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Code of Conduct Policy


2.12 AYSO Code of Conduct Policy against Harassment, Abuse or Violence
AYSO has a well-deserved reputation for quality youth soccer which is played in a safe, fair, fun, positive family environment as established by the expectations of AYSO in its governing documents and educational programs.   This Code of Conduct Policy supports AYSO’s Vision, Mission and Philosophies by providing guidelines for AYSO entities to report, track and respond to inappropriate behavior for any incident that detracts from AYSO’s stated beliefs and reputation. This Policy will cover incidents before, during and after an AYSO activity. Incidents that involve players or substitutes during a match are typically handled by the referee subject to further action pursuant to Region, Area, or Section procedures. All other incidents will be subject to this policy.

Consistent with Child Protection laws, AYSO prohibits all forms of child abuse, including emotional, physical, sexual, ethical abuse and neglect. As a mandated reporter in many jurisdictions, AYSO requires good faith reporting of suspected child abuse to local law enforcement agencies and Safe Haven.

Retaliation against persons who report harassment, abuse, or violence, or who cooperate in any related investigation, is not acceptable. Reports of harassment, abuse or violence, as well as any related investigation, will be kept as confidential as possible, consistent with the need to investigate any such report and comply with AYSO’s policies, procedures and applicable laws. 

(a) Harassment 
AYSO is committed to providing an environment for its players and volunteers that is free of harassment of any kind. Therefore AYSO maintains a strict policy of prohibiting all forms of unlawful harassment including sexual harassment and harassment based on race, color, religion, national origin, age sexual orientation, gender identity or any other characteristic protected by state and federal laws. This policy applies to all players and volunteers of AYSO and prohibits harassment of players or volunteers at any AYSO activity by any person, including spectators, vendors and visitors. This policy prohibits unlawful harassment in any form, including verbal, physical, visual, retaliation or threats or demands.

A player, volunteer or other person who believes they have experienced harassment by any other person while at an AYSO activity should report the incident to the Regional Commissioner, Child and Volunteer Protection Advocate or other AYSO board member. Regional Commissioners or other AYSO board member should immediately report incidents of harassment to their Area Director, unless the report involves said person or member of the Area Board of Directors, in which case the report shall be made to the Section Director. The Regional Commissioner or other appointed AYSO board member will take reasonable care to investigate all such claims in taking any corrective or disciplinary action.

(b) Examples of Harassment 
AYSO prohibits all conduct that is considered to constitute harassment including but not limited to, making unwanted sexual advances and requests for sexual favors where either (1) submission to such conduct is made an explicit or implicit term or condition of participation in an AYSO activity; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for decisions affecting the participation of the individuals in an AYSO activity; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s performance as a player or volunteer or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment. Individuals who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action up to and including immediate removal.

Harassment includes:

  • Verbal conduct, such as epithets, derogatory comments, slurs or unwanted sexual advances, invitations or comments.
  • Visual conduct, such as derogatory posters, cartoons, drawings or gestures.
  • Physical conduct, such as assault, blocking normal movement or interference with an activity which is directed at a player or volunteer because of the player’s or volunteer’s sex or other protected characteristic.
  • Threats or demands to submit to sexual requests in order to remain an AYSO member or to avoid some other loss, and offers of other benefits in return for sexual favors.
  • Retaliation for having reported harassment.

A player, volunteer or other person who believes they have experienced harassment by any other person while at an AYSO activity should follow the reporting procedures described in 2.12.a above. 

(c) Volunteer Abuse, or Violence 
This policy describes disciplinary actions that may be taken by AYSO toward individuals involved with AYSO who do not adhere to the behavioral standards described in this policy. All persons, adult and youth, may face disciplinary action for various offensive conduct, which conduct can generally be classified as minor, significant, major or extreme.  

Abuse 
Abuse is described in AYSO Safe Haven Training and may include a verbal statement or physical act not resulting in bodily contact which implies or threatens physical harm to an individual or the individual’s property. Abuse includes, but is not limited to the following acts  directed at an individual: using foul or abusive language that implies or threatens physical harm to the individual targeted by that language; spilling any beverage on an individual’s personal property; spitting at (but not on) another individual.

