ICE Hockey Program Overview

Sherwood Park Minor Hockey operates with the primary purpose of the enjoyment of the Game by its participants. It is apparent that participating in the Game, whether as a player, coach, official or spectator, is more enjoyable when participants act in the spirit of cooperation and with the best interest of the players at the forefront.
Appropriate attitudes and acceptable behaviours must be consistently demonstrated by adult and youth participants and those who deliver the program, keeping in mind that the foundation of hockey is based on teamwork and solidarity. Sherwood Park Minor Hockey Association views the ICE Hockey Program as support and confirmation to the majority of excellent volunteers, coaches, officials, parents, and players who have always practiced and subscribed to the fundamental principles of fun, respect and positive development of the Game. We see this program as a vehicle to assist them to further these values and make the Game even better and more
enjoyable. One could view the ICE Hockey Program as a celebration of the positive elements of the Game that will overwhelm those negative elements that have unfortunately tainted the reputation of the Game today. Those few who may question the value of the program are the very ones that many of the elements of the program are aimed at, and are indicative of a problem and not a solution. It is not a time to be defensive, but rather assertive and proactive in advocating a program that is totally positive. We encourage the majority to confidently come forward with energy and support the ICE Hockey Program to make our Game even better.

ICE Hockey Program Objectives

To follow the mandate of SPMHA of holding the welfare of participants paramount, by providing a conduct management program which plays a significant role in the development of a young person’s values, morals, social maturity, physical fitness and mental fitness. To promote acceptable actions, specifically providing a framework as endorsed by SPMHA, which guides the conduct and behaviour of volunteers, players, coaches, officials, and spectators including:

  • Respect for persons
  • Protection from harm
  • Development of ethical conduct towards others
  • Notions of justice, fairness, equity
  • Caring attitudes
  • Freedom to enjoy, to flourish
  • Respect for the game

It is a must that every participant abides by these principles not only while on the ice, but in the dressing room, in the arenas, and when in any way representing SPMHA. A participant is defined as a player, coach, on-ice official, off-ice volunteer, or spectator. The ICE Hockey Program is not intended to address complaints about officiating or
general hockey rules, and is not intended to circumvent Hockey Alberta or Hockey Canada recommendations or standards. SPMHA will require participants at every level to uphold these values.

ICE Hockey Program Reporting Process

Efforts should be made to resolve issues at the lowest level; taking responsibility for one’s own actions is the first and most important step. This process shall not prevent a person in authority from taking immediate, informal, corrective and appropriate disciplinary action in response to unacceptable behaviours. In those instances where behaviour cannot be dealt with between the parties affected, the order of reporting for conflict resolution is as follows:

Head Coach

  • May suspend a participant for up to one game with notification of Division Director for unacceptable behaviour.
  • The Head Coach always acts as the first responder, as they bear the responsibility for all matters pertaining to their team. The Head Coach is circumvented only if and when it is perceived that there may be a conflict of interest or the Coach is involved in the incident.

Division Director

  • May suspend a participant for up to three games with notification of Division VP and ICE Hockey League Liaison through an incident report.
  • To be notified if the Head Coach suspends a player, parent, or other spectator for one game.
  • To receive communication from those reporting incidents that cannot be referred to the Head Coach, or when the reporter feels that further steps should be taken.

ICE League Liaison

Accepts formal “Incident Report Forms”

  • Submitted to the Minor Hockey Office for the most serious occurrences.
  • For incidents where the reporting participant feels that there may be a conflict of interest with the parties reported or reported to.

