Important Season Update for Parents/Guardians, News (Lambeth Minor Hockey)

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Sep 30, 2022 | Stacey Morningstar | 1163 views
Important Season Update for Parents/Guardians
MHAL Parents:

A few things for you to know as the season begins:

1.  Welcome to our new volunteers
2.  Who can go on the ice?
3.  Jersey Reminders
4.  Arena behavior for spectators, players, siblings, etc
5.  City of London - RZONE Policy

WELCOME NEW VOLUNTEERS

Girls Registrar: Cheryl deValk
Girls Convenor: Amanda Mulcahy
PVSC: Dawn Perani

We are excited for them to our join our dedicated group of volunteers! The success of our organization depends solely on the support of our many volunteers, on and off the ice! As a reminder, our volunteers are also individuals who hold jobs, manage their households, and have many other responsibilities.  Please be patient with us as we bring our newest executive members up to speed.

We are always looking for dedicated volunteers. Make a difference in your community and volunteer with us - many different opportunities are available.  Please reach out if you are interested.

WHO CAN GO ON THE ICE: Just a reminder that only MHAL team members (rostered) and MHAL coaches (certified trainers, coaches and managers) are allowed on the ice during their own practices.  Interested in volunteering and going on ice? Please contact our PVSC Coordinator to see what certifications are required. Police Checks must be completed prior to going on ice. Parents please let your coaches know as far in advance as possible if your child will be missing an ice time (game or practice). 

NAME BARS & JERSEY CARE: Over the past few years, there has been significant damage to jerseys when these name bars are attached and/or removed. As well, there have been some instances with older player groups targeting players via social media, using jerseys to identify players. Because of these reasons, we ask that you please do not attach name bars to your jerseys this season. 

With covid behind us, we will no longer be allowing players to keep their jerseys for the season. As was the practice in the past, a parent volunteer on each team will be responsible for collecting the jerseys, laundering them, and bringing them to the next game. The Association recommends that one parent is responsible for the white jerseys and another is responsible for the dark jerseys. We ask that parent volunteers ensure that wet jerseys are not stored in the bags, as this causes the jerseys to mold and need replacement. Please dry the jerseys before storing them in the jersey bags provided.

CITY FACILITY REMINDERS:

The City of London has asked us to pass on a number of reminders: 

No running through the building to do warmups. This not only is a distraction to groups, it is also a safety concern. Teams may utilize their dressing rooms, or outdoor space to complete their pre-game warmups.

Sticks (including mini sticks) are ONLY permitted on ice. NOT in the lobby, hallways, dressing rooms and spectator areas. This is to avoid injury to patrons, staff and players. In the last week we have received feedback that an arena staff member was struck by a road hockey ball due to kids playing in the arena while their siblings are on-ice.  Please make sure that all young children are accompanied by an adult at all times.

When the Zamboni gates are open, keep the player gates closed. No one and no objects can be on the ice surface when the Zamboni is on ice. Players and coaches must wait until the Zamboni gate is closed before going on the ice surface. Players and coaches must exit the ice as quickly as possible after their scheduled ice time to avoid delays in the schedule. All pucks, pylons and nets must be removed. Failure to do so will result in MHAL being notified.

It is that time of year where teams are completing their tryouts, and hockey season is starting to get underway. With team formations comes the added level of excitement and pressure on all those involved from players, coaches, officials, spectators and especially parents. Therefore, it is a good time to remind everyone that it is the City of London’s expectation that everyone who enters a city-run facility will treat it with respect and act appropriately while in the facility. The Rzone policy is in affect and I there is an FAQ that you can review below. If you want more information or to submit an Rzone incident report you can go to www.london.ca/rzone.

What is Rzone?

