Athlete Protection Policies & Rules

In order to provide a positive experience and a safe environment for athletes, this document provides specific, mandatory policies that must be followed at all levels of the organization. Policies are enforceable by the National Board of Review process. Consequences for breaking a policy include but are not limited to revocation of membership.
Also included are Best Practice Guidelines. These guidelines are best practice recommendations for adult-athlete interaction to best foster healthy boundaries. Guidelines are designed to help avoid or identify potentially inappropriate situations. 

Code of conduct

USA Swimming implemented a Code of Conduct in the late 1990s. 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. Sections applying specifically to Athlete Protection are below.



The following shall be considered violations of the USA Swimming Code of Conduct:


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 any criminal offense against a minor.


Any sexual conduct, advance or other inappropriate sexually 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 unwelcome advances or other sexual harassment in connection with 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.


Violation of Article 306 (See "Mandatory Reporting" below)


Mandatory Reporting Rule



.1 It is every member’s responsibility to promptly report any incident regarding sexual misconduct by a member as described in Article 304.3.5  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.


.2 No member shall retaliate against any individual who has made a good faith report under 306.1.


.3 False reporting of sexual misconduct made in bad faith is prohibited.


.4 Neither civil nor criminal statutes of limitation apply to reports of cases of sexual abuse.