Policy Manual

Gulf Storm Policy Manual

Policy and procedures are intended to ensure player, parent and spectator safety, preserve Gulf Storm equipment, and ensure Gulf Storm provides a productive and positive learning environment for our young hockey players.


Around The Rink General Policies And Things You Need To Know

Parents and Family

• Parents, unless they are team officials, are not permitted on the bench or the ice at any time!

• Siblings should not play in the dressing room and hallway or anywhere near the bench. Keep small children away from the dressing room doors.

• Parents should not discipline or critique other players; any on-ice or off-ice behavioral issues must be brought to the coaches’ or manager’s attention and can only be dealt with by team officials or board members.

• Read and abide by the Parent’s Code of Conduct


Uniforms and Timeliness

•Game socks and Jerseys are not to be worn during practices;

• Arrive at the rink at least 15 minutes before practice – or earlier as per coaches’ discretion.

• If you can’t make a game or practice please let the team manager or coach know.

• Players are to be fully dressed and ready at least 10 minutes before ice time.

Dressing Room

• No cell phones or cameras in the dressing room.

• Dressing rooms must be supervised at all times by team officials or designated parents. Players should not be unsupervised in the dressing rooms.

• Please avoid bringing or consuming foods with nuts or nut products in the dressing rooms.

• Players should should not walk around the dressing room without skates or shoes on.

• Goalies should wear gloves when lying on the floor having their pads laced.

• Do not dress your child in the lobby, the stands or on the bench.

• Parents (unless they are team officials or supervisors) and siblings are not permitted in the dressing rooms at Peewee and above.

• For the younger players, once your child is fully dressed, parents and siblings must leave the dressing rooms and dressing room hallway.

Player Conduct

• Players shall read the Player Code of Conduct and abide by it.

• Players are not to go on the ice without a Coach.

• Players shall be respectful of coaches and teammates at all times.

• Players should be mindful of thanking their coaches after each practice.

Personal Equipment

• Neck guards are mandatory for all ages. Players may not participate in on-ice activities without a neck guard.

• Helmets must be CSA approved and should be snug and remain in place when chinstrap is fastened. Facemasks should fit properly; chin should fit comfortably in cup of facemask.

• Bring a water bottle to each game and practice with a name clearly marked.


Behaviour Representing Gulf Storm

All players, team officials and parents must recognize that they are representatives of both our Association and our greater community. Our members are expected to take pride recognize that their personal actions can have an impact on the reputation of the Association. We are all ambassadors of Gulf Storm and it is critical to our success that we take pride in who we are and maintain our integrity and an honourable reputation both within minor hockey and the greater community. Gulf Storm is committed to cultivating a safe and productive sports environment and a culture of respect. We expect the highest standards from our players, coaches, team officials, parents and volunteers at all times. We take pride in being ambassadors for our organization and our community whenever we are at a rink — home or away. We expect all our players and coaches to demonstrate respect for:

• Themselves; • Their teammates; • Their coaches; • Parents; • Volunteers; • The game and all of its rules; • Opponents • Referees; • Any facility we occupy; • Our equipment (both personal and association equipment); • Guests in our arena; • Our neighbours in the community.


Team First and Life Skills

We dedicate ourselves to the advancement of our players not just as hockey players, but also as individuals within the community. All too often our children are denied enjoyable sporting experiences because we fail to protect the environment and the very principles on which the game is built. Hockey is more than a game; it is an education. It is also an important part of their upbringing and the success of future generations depends on how well we teach life skills today. Membership is a PRIVILEGE not a right and with that membership come inherent responsibilities and obligations to protect the sport and most importantly the growth and development of our children. All participants’ players, parents/spectators/volunteers, coaches, officials, and sport administrators are equally responsible PARTNERS in this endeavor. Every individual involved must examine his/her attitudes, actions and behaviors and make a personal commitment to the principles of Fair Play RESPECT, INTEGRITY and FAIRNESS. There can be no lesser expectation and no greater responsibility as a condition of membership in Gulf Storm.


