Team Travel Policy for Maryland Suburban Swim Club
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.
Section 1 - 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)
Section 2 - Recommended Policies
- 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 male athletes in female athlete’s rooms and no female athletes in male athlete’s rooms (unless the other athlete is a sibling or spouse of that particular athlete).
- 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 or LSC staff 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 or LSC leadership and the parent or legal guardian of any affected minor athlete.
Section 3 - Other Policies to Consider
The following, organized by topic, is a bullet-point list of additional travel policies to consider. Teams and LSCs may want to utilize some of these policies based on their individual preferences and needs.
- Additional guidelines to be established as needed by the coaches;
- Supervised team room provided for relaxation and recreation;
- Respect the privacy of each other;
- Only use hotel rooms with interior entrances; and
- Must wear seat belts and remain seated in vehicles;
- Be quiet and respect the rights of teammates and others in hotel;
- Be prompt and on time;
- Develop cell phone usage guidelines;
- Develop computer use guidelines including social media;
- Respect travel vehicles;
- Establish travel dress code;
- Use appropriate behavior in public facilities;
- Establish two different curfews – in own rooms and lights out;
- Must stay in assigned hotel room; and
- Needs and wellbeing of the team come first.
- No room service without permission;
- Swimmers responsible for all incidental charges;
- Swimmers responsible for any damages or thievery at hotel;
- Must participate in contracted group meals; and
- Communicate travel reimbursement information and policies.
- Establish fair trip eligibility requirements;
- Establish age guidelines for travel trips;
- Parent(s) responsible for getting swimmer(s) to stated departure point; and
- Requirements for families to attend "Team Travel Meets."
Code of Conduct / Honor Code
The Club Development Committee strongly encourages teams and LSCs to create a Code of Conduct or Honor Code as a companion document to the team travel policies.
All team members, team staff, and parents of minors are apprised in writing of this Code of Conduct and the attached USA Swimming Code of Conduct. A signature on this document constitutes unconditional agreement to comply with the stipulations of both documents.
- Team members will display proper respect and sportsmanship toward coaches, officials, administrators, teammates, fellow competitors and the public at all times.
- Team members and staff will refrain from any illegal or inappropriate behavior that would detract from a positive image of the team or be detrimental to its performance objectives.
- The possession or use of alcohol or tobacco products by any athlete is prohibited.
- The possession, use, or sale/distribution of any controlled or illegal substance or any form of weapon is strictly forbidden.
- No “deck changes” are permitted. Athletes are expected to use available change facilities.
- Team members are reminded that when competing in meets, traveling on trips, and attending other meet-related functions, they are representing both themselves and the Maryland Suburban Swim Club. Athlete behavior must positively reflect the high standards of the club and PVS.
- Failure to comply with the Honor Code as set forth in this document may result in disciplinary action.
Such discipline may include, but may not be limited to:
- Dismissal from the trip and immediate return home at the athlete’s expense;
- Disqualification from one or more events, or all events of competition;
- Disqualification from future team travel meets;
- Financial penalties;
- Dismissal from the team; and/or
- Proceedings for a LSC or USA Swimming National Board of Review.
- Swimmers are to refrain from inappropriate physical contact at team activities and events.
- Swimmers are to refrain from use of inappropriate language.
TEAM CODE OF CONDUCT: ATHLETES
The purpose of a code of conduct for athletes is to establish a consistent expectation for athletes’ behavior. By signing this code of conduct, I agree to the following statements:
❏ I will respect and show courtesy to my teammates and coaches at all times.
❏ I will demonstrate good sportsmanship at all practices and meets.
❏ I will set a good example of behavior and work ethic for my younger teammates.
❏ I will be respectful of my teammates’ feelings and personal space. Swimmers who exhibit sexist, racist, homophobic, or otherwise inappropriate behavior will be faced with consequences.
❏ I will attend all team meetings and training sessions, unless I am excused by my coach.
❏ I will show respect for all facilities and other property (including locker rooms) used during practices, competitions, and team activities.
❏ I will refrain from foul language, violence, behavior deemed dishonest, offensive, or illegal.
❏ If I disagree with an official’s call, I will talk with my coach and not approach the official directly.
❏ I will obey all of USA Swimming’s rules and codes of conduct.
I understand that if I violate this code of conduct, I will be subject to disciplinary action determined by my coaches and the swim team Manager.
Swimmer’s signature Date
Parent’s signature Date