Intent: As a not-for-profit organization whose services are provided by volunteer efforts, the PAMHA has established this Dispute Resolution Procedure to provide an efficient, orderly and uniform method of resolving all covered disputes. This grievance procedure provides the exclusive remedy to resolve such disputes.
Policy: Each PAMHA member, player, coach, official, referee, parent, guardian, agent or other person, team, sponsor, or other group or organization (“Participant”) agrees to abide by the Dispute Resolution Procedures as the exclusive remedy for all grievances by virtue of their membership, affiliation or participation at any time in the PAMHA or a PAMHA program.
Definition of Grievance: A “grievance” is defined as any conflict, dispute or disagreement between Participants, including any parents or guardians of a player and that player’s coach or a league official or members of different PAMHA teams that may allege an on-going violation of PAMHA Policies & Procedures and/or USA Hockey rules and policies or some other continuing circumstance which requires resolution. Minor issues related to a player’s participation on a team (such as playing time, positioning, or minor discipline) or private disputes between participants are not subject to resolution through the Dispute Resolution Procedure.
Procedure: All Participants should attempt to resolve grievances expeditiously and fairly at the lowest possible level within the Dispute Resolution Procedure. These procedures are not, however, intended to resolve minor issues related to a player’s participation on a team If applicable, grievances should allege a specific violation of PAMHA or USA Hockey rules, policies or procedures.
24hr Rule: Unless the nature of the grievance requires immediate attention, PAMHA members and participants are required to wait at least twenty-four hours after the event or incident before initiating these procedures. It should also be understood that a violation of PAMHA policy by one person does not justify violation of PAMHA policy by another person. For example, if a head coach unilaterally suspends a player for more than two games, the parents would not be justified in using abusive language in demanding the coach reinstate the player. Premature grievances may be deferred by the team managers under Step One or the PAMHA President under Step Two until expiration of this cooling-off period.
Step One. Grievances about a team, its players or its coaches shall first be presented orally to the team manager and addressed between the parties involved in a spirit of cooperation. Team managers should work with the members, coaches and/or other team officials involved to resolve the grievance internally in an expeditious and fair manner. Coaches are encouraged to meet with members to attempt to resolve grievances in an amicable and informal manner. If the grievance arises between members of different PAMHA teams, the team managers, Director of Player and Coach Development and head coaches of the teams involved should resolve the issue. If the grievance is not resolved in a meaningful way, the subject should then be addressed by Step Two.
Step Two. Some problems may not be resolvable by the team managers at the team level in Step One and/or some complaints, by their nature, may cause the Participant(s) to be concerned about discussing the matter with the team manager(s) or coaching staff(s). In such cases, the matter shall then be referred to the Director of Player and Coach Development. The Director of Member Safety will notify the PAMHA President of the concern. The Director of Member Safety or President will discuss the grievance with the team manager and the Participants to resolve the grievance and will issue a decision upholding or denying the grievance within ten days of his/her receipt of the grievance. If the grievance is upheld, the PAMHA President will determine the remedy and/or corrective to be taken. The decision of the PAMHA President together with the corrective action, if any, may be communicated to the Participants orally or in writing.
Step Three. If the grievance is not resolved to the satisfaction of the parties at Step Two, then the grievance may be presented to the PAMHA Board of Director’s Discipline Committee or approved sub-committee within ten days of the decision for consideration and review. Filing a formal grievance with the PAMHA Board of Director’s Discipline Committee should be considered the last resort.
Penalties: Failure to abide by this policy will result in the following penalties:
1st offense: Verbal warning
2nd offense: Written warning
3rd offense: Removal from all club activities for two weeks - player and parent/guardian. That means the participant cannot be at practice, games or any other events.
Significant Escalations: If a participant engages in a physical altercation with a coach or board member, a thorough investigation will be conducted and if warranted, the participant will be removed from the club with additional notification to the DVHL and USA Hockey. Also, the police department with primary jurisdiction will be immediately notified and the incident will be reported.
Spouses and family are OFF Limits. Although the 24 hour rule does not apply to spouses, any participant who verbally accosts the spouse or family member of a coach/manager/board member will immediately be placed in a two week suspension - player and parent/guardian. Any second event will be grounds for removal from the PBK organization.
Rink Dismissal: Any participant escorted from a rink by either staff or police will be immediately suspended for two weeks from all activities - player and parent/guardian. A second infraction will result in removal from the club.
Parent Volunteers: Parents cannot “coach” from the penalty box or scoring table. Let coaches coach! Volunteers are considered “off ice officials” and cannot be yelling at kids, even their own.
Overall conduct at games: Parents/Guardians are reminded youth hockey is a game. Although the referees are paid, they are not necessarily NHL caliber and they do make mistakes. Screaming or taunting refs, opposing players, and opposing teams’ parents is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Not only does it set a poor example for our own children, it degrades the reputation of our club and can result in sanctions by the DVHL. Understand, we are not asking participants to sit quietly with their hands folded but we are asking you exercise good judgment when interacting with others. Unruly or overly aggressive participants will receive the same penalties as the “24 Hour Rule.”