Bearsharktopus Aquatic Swim Club

 Policies, Bylaws and Handbook

USA Swimming Code of Conduct

Medical Release Waiver

Liability Waiver

Media Release Agreement

Electronic Communication Policy

Media Release Agreement

Anti-Bullying Policy and Action Plan

Complaint and Reporting Procedure 

Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Plan

Safe Sport Best Practices and Reporting

 

ARTICLE 304 

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 The privilege of membership may, therefore, be withdrawn or denied by USA Swimming at any time where USA Swimming determines that a member or prospective member's conduct is inconsistent with the mission of the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. 

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

1 Violation of the right to compete provisions set forth in 301.1 through 301.4. 

.2 Violation of the anti-doping provisions set forth in 303.3. 

.3 Discrimination in violation of any part of the USA Swimming Rules and Regulations or the Amateur Sports Act which requires that USA Swimming must provide: "an equal opportunity to amateur athletes; coaches, trainers, managers, administrators, and officials to participate in amateur athletic competition, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, gender, or national origin." 

.4 Violation of any of the Athlete Protection Policies set forth in Article 305 

.5 Violation of any of the Sexual Misconduct Reporting Requirements set forth in Article 306. 

.6 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. 

.7 Bullying is prohibited. For these purposes, the term “bullying” shall mean, regardless of when or where it may occur, the severe or repeated use by one or more USA Swimming members (“Members”) of an oral, written, electronic or other technological expression, image, sound, data or intelligence of any nature (regardless of the method of transmission), or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at any other Member that to a reasonably objective person has the effect of: (i) causing physical or emotional harm to the other Member or damage to the other Member’s property; (ii) placing the other Member in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his/her property; (iii) creating a hostile environment for the other Member at any USA Swimming activity; (iv) infringing on the rights of the other Member at any USA Swimming activity; or (v) materially and substantially disrupting the training process or the orderly operation of any USA Swimming activity 304.1 2012 Rules & Regulations 91 2 (which for the purposes of this section shall include, without limitation, practices, workouts and other events of a member club or LSC). 

.8 Any inappropriate sexual conduct or advance, or other oral, written, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature 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 activities of USA Swimming (whether such adult is a member or not). Any act of sexual harassment, including without limitation unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature 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. 

.9 The sale or distribution of illegal drugs or the illegal sale or distribution of any substance listed on FINA's recognized list of banned substances. 

.10 The use of illegal drugs in the presence of an athlete, by a coach, official, trainer, or a person who, in the context of swimming, is in a position of authority over, that athlete. 

.11 The providing of alcohol to an athlete by a coach, official, trainer, manager or any other person where the athlete is under the legal age allowed to consume or purchase alcohol in the state where the alcohol is provided. 

.12 The abuse of alcohol in the presence of an athlete under the age of 18, by a coach, official, trainer, or a person who, in the context of swimming, is in a position of authority over that athlete. 

.13 Physical abuse of an athlete by any person who, in the context of swimming, is in a position of authority over that athlete. 

.14 Any act of fraud, deception or dishonesty in connection with any USA Swimming-related activity. 

.15 Any non-consensual physical contact, obscene language or gesture, or other threatening language or conduct directed towards any meet official and which is related to any decision made by such official in connection with a USA Swimming sanctioned competition. 

.16 Action, other than through general advertising, by a coach, owner, officer, volunteer, representative, or employee of a swim club, or a USA Swimming or LSC employee, either through direct contact with an athlete or the encouragement of others, to recruit or otherwise encourage an athlete who is already a member of a USA Swimming member swim club to leave that club, unless the acting party receives prior written approval to recruit or encourage the athlete to change affiliation from the designated club representative of the athlete's existing USA Swimming-member swim club or contact is initiated by the athlete, the athlete's parent or authorized representative. General advertising includes any information that is: A Distributed to an identifiable general population where there is a reasonable expectation that the majority of that population are not current members of USA Swimming, or B Placed in or on any item that is sold. In the event of a violation of this section, a sanction may be imposed against any coach, owner, officer, volunteer, representative or employee of a swim club, or against any such club, or any combination thereof, as appropriate. 304.3 3 92 2012 Rules & Regulations 304.3 

.17 Violation of any team misconduct rule as established by the USOC, USA Swimming, any Zone or LSC team authority. 

