The terms defined below shall apply to all policies included in this the Organization’s Safe Sport Manual.
1. “Affected Party” – Any individual or entity, as determined by the Appeal Manager, who may be affected by a decision rendered under the Appeal Policy and who may have recourse to an appeal in their own right
2. “Appellant” – The Party appealing a decision
3. “Appeal Manager” – An individual, who may be any staff member, committee member, volunteer, Director, or an independent third party, who is appointed to oversee the Appeal Policy. The Appeal Manager will have responsibilities that include using decision making authority empowered by the Appeal Policy
4. “Athlete” – An individual who is an Athlete Participant in the Organization or a Participating Member who is subject to the UCCMS and the policies of the Organization and the applicable Participating Member
5. “Board” – The Board of Directors of the Organization or a Participating Member, as applicable
6. “Case Manager” – An independent individual (or individuals) appointed by the Organization to receive and administer complaints under the Discipline and Complaints Policy
7. “Complainant” – A Participant or observer who makes a report of an incident, or a suspected incident, of Maltreatment or other behaviour that is a violation of the standards described in the Code of Conduct and Ethics
8. Consent – Consent is defined in Canada’s Criminal Code as the voluntary agreement to engage in the sexual activity in question. The law focuses on what the person was actually thinking and feeling at the time of the sexual activity. Sexual touching is only lawful if the person affirmatively communicated their consent, whether through words or conduct. Silence or passivity does not equal consent. Sexual activity is only legal when both parties’ consent. The Criminal Code also says there is no consent when: Someone says or does something that shows they are not consenting to an activity; Someone says or does something to show they are not agreeing to continue an activity that has already started; Someone is incapable of consenting to the activity, because, for example, they are unconscious; The consent is a result of a someone abusing a position of trust, power or authority or someone consents on someone else’s behalf. A person cannot say they mistakenly believed a person was consenting if: that belief is based on their own intoxication; they were reckless about whether the person was consenting; they chose to ignore things that would tell them there was a lack of consent; or they didn’t take proper steps to check if there was consent. Sexual activity with a Minor is a criminal offence as is sexual activity with a person under the age of 18 years when the other person is in a position of trust or authority
9. “Criminal Record Check (CRC)” – A search of the RCMP Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) system for adult convictions
10. “Days” – Days including weekends and holidays
11. “Discipline Chair” – an individual appointed to handle the duties of the Discipline Chair as described in the Discipline and Complaints Policy.
12. Disclosure – The sharing of information by a Participant regarding an incident or a pattern of Maltreatment experienced by that Participant. Disclosure does not constitute a formal report that initiates a process of investigation to address the Maltreatment
13. “Discrimination” – Differential treatment of an individual based on one or more prohibited grounds which include race, citizenship, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, or disability
14. Duty to Report
a. Concerns Under Child Protection Legislation: A legal duty to report is mandated by law, and the requirement varies by province depending on provincial legislation. Everyone has a duty to report child abuse and neglect under Canadian child welfare laws. Professionals who work with children and youth have an added responsibility to report. Adults are obliged to report child Maltreatment if there is knowledge or suspicion that it is occurring. This is called the “duty to report.” Every person in Canada has the duty to report known or suspected child Maltreatment by law. Known or suspected abuse or neglect of a child must be reported to local child welfare services (e.g., children’s aid society or child and family services agency), or provincial/territorial social service ministries or departments, or local police
b. Concerns Outside of Child Protection Legislation: Participants have a duty to report concerns of inappropriate conduct of other Participants to uphold the ethical standards and values of Canadian sport. Reporting inappropriate conduct is important to ensure proper action is taken and expectations are re-established. By addressing inappropriate conduct, a collective responsibility to protect Participants from Maltreatment is enacted
15. “Enhanced Police Information Check (E-PIC)” – a Criminal Record Check plus a search of Local Police Information, available from Sterling Backcheck
