Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies (MAAPP)

USA Swimming’s top priority continues to be creating healthy and positive environments free from abuse for all its members. As part of its commitment to safeguard athletes, USA Swimming has released an updated Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy (MAAPP) applicable to all USA Swimming Adult Participants, Zones, LSCs and member clubs. These required updates come from the U.S. Center for SafeSport (the “Center”). USA Swimming’s updated MAAPP document has been approved by the Center and is required to be fully implemented by USA Swimming, its Zones, LSCs and member clubs. USA Swimming has set a deadline for those organizations to implement the policy in full no later than September 1, 2021; all organizations are encouraged to implement the MAAPP prior to the September 1 deadline.

To see the USA Swimming MAAPP, along with educational resources to assist you, your athlete and our team in implementing MAAPP, please visit https://www.usaswimming.org/safe-sport.

Training our members in abuse prevention and mandatory reporting is just as important as creating policies. USA Swimming is required to provide regular and consistent training for all adults who interact with and have direct contact with minor athletes, including adult athletes. Starting June 23, 2019, as a condition of membership, all athlete members ages 18 and over must complete Athlete Protection Training.

Athlete Protection Training Requirement for Adult Athletes

"Since 2010, USA Swimming has required athlete protection education of all non-athlete members of USA Swimming. Further, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 requires USA Swimming [...] offer and provide consistent training to all adult members who are in regular contact [...] with amateur athletes who are minors, and, subject to parental consent, to members who are minors, regarding prevention and reporting of child abuse.

"The U.S. Center for SafeSport requires any of the following individuals who has regular contact with or authority over minor athletes to complete athlete protection education:
  • USA Swimming members
  • Employees or board members of USA Swimming, Zones, LSCs or member clubs
  • Individuals within the governance or disciplinary jurisdiction of USA Swimming, Zones, LSCs or member clubs; and
  • Individuals who are authorized, approved or appointed by USA Swimming, Zones, LSCs or member clubs to have regular contact with or authority over minor athletes.

"[A]ll adult members of USA Swimming, including athletes and junior coach members, must have satisfactorily completed athlete protection education as a condition of membership. Membership will not be conferred to an adult member of USA Swimming unless and until athlete protection education is satisfactorily completed. [...] As required by the U.S. Center for SafeSport, individuals subject to this policy must complete athlete protection education on an annual basis.

"USA Swimming members are required to complete the athlete protection education on the USA Swimming LEARN platform accessed at www.usaswimming.org/apt.
"Minor Athlete and Parent Training: USA Swimming will, on an annual basis, offer and give training to parents and minor athletes (subject to parental consent) on the prevention and reporting of child abuse. Free online training courses for parents and minor athletes on the prevention and reporting of child abuse are available any time at www.usaswimming.org/learn.
"Exemption for Victims/Survivors: Completing the required athlete protection education may be triggering or re-traumatizing for victims/survivors. Exemptions for this requirement may be made on a case-by-case basis. Requests should be sent to [email protected]. Requests may also be made directly to the U.S. Center for SafeSport at [email protected].
"Individuals with Limited English Proficiency: The U.S. Center for SafeSport provides the required athlete protection courses in English, Spanish, French. An individual subject to this policy may request an exemption from this Policy as a result of limited English proficiency by contacting [email protected]."

USA Swimming Athlete Inclusion, Competitive Equity and Eligibility Policy

Following several months of internal work, critical stakeholder discussions, and medical and legal review, and in light of updated information regarding the Fédération Internationale de Natation’s (FINA) policy development, USA Swimming has elected to release its Athlete Inclusion, Competitive Equity and Eligibility PolicyThis policy, effective immediately, is applicable only to USA Swimming athlete members and approved elite events as defined in the policy and will remain in place until the release of an elite policy by FINA.

USA Swimming has and will continue to champion gender equity and the inclusivity of all cisgender and transgender women and their rights to participate in sport, while also fervently supporting competitive equity at elite levels of competition.

The development of the elite policy therefore acknowledges a competitive difference in the male and female categories and the disadvantages this presents in elite head-to-head competition. This is supported by statistical data that shows that the top-ranked female in 2021, on average, would be ranked 536th across all short course yards (25 yards) male events in the country and 326th across all long course meters (50 meters) male events in the country, among USA Swimming members. The policy therefore supports the need for competitive equity at the most elite levels of competition.

While recognizing the need for the aforementioned guidelines in elite competition, sport is an important vehicle for positive physical and mental health, and, for this reason, USA Swimming remains steadfast in its continued commitment to greater inclusivity at the non-elite levels.

In order to balance these two priorities, specific guidelines have been developed for both non-elite and elite athletes and elite events. At the non-elite level, an inclusive process has been established by which an athlete can elect to change their competition category in order for them to experience the sport of swimming in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity and expression. At the elite level, a policy has been created for transgender athlete participation in the U.S. that relies on science and medical evidence-based methods to provide a level-playing field for elite cisgender women, and to mitigate the advantages associated with male puberty and physiology. Elite athletes shall include any athlete who has achieved a time standard and desires to participate in elite events as defined in the policy.

The elite athlete policy will be implemented by a decision-making panel comprised of three independent medical experts and eligibility criteria will consist of:

  • Evidence that the prior physical development of the athlete as a male, as mitigated by any medical intervention, does not give the athlete a competitive advantage over the athlete’s cisgender female competitors.
  • Evidence that the concentration of testosterone in the athlete’s serum has been less than 5 nmol/L (as measured by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry) continuously for a period of at least thirty-six (36) months before the date of application.

Athletes will need to abide by USA Swimming’s Athlete Inclusion, Competitive Equity and Eligibility Policy to be eligible to set USA Swimming National Age-Group Records in the 13-14 age group and above or to be eligible to set an American Record, per the USA Swimming Rules & Regulations, in a competition category which is different than the gender assigned to the athlete at birth.

USA Swimming’s policy is not applicable to non-USA Swimming athlete members nor non-approved Elite events, as defined in the policy.

USA Swimming will continue to learn and to evaluate its policy, with a focus on balancing inclusion and equity, and will continue to work closely with FINA on global standards.

To learn more about USA Swimming's inclusion policy, visit https://www.usaswimming.org/docs/default-source/governance/governance-lsc-website/rules_policies/usa-swimming-policy-19.pdf.

Social Media and Electronic Communications

As a reminder, athlete to coach or coach to athlete contact via email or text must include a parent or guardian in the communication. To read more about Social Media and Electronic Communications click here.

As a reminder, cell phones, because of their ability to record images, are not permitted for use in locker rooms during USA Swimming practices  and meets. Please take a minute to discuss this with your swimmer to make sure they understand this policy.