Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy
Monterey County Aquatic Team
updated November 2020 Initial policies adopted in 2010 revised in 2013,2014 and 2020
Safe Sport Policy and information shall be communicated through team meeting, and writing (sent through team email) 2 times per year. In the fall Season and in the late spring by the Head Coach and/or Safe Sport Coordinator. This information is to be provided to parents, coaches, volunteers and parents of the team. The purpose of the meeting is to allow for the opportunity to ask and answer questions and the email is to make sure all swimmers, volunteers, parents and coaches are informed in writing. Our goal at MCAT is to have 99% of our swim membership be Safe Sport educated. And 50% or more of our Parents complete the Safe Sport Education Modules at USASwimming.org. 100% of paid or volunteer coaches must Safe Sport educated and certified.
Last Reviewed on November 16, 2020
THIS POLICY APPLIES TO: • All USA Swimming non-athlete members and adult athlete members; • Participating non-members (e.g., meet marshals, meet computer operators, timers, etc.); • LSC and club adult staff and board members; and • Any other adult authorized to have regular contact with or authority over minor athletes.
GENERAL REQUIREMENT USA Swimming member clubs and LSCs are required to implement this Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy in full. The Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy must be reviewed and agreed to in writing by all athletes, parents, coaches and other non-athlete members of member clubs on an annual basis with such written agreement to be retained by the club.
ONE-ON-ONE INTERACTIONS I. Observable and Interruptible One-on-one interactions between a minor athlete and an Applicable Adult (who is not the minor’s legal guardian) must occur at an observable and interruptible distance from another adult unless meeting with a Mental Health Care Professional and/or Health Care Provider (see below) or under emergency circumstances.
II. Meetings a. Meetings between a minor athlete and an Applicable Adult may only occur if another adult is present and where interactions can be easily observed and at an interruptible distance from another adult, except under emergency circumstances. b. If a one-on-one meeting takes place, the door to the room must remain unlocked and open. If available, it must occur in a room that has windows, with the windows, blinds, and/or curtains remaining open during the meeting. c. Meetings must not be conducted in an Applicable Adult or athlete’s hotel room or other overnight lodging location during team travel.
III. Meetings with Mental Health Care Professionals and/or Health Care Providers If a Mental Health Care Professional and/or Health Care Provider meets with a minor athlete in conjunction with participation, including at practice or competition sites, a closed-door meeting may be permitted to protect patient privacy provided that: a. The door remains unlocked; b. Another adult is present at the facility; c. The other adult is advised that a closed-door meeting is occurring; and d. Written legal guardian consent is obtained in advance by the Mental Health Care Professional and/or Health Care Provider, with a copy provided to the Monterey County Aquatic Team.
IV. [Recommended] Individual Training Sessions Individual training sessions outside of the regular course of training and practice between Applicable Adults and minor athletes are permitted if the training session is observable and interruptible by another adult. Legal guardians must be allowed to observe the training session.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS I. Content All electronic communication from Applicable Adults to minor athletes must be professional in nature.
II. Open and Transparent Absent emergency circumstances, if an Applicable Adult with authority over minor athletes needs to communicate directly with a minor athlete via electronic communications (including social media), the minor athlete’s legal guardian must be copied. If a minor athlete communicates to the Applicable Adult (with authority over the minor athlete) privately first, said Applicable Adult must copy the minor athlete’s legal guardian on any electronic communication response to the minor athlete.
When an Applicable Adult with authority over minor athletes communicates electronically to the entire team, said Applicable Adult must copy another adult.
III. Requests to Discontinue Legal guardians may request in writing that their minor athlete not be contacted through any form of electronic communication by Club Name, LSC or by an Applicable Adult subject to this Policy. The organization must abide by any such request that the minor athlete not be contacted via electronic communication, or included in any social media post, absent emergency circumstances.
IV. Hours Electronic communications must only be sent between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., unless emergency circumstances exist, or during competition travel.