16. “Event” – An event sanctioned by the Organization or by a Participating Member
17. Grooming – Deliberate conduct by a Participant to sexualize a relationship with a Minor that involves the gradual blurring of boundaries and normalization of inappropriate and sexually abusive behaviour. During the grooming process, the Participant will gain the trust of the Minor and protective adults and peers around the Minor often under the guise of an existing relationship. Manipulation tactics are then used to
blur perceptions and gain further access to and private time with the Minor in order to abuse or exploit the Minor. Grooming can occur whether or not harm is intended or results from the behaviour. (Grooming is also a prohibited behaviour listed under the definition of Maltreatment)
18. “Harassment” – A course of vexatious comment or conduct against a Participant or group, which is known or ought to reasonably be known to be unwelcome. Types of behaviour that constitute Harassment include, but are not limited to:
a. Written or verbal abuse, threats, or outbursts;
b. Persistent unwelcome remarks, jokes, comments, innuendo, or taunts;
c. Racial harassment, which is racial slurs, jokes, name calling, or insulting behaviour or terminology that reinforces stereotypes or discounts abilities because of racial or ethnic origin;
d. Leering or other suggestive or obscene gestures;
e. Condescending or patronizing behaviour, which is intended to undermine self-esteem, diminish performance or adversely affect working conditions;
f. Practical jokes which endanger a person’s safety, or may negatively affect performance;
g. Hazing, which is any form of conduct which exhibits any potentially humiliating, degrading, abusive, or dangerous activity expected of a junior-ranking individual by a more senior individual, which does not contribute to either individual’s positive development, but is required to be accepted as part of a team or group, regardless of the junior-ranking individual’s willingness to participate. This includes, but is not limited to, any activity, no matter how traditional or seemingly benign, that sets apart or alienates any teammate or group member based on class, number of years on the team or with the group, or ability;
h. Unwanted physical contact including, but not limited to, touching, petting, pinching, or kissing;
i. Deliberately excluding or socially isolating a person from a group or team;
j. Persistent sexual flirtations, advances, requests, or invitations;
k. Physical or sexual assault;
l. Contributing to a poisoned sport environment, which can include:
i. Locations where material that is discriminatory is displayed (e.g., sexually explicit posters and racial/racist cartoons)
ii. Groups where harassing behaviour is part of the normal course of activities
iii. Behaviour that causes embarrassment, awkwardness, endangers a person’s safety or negatively affects performance.
m. Behaviours such as those described above that are not directed towards a specific person or group but have the same effect of creating a negative or hostile environment; and
n. Retaliation or threats of retaliation against a person who reports harassment to the Organization or to a Participating Member.
19. “Local Police Information (LPI)” – Additional conviction and selected non-conviction information in national and local police data sources which may be relevant to the position sought
20. “Maltreatment – Includes Maltreatment related to:
a. Psychological Maltreatment: which includes, without limitation, verbal acts, non-assaultive physical acts and acts that deny attention or support:
i. Verbal Acts: verbally assaulting or attacking a Participant, including but not limited to unwarranted personal criticisms; body shaming; derogatory comments related to a Participant’s identity (e.g., race, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, Indigenous status, or ability/disability); comments that are demeaning, humiliating, belittling, intimidating, insulting or threatening; the use of rumours or false statements about a Participant to diminish their reputation; using confidential sport and non-sport information inappropriately. Verbal Maltreatment may also occur in online forms.
ii. Non-assaultive Physical Acts (no physical contact): physically aggressive behaviours, including but not limited to throwing objects at or in the presence of others without striking another; hitting, striking or punching objects in the presence of others.
iii. Acts that Deny Attention or Support: acts of commission that deny attention, lack of support or isolation including but not limited to ignoring psychological needs or socially isolating a Participant repeatedly or for an extended period of time; abandonment of an Athlete as punishment for poor performance; arbitrarily or unreasonably denying feedback, training opportunities, support or attention for extended periods of time and/or asking others to do the same.