  • Rzone is, first and foremost, a proactive education and awareness strategy to promote respectful and responsible behaviour at recreation facilities
  • Originating in Oakville, the Rzone brand signifies “Respect and Responsibility” as personal qualities expected of visitors to Rzone designated facilities and locations.
  • Rzone means that inappropriate behaviours such as bullying, belligerence, racism, discrimination, vandalism, violence, etc are prohibited and that offenders will be subject to consequences up to and including denying access to recreation facilities.
  • A City of London  Rzone by-law and policy now applies in all City of London recreation facilities and parks.
  • Rzone has been adopted by 6 other Ontario municipalities and 1 U.S. municipality

What is the objective of Rzone? The City of London wishes to promote the safety and security of attendees (including patrons, guests, clients, visitors, spectators, coaches, officials, players, members, parents, volunteers, invitees, participants and users) and staff at City recreation facilities (including recreation centres, seniors and community centres, parks, sports fields, sports parks, pools, golf courses and arenas).  The City wishes to foster an environment in which there is respect for others and in which individuals and organizations take responsibility for their actions.

Why do we need Rzone in London?

Incidents of bullying, violence, intimidation, vandalism, threats, discriminatory behaviour have unfortunately risen over the past number of years in London.

Prior to Rzone, no City by-law or policy existed that provided staff with clear direction and authority  to deal with issues that were not clearly criminal behaviours requiring police involvement.

Municipalities who have adopted Rzone report a decrease in inappropriate behaviours (following a brief increase immediately after the policy is implemented – likely related to enhanced willingness of citizens to report violations and statement of behaviours expected being posted.)

What behaviours are considered inappropriate under Rzone?

For the purpose of London’s Rzone Policy, prohibited inappropriate behaviours include:

A)     Violence or harassment, including:

  • the exercise of physical force by a person against another person that causes or could cause physical injury to the other person;
  • an attempt to exercise physical force against another person that could cause physical injury to the other person;
  • a statement or behaviour that is reasonable for a person to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the person that could cause physical injury to the person;
  • the use of profane or abusive language and racial or ethnic slurs;
  • threats and/or attempts to intimidate;
  • throwing of articles or objects in a deliberate or aggressive manner that endangers or causes injury or damage to any person or property;
  • attempts to goad or incite violence;
  • bullying, mistreatment, or teasing which intimidates, humiliates or demeans another person;

B)      Vandalism, including vandalism to buildings, contents or personal property;

C)      Possession of weapons or firearms prohibited under the Criminal Code;

D)     Possession or consumption of illegal drugs, or of alcohol except as authorized by law;

E)      Any contravention of other Federal or Provincial laws, Regulations, City By-laws or policies that constitute inappropriate behaviour;

F)      Refusal to follow the rules established by the City for use of its facilities.

How can I help implement Rzone as a citizen or recreation facility user?

report inappropriate behaviours you observe these while at a game, program, or using a recreation facility, to a City of London staff, providing as much information as you can about the incident.  

Tell others about Rzone:  e.g. make sure that sport and recreation associations and groups you belong to are aware of Rzone;   explain Rzone to your family and friends;  pass on information about Rzone to visiting teams or recreation facility users.

What will happen if I violate Rzone?

  • Upon observing prohibited behaviour or receiving a report of prohibited behaviour, City staff will follow up with you to discuss and/or investigate the incident.  
  • Where a finding has been made of a violation of the Rzone Policy, possible penalties may include the following: letter of warning, short term ban, long term ban or a written trespass notice.  In addition, charges may be laid under the Trespass to Property Act.  Where applicable, the City may seek compensation for the cost of damages, including materials, labour and an administrative charge. 
  • Groups who contract to use City of London Recreation Facilities must take steps to ensure their group members (and others invited to the contracted event) comply with Rzone as a condition of the rental contract.

How does Rzone affect the responsibilities of referees and officials on the field of play?

  • Games are still regulated by the rules of the sport and these rules are administered by the designated officials while the game/match is in play.
  • Rzone will not impact players participating in the game context.  Rzone will apply to spectators observing games and will also apply to teams at tournaments who are not playing at the time of an incident.

Wishing Everyone a Safe and Successful Season!

MHAL Executive

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