Safe4Athletes

What prohibited behaviors are commonly included under definitions of hazing, initiation rituals, and physical punishment?

A: Athletic teams commonly justify rituals or behaviors as rites of passage for team or group acceptance.  These activities commonly make the athlete feel humiliated, embarrassed, or devalued or may even threaten the athlete’s safety or dignity.  Following are examples of activities that should be classified as hazing, initiation rituals, and physical punishment and be prohibited:

•    Forcing, requiring or pressuring the consumption of alcohol or other drugs
•    Forcing, requiring or pressuring the ingestion of any substance
•    Forcing, requiring or pressuring the shaving of any part of the body
•    Forcing, requiring or pressuring the participation in any activity which is illegal, perverse, publicly indecent, or contrary to the individual’s genuine moral beliefs
•    Forcing, requiring or pressuring an individual to tamper with or damage property
•    Dietary restrictions of any kind unrelated to healthy nutrition
•    Deprivation of sleep and waking up/disturbing individuals during normal sleep hours
•    Creation of excessive fatigue unrelated to normal training expectations and activities
•    Calisthenics or any type of physically abusive exercise unrelated to normal training
•    Paddling, whipping, beating or physical abuse of any kind
•    Engaging in public stunts and buffoonery
•    Forced tattooing or branding
•    Road trips, kidnapping, drop-offs, or any other such activities
•    Work projects without the participation of the full membership
•    Assigned or endorsed pranks, such as borrowing or stealing items, painting property or objects, or harassing other individuals or groups
•    Subjecting a member to cruel and unusual psychological conditions
•    Forcing, encouraging, or pressuring the wearing of apparel in public which is conspicuous, not normally in good taste, or designed to humiliate the individual(s) wearing it
•    Morally degrading or humiliating games or activities
•    Verbal or cruel harassment, including yelling and screaming
•    Line-ups, kangaroo courts, or any interrogation not consistent with the legitimate testing for information about the purposes and history of the team
•    Participation in sexual rituals, assaults and/or required nudity
•    Collective behavior such as marching
•    Activities that promote or encourage the violation of state laws or club policies
•    Requiring new members to “greet” initiated members
•    Requiring the answering of phones or doors with songs, chants, or riddles
•    Requiring yelling or screaming upon entering or leaving a facility
•    Deception or threat contrived to convince the new member that he/she will not be permitted to join
•    Mentally abusive or demeaning behavior

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