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Commissioner's Corner

OFFICIATING ABUSE – ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY

All spectators, including parents, grandparents, guardians, siblings, relatives and friends are an important part of any athletic competition, including hockey. Spectators should be in attendance to support the athlete and the team, not to taunt, berate or belittle the on-ice or off-ice official(s) assigned to the game.

The officiating ranks are diminishing and the reason most often cited is abuse by spectators, coaches and players. Officiating abuse has a direct impact on the recruitment of new officials and the retention of the existing ranks. This diminishing population has the potential to jeopardize the ability to provide adequate officiating coverage for the increasing number of games in our geographic footprint.

The Atlantic Affiliate of USA Hockey (AAHA) will not tolerate spectators, coaches, players or team administrators who do not conduct themselves in sportsmanlike and professional manner while attending or participating in games or events sanctioned USA Hockey, its Affiliates, Leagues and Clubs.

The following behaviors/actions will not be tolerated and may be penalized under this Zero Tolerance Policy, in addition to any other penalties assessed by the game official(s):

• Verbal abuse of official(s);
• Harassing comments, behavior or threats directed or inferred towards on-ice and off-ice official(s);
• Physical abuse of official(s); and
• Any issue concerning crowd control which results in the summoning of the police.

The process for identifying/documenting the above referenced behavior(s) is as follows:

The USA Hockey Online Game Incident Report shall be used to document and communicate the removal of any person(s) attending a USA Hockey sanctioned game. These Incident Reports are automatically electronically distributed to the AAHA (and where applicable, the AAHA sanctioned League Commissioner) as soon as they are submitted by the on-ice Official(s).

Violations of this Officiating Abuse – Zero Tolerance policy will be managed as follows:

AAHA OFFICIATING ABUSE SANCTIONS FOR NON-PARTICIPANTS
(Spectators and all those not on an approved USA Hockey Roster)

If the non-participant is removed from a sanctioned youth hockey event by an on-ice or off-ice Official (i.e. Referee, League or Affiliate Administrator or Arena personnel), or is otherwise reported for abusive behavior by any person(s) in attendance at the sanctioned event (and substantiated by a preponderance of proof), the minimum suspension will be issued for those offenses investigated and adjudicated by the AAHA (notwithstanding any other sanctions imposed by the Clubs or sanctioned Leagues) as listed below.

The AAHA maintains a strict Zero Tolerance Policy with NO appeal available to non-participant(s) removed from an event.

FIRST OFFENSE:
Two week suspension from ALL “Team Activities” and a $150.00 fine payable to the AAHA, with the fine issued to the Club of the offending non-participant’s team. Individual will be placed on probation for one year, which commences at the end of the suspension period.

SECOND OFFENSE:
Four week suspension from ALL “Team Activities” and a $300.00 fine payable to the AAHA, with the fine issued to the Club of the offending non-participant’s team.  Individual will be placed on probation for two years, which commences at the end of the suspension period.

THIRD OFFENSE:
Suspended from ALL “Team Activities” indefinitely until individual completes a certified anger management class and provides the AAHA a certificate of completion or other documentation satisfactory to the AAHA. Individual will be placed on probation for three years, which commences at the end of the suspension period.

“Team Activities” are defined as games (whether League, non-League or tournament), practices (dry land and ice), and any other team activity that may be considered a part of the usual team experience.

Fines collected by the AAHA as a result of the above offenses will be segmented from the General Funds of the AAHA and used to fund recruiting, retention and training of officials between the ages of fifteen (15) and twentyfive (25).

NOTE: AAHA sanctioned Leagues shall have the authority to enforce a League approved Officiating Abuse Zero Tolerance policy, which shall include reasonably similar guidelines, enforcement and consequences. The AAHA will work closely with its sanctioned Leagues to support Officiating Abuse Zero-Tolerance.

AAHA OFFICIATING ABUSE SANCTIONS FOR PARTICIPANTS
(Club Administrators, Players & Coaches)

Coaches are well aware of Playing Rule 601, which addresses “Abuse of Officials and Other Misconduct.” Coaches, in conjunction with their Club, prior to the start of their season, shall conduct a meeting with their players and parents to set appropriate expectations, guidelines and penalties to discourage officiating abuse. Such policy shall be in writing and issued to all players and parents.

