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Code of Conduct

PURPOSE

The purpose of Pittsburgh Elite Aquatics Code of Conduct is to establish consistent expectations for athlete’s conduct on an off the pool deck. The document may be revised from time to time with proper notice to the membership via the primary account email address registered with the club.

The privilege of membership may be withheld, suspended, or revoked by the Board, the Head Coaches, and/or Agents of the Club when an athlete’s or parent’s conduct is not consistent with the mission or purpose of the Club or violates the following code of conduct.

DEFINITIONS

Athlete – member of the club, swimmer.

Electronic Communication – any form of communicating either by text, images or videos between any two or more people or via social media (including, but not limited to; messaging/texting, email, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, or the like) using any electronic device.

Member – member of USA Swimming, including; athletes, coaches, officials and non-athlete members.

Parent – parent or guardian responsible for the member.

Teammate – member of the club, swimmer.

Mandated Reporter – Club coaches, non-athlete USA Swimming members, and athlete members 18 years or older are identified as mandated reporters per the new federal guidelines that were implemented in February 2018 and are subject to also abide by the PA Child Protective Services Law (CPSL).

PART I – ATHLETE CONDUCT

  1. Use of alcoholic beverages is unacceptable at any time.
  2. Use of drugs other than those prescribed by your physician is unacceptable at any time.
  3. Use of tobacco products or nicotine is unacceptable at any time. This includes all forms of smoke tobacco, smokeless tobacco, oral tobacco, e-cigarettes, and vaping.
  4. Any type of physical or sexual harassment towards teammates, members, or coaches will not be tolerated and could be considered bullying.
  5. Disrespectful, indiscreet, hazing rituals, bullying or other destructive behavior will not be tolerated. It is the responsibility of each athlete to make every effort to avoid guilt by association with such activities at all time. 
  6. Bullying is the severe or repeated use of oral, written, electronic or other technological expression, image, sound, data or intelligence of any nature (regardless of the method of transmission), or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at any other member that to a reasonably objective person has the effect of:
  • causing physical or emotional harm to the other member or damage to the other member’s property;
  • placing the other member in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his/her property;
  • creating a hostile environment for the other member at any USA Swimming activity;
  • infringing on the rights of the other member at any USA Swimming activity; or
  • materially and substantially disrupting the training process or the orderly operation of any USA Swimming activity (which for the purposes of this section shall include, without limitation, practices, workouts and other events of a member club or LSC).
  1. Any suspected abuse, physical, sexual, or otherwise, must be immediately reported to a coach or a member of the PEAQ Board.
  2. The use of cell phones, cameras and other mobile devices with recording capabilities, including voice recording, still cameras and video cameras are prohibited in rest rooms, locker rooms and changing areas. Athletes are to keep all such devices turned off or in their bags while in these areas.
  3. Respect towards coaches, members, and teammates is expected at all times during practice and at meets. Horseplay or disruption during practice or at swim meets affecting other athletes or the coach’s ability to coach will not be tolerated. Coaches shall determine if/when such a violation of this item has occurred.
  4. Curfews at team travel events as a member of PEAQ, AMS, or USA Swimming sponsored events and at all related activities will be obeyed. Curfew extensions will only be granted by the Head Coach. Curfew is not enforced if the participant is with their parents.
  5. On team travel events, male and female athletes may not be in each other’s room on any team trip unless supervised by designated team official (chaperone or coach).
  6. Athletes causing willful destruction of another’s property, or of the practice/meet facilities and/or its property is prohibited.
  7. All participants will comply with all the rules and regulations of our home facilities (Chartiers Valley HS, Upper St. Clair HS, Canon McMillan HS, and Scott Township Pool/Park) as well as those of other meet host facilities. 

Disciplinary action for a code of conduct violation is as follows:

  1. If any code of conduct violation occurs at a meet, the athlete may be scratched from the remainder of the meet at the coach’s discretion.
  2. For any code of conduct violation, an athlete may be sent home immediately from the practice or meet by a coach. If there is an extra expense related to being sent home from a travel meet, such extra expense will be the parent’s responsibility.
  3. Violations of items 1-7 will result in the athlete being immediately suspended from all team activities until the athlete and parent have had a conference with the Head Coach and Club President to determine appropriate disciplinary action as follows:
  • First Offense:  Temporary suspension from all team activities for a period of time as determined by the Head Coach or Club President.
  • Second and Subsequent Offense:  Additional suspension or permanent removal from the team at the discretion of the Head Coach or Club President.
  • Appeals:  Members can appeal the Head Coach’s or Club President’s decision to the Board of Directors
  1. Violations of items 8-13 will result in the following action:
  • First offense:  coach may issue a verbal warning to the athlete and/or have the athlete sit out a portion of swim practice. 
  • Second offense:  coach may remove the athlete from practice/meet and the athlete will be sent home with their parent.  Violations on team travel meets where a parent is not present will result in the athlete being sent home at the parent’s expense.  If a member is sent home from a team travel meet, the athlete may be prohibited from participating in team travel meets for the remainder of the season at the discretion of the Head Coach or Club President.
  • Third offense:  the athlete is immediately suspended from all team activities until the athlete and the parents have had a conference with the Head Coach and Club President to determine appropriate disciplinary action which could include a temporary suspension from all team activities for a period of time as determined by the Head Coach or Club President.
  • Fourth and subsequent Offense:  Additional suspension or permanent removal from the team at the discretion of the Head Coach or Club President.
  • Appeals – A member can appeal a team travel ban or suspension decision by the Head Coach or Club President to the Board of Directors.
  1. Aggravating circumstances by a member for any code of conduct violation involving school expulsion; greater than $500 in property damage; arrest; a mandatory child abuse report to the state, or other legal action, may supersede the outlined disciplinary action outlined above and result in permanent removal from the team for a first offense at the discretion of the Head Coach or Club President.
  2. Damage: Members are financially responsible for any damage they cause.
  3. Documentation: Depending on the severity of the incident, a verbal warning may or may not be given. Violations of the Club Code of Conduct will be documented in the athlete’s file and a parent will be notified. Both the athlete and a parent will be required to sign the documented violation.

