USA Swimming Safe Sport Committee Best Practices for Keeping Locker Rooms Safe at Practices 

Incidents that put swimmers at risk of physical and emotional harm often take place in the locker room. Therefore, the USA Swimming Safe Sport Committee recommends that clubs put procedures in place to monitor locker rooms to ensure that swimmers display acceptable, respectful, and safe behavior toward their teammates while providing protection from potentially dangerous situations. 

Club resources, LSC support, and practice facilities themselves can vary so one size definitely does not fit all. The goal is to ensure that swimmers who use the locker room facilities or changing areas understand appropriate locker room behavior and that the locker room is preserved as a safe zone for all swimmers. With instruction and cooperation, coaches, swimmers, and parents all play an important role in keeping locker rooms safe for all. 

Know the rules: 

• The USA Swimming Code of Conduct governs all members. Coaches, club management, parents, and swimmers should be familiar with it. 

• Safe Sport policies addressing electronic communications and bullying are required for member clubs. 

• In addition to USA Swimming rules and regulations, clubs should also know all local ordinances and facility policies that pertain to their swimmers and the pools at which they practice. Any relevant information should be posted on each club’s website and reviewed at least annually with staff, parents, and swimmers and with new staff and members as they join the club. 

• Coaches and clubs should establish proper locker room behavior as a key aspect of their team’s culture. Expectations should be defined in the club’s code of conduct and all relevant policies. Aspects of the USA Swimming Code of Conduct and Safe Sport policies that pertain to locker room behavior should be incorporated. 

• Locker rooms and changing areas should have signs posted at all entrances indicating that the use of recording devices, including cell phones, is prohibited per USA Swimming rules. 

• Coaches, swimmers, and parents should be aware of the specific locker room facilities available for their swimmers and should instruct swimmers in the safe use of those facilities: 

o Swimmers should not be allowed to spend long periods of time in the locker rooms, before, during, or after practice. This is especially important when the age range of the swimmers using the facility is broad. 

o Coaches should monitor their swimmers and, without neglecting their responsibilities to swimmers in the pool, should investigate any unusual absences or have in place a club- approved procedure to do so. 

o Coaches concerned with any aspect of the locker room facilities or their ability to effectively monitor them should instruct their swimmers to arrive dressed to swim and depart without changing into street clothes. Parents should also be informed.