Examining the nature and extent of hazing in Canadian interuniversity sport


The purpose of the present study was to explore the nature and extent of hazing among Canadian intercollegiate athletes. A total of 358 athletes (163 males, 195 females) between the ages of 18 and 30 completed an online survey. Descriptive analyses revealed that the majority of the athletes reported that they had never been hazed (59%) and never participated in hazing others (75%) while attending their current university. The most frequently reported hazing activities included: (a) wearing clothing that was embarrassing and not part of a uniform (30%); (b) singing or chanting by oneself or with others in a public situation that was unrelated to an event, game, or practice (27%); and (c) attending a skit night or roast where other members were humiliated (17%). Athletes reported that hazing activities primarily occurred off campus (59%) and on weekends (61%). Approximately 20% of the sample believed that their coach was aware of the activities, but was not present while the activities occurred. Athletes indicated that they were more likely to talk with a friend (51%) about their hazing experiences rather than a coach (6%) or university faculty member (1.7%). Finally, athletes reported that their engagement in hazing activities made them feel more part of the team (60%). The findings shed light on the prevalence of hazing activities in interuniversity sport and the importance of creating a safe environment for student-athletes.

Acknowledgments: Social Science and Humanities Research Council