The SPMHA Discipline Committee

  • Receives Incident Reports from the League Liaison which require action. Participants will inform the ICE League Liaison using a signed Incident Report Form, available on the SPMHA website, delivered to the Minor Hockey Office via fax, email, or in person, for further solutions.
  • Reviews the report and collects information regarding the facts of the report.
  • Contacts the SPMHA President with information if it is determined there is the need for convening of a Discipline Committee for further action to be taken. The Liaison will also report to the President any Incident Report Forms that he/she determines to have been adequately dealt with.
  • The Discipline Committee shall be made up of the appropriate Division Director, the Referee in Chief, and the corresponding Vice President (Junior or Senior) for that division. Should there be a conflict of interest between any of these parties, the replacement for that party will be the Vice President not currently presiding (Junior or Senior).
  • Communicates Minimum Suspensions of three games or more strictly based on guidelines of the ICE Hockey Program and at the direction of the Discipline Committee. Provides written notification to the suspended parties of the findings of the committee and the details of the suspension.
  • The ICE Hockey Liaison will notify outlying associations of action taken, where it is determined that those associations have an interest in the outcome of the incident report.
  • The ICE Hockey Liaison will immediately contact the SPMHA President and local authorities (RCMP) when it is determined from the facts gathered or from the Incident Report Form that an incident involves criminal activity. At that time, all records are forwarded to the authorities in full cooperation with any investigation. In addition, the records will be reviewed by the Discipline Committee.
  • All members receiving information regarding incident reports and appeals, and those participating in investigations, shall keep the details and results of the investigation confidential. This means disclosure is only permitted to those who have a legitimate need to know and such disclosure shall be restricted to what must be disclosed to ensure a thorough, effective and complete investigation/response, or as otherwise required by law.
  • Any person reporting unacceptable behaviour will be protected throughout the investigative process. The League Liaison will inform the President of any instance where there may be the possibility of reprisal for submitting an incident report.

ICE Hockey Program Appeals Process

The Appeals Committee will be formed at the behest of a participant who has been suspended. Appeals are to be received in the Minor Hockey office by fax or written correspondence within 5 business days of the suspension notification.

  • Members of the Appeals Committee shall be the President of SPMHA, the President of SPKAC or their designated representative, and an SPMHA Vice President who has yet to be involved, to be determined by the SPMHA President.
  • Appeals will be accompanied by a non-refundable fee in the amount of $350. Regardless of the outcome of the appeal, this amount will be held by SPMHA in trust for possible litigation expenses so they are not borne by the general membership.
  • The Appeals Committee will meet as soon as possible, ideally within 5 days of receipt of a written request by any suspended person.
  • Any appeal by a player younger than sixteen (16) years of age may only be made by that player’s parent or legal guardian on behalf of the suspended player.
  • The party whose suspension is being appealed shall be notified of any hearing to consider his appeal and shall have a right to attend and speak to a portion of such hearing.
  • The outcome of any appeal will be presented to the SPMHA Board of Directors while in camera at a monthly meeting.
  • The filing of an appeal does not lift or postpone a suspension; suspensions must continue to be served while an appeal is being considered.

ICE Hockey Program Implementation Process and Public Awareness

The SPMHA Board of Directors will vote to induct the ICE Hockey Program as a standard code of conduct, and will incorporate the ICE Hockey Program into the SPMHA Policies and Procedures Manual. The backing of the Board who is elected to make decisions on the operations of the Association will lend itself to the success of the program.
A League Liaison will be appointed by the SPMHA Board of Directors for one or more seasons in order to facilitate the incident reporting process and to keep records for SPMHA in reference to the ICE Hockey Program. This will track the success of the program and identify means of improving the program delivery. Two persons have been approached by the committee regarding this role and both have expressed interest in contributing their time to this endeavour.

Beginning at registration, participants will be required to review and accept the ICE Hockey Program. At pre-season team staff meetings, each Division Director will present information on the ICE Hockey Program to coaches and managers. It will be the responsibility of the team staff to maintain records of written acceptance of the program by participants. Once participants are placed on a team for the season, the coach and team staff will review the program with players and parents separately. Written acceptance of the program standards is required for each season, and separate statements are attached as an appendix for players, coaches, parents, officials, and board members.

The support of local facility operators (Strathcona County Parks and Recreation Department) will be required as they are part of the reporting and enforcement group. Rinks will have permanent signage placed strategically, as a conduct reminder and to reinforce that our rink attendants are members of our hockey community. Arena and Millennium operators have been contacted regarding support for this type of program.

Affiliated local minor hockey associations, for example Hockey Edmonton, will be notified of and given access to information regarding the ICE Hockey Program. Additionally, the LMHA’s will be informed if and when an incident occurs during competition that is of concern to them by the League Liaison.

Local Law Enforcement will be made aware of the program. In instances where actions or communications are deemed to have crossed the line into criminal behaviour, SPMHA will offer its fullest cooperation with any investigation by immediately and thoroughly turning over all pertaining and requested records of the actions or communications to authorities.
Any other means of publicity will be pursued at the direction of the SPMHA Board of Directors, and the discretion of the SPMHA PR Director.