b. Physical Maltreatment: includes, without limitation, contact or non-contact behaviours that have the potential to cause physical harm:
i. Contact behaviours: including but not limited to deliberately punching, kicking, beating, biting, striking, strangling or slapping another; deliberately hitting another with objects.
ii. Non-contact behaviours: including but not limited to isolating a Participant in a confined space; forcing a Participant to assume a painful stance or position for no athletic purpose (e.g., requiring an Athlete to kneel on a hard surface); the use of exercise for the purposes of punishment; withholding, recommending against, or denying adequate hydration, nutrition, medical attention or sleep; denying access to a toilet; providing alcohol to a Participant under the legal drinking age; providing illegal drugs or non-prescribed medications to a Participant; encouraging or knowingly permitting an Athlete to return to play prematurely following any injury or after a concussion and without the clearance of a medical professional; encouraging an Athlete to perform a skill for which they are known to not be developmentally ready.
c. Sexual Maltreatment: includes, without limitation, any act targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity or expression, that is committed, threatened or attempted against a person, and includes but is not limited to the Criminal Code Offences of sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, indecent exposure, voyeurism and non-consensual distribution of sexual/intimate images. Sexual Maltreatment also includes sexual harassment and stalking, cyber harassment, and cyber stalking of a sexual nature. Examples include:
i. Any penetration of any part of a person’s body, however slight, with any object or body part by a person upon another person, including but not limited to:
1. vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; and
2. anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger.
ii. Any intentional touching of a sexual nature of any part of a person’s body, however slight, with any object or body part by a person upon another person, including but not limited to:
2. intentional touching of the breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals, whether clothed or unclothed, or intentionally touching of another with any of these body parts;
3. any contact, no matter how slight, between the mouth of one person and the genitalia of another person;
4. making a person touch themselves or someone else with or on any of the body parts listed in 2); and
5. any intentional touching in a sexualized manner.
iii. In addition to the criminal acts identified above, the UCCMS prohibits sexual relations between an Athlete above the age of majority (depending upon jurisdiction) and a Participant who holds a position of trust and authority on the basis that there can be no Consent where there is a Power Imbalance. A Power Imbalance that is presumed to exist may be challenged.
21. Neglect: Neglect , or acts of omission, include without limitation, not providing an Athlete recovery time and/or treatment for a sport injury; not being aware of and not considering a Participant’s physical or intellectual disability; not considering supervision of an Athlete during travel, training or competition; not considering the welfare of the Athlete when prescribing dieting or other weight control methods; disregarding the use of prohibited substances by an Athlete; failure to ensure safety of equipment or environment; allowing an Athlete to disregard sport rules, regulations, and standards, or subjecting Participants to the risk of Maltreatment.
22. Grooming: is often a slow, gradual and escalating process of building trust and comfort with a young person. Grooming includes, without limitation, the process of making inappropriate behaviour seem normal and gradually engaging in ‘boundary violations’ which have been professionally-identified to Canadian standards (e.g., a degrading remark, a sexual joke, sexualized physical contact; adult Participants sharing rooms with a Minor who is not an immediate family member; providing a massage or other purported therapeutic interventions with no specific training or expertise; private social media and text communications; sharing personal photographs; shared use of locker rooms; private meetings; private travel, and providing gifts). The Grooming process:
a. Grooming usually begins with subtle behaviours that do not appear to be inappropriate. Many victims/survivors of sexual abuse do not recognize the grooming process as it is happening, nor do they recognize that this process of manipulation is part of the overall abuse process.
b. In the grooming process, the offender begins by gaining trust of adults around the young person. The offender establishes a friendship and gains the young person’s trust. Grooming then involves testing boundaries (e.g., telling sexual jokes, showing sexually explicit images, making sexual remarks). Typically, behaviour moves from non-sexual touching to “accidental” sexual touching
c. The young person is often manipulated into feeling responsible for the contact, is discouraged from telling anyone else about the relationship, and is made to feel obligated to protect the offender. The offender also builds trust with those close to the young person so that the relationship with the young person is not questioned).
d. Interference with or manipulation of process
i. it is considered maltreatment if an adult Participant directly or indirectly interferes with a process by:
ii. falsifying, distorting, or misrepresenting information, the resolution process, or an outcome;
iii. destroying or concealing information;
iv. attempting to discourage a Participant’s proper participation in or use of the Organization’s or a Participating Member’s processes;
v. harassing or intimidating (verbally or physically) any person involved in the Organization’s or a Participating Member’s processes before, during, and/or following any proceedings;
vi. publicly disclosing a Participant’s identifying information, without the Individual’s agreement;
vii. failing to comply with any temporary or provisional measure or other final sanction;
viii. distributing or otherwise publicizing materials a Participant gains access to during any investigation or hearing, except as required by law or as expressly permitted; or
ix. influencing or attempting to influence another Individual to interfere with or manipulate the process.
x. Retaliation: A Participant shall not take an adverse action against any other Individual for making a good faith report of possible Maltreatment or for Participating in any process found in a policy included in the Safe Sport Policy Manual. Retaliation includes threatening, intimidating, harassing, coercing or any other conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging or Participating in the Organization’s or a Participating Member’s processes. Retaliation after the conclusion of investigation and sanction processes is also prohibited. Retaliation may be present even where there is a finding that no Maltreatment occurred. Retaliation does not include good-faith actions lawfully pursued in response to a report of possible Maltreatment.
xi. Aiding and Abetting which is any act taken with the purpose of facilitating, promoting, or encouraging the commission of Maltreatment by a participant. Aiding and Abetting also includes, without limitation, knowingly:
1. allowing any person who has been suspended or is otherwise ineligible to be in any way associated with sport or to coach or instruct Participants;
2. providing any coaching-related advice or service to an Athlete who has been suspended or is otherwise ineligible; and
3. allowing any Individual to violate the terms of their suspension or any other sanctions imposed.
23. Reporting: it is considered Maltreatment to fail to report Maltreatment of a Minor. A legal Duty to Report is mandated by law, and the requirement varies by province depending on provincial legislation
a. Failure by an adult Individual to report actual or suspected Maltreatment of a Minor.
i. The obligation to Report requires the Reporting of any conduct which, if proven true, would constitute Psychological Maltreatment, Sexual Maltreatment, Physical Maltreatment or Neglect involving a Minor Participant. The obligation to Report is an ongoing one and is not satisfied simply by making an initial Report. The obligation includes Reporting, on a timely basis, all relevant information of which an adult Participant becomes aware
ii. The obligation to Report includes making a direct Report
iii. The obligation to Report includes personally identifying information of a potential Minor Complainant to the extent known at the time of the Report, as well as a duty to reasonably supplement the Report as to identifying information learned at a later time
iv. Participants should not investigate or attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of allegations involving Psychological Maltreatment, Sexual Maltreatment, Physical Maltreatment or Neglect. Participants making a good faith Report are not required to prove the Reports are true before Reporting.
b. Failure to report inappropriate conduct:
i. Not all inappropriate conduct may meet the threshold for constituting Maltreatment. However, such inappropriate conduct may represent behavior with the risk of escalating to Maltreatment. Any Participant who suspects or becomes aware of another Participant’s inappropriate conduct, even if it is not defined as Maltreatment, has a Duty to Report such inappropriate conduct through the organization’s internal procedures. Those in positions of trust and authority who become aware of another’s inappropriate conduct have a responsibility for reporting the concern within their organization’s policies and procedures. The person making the report does not need to determine whether a violation took place: instead, the responsibility lies in reporting the objective behaviour
c. Intentionally Filing a False Allegation
i. An allegation is false if the events Reported did not occur, and the person making the Report knows the events did not occur
ii. A false allegation is different from an unsubstantiated allegation; an unsubstantiated allegation means there is insufficient supporting evidence to determine whether an allegation is true or false. Absent demonstrable bad faith, an unsubstantiated allegation alone is not grounds for a violation.
