VAST Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy-Please read fully!

Suzanne Rychlik
Jun 19, 2019

Dear VAST Families,

As mentioned in the weekly news for the last few weeks, USA Swimming is rolling out a new policy called MAAPP, Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy.   Valley Aquatics, as a member club of USA swimming will be adopting this policy.   The policy was first introduced at the end of April for implementation beginning June 23rd.  Since then, USA swimming has worked to clarify the intent of some of the sections as there were various interpretations of what some of the sections meant (which is the main reason why we are waiting until now to introduce). 

VAST has created a tab on our website that links you to the following areas:

  • A list of resources from USA swimming to better help understand the policy, including Frequently asked questions and short webinars.
  • Valley Aquatics MAAPP policy
  • A link to the now required Athlete Protection training for 18 & over athletes.

It is important for all families to read through and understand the MAAPP as parents, athletes, family members, etc can fall under the policy when they are filling the role of an applicable adult (chaperone, meet volunteer, timer, etc).

Here are some of the highlights of the new MAAPP policy that we will be implementing that are especially important for the structure of how Valley Aquatics is set-up & run :

  • No one on one interaction between athletes and Applicable adults.   This means that when a coach/AA is talking with an athlete they need to be in a place that is interruptible by another adult. (For example, on the deck where athletes in the stand, other coaches, lifeguards, officials can witness)

  • Any adult, regardless of whether or not they are a USA swimming member can become Applicable Adults when they are filling a specific role (meet volunteer, chaperone, volunteer at VAST event, etc and during that time are subject to following all guidelines in the MAAPP)

  • Coaches/Employees may not text or email an athlete under 18 without their parent being included. Any communication must happen between 8 AM and 8 PM.  This means that if your athlete texts a coach to let them know to enter them in a meet or they won’t be at practice, etc, a parent must be on thread. We have advised coaches to severely limit any interaction by text and email. We are looking int o an App like teamsnap that has capacity for group messaging to serve this purpose (and whether that would be approved under MAAPP). A parent can request in writing to not allow any text or email communication.

  • Athlete and coaches/VAST employees must not be “friends” or follow each other on any Social Media

  • Coaches/VAST employees may not drive athletes for any reason (exceptions for team travel meets where there will be signed permissions and specific situations explained).

  • When in locker rooms/changing areas, electronics must not be used.  Applicable adults (aka Adult athletes) must change in a way that does not expose their body parts to minor.   When possible, Applicable adults should use a bathroom designated for adults if that is available.  Lastly, locker rooms will be randomly monitored.  One thing to keep in mind with the locker room portion of the policy, is that all the pools we use are public facility and we do not have the power to prohibit the general public from entering or monitor behaviors of the general public within the space.  Please discuss with your athletes appropriate locker room behavior and if they see something that does not seem right, to please let someone of authority know.  

  • 18 & over athlete protection training: While this is not technically part of MAAPP, athletes will need to take the APT training once they turn 18 (they can take it before).  They will have a one month grace period to complete this.   Link is available on the website.   Failure to complete may result in being removed from the team and/or inability to compete in meets.

  • MAAPP applies to Applicable Adults and their interactions with minor athletes solely in conjunction with USA Swimming activities.

While the above is not the policy in its entirety, (please make sure to read the full policy here), it does summarize the key parts that are most important to the day to day VAST operations.  

Our Safesport team liaison is Trinna Bloomquist and she can be reached at Trinna.bloomquist@gmail.com.  I am also available for questions/concerns.  

We would appreciate you filling out the survey below to let us know that you have read this policy.  

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5SZ6G2D

Thank you for working with us to make swimming with Valley Aquatics a positive and rewarding experience for all athletes,

Suzanne and Ted Rychlik