Team Travel Policy of the Greater Holyoke YMCA Vikings
Purpose: Athletes are most vulnerable to misconduct during travel, particularly overnight stays. This includes a high risk of athlete‐to‐athlete misconduct. During travel, athletes are often away from their families and support networks, and the setting – new changing areas, locker rooms, workout facilities, automobiles and hotel rooms – is less structured and less familiar. Team Travel is defined as overnight travel to a swim meet or other team activity that is planned and supervised by the club or LSC.
USA Swimming Required Policies
Club and LSC travel policies must include these policies. These items are Code of Conduct stipulations in the USA Swimming Rulebook.
- Club travel policies must be signed and agreed to by all athletes, parents, coaches and other adults traveling with the club. (305.5.D)
- Team managers and chaperones must be members of USA Swimming and have successfully passed a USA Swimming‐administered criminal background check. (305.5.B)
- Regardless of gender, a coach shall not share a hotel room or other sleeping arrangement with an athlete (unless the coach is the parent, guardian, sibling, or spouse of that particular athlete). (305.5.A)
- When only one athlete and one coach travel to a competition, the athlete must have his/her parents’ (or legal guardian’s) written permission in advance to travel alone with the coach. (305.5C)
- During team travel, when doing room checks, attending team meetings and/or other activities, two‐deep leadership and open and observable environments should be maintained.
- Athletes should not ride in a coach’s vehicle without another adult present who is the same gender as the athlete, unless prior parental permission is obtained.
- During overnight team travel, if athletes are paired with other athletes they shall be of the same gender and should be a similar age. Where athletes are age 13 & over, chaperones and/or team managers would ideally stay in nearby rooms. When athletes are age 12 & under, chaperones and/or team managers may stay with athletes. Where chaperones/team managers are staying in a room with athletes, they should be the same gender as the athlete and written consent should be given by athlete’s parents (or legal guardian).
- When only one athlete and one coach travel to a competition, at the competition the coach and athlete should attempt to establish a “buddy” club to associate with during the competition and when away from the venue.
- To ensure the propriety of the athletes and to protect the staff, there will be no unsupervised cases of male athletes in female athlete’s rooms and female athletes in male athlete’s rooms (unless the other athlete is a sibling or spouse of that particular athlete). Groups of team members (three or more) may congregate (e.g., for a movie) as long as the door is open and the group is supervised by a chaperone.
- A copy of the Club Code of Conduct must be signed by the athlete and his/her parent or legal guardian.
- Team or LSC officials should obtain a signed Liability Release and/or Indemnification Form for each athlete.
- Team or LSC officials should carry a signed Medical Consent or Authorization to Treat Form for each athlete.
- Curfews shall be established by the team each day of the trip.
- Team members and staff traveling with the team will attend all team functions including meetings, practices, meals, meet sessions, etc. unless otherwise excused or instructed by the head coach or his/her designee.
- The directions & decisions of coaches/chaperones are final.
- Swimmers are expected to remain with the team at all times during the trip. Swimmers are not to leave the competition venue, the hotel, a restaurant, or any other place at which the team has gathered without the permission/knowledge of the coach or chaperone.
- When visiting public places such as shopping malls, movie theatres, etc. swimmers will stay in groups of no less than three persons. 12 & Under athletes will be accompanied by a chaperone.
- The Head Coach or his/her designee shall make a written report of travel policy or code of conduct violations to the appropriate club leadership and the parent or legal guardian of any affected minor athlete.
- Athletes, coaches, and chaperones must wear seat belts and remain seated in vehicles.