SABRE HOCKEY ASSOCIATION
PLAYER, COACH AND SPECTATOR BEHAVIOR
ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY
The Sabre Hockey Association (“SHA”) is governed by the policies, rules and regulations of NIHL, NWHL, CSDHL, AHAI, and USA Hockey. We expect our players, coaches, parents and other Sabre spectators to follow the words and the spirit of the ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY (“ZTP”) of USA Hockey and AHAI, which is described below. Please also note the SHA policy relating to violations of the ZTP in the summary.
The SHA Rules & Ethics Committee will investigate and take appropriate action on any ZTP issue brought to our attention, whether or not a penalty or suspension is imposed for the conduct in question.
If you witness an incident that you believe may violate the ZTP, we urge you to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information: date/time of incident, location, teams involved, Sabre coach’s name (if known), names of people involved, description of incident and your contact information. Your contact information will not be shared, but is necessary for any follow-up questions we may have.
Our reputation is our greatest asset. SHA thanks you for your support in complying with the ZTP and for encouraging the spirit of fair play and sportsmanship for all of our players, coaches and families.
ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY
USA HOCKEY AND AHAI
In an effort to keep ice hockey a more desirable and rewarding experience for all participants, USA Hockey and AHAI have instructed SHA to adhere to certain points of emphasis relating to sportsmanship. This campaign is designated to require all players, coaches, officials, team officials, 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:
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.
Note: Under USA Hockey rules, a player receiving a game misconduct penalty shall automatically serve a minimum one-game suspension to be served at the team’s next game. A player receiving a game misconduct penalty as a result of a “second major in a game” shall serve a minimum two-game suspension. (Other USA Hockey penalty rules may also apply – see Rules 401-410 and Rule 601 in USA Hockey Rules and Regulations.) Under AHAI rules, any player receiving a game misconduct penalty for fisticuffs shall serve a three-game suspension.
SHA Policy: A Sabre player receiving a game misconduct penalty in any game will automatically serve an additional one-game suspension beyond any suspension otherwise imposed by rule under the circumstances, to be served at the team’s next game after the game in which the misconduct penalty occurred and was served in full. The Rules & Ethics Committee may, at its discretion, recommend further remedial action after a player’s first game misconduct penalty and one additional game suspension.
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 any time.
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. Note: Under USA Hockey rules, a coach receiving a game misconduct penalty shall automatically serve a minimum one-game suspension to be served at the team’s next game. Other USA Hockey penalty rules may also apply.
SHA Policy: A Sabre coach receiving a game misconduct penalty in any game will automatically serve an additional one-game suspension beyond any suspension otherwise imposed by rule under the circumstances, to be served at the team’s next game after the game in which the misconduct penalty occurred and was served in full. During the entire suspension period, the coach will not be permitted to participate in the game in any capacity, including pre- and post-game locker room activities with the team. The Rules & Ethics Committee may, at its discretion, recommend further remedial action after a coach’s first game misconduct penalty and one additional game suspension.
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.
The game will be stopped by on-ice officials when the parent/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 spectators’ 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, but not be limited to: 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 or dropping 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.
SHA Policy: Any Sabre spectator (including parents, family members and friends) removed from the playing arena by the official will automatically receive an additional three-game suspension to be served at the team’s next three games after the game in which the spectator was removed. The spectator will not be permitted to enter the playing arena during the three games being served as a suspension. In addition, the Rules & Ethics Committee will investigate and take action on matters involving inappropriate spectator behavior that does not result in a suspension, but may violate the spirit of the ZTP or otherwise reflect negatively on the Sabre organization.
SHA PARENT CONDUCT POLICY
In addition to the provisions stated above, SHA has memorialized these long-standing practices. While this list is not exhaustive, we believe this common sense approach to good behavior is in the best interest of the players, parents and coaches of Sabre Hockey.
A parent should not approach a coach or discuss with a coach a game, game incident or a situation that occurred during a game that has provoked an adverse emotional response or created a potentially hostile situation until at least 24 hours after the fact. The intent of this “24-hour Rule” is to move a potential emotional and confrontational discussion away from the presence of the players and other parents and to allow all parties the chance to “cool off” before discussing the situation.
Parents should treat locker rooms as private places for players and coaches. Unless necessary to dress younger players or to attend to an injured child, a parent should not enter a locker room unless invited to do so by a coach who is present with the parent at all times. Each coach will communicate his own locker room pre- and post- game/practice schedule with the players and parents. It is the policy of SHA that only “screened” adults (those who have been fingerprinted and background checked) should be allowed in the locker room when players are present.
A parent should never enter the ice, player benches, penalty box or scoring box at any time before, during or after a game without express permission of the home team manager, a coach or an on-ice official.