.18 Any other material and intentional act, conduct or omission not provided for above, which is detrimental to the image or reputation of USA Swimming, a LSC or the sport of swimming. 

 

ARTICLE 305 

ATHLETE PROTECTION POLICIES 

The following policies related to Athlete Protection are mandatory components of the USA Swimming Code of Conduct: 

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 lap. 

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 devices, 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. 

305.5 Travel 

.1 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. 

.2 Team managers and chaperones must be members of USA Swimming and have successfully passed a USA Swimming-required criminal background check. 

.3 When only one athlete and one coach travel to a competition, the athlete must have his/her parent's (or legal guardian’s) written permission in advance to travel alone with the coach. 

.4 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. 2012 Rules & Regulations 93 2 

 

ARTICLE 306 

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 304.3.8 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 306.1.

306.3 Filing a knowingly false allegation of sexual misconduct is prohibited and may violate state criminal law and civil defamation laws. Any person making a knowingly false allegation of sexual misconduct shall be subject to disciplinary action by USA Swimming. 

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

Medical Release Waiver

I certify that I am the parent or legal guardian for my child(ren). I hereby give my permission for any supervisor, coach or other team administrator associated with the Bearsharktopus Aquatic Swim Club to seek and give appropriate medical attention for our child(ren) in the event of accident, injury, illness. I will be responsible for any and all costs associated with any necessary medical attention and/or treatment.

I hereby waive, release and forever discharge Bearsharktopus Aquatic Swim Club and associated supervisor, coach or other team administrator from all rights and claims for damages, injury, loss to person or property which may be sustained or occur during participation in Bearsharktopus Aquatic Swim Club activities, whether or not damages or loss is due to negligence. I hereby acknowledge that my child(ren) is (are) physically fit and capable of participation in all Swim Team activities.

Liability Waiver

By registering my child(ren) with the Bearsharktopus Aquatic Swim Club LLC, I agree to participate (or allow my child(ren) and family members to participate) in the Bearsharktopus Aquatic Swim Club LLC, and hereby release Bearsharktopus Aquatic Swim Club LLC, its directors, officers, agents, coaches, and employees from liability for any injury that might occur to myself (or to my child(ren) and family members) while participating in the Bearsharktopus Aquatic Swim Club LLC program, including travel to and from training sessions, swim meets or other scheduled team activities.

I agree to indemnify and hold harmless the above mentioned organizations and/or individuals, their agents and/or employees, against any and all liability for personal injury, including injuries resulting in death to me, my child(ren) and/or other family members, or damage to my property, the property to my child(ren) and/or other family members, or both, while I (or my child(ren) or family members) participating in the Bearsharktopus Aquatic Swim Club LLC program.

Media Release Agreement


As part of the Bearsharktopus Aquatic Swim Club LLC communication process, the team maintains a website and periodically posts statistics or provides information regarding athlete’s involvement with the Club.  By providing updated and current activities which may include information, photos or videos for public viewing will be appropriately selected to encourage growth of the team. To discuss opting out, please speak to the head coach. 

  • I authorize the use of photographs taken at swim meets, team functions or practices and recognize that these photos may be posted on the team website, Facebook or other news outlets to cover swimming events.

  • I consent to the use of photographs, videos, statistics and other information taken during the course of the swim season for publicity, promotional and/or educational purposes.

  • I understand that information, photos or videos of my athlete will be appropriate and waive all claims for compensation for use and damages to the individual involved.

  • I understand no personal information will be shared on the team website, Facebook or any third party source. 

