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Code of Conduct and Ethics Policy

Notice: The website copy of this Code of Conduct and Ethics Policy is provided for the convenience of our users, and may not exactly match the PDF version. In the case of any discrepancies between the PDF version and the website copy, the PDF version will prevail.


This policy has been prepared using Sport Governance Manual October 3 2016 (AD01) guidelines. It relates to the general conduct of the affairs of the Manitoba Underwater Council  Inc., a corporation without share capital incorporated under the Manitoba Corporations Act and referred to as "MUC". 


The following documents, at the indicated Revision level and/or date of issue, are applicable to the extent specified herein. If no Revision level or date of issue is specified, the current revision is applicable. 

  • AD01 Sport Manitoba Sport Governance Manual October 3 2016 


Reference documents provide background and / or supplementary information to the contents of this document.  

  • RD01 - DOC000003 B Discipline and Complaints Policy 
  • RD02 - DOC000015 A Human Resource Policy 
  • RD03 - DOC000016 A Screening Policy 


  • MUC - Manitoba Underwater Council
  • PSO - Provincial Sports Organization


1. The following terms have these meanings in this Policy:  

  • “Organization” refers to: Manitoba Underwater Council 
  • “Individuals” – All categories of membership defined in the Organization’s  Bylaws, as well as all individuals employed by, or engaged in activities with, the Organization including, but not limited to, athletes, coaches, convenors, referees, officials, volunteers, managers, administrators, committee members, and Directors and Officers of the Organization 
  • “Workplace” - Any place where business or work-related activities are conducted.  Workplaces include but are not limited to, the Organization’s office, work-related  social functions, work assignments outside the Organization’s offices, work related travel, and work-related conferences or training sessions


2. The purpose of this Code is to ensure a safe and positive environment (within the  Organization’s programs, activities, and events) by making Individuals aware that there is an expectation, at all times, of appropriate behaviour consistent with the Organization’s core values. The Organization supports equal opportunity, prohibits discriminatory practices, and is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and fairness.


3. This Code applies to Individuals’ conduct during the Organization’s business, activities, and events including, but not limited to, competitions, practices, tryouts, training camps, travel associated with the Organization’s activities, the Organization’s office environment, and any meetings. 

4. An Individual who violates this Code may be subject to sanctions pursuant to the Organization’s Discipline and Complaints Policy (RD01). In addition to facing possible sanction pursuant to the Organization’s Discipline and Complaints Policy, an Individual who violates this Code during a competition may be ejected from the competition or the playing area, the official may delay the competition until the Individual complies with the ejection, and the Individual may be subject to any additional discipline associated with the particular competition. 

5. An employee of the Organization found to have engaged in acts of violence or harassment against any other employee, worker, contractor, member, customer, supplier, client or other third party during business hours, or at any Organization event, will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action subject to the terms of the Organization’s Human Resources Policy as well as the employee’s Employment Agreement (if applicable). 

6. This Code also applies to Individuals’ conduct outside of the Organization’s business, activities, and events when such conduct adversely affects relationships within the Organization (and its work and sport environment) and is detrimental to the image and reputation of the Organization. Such applicability will be determined by the Organization at its sole discretion.


7. Individuals have a responsibility to: 

a. Maintain and enhance the dignity and self-esteem of the Organization members  and other individuals by: 

  • Demonstrating respect to individuals regardless of body type, physical  characteristics, athletic ability, age, ancestry, colour, race, citizenship, ethnic origin, place of origin, creed, disability, family status, marital status, gender identity, gender expression, sex, and sexual orientation 
  • Focusing comments or criticism appropriately and avoiding public criticism of athletes, coaches, officials, organizers, volunteers, employees, or members 
  • Consistently demonstrating the spirit of sportsmanship, sport leadership, and ethical conduct 
  • Acting, when appropriate, to correct or prevent practices that are unjustly discriminatory 
  • Consistently treating individuals fairly and reasonably 
  • Ensuring adherence to the rules of the sport and the spirit of those rules 

b. Refrain from any behaviour that constitutes harassment, where harassment is defined as comment or conduct directed towards an individual or group, which is offensive, abusive, racist, sexist, degrading, or malicious. Types of behaviour that constitute harassment include, but are not limited to: 