Team personnel (coaches and players) collectively receiving three or more penalties under the Playing Rule 601, which specifically identify as physical or verbal abuse of a game official, shall be subject to AAHA Disciplinary Review, as provided in Rule 410, and such discipline shall include;

1) Suspension of coach(es) not to exceed 180 days
2) Suspension of player(s) not to exceed 180 days
3) Team declared ineligible for post-season play (State, Districts and/or Nationals)
4) Team (by birth year) and or Club losing Tiering Status for the following season

ABUSE ENFORCEMENT
(Officials)

USA Hockey provides its registered Officials specific playing rules to discourage and enforce Officiating Abuse. All Officials within the AAHA are compelled to enforce such rules with very little latitude. All AAHA on-ice Officials shall use this policy as defined below:

1) In accordance with Rule 601, physical and/or verbal abuse by a participant must be called if it is evident. While we understand that an Official may sometimes believe that providing some latitude is appropriate “game management,” that approach has, in part, created the necessity where “Zero Tolerance” must actually mean “ZERO TOLERANCE.” Official(s) refusing to enforce Rule 601 violations shall be disciplined according to the current AAHA and USA Hockey requirements.

2) At the first sign of any inappropriate, hateful or abusive remarks by non-participants, the on-ice Official(s) shall first report the conduct to the head coach of both participating teams and issue a warning. The Official(s) shall also advise that the head coach should direct an assistant coach to address their attending non-participants.

3) Should hateful or abusive remarks continue after the warning, the on-ice Official(s) shall advise the head coach of the home team to immediately contact arena management to clear the spectators from the arena.

4) All warnings and subsequent issues shall be documented by the on-ice Official(s) through the USA Hockey Online Game Incident Report.

5) AAHA sanctioned Leagues may impose additional duties of their game Officials related to the enforcement of Zero Tolerance, which may be subject to AAHA RIC approval.

Player Movement

a. Player movement

i. No player will be allowed to play in a Mawha league game unless rostered with AAHA USA Hockey Registrar and Mawha league rosters for the team and confirmed by the appropriate Vice President (or Commissioner).

ii. Until December 31st players within a club can move (with appropriate notification and confirmation) within an age division and/or between age divisions, as long as age appropriate (goalies exempt).

iii. A player who has played in 3 (goalies; 5) or more Mawha Tier I league games during the current season may not move to Tier II or lower without Executive Board approval.

iv. Notification of the move must be made (by telephone or email) to the appropriate Vice President (or Commissioner if the appropriate Vice President is not available) no later than noon the immediate Friday before the Mawha league game. · Age groups 8U, 10U and 12U – Vice President · Age group 14U, 16U and 19U – Executive Vice President

v. Once a player move is confirmed, they cannot be moved back to, or to another Mawha team for the weekend. If the player is to be moved back to, or to another team the next weekend, this player movement procedure must be followed for the next weekend.

vi. Required information in notification to the appropriate Vice President; 13 · Club Name · Player’s Name · Birth Date · Uniform Number · Position · Team (Age and Division) Movement From · Team (Age and Division) Movement To · Club representative name, email address and cell phone number requesting the move.

vii. The appropriate Vice President will email confirmation of the player move to the club official that requested the move. viii. Failure to follow the above notification process may cause the player to be declared ineligible, the club fined and/or the game forfeited by the Commissioner


****** PA Act 153 & USA Hockey ******

All Pennsylvania teams and teams that have played 30 or more games in Pennsylvania.

 USA Hockey has allowed PA coaches, managers and anyone that is required to be screened under PA Act 153 to have fulfilled the USAH screening requirement under a one year pilot program.  For more information on the screening requirements under Pennsylvania Commonwealth Law go to http://www.atlantic-district.org/screening_rules.php

To meet the requirements for the USAH screening you need to complete the attached report and return it to the AAHA SafeSport Coordinator by November 1, 2017  This is for Pennsylvania organizations and other teams that have played 30 or more games in Pennsylvania! 

 


Please return the completed report to aaha.act15@gmail.com

Thanks,
Pete Rothman
AAHA SafeSport Coordinator
aaha.act15@gmail.com

Cell:  610.721.4378

UPDATED SAFESPORT PROGRAM HANDBOOK

SafeSport's handbook is considered a "living" document where it is constantly updated.  The attachment is the handbook updated as of 9/22/15.