Electronic Communication Policy

PURPOSE

The Bearsharktopus Aquatics Swim Club LLC (the “Club”) recognizes the prevalence of electronic communication and social media in today’s world. Many of our swimmers use these means as their primary method of communication. While the Club acknowledges the value of these methods of communication, the Club also realizes that there are associated risks that must be considered when adults use these methods to communicate with minors.  

GENERAL CONTENT

All communications between a coach or other adult and an athlete must be professional in nature and for the purpose of communicating information about team activities. The content and intent of all electronic communications must adhere to the USA Swimming Code of Conduct regarding Athlete Protection.

For example, like any communication with an athlete, electronic communication should not contain or relate to any of the following: 

  • drugs or alcohol use;

  •  sexually oriented conversation; sexually explicit language; sexual activity

  • the adult’s personal life, social activities, relationship or family issues, or personal problems; and

  • inappropriate or sexually explicit pictures

  •  Note: Any communication concerning an athlete's personal life, social activities, relationship or family issues or personal problems must be transparent, accessible and professional.

With respect to electronic communications, a simple test that can be used in most cases is whether the electronic communication with swimmers is Transparent, Accessible and Professional.

Transparent:  All electronic communication between coaches and athletes should be transparent.  Your communication should not only be clear and direct, but also free of hidden meanings, innuendo and expectations. 

Accessible:  All electronic communication between coaches and athletes should be considered a matter of record and part of the Club’s records.  Whenever possible, include another coach or parent in the communication so that there is no question regarding accessibility.

Professional:  All electronic communication between a coach and an athlete should be conducted professionally as a representative of the Club.  This includes word choices, tone, grammar, and subject matter that model the standards and integrity of a staff member. 

If communication meets all three of the T.A.P. criteria, then the method of communication is appropriate.

TEXTING AND EMAIL

Subject to the general guidelines mentioned above, texting and emails are acceptable between coaches and athletes.  Texting and emails are to be used for the purpose of communicating information directly related to team activities.

REQUEST TO DISCONTINUE ALL ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS

The parents or guardians of an athlete may request in writing that their child not be contacted by coaches through any form of electronic communication.

 

Methods and Reasons for Electronic Communication

General Information and Updates

First source of communication is through our team’s webpage to find out updates and important information regarding Bearsharktopus Aquatics Swim Club LLC.

Check the NewsFlash    www.TeamUnify.com/ILBASC

We will list information regarding but not limited to:

  • Updates to the Website

    • Changes to the Practice Schedules

  • Inclement Weather and Cancelations

  • Upcoming Events and Swim Meets

  • Deadlines to submit information

The www.TeamUnify.com/ILBASC website should also be the number one source to gather information regarding:

  • Practice Schedule

  • Pools and Swim Meet Locations

  • Registration Information

  • Billing and Payment Information

  • Parent and Swimmer Expectations

  • BASC Policies and Procedures

  • BASC Basic Information and Contact Information

  • BASC Forms

  • Available Apparel

  • Fundraising and Sponsorship Information

  • Helpful Training and Time Standards

  • And Much More!

Personal Account and Reminders

Coaches may directly contact guardians and athletes through email and text messages for personal information regarding swim team activities and notification purposes

  • Payment information and notification

  • Event reminders

  • Swimmers assessment and production

  • etc..

Media Release Agreement

As part of the Bearsharktopus Aquatic Swim Club LLC communication process, the team maintains a website and periodically posts statistics or provides information regarding athlete’s involvement with the Club.  By providing updated and current activities which may include information, photos or videos for public viewing will be appropriately selected to encourage growth of the team.

  • I authorize the use of photographs taken at swim meets, team functions or practices and recognize that these photos may be posted on the team website, Facebook or other news outlets to cover swimming events

  • I consent to the use of photographs, videos, statistics and other information taken during the course of the swim season for publicity, promotional and/or educational purposes.

  • I understand that information, photos or videos of my athlete will be appropriate and waive all claims for compensation for use and damages to the individual involved.

