Watertown Youth Hockey Spectator Code of Conduct
Watertown Youth Hockey (WYH) is built on foundational core values including good sportsmanship, respect, and integrity. During the course of youth sports, our players are learning not only the skills to compete, but the importance of these values in everyday life. It is with this in mind that WYH has established this Code of Conduct Policy (the Policy) to promote these core values throughout the organization, our participating families, and community. The Policy is intended to supplement the requirements and policies of USA Hockey, Massachusetts Hockey, and any and all policies established by leagues and rinks within which WYH participates.
WYH both expects and requires that parents, guardians, family members, and/or other spectators (collectively, “Spectators” or singularly “Spectator”) at WYH events will abide by the following:
Spectators will conduct themselves in an orderly, sportsmanlike, professional, and civil manner when attending any WYH event. Any report of disorderly conduct in the rink, parking lot, etc. including, but not limited to the following will not be tolerated:
- Physical abuse of referees, coaches, players, other spectators, or rink employees;
- Verbal abuse of referees, coaches, players, other spectators, or rink employees;
- Spectators entering the ice surface, bench, or other game areas without permission;
- Spectators going into the referees' locker room or opposing team's locker room;
- Any problem with crowd control caused by Spectators that results in the summoning of police.
- Any issues that are not covered above that otherwise result in loss of control as determined by the WYH Board of Directors in practicing good sportsmanship by Spectators.
Note that “verbal abuse” as used above includes any form of harassment (e.g., taunting, baiting, ridiculing, threats, etc.) and is not limited to obscene, vulgar, racial, sexual, or otherwise offensive language. Spectators are encouraged to cheer for their team in a positive manner and are discouraged from jeering or being otherwise negatively vocal against opposing teams. Any issues Spectators have with referees, rink employees, or opposing coaches or players should be brought to the attention of your team’s coach or a WYH Board member after the game. In no instance should a Spectator feel obligated or entitled to engage in criticizing, questioning, or deriding the aforementioned persons directly.
WYH will not tolerate any lack of conduct, sportsmanship or good will that the game of ice hockey is intended to promote. As such, in the event of one of the aforementioned incidents occurring, the WYH Board of Directors will investigate the incident at their earliest opportunity, which may include receiving or requesting reports from opposing teams/leagues, rink personnel, WYH coaches, and/or other Spectators. Upon review of information received, the WYH Board of Directors will discuss and vote on a course of action, which may include any of the following:
- Probation and/or suspension of privileges, including practicing and playing/attending games for the offending Spectators and their associated player;
- Monetary fines issued to the offending Spectator to cover costs incurred by WYH as a result of the Spectator’s actions (e.g., game forfeiture fees)
- Expulsion from WYH and reporting of the incident to Massachusetts Hockey.
Suspended Spectators and/or Players will be reinstated by WYH either following completion of their suspension or, in the case of an indefinite suspension, upon petition by the offending Spectator to the WYH Board of Directors. Any Spectator and/or Player suspended by WYH forfeits any and all registration fees paid or owed to WYH and is not eligible for a refund. If the offending Spectator does not abide by the WYH Board of Directors rulings, WYH will suspend the Spectator’s associated child from further play until the Spectator does abide. Any suspended party reinstated after petition, involved in a second offense of the Policy will be suspended for the remainder of the current season.
WYH acknowledges that the vast majority of Spectators regularly conduct themselves in an orderly, sportsmanlike manner consistent with the guidelines and requirements set forth herein and are a true credit to the sport of youth hockey. The WYH community should continue to be a source of pride for everyone involved and provide a positive learning environment for our players.
In addition to the requirements set forth by the Policy herein, WYH requests the following from our participating families and Spectators:
- Do not force your children to participate in sports, but support their desires to play their chosen sport. Children are involved in organized sport for their enjoyment. Make it fun.
- Encourage your child to play by the rules. Remember, children learn best by example, so applaud the good plays of both teams.
- Do not embarrass your child by yelling at players, coaches or officials. By showing a positive attitude toward the game and all of its participants, your child will benefit.
- Emphasize skill development and practices and how they benefit your young athlete.
- Know and study the rules of the game, and support the officials on and off the ice. This approach will help in the development of our game. Criticism of the officials only hurts the game and its enjoyment by our players and other spectators.
- Applaud a good effort in both victory and defeat and enforce the positive points of the game. Never yell at or physically abuse your child after a game or practice - it is destructive.
- Recognize the importance of our volunteer coaches. They are important to the development of your child and the sport. Communicate with them and support them.
- If you enjoy the game, learn all you can about hockey -- and volunteer.