Bullying and Threats


One of the greatest lessons athletes take away from sport is the experience of being on a team where coaches and individuals support one another.  Actions that demean or intimidate athletes, either physically or emotionally, can affect performance and team cohesion.  Since bullying often occurs among peers, coaches can set an example with a zero-tolerance policy and emphasize teamwork and mutual support.  Giving athletes a way to report behavior without fear of reprisal is also important.


Bullying is defined as an intentional, persistent and repeated behavior, either direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical, electronic or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others; it is aggressive behavior intended to hurt, threaten or frighten another person. It also includes any act or conduct described as bullying under federal or state law. 
Threats can be a single behavior that constitutes actual or potential assault, battery, harassment or intimidation.

Examples of bullying and threats prohibited by this policy include, without limitation:


1. Verbal/Emotional

  • Slandering, ridiculing or maligning a person or his family
  • Persistent name calling, insulting or humiliating
  • Using a person as butt of jokes, abusive or offensive remarks
  • Non-verbal threating gestures that convey a threatening message

2. Physical

  • Pushing, shoving, kicking, poking, tripping, or the threat of bodily harm
  • Assault, or threat of physical assault
  • Damage to a person’s property
  • Throwing athletic equipment in an attempt to intimidate

3. Cyber- Bullying

  • Any aforementioned examples of bullying that takes place by any electronic devices such as, but not limited to: text messaging, emails, social networking sites, websites, online chatting, fake profiles, etc.


Bullying does not include a group or team behavior designed to establish normative team behavior or promote team cohesion.  For example, bullying does not include verbal admonitions to encourage team members to train harder and push through a difficult training regimen.  Also, exercises such as “bumping exercises” that serve to improve skill or athletic performance are not considered bullying or threatening.

This Article Published December 9, 2013 For more information contact:
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