WMHA Dispute Resolution Process (Waterloo Minor Hockey)


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WMHA Complaint Resolution Overview

Waterloo Minor Hockey Association’s (aka “WMHA”) priority is to protect its players and at the same time, Coaches, Parents, Officials, Volunteers and Staff who can also be the targets of harassment and abuse.

If you believe there is a need to discuss any incident that, in your opinion, is an issue of harassment or abuse please reach out via the Hockey Canada Safe Sport Independent Third-Party Program (ITP). The link to their website, which includes a reporting form, is: https://sportcomplaints.ca/

A definition and description of the Safe Sport reporting program, can be found on the WMHA website, here: https://waterloominorhockey.com/SafeSport/

Any incidents of harassment and/or abuse should be immediately reported to the Hockey Canada ITP.

WMHA believes that you should have the ability to discuss any concerns, even those that might not meet the threshold of harassment or abuse with a WMHA appointed Committee (see “WDRC” below).

This includes violations of the WMHA’s Code of Conducts (for players, parents, and Coach/Bench Staff/Volunteers – link to the Codes can be found at the bottom of this document), the ALLIANCE Social Media Policy, link: (https://alliancehockey.com/Manuals/2430/Sections/2580/17_0_ALLIANCE_Hockey_Code_Of_Conduct_Internet_Policy/) or the ALLIANCE Code of Conduct, link: https://alliancehockey.com/Manuals/2430/Sections/2467/ALLIANCE_Hockey_Code_of_Conduct/), as well as disputes you feel are impacting your child’s or your Family’s enjoyment of Wolves Hockey.

WMHA Dispute Resolution Committee (WDRC)

The WMHA Dispute Resolution Committee, is a committee put in place by the WMHA to independently review and evaluate complaints brought forward by the complainant that are of a serious nature or those pertaining to a WMHA Board or Executive member, WMHA employee, or if the situation warrants, a WMHA volunteer. The WDRC consists of the WMHA President, Vice President, Director of AAA/AA Hockey & AAA/AA Convener OR the Director of BB Hockey OR the Director of HL Hockey (depending on the source of the complaint and any apparent conflicts of interest) and the WMHA Operations Manager.  

WMHA Dispute Resolution Process

The hockey environment can be quite emotional in both a positive and negative sense. As a spectator at a hockey game or practice, it is common for individuals to pass judgement and opinion on the situation at hand and/or the hockey program. At times, these judgements and opinions may be accurate or inaccurate. When these views evolve into a dispute, it is highly advisable to address the matter at the earliest opportunity.


Complainant should attempt to meet with the Respondent following a 24-hour period with whom the complaint is about.


If it’s not appropriate to meet with the Respondent or the Complainant is not satisfied with the response provided by the Respondent, the matter should be presented to the team Designate, if applicable. The Team Designate or “Parent Rep” should be determined by the team at beginning of a hockey season. Within 7 days of receiving the verbal complaint, the Team Designate will arrange an informal meeting between the Complainant and the Respondent to address the issue and attempt to reach a resolution.


If the Complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the informal meeting described in Step 2, the Complainant may complete a complaint form (CLICK HERE FOR FORM) and submit the formal complaint to the WMHA Chair of the Waterloo Dispute Resolution Committee, the WMHA President. The WMHA President will make an initial determination as to whether the Complaint has merit, or the incident requires further investigation and possible referral to the full WDRC.

If any Complaint is found to involve a possible criminal offence, the statutory authorities will then be informed and the Respondent may be suspended at the discretion of the WDRC as applicable, pending the resolution of the matter by the statutory authorities.

WDRC Dispute Resolution Process and Procedure

The WDRC is responsible for investing all complaints brought forward by the WMHA President (Chair of the WDRC).

It is important to note that not every issue that is investigated will end with a disciplinary action - some cases will be found to be without merit, while others may be resolved via informal discussions or mediation. However, substantiated complaints will be addressed according to their severity having regard primarily to the safety of all participants.

In addition to investigating complaints that have been made by Members, the WDRC also has the power to initiate investigations of its own accord when it is made aware of circumstances that may constitute a breach of WMHA’s code of conduct or policies.