24. “Members” – Includes Provincial, Territorial, and Multi-sport organizations who govern the sport of Goalball and/or who provide support for all Canadians who are blind/visually impaired to be involved in a range of sports.
25. “Minor” – Any Individual who is under the age of majority at the time and in the jurisdiction where the alleged Maltreatment has occurred. Adults are responsible for knowing the age of a minor. For the purpose of protection in each Canadian province and territory, the age of a child is defined as follows:
a. 16 years old: Newfoundland and Labrador; Saskatchewan; Northwest Territories; Nunavut
b. 18 years old: Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Ontario; Manitoba; Alberta
c. 19 years old: Nova Scotia; New Brunswick; British Columbia; Yukon
26. Neglect – Any pattern or a single serious incident of lack of reasonable care, inattention to a Participant’s needs, nurturing or well-being, or omissions in care. Neglect is determined by the objective behaviour, but the behaviour must be evaluated with consideration given to the Participant’s needs and requirements, not whether harm is intended or results from the behaviour. (Neglect is also a prohibited behaviour listed under the definition of Maltreatment).
27. Participants – Refers to all categories of individual members and/or registrants defined in the By-laws of the Organization and in the By-laws of a Participating Member who are subject to the UCCMS and the policies of the Organization and the applicable Participating Member , as well as all people employed by, contracted by, or engaged in activities with, the Organization or a Participating Member including, but not limited to, employees, contractors, Athletes, coaches, instructors, officials, volunteers, managers, administrators, committee members, parents or guardians, spectators, committee members, and Directors and Officers.
28. “Participating Members” – Includes Members who elect to adopt the Safe Sport policies within this Manual
29. “Parties” – the groups involved with the particular dispute. In the Discipline and Complaints Policy, the Parties are the Complainant and Respondent. In the Appeal Policy, the Parties are the Appellant, Respondent, and any Affected Party
30. “Person in Authority” – Any Individual who holds a position of authority within the Organization or a Participating Member including, but not limited to, coaches, instructors, officials, managers, support personnel, chaperones, committee members, and Directors and Officers
31. Physical Maltreatment – Any pattern or a single serious incident of deliberate conduct that has the potential to be harmful to the physical well-being of the Participant. Physical Maltreatment includes, without limitation, contact or non-contact infliction of physical harm. Physical Maltreatment is determined by the objective behaviour, not whether harm is intended or results from the behaviour. (Physical Maltreatment is also a prohibited behaviour listed under the definition of Maltreatment)
32. Power Imbalance – A Power Imbalance may exist where, based on the totality of the circumstances, a Participant has supervisory, evaluative, a duty of care, or other authority over another Participant. A Power Imbalance may also exist between an Athlete and other adults involved in sport in positions such as high-performance directors, sport specific health-care providers, sport science support staff, care or support persons, guides or pilots. Maltreatment occurs when this power is misused. Once a coach-Athlete relationship is established, a Power Imbalance is presumed to exist throughout the coach-Athlete relationship, regardless of age, and is presumed to continue for Minor Athletes after the coach-Athlete relationship terminates or until the Athlete reaches 25 years of age. A Power Imbalance may exist, but is not presumed, where an intimate relationship existed before the sport relationship commenced (e.g., a relationship between two spouses or life partners, or a sexual relationship between consenting adults that preceded the sport relationship).