Getting Ready for the Season

The 2017-2018 season is just about here.  All coaches, managers and anyone with frequent contact with players under age 18 must have completed the SafeSport Online Training every other year http://www.usahockey.com/safesporttraining .  This includes locker room monitors.  Managers and other volunteers will need to register with USA Hockey which is free.

Screening - The same volunteers must be screened every other year.  Go to the Screening Tab on http://www.atlantic-district.org/ for more information.  PA coaches and volunteers must also be screened using the PA law.  See the below section on PA Screening.

Fines and Penalties

Attached is a list of potential fines and penalties.  Please be timely posting scores, submitting paperwork and having a representative at meetings.

Major Penalties

It is the responsibility of the head coach to notify the commissioner of all major penalties by submitting a copy of the score sheet to the commissioner by noon the Monday  following the game.  Either via Fax 610.701.5402 or email coachrothman@gmail.com .  This includes both league and non-league games.

Any late submission will include a $30 fine assessed to the club.

MAWHA Commissioner - Pete Rothman

coachrothman@gmail.com

Cell 610.721.4378

Fax 610.701.5402

 

 


PA Screening for PA Coaches, Referees and Volunteers

FROM: GLENN HEFFERAN, AAHA President  

On July 1, 2015, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania placed into law, Act 15 of 2015 (which amended Act 153 of 2014) and established various screening and background check requirements for those persons who are "responsible for a child�s welfare or have direct and routine contact with children�. This Act applies to academic institutions, childcare programs as well as youth sports programs, teams and associations.  As a result, the AAHA is setting forth the following policy;

  1.       For the those programs, associations, leagues and ice rinks within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which are member programs of the AAHA and utilize paid or volunteer individuals, including but not limited to; coaches, on-ice game officials, team managers, trainers, locker room attendants and other persons having direct contact with minor children through their involvement with youth hockey activities are compelled to verify that their volunteers and employees comply with the screening requirements in Pennsylvania Act 15. 
  2.       In order to comply with the new Pennsylvania Law; volunteers shall submit to PA State Police Screening, Pennsylvania Child Abuse History and FBI Criminal History or sign the FBI Exemption Affidavit as set forth below:
    1.     For the PA State Police Criminal Background Check -
      https://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp 

AND

  1.    For the Child Abuse History -http://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home

AND

  1.     For FBI Criminal Background Check Follow this link for instructions � (Unless Exemption applies)http://www.pa.cogentid.com//index_dpw.htm
    1.  
  2.    FBI Fingerprinting Exemption Affidavit (A volunteer who meets the requirements may sign a notarized affidavit instead of completing FBI screen).  For a copy of the Exemption Affidavit, click here

NOTE: Pennsylvania Governor Wolf has waived the fees for the above two certificates for volunteers only. 

  1.       Employees, independent contractors and other paid persons must complete all three (3) of the above certifications. Paid persons may not use volunteer certifications.

NOTE: Date for completion: The AAHA requires all volunteers and paid persons to complete the certification process not later than December 31, 2015. Employees hired after December 31, 2014 and volunteers selected after August 25, 2015 must complete the appropriate screening process before beginning work or service.

  1.       The Act also applies to those persons responsible for the hiring employees or selecting volunteers. For example, a rink owner, who may never have direct contact with a minor, but who hires a new Director of Hockey, must also comply with the verification and recordkeeping provisions of Act 15. 
  2.       Team Managers, trainers and other medical personnel who tend to minor-aged players are required to comply with PA Act 15. 
  3.       Under a one-year conditional agreement with USA Hockey, all volunteers and officials who comply with Act 15 will be exempted from the USA Hockey screening program.  
  4.       It shall be incumbent on the Organization President or Chief Executive to verify the compliance of volunteers and employees and to maintain accurate records to insure compliance    with PA Act 15.

For high school programs, the school�s Athletic Director or varsity head coach and league appointee shall be responsible for verifying compliance and maintaining the appropriate credentials.

  1.       Teams advancing to post-season District and National Tournament play will be required to provide proof of compliance as part of credentialing compliance for District Tournament participation. 
  2.       If you have completed the 3 screening checks required under PA Act 15 within the last four (4) Years, you may submit those credentials. Keep in mind that the Act requires renewal every 5 years.
  3.    Date for completion: The AAHA is requiring that all persons requiring screening as defined under the Act, shall complete the required process not later than December 31, 2015.