Additional Guidelines

All Gulf Storm parents are required to read and abide by the Fair Play Code of Conduct. Parent codes of conduct and resources are also available on our website. Parents who are not rostered as team officials on REP teams should never initiate communication directly with the coaches except during pre-defined team meetings between the parents and the coaches. House Teams - Because house and initiation coaches are often parents of team players, the same process as rep applies only to coaching issues, so social communication is normal between parents and parent-coaches but when there is an issue with the coaches that the parent would like to address, they need to also follow the protocol in that all issues need to be processed through the manager.


24-hour Rule

If you have something to say to the coach, or they have something to say to you (that could be contentious) you must wait 24 hours after the event or the game before discussing it. By this time, you have better perspective and a lot of arguments naturally are eliminated in the process. In all situations, the Team Manager is the conduit for confrontational communication. Mangers need to understand their role as a non-partisan representative of the team. Any concerns or issues that need to be addressed by the coaches should be raised with the team manager who will review it with the team head coach. If that doesn't get it resolved then the team manager should inform the Gulf Storm coordinator who will either try to resolve it or bring it the Board for review and/or dispute process/intervention if necessary.


Dressing Rooms

Only team officials and designated parent supervisors are allowed in the dressing room (except that it is normal for parents of our younger hockey players) Hockey Canada requires that all adults never be alone with any player except their own child. Please ensure that you understand the Respect in Sport program and abide by it.

--There will be one supervising adult in the dressing rooms at all times when players are present

-The use of any equipment that can take photographs is strictly prohibited from use in the changing rooms.

- Avoid bringing or consuming foods with nuts or nut products in the dressing rooms.

-The Association has a zero-tolerance policy for drugs, alcohol, bullying, abuse, harassment vandalism and any other inappropriate behaviour.

On-Ice Officials

Do not shout at or abuse the on-ice officials. They have the authority to have you removed from the arena and you set a very poor example to the kids. Their calls may not always be perfect but they are learning as well and shouting at them is not an option. Any reports of referee abuse, even if unsanctioned, may be investigated by the Board and may result in suspensions.


Electronic Devices

Gulf Storm has a zero tolerance policy towards using electronic devices inside a dressing room that has the ability to record or take any images. Any infraction of this policy may result in suspensions. 


Social Media Guidelines

Comments or remarks of an inappropriate nature which are detrimental to Gulf Storm or any constituent team, other Associations and Leagues or any of their constituent teams, PEI Hockey or an identifiable individual will not be tolerated and will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance to our Zero Tolerance Policies. This includes immediate suspension and potential expulsion from the Association.

Social media comments are on the record and instantly published and available to the public and media. Everyone including Association and/or team personnel, parents, players, corporate partners and the media can review social media communications. You should conduct yourself in an appropriate and professional manner at all times. Divulging confidential information of a personal or team related nature is prohibited. Do not discuss medical or injury information about any player. Only divulge information that is considered public. Show respect for audiences and the Association by ensuring that content is family friendly, protects the privacy of others, respects different opinions and does not knowingly breach privacy or copyright laws. Include links to relevant resources where applicable. Use your best judgement at all times – pause before posting. Once your comments are posted they cannot be retracted. Ultimately, you are solely responsible for your comments and they are published for the public record.


Zero Tolerance

There is zero tolerance for drugs, alcohol, bullying, abuse or vandalism. Zero tolerance means that behaviour involving any of the above will not be tolerated at any event related to Gulf Storm will be immediately sanctioned. Any occurrence must be immediately reported and the Gulf Storm coordinator must be immediately advised should incidents occur involving drugs, alcohol, bullying, cyberbullying, abuse or vandalism. Any player, team official, contractor, parent or volunteer caught or suspected of bullying, harassment or abuse of any member or guest of Gulf Storm will held accountable. Any infraction may cause the Board to expel a player, team official, contractor, parent or volunteer from the association with no refund of fees or remuneration. Gulf Storm fully supports and enforces Respect in Sport and Zero Tolerance Policies:

• All players must make a personal commitment to the principles of Fair Play, Respect and Integrity and are required to abide by the Player Code of Conduct

• Gulf Storm fully adopts zero tolerance of bullying, harassment and abuse in hockey both on and off the ice. Anyone involved in bullying, abuse or harassment may be suspended. This includes cyberbullying and misuse of social media

• All parents must make a personal commitment to the principals of Fair Play, Respect and Integrity and agree to respect all Association volunteers. Parents must follow all of the behavioural guidelines outlined in the Parent Code of Conduct