V. Prohibited Electronic Communication Applicable Adults with authority over minor athletes are not permitted to maintain private social media connections with unrelated minor athletes and such Applicable Adults are not permitted to accept new personal page requests on social media platforms from minor athletes, unless the Applicable Adult has a fan page, or the contact is deemed as celebrity contact as opposed to regular contact. Existing social media connections with minor athletes must be discontinued. Minor athletes may “friend” Club Name and/or LSC’s official page.
Applicable Adults with authority over minor athletes must not send private, instant or direct messages to a minor athlete through social media platforms.
TRAVEL I. Local Travel Local travel consists of travel to training, practice and competition that occurs locally and does not include coordinated overnight stay(s).
Applicable Adults must not ride in a vehicle alone with an unrelated minor athlete, absent emergency circumstances, and must always have at least two minor athletes or another adult in the vehicle, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the minor athlete’s legal guardian.
MCAT Coaches shall not transport athletes to or from practice or events in vehicle.
[Recommended] Legal guardians must pick up their minor athlete first and drop off their minor athlete last in any shared or carpool travel arrangement.
II. Team Travel Team travel is travel to a competition or other team activity that the organization plans and supervises.
a. During team travel, when doing room checks two-deep leadership (two Applicable Adults should be present) and observable and interruptible environments must be maintained.
When only one Applicable Adult and one minor athlete travel to a competition, the minor athlete’s legal guardian must provide written permission in advance and for each competition for the minor athlete to travel alone with said Applicable Adult.
Team Managers and Chaperones who travel with Club Name or LSC must be USA Swimming members in good standing.
b. Unrelated Applicable Adults must not share a hotel room, other sleeping arrangement or overnight lodging location with a minor athlete.
Minor athletes should be paired to share hotel rooms or other sleeping arrangements with other minor athletes of the same gender and of similar age. As a general practice MCAT asks parents or guardians to transport and lodge their own children at swim meets.Currently this team does not schedule team travel meets with shared lodging. At MCAT parents are to provide travel and lodging arrangements and supervisino for their own children, The only meets like this are LSC,Zone or National Team meets sponsored and chaperoned by those entities.
c. Meetings during team travel must be conducted consistent with the One-on-One Interactions section of this Policy (i.e., any such meeting must be observable and interruptible). Meetings must not be conducted in an individual’s hotel room or other overnight sleeping location.
LOCKER ROOMS AND CHANGING AREAS I. Requirement to Use Locker Room or Changing Area The designated locker room or changing area must be used when an athlete or Applicable Adult changes, in whole or in part, into or out of a swimsuit when wearing just one suit (e.g., deck changing is prohibited).
II. Use of Recording Devices Use of any device’s (including a cell phone’s) recording capabilities, including voice recording, still cameras and video cameras in locker rooms, changing areas, or similar spaces by a minor athlete or an Applicable Adult is prohibited.
III. Undress An unrelated Applicable Adult must not expose his or her breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals to a minor athlete under any circumstance. An unrelated Applicable Adult must not request an unrelated minor athlete to expose the minor athlete’s breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals to the unrelated Applicable Adult under any circumstance.
IV. One-on-One Interactions Except for athletes on the same team or athletes attending the same competition, at no time are unrelated Applicable Adults permitted to be alone with a minor athlete in a locker room or changing area, except under emergency circumstances. If the organization is using a facility that only has a single locker room or changing area, separate times for use by Applicable Adults must be designated.
V. Monitoring Club Name must regularly and randomly monitor the use of locker rooms and changing areas to ensure compliance with this Policy. Locker rooms and changing areas may be monitored by use of the following methods: a. Conducting a sweep of the locker room or changing area before athletes arrive; b. Posting staff directly outside the locker room or changing area during periods of use; c. Leaving the doors open when adequate privacy is still possible; and/or d. Making occasional sweeps of the locker rooms or changing areas with women checking on female locker rooms and men checking on male locker rooms.