PROCESS FOR ON-ICE GAME OFFICIALS - 

  1.       All AAHA registered On-ice Game Officials, 14 years of age or older, who reside in Pennsylvania and who will officiate in Pennsylvania must comply with PA Act 15, and obtain all three (3) Checks (FBI, State Police and Child Abuse Certificates). 

2)    In accordance with the law, any employee/independent contractor who was hired or selected after December 31, 2014 would normally be required to provide all 3 certifications before starting work.  While the Child Abuse and State Criminal Certifications come back within a few days, the FBI fingerprinting certification can take up to 2 months.

        The Atlantic District (AAHA) has agreed to allow such officials to take advantage of a part of Act 15 that allows them to work provisionally under December 321, 2015 if they: (1) provide copies of their Child Abuse and state Criminal certifications; and (2) provide their completed application showing they've applied for their FBI certification and (3) sign the Provisional Employment Affidavit.  Click here for a copy of the Provisional Employment Affidavit.

3)   Also, officials who are minors (age 14-17) may also be exempted from the FBI fingerprinting if they sign the Minor Employee Affidavit and comply with its terms.  Click here for the Affidavit

4)   All level 1 officials who were not registered USAH Officials as of December 31, 2014 and reside or officiate in Pennsylvania may not accept any assignments until completing  all three (3) Checks (FBI, State Police and Child Abuse Certificates).

  • All On-ice Game officials shall be required to submit their valid screening credentials to the Affiliate, either by mail or email.
  • The Affiliate shall maintain a database of those officials that have completed the PA Act 15 screening process and have appropriately filed their credentials with the Affiliate. You must send in a copy of your completed screening or order to be considered "complete" with all of your necessary requirements
  •  To mail your screening credentials, send to Colleen Marinari, Executive Director - AAHA - 1623 Hilltop Road - Spring City, PA 19475

You may email your credentials to: Info@Atlantic-District.org

8)   For those officials that reside in the Commonwealth of PA or who will officiate in the Commonwealth of PA, will only need to do their screening in compliance with Act 15.  You are not required to do the USA Hockey requirement of being screened thru the Atlantic District. 

  • For those officials that DO NOT reside in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania nor will officiate in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you are not required to complete the PA Act 15 screening process.  All of these officials must be screened using the Atlantic District screening policy as shown on this website and thru the Verified Volunteers Screening Company.

Note to all, regardless of paid or volunteer position:

 If an individual is arrested for or convicted of an offense that would constitute grounds for denying employment or participation in a program, activity or services under Act 15, or is named as a perpetrator in a founded or indicated report, the individual shall provide their program administrator or designee with written notice not later than 72 hours after the arrest, conviction or notification that the person has been listed as a perpetrator in the Statewide database.

 

SafeSport Preseason Checklist

The SafeSport Training and Refresher Training are each valid for two seasons. Thus, if you took the training during the 2014-2015 season, it was valid for the 2014-2015 and 2015-16 seasons and you will need to complete the SafeSport Refresher course for this 2016-17 season. http://www.usahockey.com/safesporttraining . It is the policy of USA Hockey and the AAHA that those participants who (1) have regular, routine or frequent access to or supervision over minor participants (e.g., coaches, team managers, chaperones, etc.), (2) are responsible for enforcing child abuse and misconduct policies, (3) are in managerial or supervisory roles of a USA Hockey Member Program, and (4) are new and current employees and/or volunteers of a USA Hockey Member Program, shall complete appropriate training

Screening of all coaches, managers, locker room monitors, officials and others that have regular, routine or frequent access to minor participants are to be screened every two years (see screening schedule below). Those in Pennsylvania (or participate in PA for 30 or more days) are required to comply with Pennsylvania Act 153 (amended by Act 15) screening requirements; o Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance; o Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check; and o Federal Bureau of Investigation Criminal Background Check. For more information on the PA requirements go to http://www.atlanticdistrict.org/screening_rules.php If you are not subject to the Pennsylvania law then go to http://www.atlanticdistrict.org/screening.php All PA clubs must report to the AAHA a list of the cleared certificates received by November 30, 2016. Attached is a copy of the report that needs to be filed with Pete Rothman, AAHA SafeSport Coordinator aaha.act15@gmail.com.

