Statement of Intent
The Club is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals or organizations involved with the Club are treated with respect. Membership and registration with the Club as well as participation in its activities, brings many benefits and privileges. At the same time, registrants and or organizations are expected to fulfill certain responsibilities and obligations including but not limited to complying with the Clubs By-Laws, Policies and Procedures.
Irresponsible behavior by members, parents, volunteers, administrators, staff members, contractors or officers can result in severe damage to the integrity of the Club. Conduct that violates these values may be subject to sanctions pursuant to this Policy.
Objectives of the SSC Anti-Bullying Policy
- Bullying will not be tolerated.
- All players, coaches and managers and parents of SSC should have an understanding of what bullying is.
- All managers and coaching staff should know what the club policy is on bullying and
- follow it when bullying is reported.
- All players should know what the club policy is on bullying and what they should do if bullying occurs or is suspected.
- As a club we take bullying seriously. Players and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
Definition of “bullying”
Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim. Bullying consist of three basic types of abuse – Emotional, verbal and physical. Bullying can be and does include:
- Verbal bullying including derogatory comments, lies, false rumors, teasing, ridicule and bad names.
- Emotional bullying includes being unfriendly, sending hurtful or tormenting messages via social media forms.
- Bullying through social exclusion or isolation, being ignored and or left out
- Physical bullying includes pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any other use of Violence.
- Being attacked because of their religion, race or color, gender or sexuality including but not limited to taunts, graffiti, gestures, etc.
- Sexually unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments.
- Misuse of associated technology such as unwanted camera and video usage and social networking exposure
Signs and indicators of bullying
A player may indicate he or she is being bullied by signs or behavior, adults should be aware of these possible signs and should investigate if a player:
- Says he or she is being bullied
- Is afraid or unwilling to go to training, practice or games
- Becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
- Feels ill before training sessions
- Is nervous and /or jumpy when a message is received (e.g. text, IM, phone, social network)
- Comes home with clothes torn or training equipment damaged
- Asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay the bully)
- Has unexplained cuts or bruises
- Is frightened to say what’s wrong
- Gives improbable excuses for any of the above
In some more severe situations, other indicators can include:
- Cry them-selves to sleep at night or has nightmares
- Becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
- Is bullying other children or siblings
- Stops eating
- Attempts suicide, runs away or hurts themselves deliberately (self harm)
Directions for coaches/managers noticed that a payer is being bullied
- Ask the player directly
- Take any incidents of bullying that they tell you about seriously
- Talk calmly with the player about their experiences
- Make note of what the player says
- Reassure the player that they have done the right thing by telling you
- Understand that your player may need to change aspects of their behavior
- Never approach another parent directly
- Do not encourage your player to retaliate
- Contact the SSC administration immediately
- Immediately report the bullying incidents/behavior to SSC. A complaint can be communicated verbally, initially, to a Club official or employee but must be followed up in writing (letter and/or email). SSC Incident Form should be submitted to SSC via SSC’s Administrator who can be reached via email.
- The Club will take every concern seriously, investigate the issue and report back to you in a timely manner.
- In serious cases, parents may be asked to come in to discuss the problem.
- If necessary and appropriate, the police will be consulted.
- If bullying is found, it will be stopped immediately by removal of the player (s) who is bullying from the Club until a suitable process has been met through club policy.
- A record will be kept on the incident(s), investigation and any action(s) taken.
- The bully (bullies) will be placed on probationary period with the club of no less than six (6) months.
Workplace Harassment Policy
- The Club’s Board of Directors is committed to providing a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Workplace harassment will not be tolerated from any person in the workplace. Everyone in the workplace must be dedicated to preventing workplace harassment. Club officers, volunteers, administrators and staff are expected to uphold this policy, and will be held accountable by the employer.
- Workplace harassment means engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct
- against a staff member, in a workplace, that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. Harassment may also relate to a form of discrimination as set out in the law.
- This policy is not intended to limit or constrain the reasonable exercise of management functions in the workplace.
- Staff are encouraged to report any incidents of workplace harassment. The Board will investigate and deal with all concerns, complaints, or incidents of workplace harassment in a timely and fair manner while respecting workers' privacy, to the extent possible.
- Nothing in this policy prevents or discourages a worker from filing an application with the law within one year of the last alleged incident. A worker also retains the right to exercise any other legal avenues available.
SSC Zero Tolerance Policy
Springs Soccer Club is a strong supporter of making sport safe for its youth. This policy is to help ensure the safety and enjoyment of soccer for all, by condemning all forms of abuse - verbal, physical, emotional and sexual – while attempting to protect individuals from abuse.
