Team Policies

Below are the Code of Conduct for Parents and Swimmer, Anti-Bully, Travel and Honor Code Policies

Approval of all of the following policies will be required during registration



As a parent of a swimmer of the Dolphins Swim Club of the Hudson Valley (hereafter referred to as "Dolphins", I will abide by the following guidelines:

- I will be a positive role model for my swimmer and for Dolphins by using proper language, attire and manners.

- I will encourage and support my swimmer and all members of the Dolphins.

- I will teach my child to be modest in winning and gracious in losing.

- I will demonstrate positive support for all swimmers, coaches, officials, volunteers and spectators at every meet, practice or other swimming event.

- I will demand that my child treat other swimmers, coaches, officials, volunteers and spectators with respect.

- I will make sure that my child arrives on time to practices and meets.

- I will respect practices: If I need a discussion with a coach, I will contact the coach before, after or outside of practice for a discussion.

- I will be responsible for the actions and conduct of my child.

- I will equip my swimmer(s) with suits, goggles, caps, and any other equipment helpful to my child's development and performance as a member of the Dolphins.

- I understand Dolphins is only responsible for my child while they are in the water or on the pool deck. I am responsible for my child at all other times. My child's safety is my responsibility. The swim team is not a childcare service.

-I am responsible for supervising all children (i.e. siblings) I bring to any practice or event.

- If my child or I have questions regarding coaching, I will encourage my child to discuss the issues with their coach, or I will discuss any concerns or suggestions with my child's coach at an appropriate time and manner. After discussing my concerns, I will respect and abide by their professional decision even if it does not agree with mine.

- I understand that officials who judge meets are volunteers who have the best interest of all swimmers in mind. I may not agree with calls or decisions by officials during swim meets and other competitions, and if so, I will direct questions or concerns made by meet officials to a member of our coaching staff. Our coaches, in turn, will pursue the matter through appropriate channels.

- As a parent, I will not coach or instruct the team or any swimmer at practices or meets (from the stands or any other area) or interfere with coaches on the pool deck as they work.

- I will demonstrate good sportsmanship by conducting myself in a manner that earns the respect of my child, other swimmers, parents, officials and the coaches at meets and practices.

- As a parent, I understand that criticizing, name-calling, use of abusive language or gestures directed toward the coaches, officials, and/or any participating swimmer will not be permitted or tolerated.

- I understand that in accordance with USA Swimming rules, parents are expected to remain in the spectator area and off the immediate competitive deck unless they are working the meet in an official capacity.

- I will enjoy involvement with the Dolphins by supporting the swimmers, coaches and other parents with positive communication and actions.

- I understand that the Hudson Valley Dolphins uses email as the primary form of communication of announcements and coach contact.

-I will check the team website ( and my email on a regular basis to keep up with any changes that may occur.

-I understand that I am expected to volunteer my time at a minimum of three (3) events (ie: meets) in order for the team to function properly.



I understand it is a privilege and an honor to be a member of the Dolphin Swim Club of the Hudson Valley (hereafter referred to as 'Dolphins'). As a member of Dolphins, I agree to follow this Code of Conduct. I also understand that if I make choices which do not conform to this important set of rules, I will be at risk for disciplinary action which may limit my privileges and might lead to expulsion from the team:

Our guidelines are founded on the principles of mutual respect and cooperation.


1. If I see something that looks unsafe, or someone who seem out of place or unfamiliar, doing something unsafe or unusual, I will report it to my coach immediately.

2. I will not climb on lane line/cover reels, or go near any drains or filter inlets.

3. I will not run, push, or play around on the deck area, or throw training equipment of any kind.

4. I will not bring glass containers onto the pool deck.


1. I will not judge or criticize others. I will not talk about others behind their back.

2. I will be committed to my best effort every day. I will try hard and do what the coach says.

3. I will be respectful and polite to my coaches and parents or guardians.

4. I will not swear, talk back, or use disrespectful language.

5. I will respect personal space: I will not push, hit, spit, or inappropriately touch others.

6. I will act with respect and honor. I will never use racial slurs or derogatory comments which make teammates or opponents feel uncomfortable, intimidated or degraded.