Zero Tolerance for Harassment

Harassment is defined as conduct, gestures or comments which are insulting, intimidating, humiliating, hurtful, malicious, degrading or otherwise offensive to an individual or group of individuals, and which create a hostile or intimidating environment for work or sports activities, or which negatively affect performance or work conditions. Any of the different forms of harassment must be based on the grounds prohibited in human rights HOCKEY CANADA legislation, such as race, ethnicity, colour, religion, age, sex, marital status, family status, disability, pardoned conviction and sexual orientation. Harassment may occur among anyone between peers (e.g.: player to player of the same age group, parent to official, coach to coach) or between someone in a position of power or authority and an adult in a subordinate position (e.g.: coach to player, sports administrator to employee).

Zero Tolerance for Bullying

Bullying involves a person expressing their power through the humiliation of another person. Bullying occurs between people at any age and is not addressed under human rights legislation. It is inappropriate behaviours that are typically cruel, demeaning and hostile toward the bullying targets (most commonly occurs between children under the age of twelve but may also constitute behaviours between youth or between adults. Bullying is similar to harassment but the behaviours are not addressed under human rights laws. Bullies are typically cruel, demeaning and hostile towards the targets of their bullying.). The actual issue of bullying is not addressed by the law, except when the behaviour does become a criminal issue – e.g. extortion, physical assault etc... Bullying can be broken down into four types: • Physical (hit or kick victims; take/damage personal property) • Verbal (name calling; insults; constant teasing) • Relational (try to cut off victims from social connection by convincing peers to exclude or reject a certain person) • Cyber bullying. Any infraction may cause the Board to

expel a player, team official, contractor, parent or volunteer from the association with no refund of fees or remuneration.


Zero Tolerance for Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is the use of any electronic communication device to convey a message in any form (text, image, audio or video) that defames, intimidates, harasses of is otherwise intended to harm, insult or humiliate another in a deliberate, repeated or hostile and unwanted manner under a person’s true or false identity. In addition, any communication of this form that disputes or prevents a safe and positive environment may also be considered cyberbullying. Any player, team official, contractor, parent or volunteer caught or suspected of cyberbullying of any member or guest of Gulf Storm, including opposing teams, players, associations and leagues, will be held accountable. Any infraction may cause the Board to expel a player, team official, contractor, parent or volunteer from the association with no refund of fees or remuneration.

Zero Tolerance for Abuse

Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional and/or sexual mistreatment or lack of care which causes physical injury or emotional damage to a child. A common characteristic of all forms of abuse against children and youth is an abuse of power or authority and/or breach of trust. On PEI a person is considered a child up to the age of 18 years old.

Emotional abuse is a chronic attack on a child's self-esteem; it is psychologically destructive behaviour by a person in a position of power, authority or trust. It can take the form of name-calling, threatening, ridiculing, berating, intimidating, isolating, hazing or ignoring the child's needs.

Physical abuse is when a person in a position of power or trust purposefully injures or threatens to injure a child or youth. This may take the form of slapping, hitting, shaking, kicking, pulling hair or ears, throwing, shoving, grabbing, hazing or excessive exercise as a form of punishment.

Neglect is chronic inattention to the basic necessities of life such as clothing, shelter, nutritious diets, education, good hygiene, supervision, medical and dental care, adequate rest, safe environment, moral guidance and discipline, exercise and fresh air. This may occur in hockey when injuries are not adequately treated or players are made to play with injuries, equipment is inadequate or unsafe, no-one intervenes when team members are persistently harassing another player, or road trips are not properly supervised.

Sexual abuse is when a young person is used by an older child, adolescent or adult for his or her own sexual stimulation or gratification. There are two categories: Contact and Non-Contact.

