, including but not limited to domestic order or protection;
4. Had their parental rights terminated;
5. A history with another organization (volunteer, employment, etc.) of complaints of sexual or physical abuse of minors;
6. Resigned, been terminated or been asked to resign from a position, whether paid or unpaid, due to complaint(s) of sexual or physical abuse of minors; or
7. Has a history of other behavior that indicates they may be a danger to children in USA Hockey.

CONSUMPTION/USE/ABUSE OF MOOD

ALTERING SUBSTANCES

It is the considered judgment of the Board of Directors of USA Hockey that consumption/use/abuse of mood altering substances is detrimental to a healthy state of mind, body, and spirit in an athletic participant. This is especially true for those participants aspiring to develop their talents in the furtherance of their playing, or coaching, or officiating careers in the sport of ice hockey. Therefore, with the best interests of its participants in mind, USA Hockey prohibits use by any participant of mood altering substances during active participation in its programs, and, upon discovery of any violation, shall take action to remove the participant from participation in its programs for a reasonable period of time. Further, USA Hockey hereby recommends that each and all of its teams, associations, programs, and affiliates adopt reasonable regulations concerning the prohibition of consumption/use/abuse of mood altering substances, and a reasonable enforcement procedure thereafter, in order to maintain the health of our athlete participants, the integrity of our programs, and the eligibility of all of our competitors for national, international, and collegiate competition.

For purposes of this policy, the words "mood altering substances" shall include the following:
1. Intoxicating beverages, including, but not limited to, alcohol.
2. Non-prescription or prescribed controlled substances.
3. Prescription or prescribed controlled substances when used to an excess in violation of doctors orders, or to produce the state of intoxication in the participant.

Further, a participant shall include players, coaches, referees, and all persons involved in the conduct of an ice hockey contest.

USA Hockey, through its Safety and Protective Equipment Committee, will develop a program of drug abuse awareness for players of all ages through 20 years, their parents and/or guardians and coaches of those players.