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Fun and Fair Play

The Respect in Sport (RIS) program is an online certification program designed to protect our youth as well as enhance Hockey Alberta’s mandate of providing a safe and fun environment for all of our participants. RIS is Canada’s leading online bullying, abuse, harassment, and negligence prevention program for parents, coaches, and community leaders.

Before a child steps onto the ice, Hockey Alberta requires at least one parent complete the RIS program. After completing the program, the parent will receive an RIS number. The parent must provide this RIS number to the team coach or manager before the first practice date. If a parent registers more than one child for hockey, all children must be registered with that RIS number.

Hockey Alberta also requires parents and coaches/team officials to recertify their RIS every four seasons.


Fair Play = Safety for All

Hockey is an emotional sport. Whether it is the behaviour of our kids on the ice, our parenting comments in the car, or the remarks and actions of spectators in the arena, we all share a responsibility to conduct ourselves in a way that creates a positive culture around the sport we love.

Hockey Alberta stands against bullying, harassment, and abuse on the ice and off the ice, and we ask parents to do the same. We are committed to providing a safe environment for everyone in our sport. Any form of bullying, harassment, or abuse is unacceptable, whether physical, emotional, or sexual.

Hockey Alberta expects each association, team, parent, volunteer, and staff member to take all reasonable steps to safeguard participants against bullying, harassment, and abuse - especially young participants - and protect them from any form of violence. There is a shared responsibility with parents and guardians to nurture the physical and emotional well-being of our players.



Chain of Influence: Something has happened, who do I contact?


The first step is to address the issue at the team level in a timely and courteous manner. Courteous means showing respect when approaching a person regarding a concern and respecting the processes outlined to bring forth concerns, such as using a team liaison and/or using the 24-hour rule (waiting to bring the concern forward until 24 hours have elapsed). Timely means it is brought forth in a time frame that allows the proper management of the concern.


If you do not believe the concern was managed appropriately at the team level, the next step is to bring the concern to your organization’s attention through its processes for hearing concerns. These processes can vary depending on the organization, so please ensure you are familiar with the steps your organization requires. Hockey Alberta expects that all concerns brought forward to an association be managed in an appropriate manner as outlined by Hockey Alberta’s conduct management process.


Should you feel your concern was not managed appropriately by the association, the final step would be for Hockey Alberta to review the matter. Hockey Alberta only reviews the processes used to manage the situation not the outcome of the process as outlined in Hockey Alberta’s conduct management process. The onus is on the person bringing forth the concern to identify where they felt the process was not managed appropriately.

A review of the process is not an appeal to Hockey Alberta.

Hockey Alberta’s role in a conduct-related complaint is to investigate the process used by an MHA in dealing with complaints and levying sanctions/discipline, and hold the MHA accountable to that process. Hockey Alberta is not an appeal committee for an MHA decision; Hockey Alberta’s role is to ensure a fair process was undertaken. During a hearing and appeal process, an MHA should never suggest that if the accused is not happy with the decision, they can “appeal” to Hockey Alberta. The onus is on the MHA to undertake a fair and transparent process, from first acknowledging a complaint through to an appeal by the subject of the complaint.

Hockey Alberta will only consider reviewing a complaint when the entire process is completed by the MHA, including the decision of the Appeal Committee. Hockey Alberta will only investigate the complaint based on the following criteria:

  • Did the process used by the local MHA meet the minimum standards outlined in this document, or was there a procedural error?
  • Was there a misapplication or misinterpretation of facts pertaining to the decision?
  • Did the decision violate a person’s protected rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

Creating a Positive Hockey Experience Can Start with Parents

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Because of my love of the game, I am the dedicated hockey guy at Active for Life. I often write about the “new normal” - a perspective on how to improve kids’ hockey experience. Over the last few years, the game has improved in all aspects, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. However, recently, I actually lived this new normal. And it was an awesome experience. 

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“A break?” replies your friend. “Are you sure? We put our little Simone in a specialized camp over the summer and she’s improved sooooo much;” And there it is: You are the victim of a sudden attack of PPP. 

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Campaign uses humour to put an end to early specialization
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Parents screaming in the stands? Here’s what you can do.
The Respect in Sport Parent program empowers parent bystanders to take appropriate action to reduce abuse from the stands. Respect in Sport e-learning programs have educated thousands of coaches and parents across Canada in correct behaviors at the rink and the sports field. 

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Six things - and six words - to say to your kids
If you’d like your kids to stay active in soccer, or dance, or figure skating, or any sport or activity, pay attention to the things you say to them. 

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The Ride Home by True Sport
Seventy per cent of kids quit sports before high school. How we talk to our kids about sports is how we keep our kids in sports.


Does your child want to give up? Cultivate a growth mindset
When my youngest daughter was 10 years-old, she decided to start learning piano. Like all three of my children, she started at home by herself with a little coaching from me. One day, after watching her older sister play and sing a Disney song that they both loved, she sat down at the piano after her sister had gone out with a friend. One note at a time, she began to pick her way through the sheet music. 

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