Duty to Report Abuse and neglect are community problems requiring urgent attention. Hockey Canada is committed to help reduce and prevent the abuse and neglect of participants. Hockey Canada realizes that persons working closely with children and youth have a special awareness of abusive situations. Therefore these people have a particular reporting responsibility to ensure the safety of Canada's young, by knowing their provincial protection acts and following through as required. Every province and territory in Canada, except the Yukon, has mandatory reporting laws regarding the abuse and neglect of children and youth; the Yukon requests that concerns be reported. Consequently, it is the policy of Hockey Canada that any Hockey Canada personnel (part-time and full-time staff, volunteer, participant, team official, on ice official) or Hockey Canada partner (parent, guardian) who, has reasonable grounds to suspect that a participant is or may be suffering or may have suffered from emotional, physical abuse and neglect and/or sexual abuse shall immediately report the suspicion and the information on which it is based to the local child protection agency and/or the local police detachment. Those involved with Hockey Canada in providing hockey opportunities for participants understand and agree that abuse or neglect, as defined above, may be the subject of a criminal investigation and/or disciplinary HOCKEY CANADA procedures. Failure to report an offence and thereby, failure to provide safety for participants may render the adult who keeps silent legally liable for conviction under the provincial child protection acts.


Zero Tolerance for Alcohol, Vaping, Controlled Drugs and Substances

Gulf Storm is unequivocally opposed to illegal drug and alcohol use and is sincere in its duty to uphold the laws of the land in which its members operate. Gulf Storm is similarly unequivocally opposed to the use of banned and restricted substances for the purpose of performance enhancement.

Players

There is NO tolerance for vaping, drugs and or/alcohol usage by Gulf Storm players

-Vaping or smoking: any player caught vaping or smoking of tobacco, cannabis, or any other combustible substance in or around our arena and opponent’s arenas or in any public facility frequented by the team will be automatically suspended for one game. Any subsequent infraction may cause the player to be expelled from the association with no refund of fees.

-Alcohol: any player caught or suspected of drinking alcohol in or around our arena and opponent’s arenas or in any public facility frequented by the team will be automatically suspended for one game. Any subsequent infraction may cause the player to be expelled from the association with no refund of fees.

-Any player attending a team practice, event or game suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs will be suspended in coordination with the above policies


Reporting Procedures:

Any person witnessing the above offenses has a duty to report. Incidents of alcohol or drug related offenses will be dealt with in the manner previously described. All incidents of harassment, bullying, or cyber bullying will be dealt with on a case by case basis.


1) All incidents will be reported to either the team manager, coach or Gulf Storm coordinator.  

2) The Gulf Storm coordinator in conjunction with team officials will discuss the incident. The player and a guardian will then meet the coach and the Gulf Storm coordinator to discuss the incident.  

3) The appropriate response and remedy can be applied and agreed upon by the team officials, coordinator and player/guardian. The incident will documented in writing and forwarded to the Gulf Storm board.

4) If an appropriate response and remedy can not be agreed upon then the matter will be appealed to the Gulf Storm board. The board will then decide the appropriate response and remedy with the approval of the Gulf Storm executive.

Adult Alcohol Guidelines

Gulf Storm realizes there are certain situations when the responsible use of alcohol by adults is acceptable assuming the implementation of responsible parameters. Alcohol is not appropriate in the following situations: In dressing rooms or in public, non-licensed areas, In team settings with minors in attendance, In situations where minors are left unsupervised while adults attend “hospitality” type settings or where alcohol is not controlled by a server, Consumption in buses or cars when traveling to and from an event, By adults of a minor team when parents are not present, Consumed by anyone at minor team parties hosted by other players, parents or team officials, If forced on another person, If used for “chugging” contests or as a form of hazing or initiation for rookies.


Supervisory Responsibility

Minor hockey organizations are responsible for the reasonable safety and well-being of all minor athletes (under the age of majority) while participating in sports activities. Supervisory responsibilities play an integral part of a coach’s role. Interaction between coaches and players must be based on each organization’s code of conduct that establishes respect, dignity, health, and well-being for all athletes. Ultimately, coaches assume the role of parent/guardian when traveling with teams and must make every reasonable effort to provide adequate supervision of the players. It is imperative that the rules and player expectations are clearly defined, discussed and presented to all participants including the parents and players prior to departing for a road trip. When parents travel with the team, it is imperative that the coach meet with the parents to ensure that their sons and daughters adhere to all team rules including use of drugs and alcohol, smoking, curfew, etc. It is important that this discussion take place prior to departure and not after an incident occurs on the road. Supervision ratio should be based on the age and physical limitations of the players. Although the coach assumes full responsibility for the members of the team, it is reasonable to assume that he/she will require “free time” and in his/her absence, a pre-assigned member of the supervisory staff will be appointed to assume the leadership role for players to ensure that policies and procedures as previously agreed upon are adhered to by all participants. Rules and regulations regarding the illegal use of drugs and alcohol, smoking, curfews, inappropriate behaviour including abuse, harassment, and bullying should be reviewed team members, parents and team personnel. Coaches are well advised to ensure that these rules and regulations follow those of the Association, Branch and Hockey Canada. Information on the location, telephone numbers, cellular numbers, and email addresses where the team will be staying is important to ensure that players and parents are able to make immediate contact in the event of an emergency. If players are staying in a hotel/motel, it is important that the recommendations as outlined in the Respect in Sport program are reviewed. Coaches (and staff) should preassign players to rooms. Ideally personnel and players should not share accommodations regardless of the cost saving or other