SSC supports zero tolerance as it relates to all forms of abuse: verbal, physical, emotional, and sexual.
All relationships within SSC context – whether involving members of the Board of Directors, Club staff, coaches/managers, volunteers, players, parents/family members, supporters or referees – must be based on mutual trust and respect.
Any act of abuse is a betrayal of that trust. SSC 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 – 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 – 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 SSC and may be reported to police with the consent of the victim or, in the case of a minor, a parent.
- Emotional Abuse – Emotional abuse signifies the lack of sensitivity on the part of anyone associated with SSC towards another individual. 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, SSC staff, volunteers) and with parents. Emotional abuse includes racial, physical or ethnic insults. All complaints of emotional abuse will be investigated by SSC.
- Sexual Abuse – Sexual 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
- 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 SSC will immediately report all complaints of sexual abuse to the police.
Reporting Guidelines and Procedures
- Violations of the Zero Tolerance Policy should be reported immediately to SSC office by the victim(s) and/or by those close to them (a parent, a teammate, a coach etc.).
- A complaint can be communicated verbally, initially, to a Club official or employee but must be followed up in writing (letter and/or email). A complaint should be filed submitting a filled
- SSC Incident Form to SSC via SSC’s Administrator who can be reached via email. If the complaint involves physical or sexual abuse, SSC official or employee will contact thepolice 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 SSC.
- All complaints to SSC must be in written form before a complaint is dealt with. However, SSC 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 filed with SSC, a discipline committee consisting of at least three Board members will discuss the complaint with the individual alleging abuse (note: in the case of sexual abuse, SSC may designate a Club official of the same gender as the individual alleging abuse to contact the victim).
- A Board member assigned to lead the investigation into the complaint will schedule a Discipline Hearing within ten (10) business days of notice in the individual(s) whom the complaints have 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.
- In the case of Physical Abuse such as fighting, kicking, etc. the Discipline Committee will decide between either a Discipline by Review or Discipline by Hearing process to determine appropriate penalties and/or suspensions.
- Discipline shall be heard by three (3) Board members one of whom is the Discipline Chair. If a certified Chair is not available within SSC, the US Club Soccer will be asked to provide a certified Chair for these purposes.
- The committee shall hold a hearing and invite the individual(s) 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.
- The decision shall be communicated to the individual alleging abuse and the individual named in the complaint within ten (10) working day of the Hearing.
- Penalties for contravening the Zero Tolerance Policy can range from a permanent suspension from SSC, suspension for a specified period, and a probationary period where the individual can continue with SSC. All committee decisions are final.
- SSC, City of Coral Springs and US Club Soccer guidelines for suspensions and penalties may be used as guidance in rendering suspensions for physical abuse issues such as Violent Conduct (fighting, kicking, etc.).
- Individual(s) who are charged with a criminal offense involving SSC related incidents shall be immediately suspended from SSC pending resolving of the charges. No Discipline Hearing shall take place when an individual is facing criminal charges SSC related incidents. SSC members who are convicted of a Criminal Code of United States offense are subject to suspension or removal.
- Any individual who is convicted of a criminal offense resulting from sexual or physical abuse shall be banned for life from SSC.
- Individual(s) who violate the Zero Tolerance Policy for non-criminal activities may apply for reinstatement to in writing SSC 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 suspend a game if an abuse 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 abandoned if the abuse continues.
- 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 source is a supporter, the appropriate coach will provide the referee with the name of the supporter and the coach must advise the fan that the next occurrence of a similar nature will result in abandonment of the game. If the spectator is not associated with either team, both coaches will be asked to speak to the spectator and request them to leave the field area.
- The game will be restarted by the referee only if the abuse ceases, with a dropped ball at the location where the play was stopped.
- The incident shall be reported to the Club Head Referee Assignor by the referee in charge immediately following the game completion or abandonment.
- If the abuse continues, the referee will abandon the game and clearly indicate on the game sheet that the game was abandoned due to abuse.
- The senior game official must immediately report the incident to the Club Head Referee and fill out a Special Incident Form within 24 hours.
- In cases of physical abuse on a referee, a “Referee Assault Form” must be completed by the referee.
- SSC will report all incidents of a criminal nature immediately to police.
This Zero Tolerance Policy applies to:
- All members of the Club Board of Directors
- All Club staff members
- All coaches
- All managers
- All players
- All parents/family members/guardians/caregivers
- All referees
- All volunteers
All elected Club officials, volunteers, SSC staff, coaches, managers, and referees must sign a form acknowledging their understanding and acceptance of the Zero Tolerance Policy.
This Zero Tolerance Policy shall be posted on the SSC ’s website always 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 defense against a complaint.