When parents drop their child off at the rink, they want to know they are entering a safe, fun and inclusive environment, free of harassment, bullying and abuse. Whether a player, coach, official or parent, we all deserve to enjoy the game without worrying about experiencing any form of maltreatment.
As part of the OMHA’s ongoing commitment to safety and inclusivity, it is an important reminder to all participants during the early part of the season of emphasizing Hockey Canada’s Maltreatment rule and its background.
Created last year, “Section 11- Maltreatment” includes all forms of maltreatment under a single section of the Hockey Canada rulebook. It provides guidelines for escalating penalties based on the severity of the behaviour from players as well as team officials.
We all need to work together to support one another and call out any negative or abusive behaviour when we see it. It’s on all of us to make the game a more positive and inclusive space from within, both on and off the ice. These are lessons that we can take with us outside of the arena and apply to our classrooms, workplaces and communities.
Maltreatment includes the actual or potential of physical or psychological harm aimed at any participant within the game. It undermines the health and well-being of everyone associated with the game and is incompatible with core values that lie at the heart of Canadian sport.
Game officials, coaches and bench staff learn about Maltreatment as part of their clinic curriculum and how to interact with players and each other. This mandatory education helps teach all of our participants how to create respectful environments.
Hockey parents also play an important role in creating a safe and inclusive environment and experience. We support our parents through the Respect in Sport Parent Program.
The Maltreatment for Team Officials course is a free online course available to all OMHA Team Officials. Coaches can also earn 3 Professional Development (PD) points for the completion of this education which supports renewal of coaching certification.
The No Ref, No Game campaign reminds all of us about the crucial role our on-ice officials have in minor hockey. Parents and spectators can positively support their children and teams through their respectful conduct in the stands.
If you’d like to learn more, please review Section 11 on Page 133 of the Hockey Canada Rulebook.
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