  • I understand no personal information will be shared on the team website, Facebook or any third party source. 

Anti-Bullying Policy and Action Plan

PURPOSE 

Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at Bearsharktopus Aquatics Swim Club LLC and will not be tolerated. Bullying is counterproductive to team spirit and can be devastating to a victim.  The Club is committed to providing a safe, caring and friendly environment for all of our members.  If bullying does occur, all athletes and parents should know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. Anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell a coach, board member or athlete/mentor.

Objectives of the Club’s Bullying Policy and Action Plan:

  1. To make it clear that the Club will not tolerate bullying in any form.

  2. To define bullying and give all board members, coaches, parents and swimmers a good understanding of what bullying is.

  3. To make it known to all parents, swimmers and coaching staff that there is a policy and protocol should any bullying issues arise.

  4. To make how to report bullying clear and understandable.

  5. To spread the word that Bearsharktopus Aquatics Swim Club LLC takes bullying seriously and that all swimmers and parents can be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.

WHAT IS BULLYING?

The USA Swimming Code of Conduct prohibits bullying. Generally, bullying is the use of aggression, whether intentional or not, which hurts another person that is disruptive to the team environment and focus.  Bullying results in pain and distress. 

The USA Swimming Code of Conduct defines bullying in 304.3.7.  Bullying is the severe or repeated use by one or more USA Swimming members of oral, written, electronic or other technological expression, image, sound, data or intelligence of any nature (regardless of the method of transmission), or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at any other member that to a reasonably objective person has the effect of:

  1. causing physical or emotional harm to the other member or damage to the other member’s property;

  2. placing the other member in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his/her property;

  3. creating a hostile environment for the other member at any USA Swimming activity;

  4. infringing on the rights of the other member at any USA Swimming activity; or

  5. materially and substantially disrupting the training process or the orderly operation of any USA Swimming activity (which for the purposes of this section shall include, without limitation, practices, workouts and other events of a member club or LSC).

REPORTING PROCEDURE

An athlete who feels that he or she has been bullied is asked to do one or more of the following things:

  • Talk to your parents;

  • Talk to a the Coach, Assistant Coach, or other designated individual;

  • Write a letter or email to the Club Coach, Assitant Coach, or other designated individual;

  • Make a report to the USA Swimming Safe Sport staff.

There is no express time limit for initiating a complaint under this procedure, but every effort should be made to bring the complaint to the attention of the appropriate club leadership as soon as possible to make sure that memories are fresh and behavior can be accurately recalled and the bullying behavior can be stopped as soon as possible.

HOW WE HANDLE BULLYING

If bullying is occurring during team-related activities, we STOP BULLYING ON THE SPOT using the following steps:

1.       Intervene immediately and bring the issue to light. It is ok to get another adult to help.

2.       Depending on the severity of the bullying, separate the kids involved.

3.       Make sure everyone is safe.

4.       Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs.

5.       Stay calm. Reassure the kids involved, including bystanders.

If bullying is occurring at our club or it is reported to be occurring at our club, we address the bullying by FINDING OUT WHAT HAPPENED and SUPPORTING THE KIDS INVOLVED using the following approach:

FINDING OUT WHAT HAPPENED

  1. First, we get the facts. 

    1. Keep all the involved children separate.

    2. Get the story from several sources, both adults and kids.

    3. Listen without blaming.

    4. Don’t call the act “bullying” while you are trying to understand what happened.

    5. It may be difficult to get the whole story, especially if multiple athletes are involved or the bullying involves social bullying or cyber bullying. Collect all available information.

  1. Then, we determine if it's bullying. There are many behaviors that look like bullying but require different approaches. It is important to determine whether the situation is bullying or something else. 

    1. Review the USA Swimming definition of bullying;

    2. We will determine if the behavior is bullying or something else, by considering the following questions:

  • What is the history between the kids involved?

  • Have there been past conflicts?