7. I will respect personal property: I will not harm, destroy, litter, or trash property. This also means locker rooms, pool decks, landscaping, hallways, etc)

8. I will respect the private property of others. I will never steal or harm the private possessions of others.

9. I will respect my coaches and teammates by arriving on time to practice and meets.

10. I will respect and believe in myself. I will not use tobacco products, illegal drugs or alcohol.


1. I will not act like a bully! (Intentionally hurt or make discouraging remarks or create a negative environment for my teammates or opponents)

2. I will use my hard work and talent to win races, not my words.

3. I will not boast when I win, and I will be courageous when I lose.

4. I will remember that everything I do, good, bad, and indifferent, is a reflection on my community and my club.


1. I will cheer my teammates, promote team spirit and morale.

2. I will lift the spirits of my teammates when they are down.

3. I will wear my Dolphins apparel with pride and do my best to follow the spirit of the Code of Conduct outside my Dolphins activities.


1. I will bring all the equipment I need (goggles, fins, towels, water) to each practice.

2. I will arrive to practice and swim meets on time.

3. I will be responsible for caring for equipment and using it properly. Practice is not finished until all supplies are returned to storage. Everyone helps.



Anti-Bullying Policy

Dolphins Action Plan to Address Bullying

The following plan is modeled after the USA Swimming provided model in line with the proper implementation of the USA Swimming anti-bullying resolutions. This plan is provided to assist members of our program understand how to address bullying and develop a plan that has been agreed to by all constituents of our program.


Bullying of any kind is unacceptable with the Dolphin Swim Club of the Hudson Valley (hereafter referred to as 'Dolphins') and will not be tolerated. As a family driven organization, one of the most critical values we hold for our program are unconditional acceptance and support for one another and a general positive regard for all members of our program. The Dolphins are committed to providing a safe, caring and friendly environment for all of our members. If bullying does occur, all athletes and parents should know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. Anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell a coach, board member or Captain.

Objectives of the Dolphins' Bullying Policy and Action Plan:

1. To make it clear that the Dolphins will not tolerate bullying in any form.

2. To define bullying and give all board members, coaches, parents and swimmers a good understanding of what bullying is.

3. To make it known to all parents, swimmers and coaching staff that there is a policy and protocol should any bullying issues arise.

4. To make how to report bullying clear and understandable.

5. To spread the word that the Dolphins takes bullying seriously and that all swimmers and parents can be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.


The USA Swimming Code of Conduct defines bullying in 304.3.7.  Bullying is the severe or repeated use by one or more USA Swimming members 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:

i. causing physical or emotional harm to the other member or damage to the other member's property;

ii. placing the other member in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his/her property;

iii. creating a hostile environment for the other member at any USA Swimming activity;

iv. infringing on the rights of the other member at any USA Swimming activity; or

v. 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).


An athlete who feels that he or she has been bullied is asked to please do one or more of the following things:

- Talk to your parents

- Talk to a board member

- Write a letter or email to the Head Coach or your primary group coach

-  Make a report to the USA Swimming Safe Sport staff.

There is no express time limit for initiating a complaint under this procedure, but every effort should be made to bring the complaint to the attention of the staff and board as soon as possible to make sure that memories are fresh and behavior can be accurately recalled and the bullying behavior can be stopped as soon as possible.


We ask ALL members of the Hudson Valley including the families to help us stop STOP BULLYING ON THE SPOT during any team related functions using the following steps:

1. Intervene immediately. If you are a swimmer witnessing bullying a swimmer, it is OK to stop what you are doing and get a coach or adults attention immediately. The subsequent steps apply to any adults who may be asked for support.

2. Separate the kids involved.

3. Make sure everyone is safe.

4. Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs

5. Stay calm. Reassure the kids involved, including bystanders.

6. Model respectful behavior when you intervene.

If bullying is occurring at our club or it is reported to be occurring at our club, we address the bullying by FINDING OUT WHAT HAPPENED and SUPPORTING THE KIDS INVOLVED using the following approach:

1. First, we get the facts. 

- Keep all the involved children separate.

- Get the story from several sources, both adults and kids.

- Listen without blaming.

- Don't call the act bullying while you are trying to understand what happened.

- It may be difficult to get the whole story, especially if multiple athletes are involved or the bullying involves social bullying or cyber bullying. Collect all available information.

2. Determine if it was Bullying. There are many behaviors that look like bullying but require different approaches. It is important to determine whether the situation is bullying or something else. Review the definition of bullying by USA Swimming and gather the following:

- What is the history between the kids involved?

- Have there been past conflicts?

