Hazing horrors -- and how to prevent them

By Mike Woitalla

Last year, the University of New Mexico women's team made national news for hazing that resulted in two players hospitalized. This year, among reports of hazing in high school soccer, an expert on hazing said it “is becoming more violent and sexualized.”

A brutal Southern California high school incident resulted in felony assault charges and sparked a lawsuit against the school district; a Vermont high school football player’s suicide was linked to a violent hazing incident; a TV news report on hazing at Georgia high school soccer program said, “because the incident that’s being described is so humiliating we are not going to describe what allegedly happened.”

On the matter of hazing, the Positive Coaching Alliance offers:

“Some coaches feel pressure to maintain such traditions. Players say things like, ‘I had to do these things when I was a freshman, and now it’s their turn.’

“For those who maintain that hazing brings athletes closer together and helps with team bonding, we share an Alfred University study reporting that 71% of students subjected to hazing report negative effects, such as getting into fights; being injured; doing poorly in school; having difficulty eating, sleeping, or concentrating; or feeling angry, confused, embarrassed or guilty.”

On combating hazing, the PCA says:

In the moment, find the courage to be an “up-stander,“ who stands up for teammates who are being hazed and ends any humiliating or harmful treatment. If you feel at risk confronting the hazing alone, seek help (most often from an adult) as soon as possible.

If you’re looking for a positive way to initiate new team members, here are four tried-and-true techniques:

1.) Pair new members of the team with more senior members to create a “Big-Brother” or “Big-Sister” program.

2.) Create a tradition around new players getting their uniforms.

3.) Kick the season off with an unusual whole-team activity.

4.) Engage in activities outside of your sport together.

More excellent Constructive Team-Building Ideas (Colgate University) -- Six Steps You Must Take to Prevent Hazing at Your School (Janssen Sports Leadership Center) -- -- PCA’s “Phasing Out Hazing” video.

In the News’s Will Parchman cites an unnamed source that U.S. U-17 boys national team coach Richie Williams traveled to London to scout an unidentified “Chelsea winger” and speculates the player may be Faiq Bolkiah, the nephew of the Sultan of Brunei, one of the world’s richest men, and son of Brunei Prince Jefri.

Bolkiah was born in Los Angeles. His Chelsea bio reads: “Faiq Bolkiah is originally from Brunei and was at Southampton and Reading before moving to Chelsea in January 2014. He’s an attacking player who predominantly plays wide-right or wide-left and likes to cut inside to create and score goals.”


* Coach Brian Johnson has named a 36-player squad for the U.S. U-14 boys national team's third camp of 2015. The U-14s, who played three games in Spain in February, will train in Carson, Calif., April 18-26. On the Spain trip, Johnson’s team beat its Real Madrid (2-0) and Rayo Vallecano (4-0) counterparts and lost 2-0 to a U-15 Extremadura selection.

All 36 players in this camp were born in 2001.

U.S. U-14 Boys Roster
GOALKEEPERS (4): David Ochoa (Oxnard PAL; Oxnard, Calif.), John Pulskamp (Central CA Aztecs; Bakersfield, Calif.), Alexander Rando (NY Red Bulls; New York, N.Y.), Noah Thomas (Washington Premier FC; Lakewood, Wash.).
DEFENDERS (11): D’Anthony Brown (Orlando City; Lake Mary, Fla.), Dominic DeAlmeida (PDA; Lincoln Park, N.J.), Cameron Duke (Sporting KC, Olathe, Kan.), Paul Eliot (Colorado Rapids; Denver Colo.), Abraham Gonzalez (FC Golden State; Riverside, Calif.), Luke Hansen (Colorado Rush; Littleton, Colo.), Julian Hinojsa (FC Dallas; Garland, Texas), Togo Nakmura (LA Galaxy; Torrance, Calif.), Matthew Rios (Georgia United; Atlanta, Ga.), Sebastian Serpa (Weston FC; Miami Beach, Fla.), Joey Zarra (Oakwood SC; Cheshire, Conn.).
MIDFIELDERS (11): Timothy Bielic (Sockers FC Chicago; Arlington Heights, Ill.), Taylor Booth (La Roca Utah; Eden, Utah), Nicholas Fernandez (Unattached; Downers Grove, Ill.),Nicholas Hategan (San Juan; Roseville, Calif.), Oliver Larraz (Colorado Rapids; Denver, Colo.), David Palomino (Houston Dynamo; Houston, Texas), Michael Pellegrino (Philadelphia Union; Wenonah, N.J.), Cameron Phillips (Texas Rush; Tomball, Texas), Jahon Rad (Carolina Railhawks; Raleigh, N.C.), Matteo Ritaccio (BW Gottschee; Westbury, N.Y.), Indiana Vassilev (IMG Academy; Savannah, Ga.).
FORWARDS (10): Luis Arriaga (Santa Rosa, Santa Rosa, Calif.), Angel Flores (Carlsbad FC; Carsbad, Calif.), David Hernandez (Sporting Santa Clara; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Ulysses Llanez (Chivas USA; Lynwood, Calif.), Bryan Reynolds (FC Dallas; The Colony, Teas), Jose Rivas (Weston FC; Weston, Fla.), Gabriel Segal (Bethesda-Olney; Bethesda, Md.), Marlon Vargas (Central CA Aztecs; Bakersfield, Calif.), Grant Vernon (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Kejiel Watt (NY Red Bulls; Springfield Gardens, N.Y.).

* U.S. Soccer Women's Technical Director April Heinrichs will run a U-18 women's national team training camp April 19-26 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. This age group -- all 24 players were born in 1998 -- is aiming for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup.

The squad will play the WPSL’s San Diego Sea Lions April 26.

U.S. U-18 Women’s Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Olivia Ausmus (Challenge SC; Spring, Texas), Brooke Heinsohn (New England FC; Norfolk, Mass.), Gabby Kouzelos (Internationals SC; Wadsworth, Ohio).
DEFENDERS (8): Malia Berkely (Fairfield Optimist SC; Liberty Township, Ohio), Brooke Bingham (NC Fusion; West Jefferson, N.C.), Julia Bingham (Slammers FC; Ontario, Calif.), Samantha Bruder (Real So Cal; Bell Canyon, Calif.), Tierna Davidson (De Anza Force; Menlo Park, Calif.), Julie Doyle (San Diego Surf; Laguna Nigel, Calif.), Taylor Hallmon (Concorde Fire; Panama City, Fla.), Sam Hiatt (Crossfire CD; Newcastle, Wash.).
MIDFIELDERS (8): Grace Bahr (Internationals SC; Broadview Heights, Ohio), Marissa Bosco (Eclipse SC; St. Charles, Ill.), Angeline Daly (Concorde Fire; Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.), Taylor Kornieck (Las Vegas Premier; Henderson, Nev.), Jessica Miclat (Arsenal FC; Chino Hills, Calif.), Zoe Morse (Michigan Hawks; East Lansing, Mich.), Daria Petredes (Beach FC; Yorba Linda, Calif.), Emily Strouphauer (Lonestar SC; Round Rock, Texas).
FORWARDS (5): Jenna Bike (Connecticut FC; Trumbull, Conn.), Belle Briede (Tophat SC; Alpharetta, Ga.), Emily Fox (FC Virginia; Ashburn, Va.), Mia Gyau (Bethesda Lions; Silver Spring, Md.), Madison Haley (Dallas Texans; Dallas, Texas).

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications