Dispute Resolution Process (Northumberland Minor Hockey)

PrintDispute Resolution Process

Dispute Resolution Process

The hockey environment can be quite emotional in both a positive and negative sense. As a spectator at a hockey game or practice, it is common for individuals to pass judgment and opinion on the situation at hand and/or the hockey program. At times, these judgements and opinions may be accurate or inaccurate. When these views evolve into a dispute, it is highly advisable to address the matter at the earliest opportunity. In accordance with the statute of limitation principles, NMHA requires that all complaints be filed within 30 days of the alleged incident(s).

Below are some general information on the process

  • The majority of the individuals that make NMHA a success are volunteers that selflessly give up their time to support others.  There is NO justification at any point for acting belligerently toward those individuals regardless of the circumstance. Incidents of inappropriate behaviour or beratement, including on social media, toward the volunteers of NMHA will be dealt with in a harsh manner up to including the removal of the player and his/her family from any NMHA programs
  • NMHA will always attempt to have an issue resolved within the team. Using the online form to escalate an issue to the Executive should be viewed as a last resort or of instances of serious matters 
  • Please refer to the Safe Sport reporting for any cases related to maltreatment.
  • Recurring issues with the same parties or team will face increasing sanctions.  Moreover, nuisance complaints filed without justification may result in sanctions against the complainant.
  • Members of the coaching staff should not be approached with a complaint less than 24 hours after an incident. Coaches are entirely within their right to reject hearing a complaint within that time frame.  
  • The Parent Rep is the sole person that may contact the coach within the 24 hour period if they determine it is necessary. 
  • All House League and Rep teams are required to have a Parent Rep Parent Rep are to be fairly selected by the family members of the team at the season opening parent meeting.  They are not to be appointed by the coach.
  • With few if any exceptions, complaints that have not been presented to the Parent Rep and, where required, discussed with the coach will be referred back to the team without further action by the Executive. If there is an issue with the manner in which the Parent Rep  or Convenor handled a complaint then the person is encouraged to contact the Director Of Risk Management or VP of Rep or VP of House League. However, if the Parent Rep or Divisional Convenor took all reasonable steps to address the complaint and found that further action was unwarranted then NMHA will not likely intervene.
  • NMHA will, at all times, comply with requests from legal authorities to provide any and all information gathered under this process. If the incident involves a potential criminal code violation then the police should be contacted immediately.
  • The Ontario Minor Hockey Association will NOT respond to any complaints until they have been addressed in all respects by NMHA's process. Any complaints made to the OMHA will immediately be referred to the NMHA for their action. 
  • Complaints may only be lodged by and members of the association. Any complaints about arena staff, referees and members of other associations should be directed to the officers of the appropriate group

This process is designed to formalize the steps that all parties are required to take when dealing with an issue. A Parent/Player that wishes to log a complaint about a coach or other person should observe the following: 

  • The person with the complaint should clearly document the specific details surrounding the issue including dates, names, location, bystanders, and actions.
  • The complainant is expected to first raise the issue with the established Team Designate for the team
  • All parties should wait 24 hours after the incident takes place but, if they feel strongly, they are permitted to contact the The Parent Rep at any time. The Parent Rep will use their discretion in terms of how to proceed.
  • Once the Online form is submitted, it will be forwarded to the Dispute Resolution Committee. An incomplete form, for example, lack of specific details regarding an incident, will cause the complaint to be returned without action until further details are provided.
  • As indicated previously, all decisions made by the Executive are binding at the NMHA level, any further recourse must be sought through the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) Appeals Process.

Issues that will NOT be considered by the Executive:

This process is meant for serious complaints such as negligent endangerment, player safety, harassment or other egregious behaviour that are serious enough to bring question as to the ability of an individual to continue to be a part of the team/association.  
Below is a list of some of the complaints that may be referred back to the team and will not receive further action from the Executive.

  • Parental Ice Time frustrations do not warrant a Formal Complaint and any parental submissions that relate fundamentally to ice time will be dismissed without action. When a parent has an issue with the ice time their child is receiving then they are to contact the Parent Rep for discussion and resolution. 
  • This form is NOT meant for simple disagreements or personal conflicts between individuals. Baseless complaints filed with the sheer intent of disliking a coach or other individual may result in sanctions against the complainant.
  • Formal Complaints will only be reviewed once this form is completed.
    You can access the escalation online form HERE