Statement of Philosophy
The Etobicoke Youth Soccer Club Inc. supports zero tolerance of all forms of abuse: verbal, physical, emotional, and sexual. All relationships within the Club context; whether involving members of the Board of Directors, Club employees, coaches/managers, players, parents, volunteers, outside suppliers or referees must be based on mutual trust and respect. Any act of abuse is a betrayal of that trust. The Club will investigate and act upon all complaints or reports of inappropriate behavior.
This Zero Tolerance Policy attempts to respect diverse individual and cultural viewpoints while protecting individuals from real or perceived abuse.
Definitions of Abuse:
Verbal abuse includes remarks that are rude or threatening in nature and that tend to demoralize or demean another person. Words that degrade another person constitute a form of verbal abuse. Verbal abuse includes racial or ethnic insults.
All complaints of verbal abuse will be investigated by the Club and may be reported to police with the consent of the victim or, in the case of a minor, a parent.
Physical abuse refers to inappropriate behavior such as punching, pushing, slapping, kicking, spitting or pinching another individual. All complaints of physical abuse will be investigated by the club and may be reported to police with the consent of the victim or, in the case of a minor, a parent.
Emotional abuse signifies the lack of sensitivity on the part of anyone associated with the Club towards another individual. In particular, Club officials (board members, coaches, and managers) should be aware of the power that is inherent in such positions and strive for sensitivity in dealing with individuals in positions of supervision (players, Club employees, volunteers) and with parents. Emotional abuse includes racial or ethnic insults.
All complaints of emotional abuse will be investigated by the club.
Sexual abuse shall be defined as:
- sexual intercourse or other forms of physical sexual relations between at least one individual associated with the Club and another person where the activity is not consensual;
- any and all sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual relations with a minor;
- touching of a sexual nature; and
- behavior or remarks of a sexual nature.
The Club will immediately report all complaints of sexual abuse to the police.
General Zero Tolerance Reporting Guidelines and Procedures
- Violations of the Zero Tolerance Policy should be reported immediately to the Club headquarters by victims or those close to them (i.e., a parent, a teammate, a coach, etc.).
- A complaint can be communicated in writing to a Club official or employee. If the complaint involves physical or sexual abuse, the Club official or employee will contact the police if the individual alleging abuse has not already done so and with the individual's consent.
- All complaints of abuse will be immediately investigated by the Club.
- All complaints to the Club must be in written form before a complaint is dealt with. However, the Club will immediately report criminal activities to the police (with the consent of the individual alleging abuse) without a written complaint.
- Once a written complaint has been filled with the Club, a Discipline Committee consisting of at least three Board members and headed by the Diecipline Director will discuss the complaint with the individual alleging abuse (note: in the case of sexual abuse, the Club may designate a Club official of the same gender as the individual alleging abuse to contact the victim).
- The Discipline Chair will schedule a discipline hearing within 10 business days of notice to the individual(s) whom the complaint has been filed against. The individual(s) who are named on the complaint shall be contacted by registered mail and requested to appear at the discipline hearing.
- The discipline hearing shall be heard by three Board members or Club members designated to participate in the hearing.
- The committee shall hold a hearing and invite the individual named on the complaint to be present at the hearing. Only individuals called by the committee shall be allowed to participate in a hearing. The committee shall then deliberate in-camera following the meeting with the individual(s) who are named on the complaint and submit a written recommendation to the Board via e-mail. The Board shall render a decision at its next Board meeting or, upon request from the Discipline Director, an electronic vote shall be conducted via e-mail. A decision shall be communicated to the individual alleging abuse and the individual named in the complaint within 10 working days of the hearing.
- The Board must either uphold, deny, or amend the recommendation. Penalties for contravening the zero tolerance policy can range from a permanent suspension from the Club, suspension for a specified period of time, and a probationary period where the individual is allowed to continue with the club. All committee decisions are final.
- A decision of the Discipline Committee endorsed or revised by the Board can be appealed by the individual whose conduct is deemed to have contravened the Zero Tolerance policy to the Board.
- Individual(s) who are charged with a criminal offense involving Club-related incidents shall be immediately suspended from the Club pending resolving of the charges. No discipline hearing shall take place will an individual is facing criminal charges for Club-related incidents. Club members who are convicted of a Criminal Code of Canada offense are subject to immediate suspension/removal from the Club.
- Any individual who is convicted of a criminal offense resulting from sexual or physical abuse shall be banned for life from the Club.
- Individual(s) who violate the zero tolerance policy for non-criminal activities may apply for re-instatement to the club in writing one month prior to the end of a time specified penalty.
Handling Incidents of Abuse During a House League Game
(physical, verbal or emotional abuse)
- The referee must stop a game if an abusive incident involving a coach, player or parent/spectator occurs during a game.
- If a coach is the source of the abuse, the referee will advise the coach that the game will be cancelled and the Club informed. If a parent/spectator is the source, the appropriate coach will be informed that the game will be abandoned unless the abuse ceases. If the spectator is not associated with either team, both coaches will ask the spectator to leave.
- The game will be restarted by the referee if the abuse ceases.
- If the abuse continues, the referee will cancel the game. He/she must immediately report the incident to the Club and fill out a special incident form. In cases of physical abuse on a referee, a referee assault form must be completed by the referee.
The Club will report all incidents of a criminal nature immediately to police.
This zero tolerance policy applies to:
- All elected club officials
- All club employees
- All coaches
- All managers
- All players
- All parents/guardians
- All referees
- All volunteers
- All service providers having contact with anyone associated with the Club
- All spectators
All elected club officials, volunteers, club employees, coaches, managers, and referees must all sign a form acknowledging their understanding and acceptance of the Zero Tolerance Policy.
This Zero Tolerance Policy shall be posted on the club's website at all times and communicated to parents and players at the beginning of every program cycle. Ignorance of the Zero Tolerance Policy shall not be considered a valid defence against a complaint.