benefits. If sharing a room, please ensure that the two-deep rule is observed at all times. If only one player and one supervisor are alone in the room for a brief period of time, the outer door should be left open. People of different genders should not share rooms. No one other than the occupants of a given room will be permitted in the room unless the door is left open for visual access to outsiders. No guests outside of the team members will be permitted in the rooms at any time. Guests must only be met in common areas including hotel lobbies, restaurants, etc. Team and small group meetings should be held in common areas such as a conference room. No sexual contact will be permitted by players who are minors while traveling with the team.


On the Ice Equipment

Ensure equipment is well maintained and your child is wearing all of the Hockey Canada required equipment, including neck guards, before going on the ice. Gulf storm uniforms must be treated with care. Game jerseys and game socks must not be worn at practice. Wearing the proper Gulf Storm uniform is mandatory during games. This means that only Gulf Storm-issued socks can be worn during games.


Equal Ice time See

As near as possible equal ice time is recommended by Gulf Storm. However while the Association places a high priority on player development, the amount of ice time a coach allocates to a player is at the coach’s discretion and is usually based on commitment, ability and effort. Additionally, during the final five minutes of any regular season game, during a penalty kill, during a power play or in any part of a final tournament game or playoff series, the coach may choose to shorten their bench to increase the probability of team success.  The coach should discuss this and all fair play exceptions with the players and parents at the beginning of the season and prior to tournament games or playoffs.  Any concerns are to be raised with the team manager who will either immediately resolve the issue and if not the matter will brought to the Gulf Storm coordinator. If the coordinator is not able to resolve the situation, they will take the matter to the board.


Team Selections

There is a mandatory registration deadline at least five days prior to the first Gulf Storm tryout.  Team selection will occur during at least three tryouts, cuts may be made after the second tryout. Three evaluators, one from each affiliated association, will attend each tryout. A meeting will be held between the evaluators, Gulf storm coordinator and the head coach in which the team will be selected. 


Division Transfers

Any player seeking to play a higher age division has to apply to their home association.  Refer to Hockey PEI transfer request procedure for more information.


Dress Code

Dress codes will be at the discretion of the head coach. It is assumed that the head coach will enforce a dress code that looks professional and represents the high standards of Gulf Storm.


Disciplinary Action

When policies are violated, or where in the reasonable opinion of team officials discipline is required, it is the responsibility of the teams to take appropriate disciplinary actions and make reparations as necessary. The Gulf storm coordinator is to be consulted and a there will be a written documentation of the incident, response and remedy. In the case of drugs, alcohol, bullying, abuse or vandalism, the chairman of the board must be immediately advised. If consensus between the player, guardian, coach and coordinator can not be met the issue will be sent to the board. The player will be suspended from team activities until the matter is resolved by the Gulf Storm board.


Payments

Playing on a Gulf Storm team is a special privilege and not a right. Payments are to be made in a timely fashion and are set at the beginning of the year. Team managers will be contacted and players will not be allowed to attend team activities if delinquent on payments. Gulf Storm realizes that special circumstances do arise and arrangements can be made.


Coaching

Gulf storm coaches must apply for the position and then be interviewed by the Gulf Storm board. Coaches will be chosen by their level of knowledge, commitment, and attitude. Criminal record checks and Hockey PEI mandated certifications are necessary. Gulf Storm assistant coaches will be at selected at the discretion of the head coach.


Managers

Managers of the Gulf Storm team or the coordinator of the Gulf Storm team can not be related to the head coach as to provide the most unbiased pathway if issues arise.