  • Written or verbal abuse, threats, or outbursts 
  • Persistent unwelcome remarks, jokes, comments, innuendo, or taunts
  • Leering or other suggestive or obscene gestures 
  • Condescending or patronizing behaviour which is intended to undermine  self-esteem, diminish performance or adversely affect working conditions 
  • Practical jokes which endanger a person’s safety, or negatively affect  performance 
  • Any form of hazing where hazing is defined as “Any potentially humiliating, degrading, abusive, or dangerous activity expected of a junior-ranking athlete by a more senior teammate, which does not contribute to either athlete’s positive development, but is required to be accepted as part of a team, regardless of the junior-ranking athlete’s willingness to participate. This includes, but is not limited to, any activity, no matter how traditional or seemingly benign, that sets apart or alienates any teammate based on class, number of years on the team, or athletic  ability.” 
  • Unwanted physical contact including, but not limited to, touching, petting, pinching, or kissing 
  • Unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances, requests, or invitations
  • Physical or sexual assault 
  • Behaviours such as those described above that are not directed towards a specific individual or group but have the same effect of creating a negative or hostile environment 
  • Retaliation or threats of retaliation against an individual who reports harassment to the Organization 

c. Refrain from any behaviour that constitutes workplace harassment, where workplace harassment is defined as vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace, a comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. Workplace harassment should not be confused with legitimate, reasonable management actions that are part of the normal work function, including measures to correct performance deficiencies, such as placing someone on a performance improvement plan, or imposing discipline for workplace infractions. Types of behaviour that constitute workplace harassment include, but are not limited to: 

  • Bullying 
  • Repeated offensive or intimidating phone calls or emails 
  • Inappropriate sexual touching, advances, suggestions or requests 
  • Displaying or circulating offensive pictures, photographs or materials in printed or electronic form 
  • Psychological abuse 
  • Personal harassment 
  • Discrimination 
  • Intimidating words or conduct (offensive jokes or innuendos) 
  • Words or actions which are known or should reasonably be known to be  offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, or demeaning 

d. Refrain from any behaviour that constitutes workplace violence, where workplace violence is defined as the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker; an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker; or a statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker. Types of behaviour that constitute workplace violence include, but are not limited to: 

  • Verbal threats to attack a worker 
  • Sending to or leaving threatening notes or emails for a worker
  • Making threatening physical gestures to a worker 
  • Wielding a weapon in a workplace 
  • Hitting, pinching or unwanted touching of a worker which is not accidental 
  • Throwing an object at a worker 
  • Blocking normal movement or physical interference of a worker, with or without the use of equipment 
  • Sexual violence against a worker 
  • Any attempt to engage in the type of conduct outlined above 

e. Refrain from any behaviour that constitutes sexual harassment, where sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual comments and sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, or conduct of a sexual nature. Types of behaviour that constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to: 

  • Sexist jokes 
  • Display of sexually offensive material 
  • Sexually degrading words used to describe a person 
  • Inquiries or comments about a person’s sex life 
  • Unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions 
  • Persistent unwanted contact 

f. Abstain from the non-medical use of drugs or the use of performance-enhancing drugs or methods. More specifically, the Organization adopts and adheres to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program. Any infraction under this Program shall be considered an infraction of this Code and may be subject to further disciplinary action, and possible sanction, pursuant to the Organization’s Discipline and  Complaints Policy. the Organization will respect any penalty enacted pursuant to a breach of the Canadian Anti-Doping Program, whether imposed by the Organization or any other sport organization 

