Safe Sport Overview
Canada Basketball believes that everyone has the right to enjoy the sport at whatever level or position they participate. Athletes, coaches, officials, and volunteers have the right to participate in a safe and inclusive training and competitive environment that is free of abuse, harassment, or maltreatment.
Canada Basketball seeks collaboratively and in partnership with grassroots organizations to grow the sport of basketball at all levels aligned with its policies, by-laws, and procedures. The #1 reason athletes quit playing sports is because it is no longer fun. When athletes have a positive experience with basketball, they often stay active in the sport for a longer duration and give back in leadership roles. If the sporting experience is not safe or fun, participants will walk away and quit, regardless of their talent or how good their team or coach is.
As part of growing the game of basketball at elite, competitive, and recreation levels, Canada Basketball is investing in creating and promoting Safe Sport. Safe Sport is a multi-faceted model that aims to develop and foster sport environments that are safe for all participants at all ages and levels of competition. Safe Sport’s objective is to ensure greater sport participation at all levels by creating, maintaining, and promoting a sport culture and environment that is empowering, positive, inclusive, and equitable for all participants free from abuse, harassment, and discrimination.
Canada Basketball is committed to practicing Safe Sport and ensuring all participants are provided with safe, welcoming, and accessible sport environments, free from all forms of maltreatment.
CanadaBasketball’s Safe Sport framework is made up of 3 pillars. The 3 pillars of Safe Sport are Education, Prevention, and Response guided by Canada Basketball Policy and Procedures. The 3 pillars work collectively to prioritize the welfare, safety, and rights of every participant at all times by emphasizing collective responsibility and accountability.
Canada Basketball recognizes its responsibility to foster a sport environment that ensures positive, healthy and fulfilling experiences. A safe sport environment is one that does not jeopardize an athlete’s mental, physical, emotional or sexual health and well-being but instead promotes strength, resilience and self-confidence. By prioritizing the welfare, safety and rights of our members, Canada Basketball is able to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to address the needs of the basketball community in relation to safety in sport.
The Education pillar includes modules and activities that are informative and serve to enhance knowledge, develop reasoning and ethical judgment, and foster positive interactions and practices in various settings. These educational initiatives, policies, and protocols serve as a pro-active platform in creating a safe sport culture consistent with the values of Canada Basketball including fairness, integrity, open communication, and mutual respect.
Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS)
Individuals should have the reasonable expectation when they participate in sport in Canada that it will be in an environment that is accessible, inclusive, respects their personal goals, and is free from all forms of Maltreatment. Maltreatment is defined as “Volitional acts that result in harm or the potential for physical or psychological harm”. All parties and organizations committed to the goal of Safe Sport have agreed that Maltreatment has no place in Canadian sport and, when present, must be sanctioned appropriately.
The Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS) is created to provide the foundation for the development of a coordinated implementation strategy to prevent and address maltreatment across all levels of the Canadian sport system, and for all participants (athletes, coaches, officials, administrators, practitioners, etc.). The UCCMS is a result of an extensive consultation process that sought insight and expertise from within the sport system and from external subject matter experts.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Canada Basketball is an inclusive organization and welcomes full participation of all individuals in our programs and activities, irrespective of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability. We strive to create a culture and structure of sport to ensure it becomes equally accessible to everyone in society. Canada Basketball will encourage participation in the sport of basketball and will ensure that equity, diversity and inclusion are key considerations when developing, updating or delivering Canada Basketball policies and programs.
- Canadian Centre for Gender + Sexual Diversity Sport Inclusion Program
- Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport
- Canadian Olympic Committee One-Team Program
- Egale’s Sport Inclusion Taskforce
- Canadian Women and Sport Allyship and Advocacy
- viaSport LGBTQI2S Resources
- The Inclusion Club
- Rick Hansen Foundation
- Be Inclusive
- Physical Literacy Inclusion
- Community Foundations Sport & Belonging
- True Sport
The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) is the custodian of the Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP), the set of rules that govern anti-doping in Canada. The CADP consists of several components such as in- and out-of-competition testing, education, medical exemptions, and the consequences of doping violations. The CADP is compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code and all international standards.
Canada Basketball has adopted the CADP which means that you can be confident that you are part of a world-class anti-doping program that is designed to protect athletes’ rights and ensure a level playing field. Canada Basketball’s anti-doping policy and code of conduct reflect and support the CADP.
As a member of Canada Basketball, the CADP applies to you! It is important to know that by participating in activities sanctioned by Canada Basketball, you may be selected for doping control.
