USA Swimming: Safe Sport

USA Swimming has announced changes to its Athlete Protection Policy.  All member clubs are required to comply and implement the changes in full. The new changes have a large effect on our team and our policies. Please read this information CAREFULLY as it pertains to athlete safety and contains important policy changes. The groups affected by the policy changes are the Performance Group, the Travel Group, and Local groups in Asheville and Waynesville, SMAC Masters, Summer SMAC Waynesville, and the West Asheville Waves. The Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy changes pertain to team operations in a few key areas:

  • Applicable Adults - Athlete members and non-member athletes ages 18 and older.  
  • One on One Interactions
  • Communication - Social Media, Email, Phone Conversations, and Text Messages 
  • Team Travel: This includes travel to and from all team-related activities.  

ALL MEMBERS OF SMOKY MOUNTAIN AQUATIC CLUB MUST ADHERE TO THE ATTACHED POLICIES WHICH ARE OUTLINED BELOW: The Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy (MAAPP) must be reviewed and agreed to by all athletes, parents, coaches and other non-athlete members of member clubs on an annual basis with such agreement to be retained by the club.  Prior to June 18th, 2019, ALL Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club and WCAG members must have signed and completed the linked waiver here. Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club and WCAG members who have not completed the form by June 18th will not be allowed to return to practice until the linked waiver is signed and completed. Additionally, all applicable adults must have completed USA Swimming's Online Athlete Protection Training prior to June 18th. 

  • ALL SMAC AND WCAG FAMILIES MUST COMPLETE THIS WAIVER by June 18th. By doing so, you are stating that you understand and agree to adhere to USA Swimming's MAAPP Policies.   Please fill out one waiver per athlete that you have enrolled in the program. 
  • USA Swimming Athlete Protection Training: All athlete members aged 18 and older.  All non-athlete members ages 18 and older must take the training.
    • Applicable adults that do not take the training by June 18 will become ineligible to participate with USA Swimming and Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club.  All practice and competitions will cease until you have completed the training.  There are THREE course modules you must take.  Please follow the instructions on the website linked above. 
    • Once completed, please email Coach Charlie and Coach Scott your certificate of completion.




WHAT IS SAFE SPORT? The U.S. Center for SafeSport is an independent, nonprofit organization committed to ending all forms of abuse in sports. This includes bullying, harassment, hazing, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual misconduct and abuse. SafeSport requires all USA Swimming club members to have certain policies in place to ensure the team members and staff are informed of and follow the proper procedures in place for the club. The Safe Sport goal is to foster a fun, healthy, and safe environment all while preventing and responding to abuse and misconduct.

PURPOSE: This new policy is a required policy to help support the Safe Sport mission. Every USA Swim Club across the country is required to implement this policy. Incorporating this new policy puts the steps in place to make sure USA Swimming and Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club are doing everything they can to prevent abuse and misconduct from happening.


Applicable Adults: Who are Applicable Adults? 

Applicable adults are: 

  • All USA Swimming non-athlete members and adult athlete members;
  • Participating non-members (e.g., meet marshals, meet computer operators, timers, etc.);
  • LSC and club adult staff and board members; and
  • Any other adult authorized to have regular contact with or authority over minor athletes. 

Athlete Protection Training: All Athlete athlete members ages 18 and up must take Athlete Protection Training.  All non-athlete members must take the training. Athlete Protection Training is located here.  Once completed, please email Coach Charlie your certificate of completion. 

One on One Interactions

Observable and Interruptible: One-on-one interactions between a minor athlete and an Applicable Adult (who is not the minor’s legal guardian) will occur at an observable and interruptible distance from another adult unless meeting with a Mental Health Care Professional and/or Health Care Provider (see below) or under emergency circumstances. 

Meetings: Meetings between a minor athlete and an Applicable Adult may only occur if another adult is present and where interactions can be easily observed and at an interruptible distance from another adult, except under emergency circumstances.  

  • In the event that a one-on-one meeting takes place, the door to the room will remain unlocked and open. If available, the meeting will occur in a room that has windows, with the windows, blinds, and/or curtains remaining open during the meeting. 
  • Meetings will not be conducted in an Applicable Adult or athlete’s hotel room or other overnight lodging locations during team travel. 
  • Meetings with Mental Health Care Professionals and/or Health Care Providers: If a Mental Health Care Professional and/or Health Care Provider meets with a minor athlete in conjunction with participation, including at practice or competition sites, a closed-door meeting may be permitted to protect patient privacy provided that: 
    • The door remains unlocked; 
    • Another adult is present at the facility; 
    • The other adult is advised that a closed-door meeting is occurring; and 
    • Written legal guardian consent is obtained in advance by the Mental Health Care Professional and/or Health Care Provider, with a copy provided to the club. 