g. Refrain from associating with any person for the purpose of coaching, training, competition, instruction, administration, management, athletic development, or supervision of the sport, who has incurred an anti-doping rule violation and is serving a sanction involving a period of ineligibility imposed pursuant to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program and/or the World Anti-Doping Code and recognized by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) 

h. Refrain from the use of power or authority in an attempt to coerce another person to engage in inappropriate activities 

i. Refrain from consuming tobacco products, or recreational drugs while participating in the Organization’s programs, activities, competitions, or events 

j. In the case of adults, avoid consuming alcohol in competitions and situations where minors are present and take reasonable steps to manage the responsible consumption of alcohol in adult-oriented social situations associated with the Organization’s events 

k. Respect the property of others and not wilfully cause damage 

l. Promote the sport in the most constructive and positive manner possible

m. When driving a vehicle with an Individual: 

  • Not have his or her license suspended; 
  • Not be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs or substances;
  • Have valid car insurance 

n. Adhere to all federal, provincial, municipal and host country laws 

o. Refrain from engaging in deliberate cheating which is intended to manipulate the outcome of a competition and/or not offer or receive any bribe which is intended to manipulate the outcome of a competition 

p. Comply, at all times, with the Organization’s bylaws, policies, procedures, and rules and regulations, as adopted and amended from time to time


8. In addition to section 6 (above), the Organization’s Directors, Committee Members, and Staff will have additional responsibilities to: 

  • Function primarily as a Director or Committee Member of the Organization; not as a member of any other particular member or constituency 
  • Act with honesty and integrity and conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the nature and responsibilities of the Organization’s business and the maintenance of Individuals’ confidence 
  • Ensure that the Organization’s financial affairs are conducted in a responsible and transparent manner with due regard for all fiduciary responsibilities 
  • Conduct themselves openly, professionally, lawfully and in good faith in the best interests of the Organization 
  • Be independent and impartial and not be influenced by self-interest, outside pressure, expectation of reward, or fear of criticism
  • Behave with decorum appropriate to both circumstance and position 
  • Keep informed about the Organization’s activities, the provincial sport community, and general trends in the sectors in which they operate 
  • Exercise the degree of care, diligence, and skill required in the performance of their duties pursuant to the laws under which the Organization is incorporated 
  • Respect the confidentiality appropriate to issues of a sensitive nature
  • Respect the decisions of the majority and resign if unable to do so 
  • Commit the time to attend meetings and be diligent in preparation for, and participation in, discussions at such meetings 
  • Have a thorough knowledge and understanding of all the Organization governance documents 
  • Conform to the bylaws and policies approved by the Organization


9. In addition to section 6 (above), coaches have many additional responsibilities. The coach-athlete relationship is a privileged one and plays a critical role in the personal, sport, and athletic development of the athlete. Coaches must understand and respect the  inherent power imbalance that exists in this relationship and must be extremely careful not to abuse it, consciously or unconsciously. Coaches will: 

  • Ensure a safe environment by selecting activities and establishing controls that are suitable for the age, experience, ability, and fitness level of the involved athletes 
  • Prepare athletes systematically and progressively, using appropriate time frames and monitoring physical and psychological adjustments while refraining from using training methods or techniques that may harm athletes 
  • Avoid compromising the present and future health of athletes by communicating and cooperating with sport medicine professionals in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of athletes’ medical and psychological treatments 
  • Support the coaching staff of a training camp, provincial team, or national team; should an athlete qualify for participation with one of these programs 
  • Provide athletes (and the parents/guardians of minor athletes) with the  information necessary to be involved in the decisions that affect the athlete 
  • Act in the best interest of the athlete’s development as a whole person
  • Comply with the Organization’s Screening Policy, if applicable 
  • Report to the Organization any ongoing criminal investigation, conviction, or existing bail conditions, including those for violence, child pornography, or possession, use, or sale of any illegal substance
  • Under no circumstances provide, promote, or condone the use of drugs (other than properly prescribed medications) or performance-enhancing substances and, in the case of minors, alcohol and/or tobacco 
  • Respect athletes playing with other teams and, in dealings with them, not encroach upon topics or actions which are deemed to be within the realm of  'coaching', unless after first receiving approval from the coaches who are responsible for the athletes 
  • Not engage in a sexual relationship with an athlete under 18 years old, or an intimate or sexual relationship with an athlete over the age of 18 if the coach is in a position of power, trust, or authority over the athlete 
  • Recognize the power inherent in the position of coach and respect and promote the rights of all participants in sport. This is accomplished by establishing and following procedures for confidentiality (right to privacy), informed participation, and fair and reasonable treatment. Coaches have a special responsibility to respect and promote the rights of participants who are in a vulnerable or dependent position and less able to protect their own rights 
  • Dress professionally, neatly, and inoffensively 
  • Use inoffensive language, taking into account the audience being addressed


