Recognising Poor Practice and Abuse
It is not always easy, even for experts, to determine where abuse has occurred. Staff and volunteers in hockey are not experts in recognition, however all adults working within hockey have a duty of care to be vigilant and respond appropriately to suspicions of poor practice, abuse or bullying.
WHAT IS POOR PRACTICE?
Poor practice is behaviour which contravenes the Safeguarding and Protecting Young People in Hockey policies, procedures and good practice guidance. Such behaviour could be intentional or accidental. This includes behaviour which contravenes;
- England Hockey Code of Ethics and Behaviour
- England Hockey Equality Policy
- England Hockey Safeguarding and Protecting Young People in Hockey Policy, Procedures and Good Practice Guidance.
England Hockey offers advice and support in dealing with these matters.
All members of the Hockey Family have a responsibility to identify and address behaviour that contravenes the above guidance and policy.
Child abuse can and does occur inside and outside the family environment. It is not always easy, even for experts, to determine where abuse has occurred. Staff and volunteers in hockey are not experts in recognition, however all adults working within hockey have a duty of care to be vigilant and respond appropriately to suspicions of poor practice, abuse or bullying. This does not mean that it is your responsibility to decide if a situation is poor practice, abuse or bullying but it is your responsibility to report your concerns.
WHAT IS ABUSE?
Abuse is a form of maltreatment of a child. Abuse can be someone neglecting a child or inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm, this abuse is often by individuals they know and trust. Abuse may be by an adult or from one young person to another.
The detailed descriptions and guidance from our governing body, England Hockey, are attached here in the full Recognising Poor Practice and Abuse Policy.
In summary though, there are four recognised forms of child abuse:
1. EMOTIONAL ABUSE
In a hockey situation, emotional abuse may occur when coaches, volunteers or parents:
- provide repeated negative feedback
- repeatedly ignore a young player’s efforts to progress
- repeatedly demand performance levels above the young player’s capability
- over emphasise “a win at all costs” ethic.
2. ABUSE BY NEGLECT
In a hockey situation neglect may occur when:
- young players are left alone without proper supervision
- a young player is exposed to unnecessary heat or cold
- a young player is not provided with necessary fluids for re-hydration
- a young player is exposed to an unacceptable risk of injury.
3. PHYSICAL ABUSE
In a hockey situation physical abuse may also occur when:
- young players are exposed to exercise/training which disregards the capacity of the player’s immature and growing body
- young players are exposed to overplaying, overtraining or fatigue
- any person exposes young players to alcohol and gives them the opportunity to drink alcohol below the legal age or fail to supervise access to alcohol
- young players are provided with or encouraged to take prohibited substances.
4. SEXUAL ABUSE
In a hockey situation sexual abuse may occur when:
- an adult uses the context of a training session to touch young people in an inappropriate sexual way
- coaches, managers or volunteers use their position of power and authority to coerce young players into a sexual relationship
- coaches or managers imply better progression of the player in return for sexual favours.
In a hockey situation, bullying may occur when:
- young players are deliberately excluded from activities by coaches or other players
- young people are unreasonably forced to do things that they do not want to do
- young people are subjected to physical, verbal, emotional or sexual abuse
- young people are subjected to abuse due to their race or sexuality
- young umpires, coaches or players are subject to verbal abuse via social networking sites
Any illegal acts of bullying should be reported through England Hockey’s reporting procedures and will be referred to external agencies for consideration.
England Hockey offer anti bullying guidance, available online, but this is also attached here as the England Hockey Anti-Bullying Guidance.
It is NOT your responsibility to decide if a situation is poor practice, abuse or bullying, but it IS your responsibility to share your concerns with a designated person i.e. Welfare Officer.
See England Hockey’s Reporting Procedures for more information, but this is also summarised on our Reporting Procedures page on the website.