  • Is there a power imbalance? Remember that a power imbalance is not limited to physical strength. It is sometimes not easily recognized. If the targeted child feels like there is a power imbalance, there probably is.

  • Has this happened before? Is the child worried it will happen again?

    1. Remember that it may not matter “who started it.” Some kids who are bullied may be seen as annoying or provoking, but this does not excuse the bullying behavior.

    2. Once we have determined if the situation is bullying, support all of the kids involved.

SUPPORTING THE KIDS INVOLVED

  1. Support the kids who are being bullied

    1. Listen and focus on the child. Learn what’s been going on and show we want to help.

    2. Work together to resolve the situation and protect the bullied child. The child, parents, and fellow team members and coaches may all have valuable input. It may help to:

      1. Develop a game plan. Maintain open communication between the Club and parents. Discuss the steps that will be taken and how bullying will be addressed going forward.

    3. Be persistent. Bullying may not end overnight. Commit to making it stop and support the bullied child.

  1. Address bullying behavior

    1. We will make sure the child knows what the problem behavior is. Young people who bully must learn their behavior is wrong and harms others.

    2. Show kids that bullying is taken seriously. Calmly tell the child that bullying will not be tolerated.

    3. Work with the child to understand some of the reasons he or she bullied. For example:

      1. Sometimes children bully to fit in or just to make fun of someone is a little different from them.  In other words, there may be some insecurity involved.

      2. Other times kids act out because something else—issues at home, abuse, stress—is going on in their lives. They also may have been bullied. These kids may be in need of additional support.

    4. Involve the kid who bullied in making amends or repairing the situation. The goal is to help them see how their actions affect others. For example, the child can:

      1. Write a letter apologizing to the athlete who was bullied.

      2. Do a good deed for the person who was bullied, for the Club, or for others in our community.

      3. Clean up, repair, or pay for any property they damaged.

    5. Follow-up. After the bullying issue is resolved, we will continue finding ways to help the child who bullied to understand how what they do affects other people.

Complaint and Reporting Procedures

Bearsharktopus Aquatic Swim Club LLC wants to ensure all members and family are in a safe environment and are satisfied with the level of coaching and atmosphere we provide. We do understand that there are instances where members may feel unsatisfied. We encourage all participates and members to voice their concerns.

For any minor or temporary issues please contact the coaches directly as we will handle all concerns. We also encourage emailing [email protected] for more severe cases. This way the situation is documented and we can ensure we are handling the issue 

Bearsharktopus Aquatic Swim Club LLC agrees with the USA Swimming Importance of Reporting of any issues that are even more severe than the usual operation and procedures of our program. USA Swimming requires the reporting of sexual misconduct by any member and strongly encourages reporting boundary violations, red flag behavior, and any other inappropriate conduct.

If you have been the victim of abuse or are have questions about your situation, please contact Safe Sport Program staff, Susan Woessner or Liz Hoendervoogt, who can help answer any questions you may have.

The USA Swimming Code of Conduct requires any individual with credible information involving sexual misconduct to report that information to our Safe Sport Program staff. Providing specific information regarding abuse or suspected abuse helps USA Swimming to investigate the complaint, and, when appropriate, levy consequences, including revocation of membership.

Child abuse and child sexual abuse is a crime. If USA Swimming receives a complaint of sexual misconduct involving a minor, we will report it to the proper authorities. Out of respect for the importance of this issue and to encourage honest and effective reporting, knowingly false or vindictive reporting will not be tolerated.

If you want to speak to someone immediately, contact our Director of Safe Sport, Susan Woessner, at [email protected] or 719-866-3589 or Safe Sport Program Coordinator, Liz Hoendervoogt, at [email protected] or 719-866-3542.

