MINOR ATHLETE ABUSE PREVENTION POLICY (MAAPP 2.0)
EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 2021
Who do the new laws apply to?
Adult Participants: Any adult 18 years of age or older who is a:
- USA Swimming member, either athlete or non-athlete.
- Participating non-member (e.g., meet marshals, meet computer operators, timers, etc.).
- Authorized, approved, or appointed by USA Swimming, Zones, Local Swimming Committees(“LSCs”) or member clubs to have regular contact with (e.g., ongoing interactions during a 12-month period wherein the individual is in a role of active engagement) or authority over Minor Athletes.
- Within the governance or disciplinary jurisdiction of USA Swimming, Zones, LSCs or member clubs.
USA Swimming Zones, LSCs and member clubs 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/legal guardians, coaches, and other non-athlete members of member clubs on an annual basis with such written agreement to be retained by the club or LSC, as applicable.
(these exceptions only apply where specified in the MAAPP 2.0 Policy)
- Close-In-Age Exception: In-Program Contact between an Adult Participant and a Minor Athlete is permitted if:
- The Adult Participant has no authority over the Minor Athlete; and
- The Adult Participant is not more than four years older than the Minor Athlete.
- Dual Relationship Exception: An Adult Participant has a dual role or relationship with a Minor Athlete.
- This exception requires written consent of the Minor Athlete’s parent/legal guardian at least annually.
Adult Athletes (18 years old and older)
- Adult Athlete must take the Athlete Protection Training (APT) by their 18th birthday. There is no exception to this policy.
- If not completed, athletes will not be allowed to swim at practices or meets
- Notification will be sent 30 days before birthday, on birthday, and 30 days after birthday, if APT has not been completed
- APT course is Free and is the same course taken by USA Swimming non-athlete members (coaches and officials)
- Link to APT Online course: CLICK HERE
- Observable and Interruptible
- All one-on-one In-Program Contact interactions between a Minor Athlete and an Adult Participant must occur at an observable and interruptible distance from another adult, except:
- In emergency circumstances:
- When a Dual Relationship exists; and/or
- When the Close-In-Age Exception applies.
Locker Rooms & Changing Areas
- Requirement to Use Locker Room or Changing Area
- The designated locker room or changing area must be used when an athlete or Adult Participant changes, in whole or in part, into or out of a swimsuit when wearing just one suit (e.g., deck changing is prohibited)
- Observable and Interruptible
- All In-Program Contact between Adult Participants and Minor Athletes in a locker room, changing area or similar space must be observable and interruptible, except:
- In emergency circumstances.
- A Dual Relationship exists; and/or
- The Close-In-Age exception applies.
- Private or Semi-Private Space for Minor Athletes:
- The Organization must provide a private or semi-private place for Minor Athletes that need to change clothes or undress at Events or Facilities Under Partial or Full Jurisdiction of the Organization.
- 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 Adult Participant is prohibited.
- All electronic communication between coaches and athletes must be professional in nature.
- If the minor athlete and coach need to communicate via email, the parent of the minor needs to be copied in the email.
- If the minor athlete reaches out to the coach via email first, the coach still needs to copy the minor athlete’s legal guardian in the response email.
- Legal guardians can request in writing that the LSC or Coach may not contact the minor electronically by any means.
- Electronic communication can only be done from the hours of 5am and 9pm, unless emergency circumstances exist, or during competition travel.
- When an Adult Participant communicates electronically to the entire team or any number of Minor Athletes on the team, said Adult Participant must copy another Adult Participant.
- Coaches/Adults and minor athletes are not allowed to be friends, follow, communicate, or like each other’s personal page by any means.
- The only social media that is permitted between minor athletes and an LSC and LSC members are fan pages, 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” the club and/or LSC’s official page.
Travel to a competition or other team activity that the organization plans and supervises.
- 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. Click here for Drive Permission Form
- [Recommended] Legal guardians must pick up their minor athlete first and drop off their minor athlete last in any shared or carpool travel arrangement.
- Team Travel: travel to a competition or other team activity that the organization plans and supervises.
- 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 the club or LSC must be USA Swimming members in good standing.
- Unrelated non-athlete Applicable Adults must not share a hotel room, other sleeping arrangement or overnight lodging location with an athlete.
- An Adult Participant must not share hotel room, sleeping arrangement or overnight lodging location with an Athlete.
- During In-Program Travel, all In-Program Contact in a hotel room, sleeping arrangement or overnight lodging location between an Adult Participant and a Minor Athlete must be observable and interruptible.
- During In-Program Travel, when doing room checks, two-deep leadership (two Adult Participants should be present) and observable and interruptible environments must be maintained.
- The following exceptions apply to the above:
- When a Dual Relationship exists, the Adult Participant is not a coach, and the Minor Athlete’s parent/legal guardian has provided advance, written consent for the lodging arrangement; and/or
- When the Close-In-Age Exception applies, and the Minor Athlete’s parent/legal guardian has provided advance, written consent for the lodging arrangement.
- Minor Athletes should be paired to share a hotel room, sleeping arrangements or overnight lodging location with other Minor Athletes of the same competition category and of similar age.
Massages & Rub-Downs
- General Requirement
- Any In-Program Massage performed on an athlete must be conducted in an observable and interruptible location and must be performed by a licensed massage therapist or other certified professional. However, even if a coach is a licensed massage therapist, the coach must not perform a rubdown or massage of an athlete under any circumstance.
- Additional Minor Athlete Requirements
- Written consent by a parent/legal guardian must be obtained in advance at least annually by the licensed massage therapist or other certified professional which can be withdrawn at any time.
- Parent/legal guardians must be allowed to observe the Massage, except for competition or training venues that limit credentialing.
- Any Massage of a Minor Athlete must be done with at least one other Adult Participant physically present and must never be done with only the Minor Athlete and the person performing the Massage in the room.
- Any Massage of a Minor Athlete must be performed with the Minor Athlete fully or partially clothed, ensuring that the breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals are always covered. Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to areas of the body exposed while wearing swimwear which conforms to the current concept of the appropriate for the individual’s competition category.
- [Recommended] Any Massage of a Minor Athlete must only occur after a proper diagnosis from a treating physician
Full Policy: Click here for the full Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention 2.0 Policy
USA Swimming FAQs