skip navigation

Zero Tolerance Policy

USA Hockey is committed to creating a safe and fair environment for all participants. Respect for the game, the opponents, coaches and officials is a critical part of the environment that is created. This Zero Tolerance Policy summarizes required actions to be taken when violations occur.

All players, coaches, officials, team officials and administrators and parents/spectators are required 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 USA Hockey participants and spectators.

Players

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) Taunts or incites an opponent.
3) Visually creates a disturbance during the game.

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.

Coaches

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, profane or abusive language 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.

In addition, any player/coach who uses language that is hateful
or discriminatory in nature anywhere in the rink before, during or
after the game shall be penalized under Rule 601(e.3) resulting in a
match penalty. Such behavior is reprehensible and has absolutely
no place in our game. The offender shall be immediately suspended
until a hearing is conducted by the governing USA Hockey Affiliate
or Junior League.

Officials

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.

Officials are strongly encouraged to introduce themselves to the
coaches prior to the game to establish a basis of mutual respect and
to facilitate/define in-game communication.

Officials are ambassadors of the game and must always conduct
themselves with this responsibility in mind.

Parents/Spectators

Parents are expected to be a positive role model by treating all
players, coaches, officials and fellow spectators with respect and
support.

The game will be stopped by game officials when parents/
spectators displaying inappropriate and disruptive behavior interfere
with other spectators or the game. The game officials will identify
violators to the coaches for the purpose of removing parents/
spectators from the spectator’s 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:

1) Use of obscene, profane or abusive language to anyone at any
time.
2) Taunting of players, coaches, officials or other spectators by
means of baiting, ridiculing, threat of physical violence or
physical violence.
3) Throwing 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.

USA Hockey strongly recommends that each local youth hockey
registered team designate a volunteer to serve as a parent/spectator
monitor during all team games. This monitor will, ideally, address
inappropriate spectator behavior prior to the situation escalating to
the point it has an impact on the game. This designated monitor
shall have the full support of the youth hockey association and the
arena management to remove any spectator in violation of the Zero
Tolerance Policy.

Administrators

Administrators
Administrators are the key to building a positive, growing and
safe USA Hockey community. Create a culture that is:

1) Welcoming
2) Protected
3) Respected
4) Connected
5) Valued

Administrators are responsible for enforcing the rules and
policies established and approved by USA Hockey, their Affiliate,
and their Association or Club. This includes taking disciplinary
action, as deemed appropriate, towards any parent/spectator
removed from a game as a result of a violation of the Zero
Tolerance Policy.