The CCES recommends that athletes take the following actions to ensure they don’t commit an inadvertent anti-doping rule violation:
Know your rights and responsibilities as an athlete with regard to anti-doping.
Log in and complete your CCES online anti-doping education.
Always comply with a testing request if you are notified for doping control.
Check all medications and products before taking them to ensure they do not contain ingredients that are banned.
Verify your medical exemption requirements.
Do not take supplements, but if you do, take steps to minimize your risk.
Get the latest news. Sign up to receive CCES media releases and advisory notes.
Additional Resources and Information
The Global DRO provides athletes and support personnel with information about the prohibited status of specific substances based on the current WorldAnti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
Read more about the Canadian Anti-Doping Program.
The World Anti-Doping Agency works towards a vision of a world where all athletes compete in a doping-free sporting environment.
The CCES is a proud and active member of the True Sport Movement - a movement that is based on the simple idea that good sport can make a great difference.
Canada Basketball and the CCES need your help to eliminate doping! To report doping activity, call the hotline at 1-800-710-CCES, download the app for Android or iOS, or fill in the online form.
Various printed resources are available. Contact the CCES for more information at email@example.com or1-800-672-7775.
As awareness about the short and long-term outcomes of concussion has increased, the Canadian sport sector has stepped up to proactively manage and prevent concussion in sport. Canada Basketball is dedicated to building awareness, and influencing behavior, in relation to head injuries through education, policies and return to play/competition protocol. Canada Basketball has endorsed the Canadian Guideline on Concussion in Sport from Parachute and is currently working on a basketball specific set of guidelines.
A concussion is a brain injury that cannot be seen on routine X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. It affects the way you may think and remember things, and can cause a variety of symptoms. Here are some key points to remember on concussion management:
Recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion
Remove the athlete from the game or practice
Refer the athlete to licensed healthcare professional
Return to school and then to sport based on the recommendations of a medical expert
For additional resources on Concussions, visit Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC).
Safe Sport Policy Suite
To ensure policies remain current and continue to align with Sport Canada requirements, Canada Basketball, in consultation with Sport Law and Strategy Group has conducted an independent review. As a result of this review, Canada Basketball has adopted an updated suite of Safe Sport policies that integrates the concepts outlined in the UCCMS. Canada Basketball commits itself to reviewing and revising these policies as often as necessary in order to ensure members can participate in a sporting environment that is free from harassment, discrimination and abuse.
Accessibility Standards for Customer Service - AODA Policy
Code of Conduct
Conflict of Interest
Discipline and Complaints Policy
Workplace Harassment Policy
The Prevention pillar incudes a comprehensive set of principles and policies that establish expected behaviour, guidelines for ethical decision-making, and accountability for all individuals and groups affiliated with Canada Basketball to prevent and minimize harm and risk to athletes and identify potential misconduct. Preventive initiatives include early intervention, required training, and background screening.
Athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers have the right to participate in a safe and inclusive training and competitive environments that are free of abuse, harassment, and discrimination. The following initiatives are in place via the Prevention pillar to strengthen the creation, maintenance, and promotion of Safe Sport for Canada Basketball.
Canada Basketball understands that screening is a vital part of providing a safe sporting environment. Background screening ensures that coaches meet the important requirements to coach athletes. Canada Basketball is responsible, by law, to do everything reasonable to provide a safe and secure environment for participants in its programs, activities, and events. The purpose of screening is to identify individuals involved with Canada Basketball activities who may pose a risk to the organization and its participants.
Screening is to identify and minimize risk via Enhanced Police Information Check (E-PIC), Vulnerable Sector Verification (VSV), and Driver’s Abstract. E-PICs and VSVs are valid for a period of three (3) years and Screening Disclosure Forms must be completed on an annual basis.
E-PICs may be obtained through Sterling Talent Solutions at https://www.mybackcheck.com
VSVs may be obtained by Sterling Talent Solutions at https://www.mybackcheck.com
Results of screening results are required to be submitted to Canada Basketball depending on their role and level of risk involved with athletes ranging from low to high risk.
As mandated by Sport Canada, Canada Basketball is committed to providing Safe Sport Training to all national office staff, Board of Directors, National Team coaches and athletes, officials, and key volunteers. Canada Basketball’s recommendation for mandatory safe sport training is the Safe Sport Training Module developed by the Coaching Association of Canada (eLearning available for free via the Locker).
Safe Sport training is a free 90-minute module which will equip coaches, administrators, and volunteers with the knowledge to recognize, prevent, and address maltreatment in sport.