Every effort must be made to recognize when a minor athlete goes to the locker room or changing area during practice and competition, and, if the minor athlete does not return in a timely fashion, to check on the minor athlete’s whereabouts.
VI. Legal Guardians in Locker Rooms or Changing Areas Legal guardians are discouraged from entering locker rooms and changing areas. If a legal guardian does enter a locker room or changing area, it must only be a same-sex legal guardian and the legal guardian should notify a coach or administrator in advance.
MASSAGES AND RUBDOWNS/ATHLETE TRAINING MODALITIES I. Definition: In this section, the term “Massage” refers to any massage, rubdown, athletic training modality including physical modalities (e.g., stretching, physical manipulation, injury rehabilitation, etc.) and electronic or instrument assisted modalities (e.g., stim treatment, dry needling, cupping, etc.).
The MCAT Board, coaching staff and the employees of Salinas Valley Aquatics recognize the necessity for SAFE participation and support providing a safe environment for our patrons and athletes. We strive to follow California mandated reporter guidelines by requiring all employees to become a certificated California Mandated reporter through CASA. We also follow USA Swimming Safe Sport Guidelines and enforce the following of the USA Swimming Code of Conduct. Each of our employees is required to be a member of USA Swimming in good standing and take and pass all necessary requirements which includes the Safe Sport "Athlete Protection" exam. We also require our employees to a -Code of Conduct. Safety is our number one priority at the Salinas Aquatic Center. We constantly strive to do our best in providing education in water safety for our participants and doing such in a safe and healthy physical and emotional environment.
The information below provided from USA Swimming can be located at the following link
We believe that the experience of children and young athletes in all organized sports should be guided by
what is best for the safe and healthy development of the young person. Young athletes who participate in
organized sports activities have a unique opportunity for learning. In working with each child, it is
essential that we are mindful of their physical, emotional, and developmental needs. We must also be
particularly diligent in recognizing the unique vulnerabilities that are an inherent part of childhood. It is the
responsibility of all adults to not only recognize these vulnerabilities, but to develop the knowledge and
skills needed to create and maintain a safe and child-centered sports environment.
We recognize the important role that USA Swimming plays in providing leadership and creating an
organizational culture that is focused on the safety and wellbeing of young people. The protection of
children requires that all adults work together to support young athletes. As the child’s first and enduring
resource for safety, parents and guardians play a critical role in athlete protection. When parents
participate they are able to help educate other adults about the needs of the child, and help prepare the
child to participate in sports programs in a way that promotes safety, enjoyment, and learning.
Adults, including coaches, officials, staff, facility workers, volunteers, chaperones, and others who interact
with children, are in also positions of great trust and influence. The ability to use this position of trust to
support the well-being of children is critical. The overwhelming majority of these adults fulfill their roles in
a positive and responsible manner. Nonetheless, we must also understand that a few adults may seek to
use the trust and authority that comes with their access and status to take advantage of a child.
USA Swimming strives to continually improve the programs and services it offers to its members and
among these some of the most important relate to the safeguards for protecting young athletes. Because
we aspire to foster safe and positive environments within all our member clubs, we believe it is especially
important to provide our member adult leaders with policies and best practice guidelines that help define
elements of appropriate behavior and conduct.
Policies and Best Practice Guidelines for Athlete Protection
In order to provide a positive experience and a safe environment for athletes, all non-athlete adult
members of USA Swimming should maintain professionalism and avoid any appearance of impropriety in
their relationships with athletes. Coaches, in particular, should recognize the influence, power and
position of trust they have with athletes and should use these only in an athlete’s best interest.
This document provides specific mandatory policies and best practice guidelines that are strongly
The following Policies from the USA Swimming Code of Conduct are mandatory for all USA
USA Swimming Code of Conduct
304.1 The mission of USA Swimming is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence
in all aspects of Swimming. USA swimming grants the privilege of membership to
individuals and organizations committed to that mission. The privilege of membership
may, therefore, be withdrawn or denied by USA Swimming at any time where USA
Swimming determines that a member or prospective member’s conduct is inconsistent
with the mission of the organization or the best interest of the sport and those who
participate in it.