If your Screening Started:

Year Screened Pennsylvania Compliance Not Subjet to PA Law AAHA Compliance
2015-2016 You were screened under PA153 You were Screened through AAHA - Verified Volunteers
2016-2017 No Current Screening Required No Current Screening Required
2017-2018 AAHA Screening Required AAHA Screening Required
2018-2019 No Current Screening Required No Current Screening Required
2019-2020  AAHA Screening Required AAHA Screening Required
2020-2021 PA 153 Screening Required No Current Screening Required

 

If your Screening Started:
 

Year Screened Year Screened Pennsylvania Compliance Not subject to PA Law - AAHA Compliance
2016-2017 PA 153 Screening Required AAHA Screening Required
2017-2018 No Current Screening Required No Current Screening Required
2018-2019 AAHA Screening Required AAHA Screening Required
2019-2020 No Current Screening Required No Current Screening Required
2020-2021 AAHA Screening Required AAHA Screening Required
2021-2022 PA 153 Screening Required No Current Screening Required

 

Locker Room Monitors that have followed the above training and screening procedures should be scheduled for the season. It is the policy of USA Hockey that all USA Hockey Member Programs must have at least one responsible screened adult (which may include coaches, managers or other volunteers) present monitoring the locker room during all team events. Acceptable locker room monitoring could include having locker room monitors inside the locker room while participants are in the locker room, or could include having a locker room monitor in the immediate vicinity (near the door within arm’s length and so that the monitor can sufficiently hear inside the locker room) outside the locker room that also regularly and frequently enters the locker room to monitor activity inside.

Review your organizations Electronic Communications Policy. If the player is under the age of 18, any email, text, social media, or similar communication must also copy or include the player’s parents. Coaches are prohibited from having players joined to or connected through their personal Facebook page or any other similar social media application. To facilitate communication, an official organization or team page may be set up and players and parents may join (i.e., “friend”) the official organization or team page and coaches can communicate to players though that site. All electronic communication of any kind between coach and player, including use of social media, must be non-personal in nature and be for the purpose of communicating information about team activities or for team oriented motivational purposes.

Submit your Organization’s SafeSport Coordinator Name and Contact Information to Pete Rothman by September 1, 2016. This individual should be familiar with the USA Hockey SafeSport Program Handbook. https://assets.ngin.com/attachments/document/0102/5713/USA_Hockey_SafeSport_Program_Handbook.pdf

Coming this September (scheduled) USA Hockey will publish a SafeSport Manual.

If you have any questions during the season please call Pete Rothman 610.721.4378 or email pete@rbcpa.net.

MAWHA Player Movement Rule

Roster changes may be made after December 31st , however players added to the roster after December 31st are not eligible for District playoffs or MAWHA league games and playoffs.

  1. Player movement
  1. No player will be allowed to play in a Mawha league game unless rostered with AAHA USA Hockey Registrar and Mawha league rosters for the team and confirmed by the appropriate Vice President (or Commissioner).
  2. Until December 31st players within a club can move (with appropriate notification and confirmation) within an age division and/or between age divisions, as long as age appropriate (goalies exempt).
  3. A player who has played in 3 (goalies; 5) or more Mawha Tier I league games during the current season may not move to Tier II or lower without Executive Board approval.
  4. Notification of the move must be made (by telephone or email) to the appropriate Vice President (or Commissioner if the appropriate Vice President is not available) no later than noon the immediate Friday before the Mawha league game.
  • Age groups 8U, 10U and 12U – Vice President
  • Age group 14U, 16U and 19U – Executive Vice President
  1. Once a player move is confirmed, they cannot be moved back to, or to another Mawha team for the weekend.  If the player is to be moved back to, or to another team the next weekend, this player movement procedure must be followed for the next weekend.
  2. Required information in notification to the appropriate Vice President;
  • Club Name
  • Player’s Name
  • Birth Date
  • Uniform Number
  • Position
  • Team (Age and Division) Movement From
  • Team (Age and Division) Movement To
  • Club representative name, email address and cell phone number requesting the move.
  1. The appropriate Vice President will email confirmation of the player move to the club official that requested the move.
  2. Failure to follow the above notification process may cause the player to be declared ineligible, the club fined and/or the game forfeited by the Commissioner.