PART II – PARENT CONDUCT

  1. If you have a question regarding practices, meets, or policies of the team, including positive/negative feedback please speak to the coach. However, please do not interrupt coaches during practice. Questions can be asked through email, before or after practice or a separate meeting can be scheduled.
  2. Support of the team by volunteering for the requisite needed sessions and meeting fundraising commitments is required to retain membership for your athlete.
  3. All families will pick-up athletes from practice/meets in a timely manner.  If this becomes an issue, the Board may institute a late pick-up fine for leaving unattended athlete at the facility.
  4. Timely payment of team dues is required to retain membership. Athletes with dues delinquent 60 days or more will not be permitted to swim in practices or meets.
  5. All parents have a responsibility to do their best to ensure that the athlete and USA Swimming’s code of conduct is adhered to in order to ensure safety of the program participants.
  6. Parents and family members will comply with all the rules and regulations of our home facilities (Chartiers Valley HS, Upper St. Clair HS, Canon McMillan HS, and Scott Township Pool/Park) as well as those of other meet host aquatic facilities. 
  7. Parents are not permitted on the pool deck at practice or meets.
  8. Parents/guardians are discouraged from entering locker rooms and changing areas unless it is truly necessary.  In those instances, it should only be a same-sex parent.  If this is necessary, parents should let the coach or administrator know about this in advance.
  9. Cursing, slandering, or verbally abusing coaches, athletes, members, meet officials, and/or other parents will not be tolerated.
  10. Any suspected bullying, abuse, or harassment, either physical or sexual, must be immediately reported to the Head Coach or a member of the PEAQ Board.
  11. No videos, photos, or audio recordings are permitted in the locker room, behind starting blocks, or any other areas as defined by the host school, coaching staff, or the Board of Directors.
  12. Parents who violate items 6-11 are subject to the following action:
  • First offense:  A Coach or the Club President will have a meeting with the Parent to discuss the inappropriate behavior. 
  • Second offense:  The Parent will be prohibited from observing practices or swim meets for a period of time at the discretion of the Head Coach or the Club President.
  • Subsequent offense:  The Parent and their athlete will be suspended from PEAQ for the remainder of the season at the discretion of the Head Coach or Club President.
  • Appeals – A parent can appeal any decision by the Head Coach or the Club President to the Board of Directors.
  1. Aggravating circumstances involving racist/sexist language; use of inappropriate language relating to a disability; physical/verbal threats; arrest; or other legal action may, at the discretion of the Head Coach or the Club President, result in either a parent prohibition from observing practices/swim meets for a period of time determined by the Head Coach or Club President OR suspension of the parent and their athlete from PEAQ for the remainder of the season.

TEAM POLICIES

Use of PEAQ Logo:

The PEAQ logo shall only be used on gear distributed by the club.

All members and parents will become familiar with and adhere to the following team polices, which are posted on the club website:

  • MAAPP – Minor Athlete Abuse Protection Policy
  • TEAM TRAVEL POLICY
  • ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION POLICY
  • ANTI-BULLYING POLICY
  • TEAM PHOTOGRAPHY POLICY
  • LOCKER ROOM MONITORING POLICY

Failure by athletes to adhere to these team policies may result in additional athlete discipline action as outlined under Part I Athlete Conduct items 17, 18, 19 above. Failure by parents to adhere to these team polices may result in additional parent discipline action as outlined under Part II Parent Conduct items 12 and 13 above.

USA SWIMMING RULES

PEAQ athletes are also members of USA Swimming subject to all USA Swimming rules as outlined in the current edition of the USA Swimming Rule Book.  Athletes are subject to all USA Swimming Code of Conduct polices including the following:

  • USA Swimming Code of Conduct (Article 304 USA Swimming Rule Book, current edition).
  • USA Swimming Athlete Protection Polices (Article 305 USA Swimming Rule Book, current edition).
  • USA Swimming Sexual Misconduct Reporting Polices (Article 306 USA Swimming Rule Book, current edition).
  • USA Swimming Prohibition Against Retaliation for Good Faith Reporting of Abuse (Article 307 USA Swimming Rule Book, current edition).

Violations of USA Swimming Rules will be reported to USA Swimming for discipline action. PEAQ may temporarily suspend an athlete depending upon the severity of the violation while USA Swimming conducts an investigation.

ALLEGHENY MOUNTAIN SWIMMING (AMS) CODE OF CONDUCT

PEAQ athletes are also members of the USA Swimming Local Swim Committee – AMS.  All PEAQ athletes and parents are subject to all AMS rules, regulations, and operating procedures.