In order to assist all members to better serve the interests of those who participate in
swimming, USA Swimming has adopted this Code of Conduct.
304.2 Any member or prospective member of USA Swimming may be denied membership,
censured, placed on probation, suspended for a definite or indefinite period of time with
or without terms of probation, fined or expelled from USA Swimming if such member
violates the provisions of the USA Swimming Code of Conduct, set forth in 304.3, or aids,
abets or encourages another person to violate any of the provisions of the USA
Swimming Code of Conduct.
The following policies in the USA Swimming Code of Conduct Article 304 specifically pertain to
304.3.4 Violation of any of the Athlete Protection Policies set forth in Article 305
304.3.5 Conviction of, imposition of a deferred sentence for, or any plea of guilty or no contest
at any time, past or present, or the existence of any pending charges for (i) any felony,
(ii) any offense involving use, possession, distribution, or intent to distribute illegal drugs
or substances, (iii) any crime involving sexual misconduct, or (iv) any criminal offense
against a minor.
304.3.6 Violation of the Sexual Misconduct Reporting Requirements set forth in Article 306.
304.3.7 Any sexual conduct, advance, or other inappropriate sexual oriented behavior or action
directed towards an athlete by (i) a coach member or other non-athlete member, or (ii)
any other adult participating in any capacity whatsoever in the affairs or activities of USA
Swimming (whether such adult is a member or not). Any nonconsensual physical sexual
conduct, or pattern of other sexual harassment in connection or incidental to a USA
Swimming-related activity by any person participating in the affairs or activities of USA
Swimming (Whether such person is a member or not) directed toward any member or
other person participating in the affairs or activities of USA Swimming.
304.3.12 Physical abuse of an athlete by any person who, in the context of swimming, is in a
position of authority over that athlete.
304.3.17 Any other material and intentional act, conduct, or omission not provided for above,
which is detrimental to the image or reputation of USA Swimming, an LSC, or the sport of
The following policies related to Athlete Protection are mandatory components of the USA
Swimming Code of Conduct:
Athlete Protection Policies
305.1 Inappropriate touching between an athlete and an adult non-athlete member or
Participating Non-Member (as defined in 401.1) is prohibited, including, but not limited to,
excessive touching, hugging, kissing, sexually oriented behavior, sexually stimulating or
otherwise inappropriate games, and having an athlete sit on a non-family member adult’s
305.2 Any rubdown or massage performed on an athlete by any adult member or Participating
Non-Member, excluding the spouse, parent, guardian, sibling, or personal assistant of
such athlete, is prohibited unless such adult is a licensed massage therapist or other
certified professional. Any rubdown or massage performed at a swim venue by a
licensed professional must be conducted in open/public locations and must never be
done with only the athlete and licensed massage therapist in the room. Even if a coach
is a licensed massage therapist, the coach shall not perform a rubdown or massage of an
athlete under any circumstances.
305.3 Use of audio or visual recording, including a cell phone camera, is not allowed in
changing areas, rest rooms or locker rooms.
305.4 Employees and volunteers of USA Swimming, LSCs and member clubs who interact
directly and frequently with athletes as a regular part of their duties and individuals with
any ownership interest in a member club must be non-athlete members of USA
Swimming and satisfactorily complete criminal background checks as required by USA
Swimming. This does not apply to volunteers such as timers, marshals, computer
operators, etc. who only have limited contact with athletes during a meet.
A 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).
In order to clarify the intent of Article 305.5.A, the Board of Directors of USA Swimming,
at its meeting on November 21, 2010, made the following interpretation:
For the purposes of Article 305.5.A, where an adult is registered both as a coach and an
athlete member of USA Swimming, and is functioning primarily as a coach, he/she may
share sleeping arrangements with another registered coach.
B Team managers and chaperones must be members of USA Swimming and have
successfully passed a USA Swimming-administered criminal background check.
