Safe Sport has taken center stage with the February 14, 2018 passing of Public Law 115-126 Protecting Young Victims From Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017.


Below is the link to the Public Law:


Safe Sport Public Law


It may be helpful to mention the following particulars as we embrace Safe Sport in the SWOYSL:


  • What is Safe Sport?
    • Safe Sport is a federally authorized resource to end abuse in sport.
    • Safe Sport has a compressive website called The U.S. Center for SafeSport.  Here’s their direct link:
    • Safe Sport is the “umbrella” independent 501c(3) organization for all sports that includes swimming.

  • What abuse is Safe Sport referring to? 
    • Abuse can occur peer to peer as well as adult to athlete 
    • All forms of abuse, including, but not limited to: sexual misconduct & harassment, inappropriate touching, intimidation and physical abuse, bullying (in person and electronically), and the use, sale or distribution of illegal drugs.    


  • How long has Safe Sport been around?
    • USA Swimming began a Safe Sport effort in 1991.  Much of the USA Swimming Safe Sport program was adopted and used as the core for establishing The U.S. Center for SafeSport.

  • I thought the Safe Sport Law only applies to National Governing Bodies (NGB's)?
    • NGB's are held to complete compliance with the entire Law.
    • YMCA Swimming is not an NGB while USA Swimming is an NGB.
    • The Safe Sport Law does require all amateur sports organizations (such as YMCA Swimming) to comply with certain general requirements.
    • Here is the link stating this requirement: (Section 204 at the bottom). 
    • The new requirements affect organizations that arrange interstate or international amateur athletic competitions for minors, as well as the adults working with minor amateur athletes on behalf of those organizations.


Safe Sport is an extensive multi-layer program that involves athletes, coaches, parents, and volunteers.  Awareness, education and understanding of Safe Sport includes many resources such as educational videos, training, model programs, promotional collateral, etc.

  • What is MAAPP?
    • MAAPP is the acronym for Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy.  Think of MAAPP as the “roadmap” on how to achieve Safe Sport.  
    • MAAPP includes all the specific strategies & tactics used to create a safe environment for all athletes.
  • ​The MAAPP addresses these five (5) Risk Areas:
    • One-on-One Interactions
    • Travel: Local & Team
    • Social Media & Electronic Communication
    • Locker Rooms & Changing Areas
    • Massages & Rubdowns


Overall, Safe Sport seeks to create a healthy, supportive environment for all athletes. 


YMCA Swimming of The USA (Y-USA) has embraced Safe Sport and, over time, will create Safe Sport Policies & Procedures.  YMCA of the USA recommends all YMCAs that offer youth sporting activities take steps to ensure their policies and procedures for abuse prevention and reporting align with the law.  Click on the following link to review Y-USA's Safe Sport Act Overview:


Y-USA Safe Sport Act Overview


Our SWOYSL has decided to move forward to establish an effective Safe Sport effort.  


Our League will encourage and assist all teams in creating their own MAAPP.



Did You Know?

Sexual Abuse Statistics:

* 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18.

  • * 90 percent of offenders are known by their victim or their victim’s family.
  • * 1 in 10 public school children, accounting for 4.5 million students, have experienced sexual misconduct by an educator.
  • * Each year, 1 in 7 nursing home residents and thousands of adults with disabilities are abused.
  • * There are more than 60 million survivors of child sexual abuse in America; 80 percent never reported their abuse.
  • * Child abuse costs the United States approximately $103 billion per year.
Impact on Victims:
  • * The immediate effects of sexual abuse often include depression, anxiety, aggression, and self-harm. Long-term effects may include poor physical and mental health, impaired social skills and academic performance, developmental and behavioral problems, and an increased participation in high-risk activities like drug abuse or sexual promiscuity.

Victims of sexual abuse are:

  • * 3x more likely to suffer from depression
  • * 4x more likely to contemplate suicide
  • * 13x more likely to abuse alcohol and 26x more likely to abuse drugs
  • * 40x more likely to experience marital problems
  • * More likely to suffer physically, with an increased risk of heart disease and obesity.


As a volunteer, we need your help to insure our facilities (practice facilities as well as meet competition venues) remain a safe place for our children.


Below are the steps that we must follow in order to be in compliance of the Safe Sport Act:


Child Abuse:

Mandated Reporting:

Prevention Training:


Organizations must offer and provide consistent training regarding prevention and reporting of sexual abuse to adults who are in contact with athletes (including volunteers).  Subject to parental consent, the training must also be made available to minor members.

    -Athlete Protection

    -Athlete Protection: Swim Edition

    -Duty to Report: Mandated Reporter

Prevention Policies:

The Safe Sport Act requires sports organizations to establish reasonable procedures to limit one-on-one interactions between an adult and an amateur athlete who is a minor… without being in an observable and interruptible distance from another adult.


Background Check:

Background Checks along with Athlete Protection Training (APT) are  already required for all Coaches and Officials.


Swimmers 18 years of age and older are now required to complete Athlete Protection Training (ATP).

Currently, Background Checks and Athlete Protection Training (APT) are not required for other volunteer positions such as timers, marshals, concession workers, etc.




The following resources will help you become fully familiarized & understand the scope of Safe Sport.....