Individual Training Sessions: Individual training sessions outside of the regular course of training and practice between Applicable Adults and minor athletes are permitted if the training session is observable and interruptible by another adult. Legal guardians should observe the training session.

Social Media and Electronic Communications

  1. Content: All electronic communication from Applicable Adults to minor athletes must be professional in nature.
  2. Open and Transparent: Absent emergency circumstances, if an Applicable Adult with authority over minor athletes needs to communicate directly with a minor athlete via electronic communications (including social media), the minor athlete’s legal guardian must be copied. If a minor athlete communicates to the Applicable Adult (with authority over the minor athlete) privately first, said Applicable Adult must copy the minor athlete’s legal guardian on any electronic communication response to the minor athlete.
    1. When an Applicable Adult with authority over minor athletes communicates electronically to the entire team, said Applicable Adult must copy another adult.
  3. Requests to Discontinue: Legal guardians may request in writing that their minor athlete not be contacted through any form of electronic communication by Club Name, LSC or by an Applicable Adult subject to this Policy. The organization 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.
  4. Hours: Electronic communications must only be sent between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., unless emergency circumstances exist, or during competition travel.
  5. Prohibited Electronic Communication: Applicable Adults with authority over minor athletes are not permitted to maintain private social media connections with unrelated minor athletes and such Applicable Adults are not permitted to accept new personal page requests on social media platforms from minor athletes, unless the Applicable Adult 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” Club Name and/or LSC’s official page.
    1. Applicable Adults with authority over minor athletes will NEVER send private, instant or direct messages to a minor athlete through social media platforms. 


Local Travel: Local travel consists of travel to training, practice, and competition that occurs locally and does not include coordinated overnight stay(s). Carpool drivers are considered applicable adults. 

  • Applicable Adults must not ride in a vehicle alone with an unrelated minor athlete, absent emergency circumstances, and must always have at least two minor athletes or another adult in the vehicle unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the minor athlete’s legal guardian. 
  • Legal guardians must pick up their minor athletes first and drop off their minor athletes last in any shared or carpool travel arrangement. 


The requirement to Use Locker Room or Changing Area: The designated locker room or changing area must be used when an athlete or Applicable Adult changes, in whole or in part, into or out of a swimsuit when wearing just one suit (e.g., deck changing is prohibited). 

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 Applicable Adult is prohibited. 

Undress: An unrelated Applicable Adult must not expose his or her breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals to a minor athlete under any circumstance. An unrelated Applicable Adult must not request an unrelated minor athlete to expose the minor athlete’s breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals to the unrelated Applicable Adult under any circumstance. 

One-on-One Interactions: Except for athletes on the same team or athletes attending the same competition, at no time are unrelated Applicable Adults permitted to be alone with a minor athlete in a locker room or changing area, except under emergency circumstances. If the organization is using a facility that only has a single locker room or changing area, separate times for use by Applicable Adults must be designated.  

Monitoring: The club will regularly and randomly monitor the use of locker rooms and changing areas to ensure compliance with the above policies. Locker rooms and changing areas may be monitored by use of the following methods: 

  • Conducting a sweep of the locker room or changing area before athletes arrive.
  • Posting staff directly outside the locker room or changing area during periods of use. 
  • Leaving the doors open when adequate privacy is still possible and/or 
  • Making occasional sweeps of the locker rooms or changing areas with women checking on female locker rooms and men checking on male locker rooms. 
  • Legal Guardians in Locker Rooms or Changing Areas: Legal guardians are discouraged from entering locker rooms and changing areas. If a legal guardian does enter a locker room or changing area, it must only be a same-sex legal guardian and the legal guardian should notify a coach or administrator in advance.


Attached is USA Swimming's Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy as well as North Carolina Swimming's Athlete Protection Training FAQs. 

Questions or concerns? Please feel free to speak with a coach with any questions or concerns you may have..

REPORTING Safe Sport Concerns