 

Minor Athlete Abuse Protection Plan (MAAPP)

(MAAPP 2.0)

ONE-ON-ONE INTERACTIONS

I. 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:

    • a. In emergency circumstances;

    • b. When a Dual Relationship exists; and/or

    • c. When the Close-In-Age Exception applies

MEETINGS AND INDIVIDUAL TRAINING SESSIONS

I. Meetings

  • a. Meetings between a Minor Athlete and an Adult Participant may only occur if another adult is present and where interactions can be easily observed and at an interruptible distance from another adult.

  • 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 Adult Participant or Athlete’s hotel room or other overnight lodging location during In-Program Travel.

II. Meetings with Licensed Mental Health Care Professionals and/or Health Care Providers

If a licensed mental health care professional and/or health care provider meets one-on-one with a Minor Athlete at an Event or Facility Under Partial or Full Jurisdiction of USA Swimming in conjunction with participation, the meeting must be observable and interruptible by another adult, except if:

  • 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 although the Minor Athlete’s identity does not need to be disclosed;

  • d. USA Swimming is notified that the licensed mental health care professional and or health care provider will be meeting with a Minor Athlete; and

  • e. The licensed mental health care professional and/or health care provider obtains consent consistent with applicable laws and ethical standards, which can be withdrawn at any time.

III. Individual Training Sessions

  • a. In-Program one-on-one individual training sessions outside of the regular course of training and practice between Adult Participants and Minor Athletes must be observable and interruptible by another adult, except:

    • i. When a Dual Relationship exists; and/or

    • ii. When the Close-In-Age Exception applies.

  • b. The Adult Participant providing the individual training session must receive advance, written consent from the Minor Athlete’s parent/legal guardian at least annually, with a copy provided to the USA Swimming, which can be withdrawn at any time.

  • c. Parents/legal guardians must be allowed to observe the individual training session. 

ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS

I. Content All Electronic Communication from Adult Participants to Minor Athletes must be professional in nature.

II. Open and Transparent

  • a. If an Adult Participant communicates one-on-one with a Minor Athlete via Electronic Communications, the Minor Athlete’s parent/legal guardian must be copied or included. If a Minor Athlete communicates to the Adult Participant privately first, said Adult Participant must copy or include the Minor Athlete’s parent/legal guardian on any Electronic Communication response to the Minor Athlete. Adult Participants must only use Electronic Communication platforms that allow for Open and Transparent communication.

  • b. The following exceptions apply to Section II

    • (a): i. In emergency circumstances;

    • ii. When a Dual Relationship exists; and/or

    • iii. When the Close-In-Age Exception applies.

  • c. 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.

III. Requests to Discontinue

  • Parents/legal guardians may request in writing that their Minor Athlete not be contacted through any form of electronic communication by USA Swimming or by an Adult Participant subject to this Policy. USA Swimming 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 5:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. local time for the location of the Minor Athlete unless emergency circumstances exist, or during competition travel.

V. Prohibited Electronic Communication

  • a. Adult Participants are not permitted to maintain private social media connections with Minor Athletes and such Adult Participants are not permitted to accept new personal page requests on social media platforms from Minor Athletes, unless the Adult Participant 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”, “like” or “follow” USA Swimming’s official page.

  • b. Adult Participants must not send private, instant or direct messages to a Minor Athlete through social media platforms.

  • c. The following exceptions apply to Section V

    • i. When a Dual Relationship exists; and/or

    • ii. When the Close-In-Age Exception applies

TRANSPORTATION

a. During In-Program Travel, observable and interruptible environments must be maintained.

b. An Adult Participant must not transport a Minor Athlete one-on-one during In-Program Travel and must always transport at least two Minor Athletes or another Adult Participant except:

  • i. In emergency circumstances;

  • ii. When a Dual Relationship exists;

  • iii. When the Close-In-Age Exception applies; and/or

  • iv. The Minor Athlete’s parent/legal guardian has provided, at least annually, written consent for the Adult Participant to transport the Minor Athlete one-on-one, which can be withdrawn at any time.

c. Adult Participants, including team managers and chaperones, who travel with USA Swimming must be USA Swimming non-athlete members of USA Swimming.

