Viking Codes of Conduct and Behavior Standards

Swimmer Code of Conduct

Expected Behavior at all Viking activities:

  1. Act and conduct myself with dignity and respect for others and the property of others.
  2. Always practice and teach good sportsmanship.
  3. Promote positive team spirit and morale.
  4. Offer congratulations to my opponents, win or lose, and cheer on my teammates.
  5. Be a goodwill ambassador between the sport of swimming and the public.
  6. Remember that my commitment to minimum recommended practices requirements not only affects me, it also effects my contribution to the team.

Prohibited Behavior at all Viking activities:

  1. Use of alcoholic beverages.
  2. Use of illegal drugs.
  3. Smoking or other use of tobacco products.
  4. Destructive behavior.
  5. Inappropriate or unruly behavior, including failure to adhere to team standards.

At Meets:

  1. Team members will display proper respect and sportsmanship toward coaches, officials, administrators, teammates, fellow competitors and the public at all times.
  2. Team members and staff will refrain from any illegal or inappropriate behavior that would detract from a positive image of the team or be detrimental to its performance objectives.
  3. The possession or use of alcohol or tobacco products by any athlete is prohibited.
  4. The possession, use, sale or distribution of any controlled or illegal substance or any form of weapon is strictly forbidden.
  5. No “deck changes” are permitted. Athletes are expected to use available change facilities.
  6. Team members are reminded that when competing in meets, traveling on trips, and attending other meet‐related functions, they are representing both themselves and HYV. Athlete behavior must positively reflect the high standards of the team and the core values of the YMCA.
  7. Swimmers are to refrain from inappropriate physical contact at team activities and events.
  8. Swimmers are to refrain from use of inappropriate language.

Possible Consequences for Violations of the Code of Conduct:

  1. Sending a swimmer home at additional expense, to be borne by the swimmer and his/her parents.
  2. Scratching the athlete from subsequent events.
  3. Eliminating all non-swimming privileges during a meet.
  4. The swimmer will not be invited to attend a future Travel Meet.
  5. Temporary or permanent dismissal from the team.
  6. Proceedings for a LSC or USA Swimming National Board of Review.

Parent Code of Ethics

All Viking Parents will be required to pledge to provide positive support, care and encouragement for my child participating in the Greater Holyoke YMCA Viking Swim Team by following this “Parents’ Code of Ethics.”

  1. I will encourage good sportsmanship by demonstrating positive support for all swimmers, coaches, and officials at every meet, practice or other team event.
  2. I will place the emotional and physical well-being of my child ahead of my personal desire to win.
  3. I will insist that my child participate in a safe and healthy environment.
  4. I will require that my child’s coach be trained in the responsibilities of being a YMCA Swim Coach and that the coach upholds the Greater Holyoke YMCA Coaches’ Code of Ethics.
  5. I will support and be respectful to all coaches and officials working with my child, in order to encourage a positive and enjoyable experience for all.
  6. I will never undermine the coaching of the coaching staff or speak poorly of a coach in the presence of my swimmer(s).
  7. I will demand a swimming environment for my child that is free from drugs, tobacco and alcohol and will refrain from their use at all YMCA Swimming Events. I will remember that the meet is for the swimmer, and not for the adult.
  8. I will do my very best to make participation in competitive swimming fun for my child.
  9. I will ask my child to treat other swimmers, coaches, fans and officials with respect regardless of race, sex, creed or ability.
  10. I will help my child enjoy the Viking Swimming experience by doing whatever I can, such as being a respectful fan, assisting at meets, providing transportation, or fund raising for the program.


All USA Swimming members are required to abide by the Code of Conduct. In addition to that Code, USA Swimming publishes the following Best Practice Guidelines. The Best Practice Guidelines below describe strategies for creating an open and observable environment and establishing clear boundaries between adults and athletes. Clubs are encouraged to use the Best Practice Guidelines to develop policies that can be implemented at the local level.

  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 the 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 situations.
  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 athletes.
  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.