All decisions made by the WDRC are binding at the WMHA level, any further recourse must be sought through the Minor Hockey ALLIANCE of Ontario’s Appeals Process – which can be found here: https://alliancehockey.com/Manuals/2430/Sections/2554/31_0_Protests_and_Appeals/


STEP 1: Initial Investigation

Whenever a complaint is referred to the WDRC or the WDRC otherwise undertakes to investigate an incident, a member of the WDRC will undertake an initial investigation by contacting the Complainant (if applicable) and the Respondent (or, where the Complainant or Respondent is under 18 years of age, his or her parent or guardian) for any necessary clarification. The WDRC member may in appropriate circumstances, withhold the identity of the Complainant from the Respondent and WMHA Board and Executive members during the Initial Investigation. PLEASE NOTE: every effort will be made to keep the details of the Complaint and the Parties involved, confidential; HOWEVER, for the WDRC to complete due diligence, conversations must happen, and information may need to be provided that could unintentionally identity a party to the complaint.

If the WDRC reasonably believes that the alleged behavior constitutes a safety risk, or otherwise reasonably believes that immediate intervention is required, they may suspend the Respondent, pending the completion of the WMHA dispute resolution process.

STEP 2: Classification of Complaint

The WDRC will determine whether the Complaint has merit or whether it can be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties through an informal resolution or revisiting any of the previously covered steps of the WMHA Dispute Resolution Process.

If the WDRC determines that a complaint is without merit or that an informal meeting is unnecessary, the committee will prepare a written report containing its findings which will be kept on file and copies distributed to the Complainant/Respondent as well as the WMHA Dispute Resolution Chair.

If the WDRC finds that the complaint has merit and is not appropriate for informal resolution, the Committee will proceed to a formal investigation.

STEP 3: Formal Investigation

Within three (3) business days, the WDRC will notify the Respondent (or, where the Respondent is under 18 years of age, his or her parent or guardian), in writing, of the commencement of the Investigation, the identity of the WDRC members and a tentative time frame for the completion of the Investigation.

The nature and extent of the Investigation will depend primarily on the nature and severity of the complaint and may include any or all the following:

1. Oral interviews with all parties, witnesses, and other interested Members.

2. Solicitation of written statements from all parties, witnesses and interested Members; and

3. Such other methods of investigation as the WDRC may reasonably deem appropriate.

Upon the conclusion of the Investigation, the WDRC will prepare a formal investigative report containing its findings which will be kept on file and copies sent to the Complainant/Respondent in addition to the WMHA Dispute Resolution Chair. Further, the WDRC may impose one or more of the following Sanctions.

1. No further action.

2. Warning/reprimand.

3. Required apology.

4. Required re-education/training (e.g., re-taking Speak Out);

 5. *Suspension; and

6. Expulsion.

* When an individual is suspended by WMHA, they are suspended from all WMHA activities. This includes attending other siblings’ games if they are a parent with other players in the association. It also includes officiating games if they are a referee *

As indicated previously, all decisions made by the WDRC are binding at the WMHA level, any further recourse must be sought through the Minor Hockey ALLIANCE of Ontario’s Appeal Process - https://alliancehockey.com/Manuals/2430/Sections/2554/31_0_Protests_and_Appeals/



Complaint: Description of the problem

Complainant: The person raising the complaint Respondent: The person with whom the complaint is about and who responds to the complaint.

Team Designate: The person whom the team identifies to assist with the handling of complaints within the team (aka Parent Liaison). Each team Manager within the association must provide the WMHA Office with the name and contact information of their team designate. The team Manager and Designate cannot be the same person.

WMHA also believes that false allegations can be devastating to a person's career and personal life. Please proceed with any complaint, keeping integrity and intentionally as priorities.

PLEASE NOTE: anonymous complaints or ones submitted, using an alias, will not be reviewed or investigated. Should you wish to discuss a situation anonymously, please reach out to the WMHA Operations Manager, at [email protected], to set up an initial phone meeting on the issue.

Code of Conduct Document Links

Player:  https://waterloominorhockey.com/Secure/Documents/Administrator/WMHA_-_Player_Code_of_Conduct.pdf

Coach/Bench Staff: https://waterloominorhockey.com/Secure/Documents/Administrator/WMHA_-_Coaches_Code_of_Conduct.pdf

Parent: https://waterloominorhockey.com/Secure/Documents/Administrator/WMHA_-_Parent_Code_of_Conduct.pdf