LODGING

a. An Adult Participant must not share a hotel room, sleeping arrangement or overnight lodging location with an Athlete.

b. 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.

c. 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.

d. The following exceptions apply to II(a), (b) and (c):

  • i. 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

  • ii. When the Close-In-Age Exception applies and the Minor Athlete’s parent/legal guardian has provided advance, written consent for the lodging arrangement.

e. Minor Athletes should be paired to share a hotel room, sleeping arrangement, or overnight lodging location with other Minor Athletes of the same competition category and of similar age. 

f. Meetings

  • Meetings during In-Program Travel must be conducted consistent with the One-on-One Interactions section of this Policy (e.g., any such meeting must be observable and interruptible).

  • Meetings must not be conducted in an Adult Participant or athlete’s hotel room or other overnight lodging location during In-Program Travel

WRITTEN CONSENT

  • A Minor Athlete’s parent/legal guardian must provide written consent, at least annually, for all In Program Travel and lodging during In-Program Travel, which can be withdrawn at any time.

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 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).

II. 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:

    • a. In emergency circumstances;

    • b. A Dual Relationship exists; and/or

    • c. The Close-In-Age exception applies.

III. Private or Semi-Private Space for Minor Athletes

  • USA Swimming 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 USA Swimming.

IV. 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.

V. Undress

  • Adult Participants must not change clothes or behave in a manner that intentionally or recklessly exposes his or her breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals to a Minor Athlete under any circumstance.

  • An Adult Participant must not request a Minor Athlete to expose the Minor Athlete’s breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals to the Adult Participant under any circumstance. Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to areas of the body exposed while wearing swimwear that conforms to the current concept of the appropriate for the individual’s competition category.

VI. Showers

  • a. Adult Participants must not shower with Minor Athletes unless:

    • i. The Adult Participant meets the Close-in-Age Exception; and/or

    • ii. The shower is part of a pre- or post-activity rinse while wearing swimwear.

  • b. Parents/legal guardians may request in writing that their Minor Athlete(s) not change or shower with Adult Participants during In-Program Contact. USA Swimming must abide by such a request.

VII. Monitoring

  • USA Swimming 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.

VIII. Parents/legal guardians in Locker Rooms or Changing Area

  •  If a parent/legal guardian enters a locker room or changing area, it must only be a parent/legal guardian of the same competition category and the parent/legal guardian should notify a coach or administrator in advance.

  • If a parent/legal guardian enters a locker room or changing area, it must only be a parent/legal guardian of the same competition category and the parent/legal guardian should notify a coach or administrator in advance.

 

To see more definitions, details, and Appendices, click here

 

Safe Sport

The following links and protocols are to inform and aid swimmers and parents in following USA Swimming's Safe Sport policies.

 

Best Practice Guidelines 

The following Best Practice Guidelines are strongly recommended for all USA Swimming members.

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. Coaches should not initiate contact with or accept supervisory responsibility for athletes outside club programs and activities.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Coaches and other non-athlete adult members should avoid horseplay and roughhousing with athletes.

7. 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.

8. Coaches should avoid having athletes as their favorites. They should also avoid creating a situation that could be perceived as them having favorites.

9. Gift-giving, providing special favors or showing favoritism to individual athletes is strongly discouraged. 

 

Photography Policy

  • Action shots should be a celebration of the sporting activity and not a sexualized image in a sporting context.

  • Action shots should not be taken or retained where the photograph reveals a torn or displaced swim suit.

  • Photographs should not be taken from behind swimming blocks at the start of a race or exhibit a child climbing out of the swimming pool.

  • Photographs should not be taken in locker‐rooms or bathrooms.  

 

For more information on Safe Sport, click here.

To report an issue or for more information on reporting, click here.

If you have been the victim of abuse or are have questions about your situation, please contact Safe Sport Program staff, Susan Woessner or Liz Hoendervoogt, who can help answer any questions you may have.