C 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
D Clubs and LSCs shall develop their own travel policies. USA Swimming will provide a
model club travel policy as an example. Club travel policies must be signed and agreed
to by all athletes, parents, coaches and other adults traveling with the club.
The following policies related to sexual misconduct reporting are mandatory components of the
USA Swimming Code of Conduct:
Sexual Misconduct Reporting Requirements
306.1 It is every member’s responsibility to promptly report any incident regarding sexual
misconduct by a member as described in Article 304.3.7 to USA Swimming’s Athlete
Protection Officer. Reporting must occur when an individual has firsthand knowledge of
misconduct or where specific and credible information has been received from a victim or
knowledgeable third party. Various state laws may also require reporting to law
enforcement or to a designated child protection agency.
306.2 No member shall retaliate against any individual who has made a good faith report under
306.3 False reporting of sexual misconduct made in bad faith is prohibited.
306.4 Neither civil nor criminal statutes of limitation apply to reports of cases of sexual abuse.
You can report one of three ways to the USA Swimming Athlete Protection Officer, Susan Woessner:
1) Online at www.usaswimming.org/report
3) Via phone at (719) 866-3589
Best Practice Guidelines
The following Best Practice Guidelines are strongly recommended for all USA Swimming
1. Parents should be encouraged to appropriately support their children’s swimming experience.
2. All swimming practices should be open to observation by parents.
3. Two-deep Leadership: One coach member and at least one other adult who is not in the water
should be present at all practices and other sanctioned club activities whenever at least one
athlete is present. Clubs and coaches should evaluate their seasonal plans and map out how to
best accomplish this strongly recommended guideline.
4. Open and Observable Environment: An open and observable environment should be maintained
for all interactions between adults and athletes. Private, or one-on-one situations, should be
avoided unless they are open and observable. Common sense should be used to move a
meeting to an open and observable location if the meeting inadvertently begins in private.
5. Coaches should not invite or have an athlete(s) to their home without the permission of the
athlete’s parents (or legal guardian).
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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).
9. 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.
10. Communications between non-athlete adult members and athletes should not include any topic or
language that is sexual or inappropriate in nature.
11. Non-athlete adult members should respect the privacy of athletes in situations such as changing
of clothes, showering, etc. Non-athlete adult members should protect their own privacy in similar
12. Relationships of a peer-to-peer nature with any athletes should be avoided. For example,
coaches should avoid sharing their own personal problems with athletes.
13. Coaches and other non-athlete adult members should avoid horseplay and roughhousing with
14. When a coach touches an athlete as part of instruction, the coach should do so in direct view of
others and inform the athlete of what he/she is doing prior to the initial contact. Touching athletes
should be minimized outside the boundaries of what is considered normal instruction.
Appropriate interaction would include high fives, fist bumps, side-to-side hugs and handshakes.
15. Coaches should not initiate contact with or accept supervisory responsibility for athletes outside
club programs and activities.
16. Coaches should not engage in sexual intimacies with a former athlete for at least two years after
the cessation or termination of professional services.
Because sexual intimacies with a former athlete are frequently harmful to the athlete, and
because such intimacies undermine public confidence in the coaching profession and thereby
deter the public’s use of needed services, coaches should not engage in sexual intimacies with
former athletes even after a two-year interval except in the most unusual circumstances. The
coach who engages in such activity after the two years following cessation or termination of the
coach-athlete relationship bears the burden of demonstrating that there has been no exploitation,
in light of all relevant factors, including:
1. The amount of time that has passed since the coach-athlete relationship
2. The circumstances of termination;
3. The athlete’s personal history;
4. The athlete’s current mental status;
5. The likelihood of adverse impact on the athlete and others; and
6. Any statements or actions made by the coach during the course of the athlete coach relationship suggesting or inviting the possibility of a post-termination
sexual or romantic relationship with the athlete or coach.
7. Both the athlete and the coach must be 18 years of age or older.