33. Sexual Maltreatment
a. Involving a Child: Any form of adult/child sexualized interaction constitutes child sexual abuse. Sexual abuse of a child may occur through behaviours that do or do not involve actual physical contact. (Sexual Maltreatment is also a prohibited behaviour listed under the definition of Maltreatment)
b. Involving a person over the Age of Majority: Any sexual act, whether physical or psychological in nature, that is committed, threatened, or attempted against a Participant without the Participant’s Consent. It includes any act targeting a Participant’s sexuality, gender identity or expression, that is committed, threatened or attempted against a Participant without that Participant’s Consent, and includes but is not limited to, the Criminal Code Offences of sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, indecent exposure, voyeurism and non-consensual distribution of sexual/intimate images. Sexual Maltreatment also includes sexual harassment and stalking, cyber harassment, and cyber stalking of a sexual nature. Sexual Maltreatment can take place through any form or means of communication (e.g., online, social media, verbal, written, visual, hazing, or through a third party). (Sexual Maltreatment is also a prohibited behaviour listed under the definition of Maltreatment)
34. Reporting (or Report) – The provision of information in writing by any person or a Participant to a relevant independent authority (the independent person or position, such as a Case Manager, charged with receiving a report and determining next steps) regarding Maltreatment. Reporting may occur through either: (i) the Complainant (of any age) or the one who experienced the Maltreatment, or (ii) a witness – someone who witnessed the Maltreatment or otherwise knows or suspects Maltreatment. In either case, the intention of Reporting is to initiate an independent investigative process, which could result in disciplinary action being taken against the Respondent
35. “Respondent” – The Participant responding to a complaint or, in the case of an appeal, the body whose decision is being appealed.
36. “Social media” – The catch-all term that is applied broadly to new computer-mediated communication media such as blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitter.
37. “Vulnerable Participants” – Includes Minors and vulnerable adults (people who, because of age, disability or other circumstance, are in a position of dependence on others or are otherwise at a greater risk than the general population of being harmed by a Person in Authority);
38. “Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC)” – A detailed check that includes a search of the RCMP Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) system, Local Police Information, and the Pardoned Sex Offender database
39. “Workplace” – Any place where business or work-related activities are conducted. Workplaces include but are not limited to, the office of the Organization or a Participating Member, work-related social functions, work assignments outside offices, work-related travel, the training and competition environment, and work-related conferences or training sessions;
40. “Workplace Harassment” – Vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a Workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. Workplace Harassment should not be confused with legitimate, reasonable management actions that are part of the normal work/training function, including measures to correct performance deficiencies, such as placing someone on a performance improvement plan, or imposing discipline for workplace infractions. Types of behaviour that constitute Workplace Harassment include, but are not limited to:
b. Workplace pranks, vandalism, bullying or hazing;
c. Repeated offensive or intimidating phone calls or emails;
d. Inappropriate sexual touching, advances, suggestions or requests;
e. Displaying or circulating offensive pictures, photographs or materials in printed or electronic form;
f. Psychological abuse;
g. Excluding or ignoring someone, including persistent exclusion of a person from work-related social gatherings;
h. Deliberately withholding information that would enable a person to do his or her job, perform or train;
i. Sabotaging someone else’s work or performance;
j. Gossiping or spreading malicious rumours;
k. Intimidating words or conduct (offensive jokes or innuendos); and
l. Words or actions which are known or should reasonably be known to be offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, or demeaning.
41. “Workplace Violence” – The use of or threat of physical force by a person against a worker in a Workplace that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker; an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker in a Workplace that could cause physical injury to the worker; or a statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker in a Workplace that could cause physical injury to the worker. Types of behaviour that constitute Workplace Violence include, but are not limited to:
a. Verbal or written threats to attack;
b. Sending to or leaving threatening notes or emails;
c. Physically threatening behaviour such as shaking a fist at someone, finger pointing, destroying property, or throwing objects;
d. Wielding a weapon in a Workplace;
e. Hitting, pinching or unwanted touching which is not accidental;
f. Dangerous or threatening horseplay;
g. Physical restraint or confinement;
h. Blatant or intentional disregard for the safety or wellbeing of others;
i. Blocking normal movement or physical interference, with or without the use of equipment;
j. Sexual violence; and
k. Any attempt to engage in the type of conduct outlined above.