This USA Coaching Ethics Code (“Code”) intends to provide standards of ethical conduct for coaches involved with USA Hockey and its member organizations. It provides General Principles and Ethical Standards which cover many situations encountered by coaches, with its principle goals the welfare and protection of participants with whom coaches work. Coaches will respect and protect human and civil rights and not knowingly participate in or condone unfair discriminatory practices.
Coaches will maintain a standard of excellence with regard to education and information related to coaching and make an on-going effort to maintain competence in the skills they use. INTEGRITY Coaches will exercise integrity in the practice of coaching and be honest, fair and respectful of others.
Coaches will uphold professional standards, clarify professional roles and obligations, accept appropriate responsibility for behavior and adapt methods to the needs of participants.
RESPECT FOR PARTICIPANTS
Coaches will respect the fundamental rights, welfare, dignity, values, opinions and worth of all participants and will be aware of cultural and individual differences including those due to age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language and socio-economic status.
CONCERN FOR PARTICIPANTS
Coaches will be sensitive to different roles and responsibilities of all participants and not exploit or mislead them.
Coaches will be aware of ethical responsibilities to society and the community in which they work and live as well as comply with the law and encourage the development of policies which serve the interest of the sport and USA Hockey.
ETHICAL STANDARDS APPLICABILITY OF THE ETHICS CODE
Although many aspects of personal behavior and private activities may seem far removed from the official duties of coaching, Coaches will be sensitive to their positions as role models for participants and will consistently obey the standards of the Code.
Coaches will not engage in or condone discrimination based upon age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, socioeconomic status or any other basis prescribed by law.
Coaches will not engage in sexual harassment which includes but is not necessarily limited to sexual solicitation, unwelcome physical advances and verbal or non-verbal conduct. Coaches will not deny any participants the right to participate in any activity based upon their having made or their being the subject of a sexual harassment claim.
Coaches will not engage in or condone behavior which is harassing, harmful or demeaning to participants.
PERSONAL PROBLEMS AND CONFLICTS
Coaches will recognize a personal problem may harm participants. Coaches have an obligation to take reasonable steps to prevent impaired performance by recognizing a personal problem and seeking assistance for it.
Coaches will take reasonable steps to avoid harm being caused to participants whether it be physical, verbal or through electronic/social media.
MISUSE OF INFLUENCE
Coaches will guard against the misuse of influence and understand any action or judgment may have an effect on participants.
Coaches will refrain from entering into personal, professional, financial or other relationships with anyone if such a relationship may impair objectivity, interfere with properly performing coaching functions or directly or indirectly exploit or harm participants. Coaches will refrain from taking on obligations if a pre-existing relationship may create a conflict of interest.
Coaches will not exploit or have a sexual or intimate relationship with participants.
Coaches will not make a statement which is deceptive, false, fraudulent or misleading.
COMMUNICATION WITH PARTICIPANTS
To avoid any misunderstanding with participants, coaches will discuss the nature and course of training with them and answer any questions they may have.
RELATIONSHIP INVOLVING COACHES, PARTICIPANTS AND PARENTS
Coaches will clarify the role of each party and any service provided relative to a relationship with participants and parents.
ALCOHOL, DRUGS AND TOBACCO
Coaches will refrain from using and discourage the availability or use of alcohol, tobacco or performance enhancing or recreational drugs in conjunction with, including traveling to or from, any USA Hockey competition, training or practice session and prohibit the use of alcohol, tobacco or performance enhancing or recreational drugs by participants.
Coaches will refrain from and prohibit gambling of any kind in conjunction with, including traveling to or from, any USA Hockey competition, training or practice session.
Coaches will refrain from and prohibit the use of pornographic or sexually explicit material in conjunction with any USA Hockey competition, including travel to or from any USA Hockey competition, training or practice session.
Coaches will not recruit a participant who is already a member of another USA Hockey team. Direct contact by a coach or his/her staff or indirect contact through an agent or parent during the playing season with a participant who is a member of another USA Hockey team is considered tampering and is prohibited.
Coaches will evaluate participants on actual ability, attitude and performance and in a manner consistent with the Code.
RESOLVING ISSUES FAMILIARITY WITH CODE
Coaches will be familiar with the Code. Lack of awareness or misunderstanding of general principles or ethical standards included in the Code will not excuse violations of the Code.
Coaches will consult with other coaches when they are uncertain if a particular situation or course of action violates the Code.
Coaches will clarify the nature of any conflict between the demands of an organization and the Code, make known their commitment to the Code and seek to resolve the conflict in a way which adheres to the Code.
Coaches will inform participants of any perceived violation of the Code and their right to report any violation to the president or other appropriate designee of their association and complete an Ethical Violation Form provided by the association. Any violation of the Code shall be addressed via the process explained in USA Hockey Bylaw 10 and referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency as required.
COOPERATION WITH INVESTIGATIONS, PROCEEDINGS AND RESOLUTIONS
Coaches will cooperate with any investigation, proceeding or resolution related to a perceived violation of the Code as mandated by USA Hockey or any of its member organizations. Failure to cooperate in itself is a violation of the Code.
Coaches acknowledge the USA Hockey Coaching Ethics Code is administered under the authority of USA Hockey and its member organizations. Any violation of the Code subjects the violating coach(es) to the disciplinary processes of USA Hockey and its member organizations.