Acts of Violence 
An intentional act of physical violence directed at or upon an individual, for purposes of this policy, includes an act intended to cause the individual targeted to be fearful of injury to himself or herself, to a member of his or her family or to said individual’s property or the property of said individual’s family members. Unintended consequences of the act are irrelevant.

Acts of violence also include,  but are  not limited to, the following acts committed upon an individual: hitting, kicking, tripping, punching, choking, spitting on, grabbing or bodily running into an individual; head butting; the act of kicking or throwing any object at an individual that could inflict injury; damaging the individual’s clothing or personal property, e.g., car, equipment, etc. Acts of violence also include what is considered to be any type of criminal assault or battery by law enforcement authorities with jurisdiction over the location of the incident.

Acts of Violence May Result in Immediate Suspension
For acts of violence where physical contact was made, the police should be summoned and reports/charges filed. From an organization standpoint, automatic suspension of the offending member is desirable. A timely due process review shall be conducted in accordance with existing AYSO guidelines and policies, and sanctions should be imposed if warranted. 

Method of Communicating Behavioral Issues 
Misconduct by individuals may be communicated by players, volunteers, parents, and/or spectators to a board member of the AYSO Section, Area, Region sponsoring the activity, or to any other person believed to be an AYSO official. Referees and/or board or staff members shall complete and submit reports to their supervisory volunteer and any Incident Report prepared should be sent to the National Office. 

AYSO Recommended Sanctions for Various Offenses 
The following chart provides guidance and recommendations that Regions, Areas, and Sections may use as a basis for determining what they believe to be appropriate sanctions for violation of this policy. Due process review must be conducted in accordance with existing AYSO guidelines and policies before issuing any sanctions in accordance with this policy, including the actions described in the chart below. In addition to the use of the material detailing the expected behavior, all non-player program participants should be made aware of the potential consequences for their actions.

 

 

GRADUATED SCALE OF ACTIONS AND SANCTIONS

 Category  Description: Non-Player Behavior  

Action by Region, Area, Section

 Minor Minor offenses include but are not limited to:
  • Persistent dissent

  • Failing to adhere to the positive coaching philosophy

  • Failing to adhere to the AYSO philosophies
  • A non-player committing a minor offense should be placed on probation for the remainder of the season (Fall, Winter, Spring or Summer) up to one calendar year. 

  • A second minor offense while on probation may result in suspension for a period determined by the appropriate Executive Member. The CVPA will notify the National Risk Management Coordinator (NRMC) of the suspension.

  • A third offense while on probation or suspension may result in barring the person from attending all AYSO events for a period defined by the appropriate Executive Member.

 Significant 

Significant Significant offenses include but are not limited to:

  • Use of profane, offensive, insulting or abusive language or gestures

  • Any situation during a game for which play is stopped to deal with misconduct by a non-player.

  • Persistent minor offenses
 
  • A non-player committing a significant offense may be suspended for a period determined by the appropriate level of Executive Member, for duration from a single game to one calendar year. All suspensions are reported to the NRMC by the CVPA. 

  • A second offense while under suspension, the non-player may be barred from attending AYSO events for a period defined by the appropriate Executive Member.
 Major

Major offenses include but are not limited to:

  • Any situation during a game where a non-player is asked to leave the game by a referee, coach, board member, or other AYSO Official

  • Persistent significant offenses
 
  • A non-player committing a major offense may be suspended for a period determined by the appropriate level of Executive Member or barred from attending any AYSO event depending upon personal history. All major offenses are reported to the NRMC by the CVPA. 

  • A second offense while under a suspension, the non-player   may be barred from attending AYSO events for a period of time determined by the appropriate Executive Member.
 Extreme Extreme offenses include but are not limited to:
  • Any situation resulting in a game abandoned or terminated by a referee, board member, or other AYSO Official due to non-player misconduct.

  • A non-player committing an extreme offense may be barred from any AYSO event for a period of time determined by the appropriate Executive Member.

AYSO Code of Conduct Policy against Harassment, Abuse or Violence



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