10. In addition to section 6 (above), athletes will have additional responsibilities to: 

  • Report any medical problems in a timely fashion, when such problems may limit their ability to travel, practice, or compete; or in the case of carded athletes, interfere with the athlete's ability to fulfill requirements under the Athlete  Assistance Program. 
  • Participate and appear on-time and be prepared to participate to their best abilities in all competitions, practices, training sessions, tryouts, tournaments, and events. 
  • Properly represent themselves and not attempt to participate in a competition for which they are not eligible by reason of age, classification, or other reason. 
  • Adhere to the Organization's rules and requirements regarding clothing and equipment. 
  • Never ridicule a participant for a poor performance or practice. 
  • Act in a sportsmanlike manner and not display appearances of violence, foul language, or gestures to other players, officials, coaches, or spectators. 
  • Dress in a manner representative of the Organization, focusing on neatness, cleanliness, and discretion. 
  • Act in accordance with the Organization's policies and procedures and, when applicable, additional rules as outlined by coaches or managers.


11. In addition to section 6 (above), officials will have additional responsibilities to:

  • Maintain and update their knowledge of the rules and rules changes 
  • Work within the boundaries of their position’s description while supporting the work of other officials 
  • Act as an ambassador of the Organization by agreeing to enforce and abide by national and provincial rules and regulations 
  • Take ownership of actions and decisions made while officiating 
  • Respect the rights, dignity, and worth of all individuals 
  • Not publicly criticize other officials or any club or association 
  • Assist with the development of less-experienced referees and minor officials 
  • Conduct themselves openly, impartially, professionally, lawfully, and in good faith in the best interests of the Organization, athletes, coaches, other officials, and parents 
  • Be fair, equitable, considerate, independent, honest, and impartial in all dealings with others 
  • Respect the confidentiality required by issues of a sensitive nature, which may include ejections, defaults, forfeits, discipline processes, appeals, and specific information or data about Individuals 
  • Honour all assignments unless unable to do so by virtue of illness or personal emergency, and in these cases inform the assignor or association at the earliest possible time 
  • When writing reports, set out the true facts and not attempt to justify any decisions 
  • Dress in proper attire for officiating


12. In addition to paragraph 6 above, Parents/Guardians and Spectators at events will: 

  • Encourage athletes to compete within the rules and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence 
  • Condemn the use of violence in any form 
  • Never ridicule a participant for making a mistake during a performance or practice 
  • Provide positive comments that motivate and encourage participants’ continued effort
  • Respect the decisions and judgments of officials, and encourage athletes to do the same 
  • Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse, coercion, intimidation, and sarcasm 
  • Respect and show appreciation to all competitors, and to the coaches, officials and other volunteers 
  • Not harass competitors, coaches, officials, parents/guardians, or other spectators

© Manitoba Underwater Council 

Any disclosure, use or duplication of this document or any of the information contained herein for other than the specific  purpose for which it was disclosed is expressly prohibited. 

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