What you will learn from the module?
Understand that everyone has a role to play in keeping sport safe, how the misuse of power leads to maltreatment, and the principles of the Universal Code of Conduct.
Learn about the various types of maltreatment, the conditions that enable them, and how to recognize signs that they may be happening.
Find out what to do if you suspect maltreatment, and how you can create a culture that protects all participants.
In addition, the CAC has created tools and resources to help organizations embed Safe Sport principles and maintain maltreatment-free sports environments. Safe Sport Training is available in both official languages, meets accessibility guidelines, and works on any platform or device. Certified coaches will earn two Professional Development points upon completing the module. Creating sport culture where everyone can thrive is everyone’s responsibility. Safe Sport Training developed by the Coaching Association of Canada helps you play your part.
Responsible Coaching Movement (RCM)
The Responsible Coaching Movement (RCM) is a multi-phase system-wide movement, coordinated by the Coaching Association of Canada and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, to prevent, minimize, and mitigate unethical behaviour in sports.
Canada Basketball has taken the pledge and is a proud Champion of the Responsible Coaching Movement. By making this pledge, Canada Basketball is committed to implementing supportive policies and processes that adhere to the Responsible Coaching Movement to ensure the safety and protection of our athletes and coaches, and provide our coaches with the tools and training necessary to model ethical behaviour.
To reduce risk in sport, the Responsible Coaching Movement focuses on three key areas:
Rule of Two 2
Respect and Ethics Training
Canada Basketball, with the support of the Coaching Association of Canada, will be actively reviewing its current policies and procedures to ensure they align with the recommendations and guidelines of the RCM. Working closely with our Provincial Sporting Organizations, we will identify realistic ways and means to entrench the Responsible Coaching Movement across our sport and enhance the safety of our athletes and ethical conduct of our coaches.
Rule of Two
The Rule of 2 serves to protect minor athletes in potentially vulnerable situations by ensuring more than one adult is present. The goal of the Rule of Two is to ensure all interactions and communications are open, observable, and justifiable. This includes closed-door meetings, travel, and training environments, amongst others.
Good Rule of Two Implementation Practices:
Ensure a coach is never alone and out of sight with a participant without another screened coach or screened adult (parent or volunteer) present.
Allow training environment to be open to observation.
Ensure a participant rides in a coach’s vehicle with another adult present.
Consider the gender of the participant(s) when selecting the screened coaches and volunteers present.
Eliminate one-to-one electronic messaging. Ensure that all communications are sent to the group and/or include parents.
Screening is an important part of providing a safe sporting environment and has become a common practice among sport organizations that provide programs and services to the community. Canada Basketball and its Members and affiliated clubs are responsible at law to do everything reasonable to provide a safe and secure environment for participants in its programs, activities and events. Requiring that valid police record checks, and other background checks as appropriate, be submitted, as part of the screening process, is part of this duty of care. See Screening above.
Respect & Ethics Training
Ethics training prepares coaches to effectively handle situations that arise from ethical dilemmas or even legal challenges that concern individuals, teams, and their sport organizations.
All coaches are required to complete the NCCP Make Ethical Decisions (MED) training within their National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) pathway. The training equips coaches to handle ethical situations with confidence and surety. NCCP Make Ethical Decisions training helps coaches identify the legal, ethical, and moral implications of difficult situations that present themselves during their coaching context.
Furthermore, Canada Basketball requires all national office staff and board of directors to complete the Respect in the Workplace program.
Risk Management is the process of identifying and evaluating the chance of loss or harm and then taking steps to combat the potential risk. A number of organizations have put together resources to assist the sport community in developing their own Risk Management protocols.
The Risk Management Guide, created by 2010 Legacies Now, is intended to help volunteers and staff of local sport organizations make better decisions. Designed for leaders, administrators and volunteers within sport organizations and sport clubs, the Risk Management Guide explains current risk management processes and how they can be applied within your organization.
The Canadian Centre for Ethics (CCES) in Sport has developed The Risk Management Project as an initiative designed to help enhance the effectiveness of decision-making among sport leaders using a consistent, sport-specific, and integrated risk management process.
In addition to the Risk Management Project, the CCES has also compiled the Canadian Sport Risk Registry. A registry which contains a number of common risks and solutions sports leaders are faced with.
