Incident Management and Reporting Policy and Process

Discipline happens at various levels within the Nepean Minor Hockey Association (NMHA)/District 10 and outside of it. Minor issues are typically dealt with at the team or division level while others must be escalated to NMHA Director at Large (Risk and Safety) or the District 10 Chairperson.

Discipline of Players

Team Level

 At the team level, only the head coach may dispense discipline to players. Any time a disciplinary measure is taken by the coach there must be a conversation with the player and the parent/guardian to ensure that the reasoning for the action is understood by all.

Disciplinary action handed out by coaches is limited in nature, the most severe action being a one game suspension. Discipline must also be progressive in nature, beginning with a reprimand between the coach and player.  Next, a meeting with the coach and parent/guardian and then the next step would be up to a one game suspension. At each level of disciplinary action, the coach must communicate with the parent/guardian the reasoning for the disciplinary action. Any further discipline must be escalated to the next level within the NMHA.  No discipline may be imposed that is humiliating to the player or that ostracizes them from the team. Yelling is never an acceptable form of discipline at any age.

Note: A third offense for disciplinary action does not always constitute a one game suspension. This will be at the discretion of the head coach, however, the authority to action a one game suspension by the coach is granted by the NMHA. Each disciplinary action must be recorded. Any deviation from the progression of discipline must be communicated with the convenor/director describing the incident and reasoning for the escalated team discipline.  Example: forgoing the reprimand discipline as the first offence and having it be a period suspension.

Examples of disciplinary action:

Example 1 Example 2
1st offence: reprimand 1st offence: reprimand
2nd offence: reprimand 2nd offence: parent/guardian meeting
3rd offence: parent/guardian meeting 3rd offence: game suspension
4th offence: period suspension 4th offence: escalation
5th offence: game suspension  
6th offence: escalation

Acceptable discipline at this level would include actions such as a warning regarding the negative behaviour and requesting that it stop, apologizing to member(s) of the team that have been impacted by the negative behaviour, sitting for a portion up to an entire game.

Discipline should be commensurate with the action of being disciplined and must be used fairly and equally across the team. While it would be impossible to cover every possible action that could result in discipline, it must be recognized that actions will fall into the categories – Mild, Moderate and Severe:

  • Mild – i.e., constant late arrival, consistently not coming prepared to play with all equipment, swearing;
  • Moderate – i.e., disrespecting coaching staff, openly blaming other players for lack of team success, fighting in the dressing room; and
  • Severe – i.e., racial slurs, bullying, vandalism, intent to injure.

Cases of severe behaviour will always be escalated to the convenor who will consult with NMHA Director at Large (Risk and Safety) or the District 10 Chairperson.

Division Discipline

The Division Convenor, or for competitive, the Competitive Program Director will become involved in any situation where the behaviour is considered to be severe, or the coach feels a suspension of more than one game or disciplinary hearing is warranted. The convenor may do one of the following:

  • Guide the coach as to the appropriate action.
  • Direct the issue to the NMHA Director at Large (Risk and Safety) and/or the District 10 Chairperson.

Non-Player Discipline

When it comes to the discipline of non-players the process is different. A team’s head coach is responsible for dealing with the negative behaviour of the players on their team and their own bench staff with the support of their Divisions Convenor/Director. A team’s coach is not responsible for dealing with the negative behaviour of other NMHA volunteers or parents.

If a parent feels that another parents’ behaviour is negatively impacting other NMHA members, they can either speak to their team’s coach, who can refer the issue to the Division Convenor/Director.  A decision can then be made to act or direct the issue to the correct NMHA member to deal with the incident.

It is mandatory that the 24-hour Rule MUST be followed in all cases unless there is an imminent risk to the safety of a player or other NMHA member, which is explained further in this document.

If a member feels strongly that they cannot begin to address the situation at the team level they may invoke the issue resolution process, explained below.

Process to file a concern or incident.

Starting from the parent level, (depending on where the concern/incident originates, the starting point may vary) the concern/incident must follow an escalation process in sequence.

Note: Should a convener have a concern/incident, it should be brought to the Director at Large (Risk and Safety) attention first and not directly to another association.

Failure to follow these guidelines may delay a ruling on your concern or incident. All levels will be notified if the need for escalation is warranted. If a step is skipped, the concern/incident may be dismissed at the discretion of the Director at Large (Risk and Safety) or District 10 Chairperson.

Escalation Process:

  House League   Competitive League
1 Team Parent Rep (if applicable) 1 Team Parent Rep (if applicable)
2 Team Manager 2 Team Manager
3 Head Coach 3 Head Coach
4 Convenor 4 Competitive Program Director
5 House Program Director 5 Director at Large (Risk and Safety)
6 Director at Large (Risk and Safety)

Conduct Management – Issue Resolution Process

The Issue Resolution Process

Any member of the NMHA may raise an issue when they feel the NMHA Code of Conduct has been violated. If the issue is regarding a player, parent, coach or team volunteer then the process identified below is to be followed:

  1. Observe the 24-hour Rule. The 24-Hour Rule is simply explained as when problems arise it is a benefit for all concerned to wait for a day before you report an issue to not let the emotion of a situation get in the way of the facts. The only time this rule may be bypassed is due to behavior that possess’ safety risk.
  2. Attempt to resolve the issue at the lowest level possible (where the incident occurred). If the issue cannot be resolved, escalate the issue to the next level. Unless the issue is of urgent nature or a date dependent, it is reasonable to expect 15-30 days for a proposed resolution. An attempt to expedite the issue through the escalation process will ultimately slow the resolution.
  3. Continue to escalate the concern/incident to the next level until a satisfactory resolution has been completed. If a solution has not been brought to resolution at the Director level, then the concern/Incident will be escalated to Director at Large (Risk and Safety) for final review and resolution.
  4. The concern/incident must be made in writing using the “Issue Resolution and Fact-Finding Form (MS Word)”.  Completed forms should be sent to the Director at Large (Risk and Safety). The Director at Large (Risk and Safety) will then contact the member who submitted the form for any necessary clarification and will determine if this issue requires a hearing, option of Alternate Dispute Resolution or other resolution can be achieved. If the NMHA code of conduct determines that an official hearing is necessary, a date and time for the hearing will be set, with a committee consisting at least 3 members in addition to the Director at Large (Risk and Safety), which will follow the NMHA Disciplinary Hearing process.

If the issue is regarding any executive member including conveners, then the process begins at Step 4, except in the case where the issue involves the Director at Large (Risk and Safety), then the report is sent directly to the President.

Director at Large (Risk and Safety) is responsible for investigating all issues brought to their attention. Not every issue that is investigated will end with a disciplinary action, there will be others found to be without merit, others may be resolved via mediation. The Director at Large (Risk and Safety) is required to wait for a complaint to be made to call a player, parent, coach or volunteer in to speak to them.

Issue Resolution and Fact-Finding Form (MS Word)