- Is there a power imbalance? Remember that a power imbalance is not limited to physical strength. It is sometimes not easily recognized. If the targeted child feels like there is a power imbalance, there probably is (such as age, program group, athletic ability, or social status)

- Has this happened before?

- Is the child worried it will happen again?

Remember that it does not matter who started it, but that kids being bullied may be seen as annoying or provoking, but this does not excuse the bullying behavior involved.


3. Support the kids who are being bullied

- Listen and focus on the child. Learn what's been going on and show you want to

- Work together to resolve the situation and protect the bullied child. Assure the child that bullying is not their fault.  Coaches, parents, and fellow team members may all have valuable input. It may help to:

- Be persistent. Bullying may not end overnight. Commit to making it stop and keep an open dialogue to be sure the issues have been resolved

- Ask the child being bullied what can be done to make him or her feel safe.

- Allow any reasonable accommodations, keeping in mind the point below.

Remember that changes to routine should be minimized. He or she is not at fault and should not be singled out. For example, consider rearranging lane assignments for everyone. If bigger moves are necessary, such as switching practice groups, the child who is bullied should not be forced to change. Develop a game plan. Maintain open communication between the Club and?parents. Discuss the steps that will be taken and how bullying will be addressed going forward.

4. Address bullying behavior

- Make sure the child knows what the problem behavior is. Young people who bully need to learn that their behavior is not acceptable

- Show kids that bullying is taken seriously. Calmly tell the child that bullying will not be tolerated

- Work with the child to understand some of the reasons he or she bullied.They may be in need of additional support

- Involve the kid who bullied in making amends or repairing the situation.

The goal is to help the kids see themselves as others do. They should learn their behavior is wrong and harms other. Model respectful behavior when addressing the problem. For example:

- Sometimes children bully to fit in or just to make fun of someone is a little different from them. In other words, there may be some insecurity involved.

- Other times kids act out because something else: issues at home, abuse, stress is going on in their lives. They also may have been bullied.

These kids may be in need of additional support, and may also need more guidance to help them see how their actions affect others. For example, the child can:

- Write a letter apologizing to the athlete who was bullied.

- Do a good deed for the person who was bullied, for the Club, or for others in our community.

- Clean up, repair, or pay for any property they damaged.

Follow-up. After the bullying issue is resolved, continue finding ways to help the?child who bullied to understand how what they do affects other people. For example, praise acts of kindness or talk about what it means to be a good teammate.

Support bystanders who witness bullying. Every day, kids witness bullying. They want to help, but don't know how. Fortunately, there are a few simple, safe ways that athletes can help stop bullying when they see it happening. All Dolphins swimmers should do their best to:

a. Be a friend to the person being bullied

b. Tell your parents, coach, or a board member;

c. Help the kid being bullied get away from the situation. Create a distraction, focus the attention on something else, or offer a way for the target to get out of the situation. Let's go, practice is about to start.

d. Set a good example by not bullying others.

e. Don't give the bully an audience. Bullies are encouraged by the attention they get from bystanders. If you do nothing else, just walk away.

Do not stay silent. Our team is more than a team, it is a family that we all value. To keep it that way we need to work together and stop any behavior that harms the people involved in our program. 


Team Travel Policy for the Dolphin Swim Club of the Hudson Valley

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 of 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.

Section 1 USA Swimming Required Policies
a. Club travel policies must be signed and agreed to by all athletes, parents, coaches and other adults traveling with the club. (305.5.D)
b. Team managers and chaperones must be members of USA Swimming and have successfully passed a USA Swimming administered criminal background check. (305.5.B)
c. 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)
d. When only one athlete and one coach travel to a competition, the athlete must havehis/her parents (or legal guardians) written permission in advance to travel alone with the coach.

Section II: Best Practices
a. During team travel, when doing room checks, attending team meetings and/or other activities, two deep leadership and open and observable environments should be adhered to.

b. 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.

c. 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).

d. 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.

e. Team or LSC officials should obtain a signed Liability Release and/or Indemnification Form

f. Team or LSC officials should carry a signed Medical Consent or Authorization to Treat Form

Honor Code:
As a member of the Dolphin Swim Club of the Hudson Valley, you agree to represent the Dolphins in a positive fashion. Use of illegal drugs or alcohol and any other illicit activity is strictly forbidden. We trust that all members of the program will endeavor to do their very best to represent the Dolphins in the best possible way.

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