Bullying

It is the policy of USA Hockey that there shall be no Bullying of any Participant involved in any of its Member Programs by any other Participant. The hockey environment should be conducive to the enjoyment of hockey and free from any type of bullying behavior.

Bullying is any repeated and/or severe behavior(s) that occurs within a context that is reasonably related to hockey and that is (a) aggressive (b) directed at a Minor, and (c) intended or likely to hurt, control, or diminish the Minor emotionally, physically or sexually. Bullying-like behaviors directed at adults are addressed under other forms of misconduct, such as Hazing and/or Harassment. Examples of Bullying behavior may include, without limitation,repeated and/or severe:

a. Physical. Hitting, pushing, punching, beating, biting, striking, kicking, strangling, spitting or slapping, or throwing objects (such as sporting equipment) at another person.

b. Verbal. Ridiculing, taunting, name-calling or intimidating or threatening to cause someone harm.

c. Social, including cyberbullying. Use of rumors or false statements about someone to diminish that person’s reputation; using electronic communications, social media or other technology to harass, frighten, intimidate or humiliate someone; socially excluding someone and asking others to do the same.

d. Sexual. Ridiculing or taunting based on gender or sexual orientation (real or perceived), gender traits or behavior, or teasing someone about their looks or behavior as it relates to sexual attractiveness.

e. Criminal Conduct. Bullying behavior includes any conduct described as bullying under federal or state law.

f. Exclusion. Conduct may not rise to the level of Bullying behavior if it is merely rude (inadvertently saying or doing something hurtful), mean (purposefully saying or doing something hurtful, but not as part of a pattern of behavior), or arising from conflict or struggle between persons who perceive they have incompatible views and/or positions. Bullying does not include professionally accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, team building, appropriate discipline, or improved athletic performance.

Bullying also does not include rough play or 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 Bullying in the USCSS Code that is not expressly included in the definition of Bullying above, is prohibited and shall be a violation of this Policy.

While other team members are often the perpetrators of Bullying, it is a violation of this Policy if an adult Participant knows or should know of the bullying behavior but takes no action to intervene or report on behalf of the targeted Participant(s).

A USA Hockey Participant who engages in any act of Bullying 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. The severity and pattern, if any, of the Bullying behavior and/or result shall be taken into consideration when disciplinary decisions are made.