Parent Resources: 


Parent’s Guide to Misconduct in Sport:


Safe Sports Parent Toolkit         


For Parents of Preschool Children


For Parents of School-Age Children


For Parents of Middle School Youth


For Parents of High School Aged


Growing Champions for Life        


Tom’s Secret (video)                   


Margaret Hoelzer: A Survivor Story


When the Coach is a Bully           


Coaches Resources:


Swimming – Athlete Protection    

Basic Information                        

Bullying Preventions                   

Margaret Hoelzer: A Survivor Story

When the Coach is a Bully           




Athlete Resources:


Swimming – Safe Sport Training for Athletes

Bullying Prevention                               

General Resources                                 



There's a lot of Safe Sport material....How can we get started??


The following link is the Safe Sport "Club Toolkit" where you can find Safe Sport Best Practices and Model Policies:


Club Toolkit


The Club Toolkit is a comprehensive resource that will help you shape your Safe Sport Policy with athletes, coaches and parents/volunteers.  


Here are a few specifics that need to be part of your Safe Sport effort:


1) All parents are being asked to complete the "Safe Sport for Swim Parents" course through USA Swimming. This course will help you learn all the in and outs of Safe Sport and why it is needed. You can find steps on how to complete with this  link. It should not take you long to complete.​

Here are the steps on how Parents complete their Parent training:

  1. Go to
  2. Create a Non-Member Account
  3. Sign yourself up by filling in all the required information
  4. Once you have all the required information, it will take you to the main page. It should say you have not started any courses. MAKE SURE YOU USE OHIO AS THE LSC AND your YMCA AS THE TEAM.
  5. Click on the blue "COURSES" button
  6. Scroll down and select "SAFE SPORT FOR SWIM PARENTS."
  7. This is a free course. You will still have to type in your billing address, but no payment information is collected. 
  8. Click on "DASHBOARD" to take you back to your main page. From this page you will be able to start the course. 
  9. You are free to take the course over multiple sittings. The website will save your progress.

2) All swimmers in levels III through VI (ages 12 and up) are being asked to complete the "Safe Sport for  Swimmers Course." This course will help swimmers understand that these trainings are in place for their safety.

Here are the steps on how Swimmers complete their Swimmer training:

  1. Go to
  2. Sign in by using your first name, last name, and date of birth. Signing in with this information automatically connects you to your USA Swimming account and will allow all of your trainings to be tracked.
  3. Your name and YMCA should pop up. If it does not, try typing in another name you go by. 
  4. Click "Continue"
  5. Once you hit continue, you will be taken to your main page. 
  6. Scroll down until you see the "Athlete Protection Training" section
  7. If you are under 18 you will need to check the box that says you have parental consent to take the course.
  8. Hit "Start"
  9. If you have not made a USA Swimming Account, you will need to do so by entering your email, your LSC (Ohio Swimming) and your club (YMCA).
  10. After creating an account, go back to the "Athlete Protection Training" section and hit "Start."
  11. After hitting start, it will say you do not have any courses. Hit the "Courses" button
  12. Scroll down to "Safe Sport for Athletes" and hit "Add to Cart." This is a free course so it will not cost your parents anything.
  13. Enter in all of your information. Again, this is a FREE course. You will not need to pay for anything.
  14. After you enter in all your information, you are able to begin the course. You are able to take the course over multiple days and the website should save your progress.
  15. After you complete the training take a picture or screenshot of your certificate and email it to your Coach.

3) Swimmers turning 18 this season must take the three part Athlete Protection Training (Sexual Misconduct Awareness Education, Mandatory Reporting and Emotional and Physical Misconduct). Swimmers must compete this course before you are 18 to be eligible to compete.  Steps to complete are the same as the above for "Swimmers" with selecting the Athlete Protection Training Course.


How do we create our Team's MAAPP?


The link below will connect you to a "Sample" MAAPP along with a customizable MAAPP template which you can download:


MAAPP Sample


The above link also contains MAAPP Educational resources and helpful MAAPP forms.



What other Safe Sport policies should we include?


Click on the following link for some additional "Model" ideas:


Safe Sport "Model ideas" 



What role will Safe Sport have at our Meets??


Our Meet Directors and Meet Referees will have some additional Safe Sport responsibilities during our Meets that will include:


  1. Safe Sport policies included in the Meet Announcement
  2. ​​​​Photography Policy
  3. Reporting Procedures (first responders, emergency, code of conduct)
  4. Locker Room monitoring
  5. Meet Marshal Role
  6. Coaches Briefing
  7. Officials Briefing
  8. Timers Briefing


Not sure of the best way to move forward to create and manage your team's Safe Sport program?


Safe Sport is a comprehensive effort with many components & resources.  While each YMCA Team will create and administer their own Safe Sport program, we will move forward using a "TEAM" approach.


Each YMCA Team will designate their Safe Sport Coach and Safe Sport Athlete.  This collective SWOYSL Safe Sport Coach/Athlete "TEAM" will work together to share Safe Sport ideas & suggestions while providing support for one another.


Please email the names (along with email addresses) of your Safe Sport designees to Steve Connock ([email protected]) by Wednesday, October 9. 


Our SWOYSL Safe Sport Team will schedule a few Safe Sport Meetings as a way to foster creative thinking and momentum.   Steve Connock will coordinate Meetings to accommodate everybody's busy schedule. 


Want to include more "key" players on your Safe Sport Team?  By all means....YES!  Include others you feel will help your Team's Safe Sport Effort.


Steve Connock will also be available to meet and/or chat "one-on-one" to answer any questions that may arise as well.


With your help we will continue to create a safe & nurturing high performance environment for all our athletes!! 




SAFE SPORT........