Physical Misconduct

It is the policy of USA Hockey that there shall be no Physical Misconduct of any Participant involved in any of its Member Programs by any other Participant.

Physical Misconduct is any intentional contact or non-contact behavior by a Participant that occurs within a context that is reasonably related to hockey and that causes, or reasonably threatens to cause, physical harm to another person. Examples of Physical Misconduct may include, without limitation:

a. Contact violations. Punching, beating, biting, striking, strangling or slapping another; intentionally hitting another with objects, such as sporting equipment; encouraging or knowingly permitting a hockey player or referee to return to play prematurely following a serious injury (e.g., a concussion) and without the clearance of a medical professional. The activity known as “Locker Boxing” (fighting with helmet and gloves)is not accepted as part of hockey and constitutes Physical Misconduct that can produce head trauma in children and young adults and is prohibited in any USA Hockey Member Program.

b. Non-contact violations. Isolating a person in a confined space, such as locking a Participant in a small space; forcing a Participant to assume a painful stance or position for no athletic purpose (e.g., requiring an athlete to kneel on a harmful surface); withholding, recommending against, or denying adequate hydration, nutrition, medical attention or sleep; providing alcohol to a person under the legal drinking age; providing illegal drugs or non-prescribed medications to another.

c. Criminal Conduct. Physical Misconduct includes any act or conduct described as physical abuse or misconduct under federal or state law (e.g. child abuse, child neglect, assault).

d. Exclusion. Physical Misconduct does not include professionally accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement (i.e., methods that are reasonably designed to coach, teach, demonstrate or improve a hockey skill), physical conditioning, team building, appropriate discipline, or improved athletic performance. In hockey, for example, Physical Misconduct does not include, in addition to other permitted physical conduct, appropriately 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 or moving them in a non-threatening, non-sexual manner. Physical Misconduct also does not include conduct reasonably accepted as part of ice hockey and/or conduct reasonably accepted as part of Participant’s participation in ice hockey.

Physical Misconduct also does not include conduct between opponents that occurs during or in connection with a game that is covered by the USA Hockey Playing Rules. Such conduct should be addressed under the Playing Rules.

Any conduct defined as Physical Misconduct in the USCSS Code that is not expressly included in the definition of Physical Misconduct above, is prohibited and shall be a violation of this Policy. Any Participant who engages in any act of Physical Misconduct that occurs within a context that is reasonably related to hockey is subject to appropriate disciplinary action including but not limited to suspension, permanent suspension, and/or referral to law enforcement authorities.