Canada Basketball is committed to providing our athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers with a safe and inclusive environment that fosters and preserves a positive, healthy, and enjoyable experience for all individuals. We embrace our responsibility to cultivate an environment that is free from abuse, harassment and discrimination, and we encourage individuals to feel empowered and comfortable reporting any behaviour that breaches Canada Basketball’s Code of Conduct.
The Response pillar via its policies ensures a fair process in dealing with allegations and reported cases of misconduct by adhering to third party reporting and confidentiality. Equitable investigation, conflict resolution and discipline are at the core of the Response pillar for Canada Basketball.
Canada Basketball encourages reporting of all incidents where abuse, discrimination, and harassment is perceived regardless of whom the offender may be or the context. This is essential in ensuring accountability by identifying risks to athletes and mitigating unsafe sport environments and behaviour posing threats to athletes.
Canada Basketball knows how important it can be to provide a safe and secure way of reporting issues that are impacting an individual directly or that they have become aware of. As required by Sport Canada, all complaints reporting will be managed by an Independent Third-Party Safe Sport Officer.
Safe Sport Officer
As part of our commitment to Safe Sport, Canada Basketball has enlisted the professional service of Ilan Yampolsky, as our independent, third-party contact (Safe Sport Officer) who is empowered to supersede Canada Basketball staff and launch appropriate investigations as required based on policies, evidence or a situation reported. The independent Safe Sport Officer has significant experience dealing with disputes and Safe Sport issues with sensitivity and in confidence. Furthermore, the Safe Sport Officer will review, advise and refer issues for further investigation independently of Canada Basketball.
The Safe Sport Officer’s mandate includes, but is not limited to:
Respond to emails and phone calls received by parties about abuse, harassment, bullying and discrimination.
Contact complainant(s) to learn more about the situation. The Safe Sport Officer will make efforts to respond to all complaints within 24 hours after being advised of the situation.
Conduct a preliminary review and assess against applicable policies, legal frameworks, and best practices.
Except with prior consent of the complainant, maintain confidentiality regarding the identity of the complainant(s) and the specific details of the complainant, unless otherwise required by law.
For concerns/complaints, or to report or discuss incidents of abuse or harassment of any kind related to National Team and Canada Basketball events/activities, we encourage individuals to contact directly and independently our independent, third-party Safe Sport Officer at:
This is a confidential email address which will only be accessed by the Independent Safe Sport Officer.
*For Provincial Team activity or club related concerns/complaints, we encourage individuals to contact their Provincial Organization directly. Situations involving forms of misconduct such as emotional or physical misconduct, bullying, hazing, or harassment should be reported immediately.
Should any complaint or concern come to the attention of the CEO or any Canada Basketball representatives, it will be forwarded to the Safe Sport Officer.
The Canadian Sport Helpline
The Canadian Sport Helpline is a national secure and confidential listening and independent service for victims and witnesses wishing to share or obtain information regarding harassment, abuse, and discrimination in sport. A team of practitioners with expertise in counselling, psychology, and sport will act as Operators of the Canadian Sport Helpline. Victims and witnesses may access the toll-free Helpline from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET), 7 days per week by telephone, text, live chat, or email in both official languages.
Anyone with a concern should feel comfortable reaching out to this free and confidential service. Additional information on their service and how to contact them can be found at: http://abuse-free-sport.ca. The abuse free sport phone and texting line is accessible at 1-888-83-SPORT, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Helpful Organizations & Services
Kids Help Phone • 1-800-688-6868
A bilingual and anonymous phone counselling, web counselling, and referral service for children and youth. Kids Help Phone provides counselling and support for various issues and topics including emotional well-being, body issues and questions, bullying and abuse, identity, sex and relationships, school and work, and family and friends. Visit Resources Around Me to learn more about the services available in your area.
Red Cross Community Services
Red Cross is helping build safe communities throughout Canada. They provide a number of services in communities including health services, water safety, first aid education, and prevention of violence, bullying and abuse. You can find what is available in your community here.
Victim Services Government of Canada
The Canadian government provides a number of services to victims of crime, including emotional support, counselling, advocacy and safety planning. To find a service near you visit their directory.
Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP)
CASP’s goal is to reduce the suicide rate in Canada and to minimize the consequences of suicidal behaviour. Need Help? Find your local Crisis Centre.
First Nations & Inuit Hope for Wellness
A helpline dedicated to supporting First Nations and Inuit Peoples. Service is available in Cree, Ojibway, Inuktitut, English and French. To reach the helpline call 1-855-242-3310.
A helpline dedicated to the well-being of transgender people. The phone line is staffed by transgender people for transgender people. Call 1-877-330-6366.