Safe Sport 

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USA Swimming is committed to providing a healthy and positive environment free from abuse for all its members. USA Swimming's Safe Sport program, a comprehensive abuse prevention program, consists of a multi-layered approach to keep kids safe. These measures are informed by experts in the field of child safety and are among the strongest safeguards found in youth-serving organizations. 

As a member in the 2022-2023 season, here are a few important USA Swimming Safe Sport reminders:

 

1. Training and Education:

a. Federal law (the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017) requires USA Swimming to offer and provide consistent training to all adult members who are in regular contact with minor athletes and, subject to parental consent, to members who are minors regarding prevention and reporting of child abuse.

USA Swimming requires all adult members of USA Swimming – both adult athletes and non-athletes - to complete Athlete Protection Training (APT) on an annual basis. This includes:

  • USA Swimming members;
  • Employees or board members of USA Swimming, Zones, Local Swimming Committees (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.

For more information on the training and education requirements, please review USA Swimming's Training and Education Policy found here. Adult athlete and non-athlete members can access the required training through the Education tab in the new SWIMS database by logging into USA Swimming’s website.

b. USA Swimming offers free training for both parents and minor athletes which can be accessed through the USA Swimming Education tab on a USA Swimming member’s SWIMS account as well as through the LEARN platform. In addition, there are free monthly virtual trainings available to both parents and minor athletes via Zoom. The monthly virtual Zoom training schedule is located here.

c. USA Swimming’s Safe Sport Family Resource Guide is another education tool for our members. This guide encourages parents and guardians to join USA Swimming in creating a positive environment free from abuse.

d. The State of California has enacted the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA). To assist our members residing in California, USA Swimming has provided resources on its website and has enacted new membership requirements for California-residing adult non-athlete members. Any California-residing non-athlete member who has not completed the training as of November 3, 2022, will be ineligible to participate with USA Swimming unless or until such time as the training is completed. Learn more by visiting the USA Swimming Safe Sport website here.

2. Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy:

The Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy (MAAPP) is a required policy to be implemented in full by USA Swimming, its Zones, LSCs and member clubs. MAAPP addresses the risk areas of one-on-one interactions, meetings and individual training sessions, electronic communications, in-program travel and lodging, locker rooms and changing areas, as well as massages, rubdowns and athletic training modalities. The policy aims to strengthen accountability and supervision when it comes to interactions between adults and minors while participating in USA Swimming - all with the goal of preventing abuse. USA Swimming members are required to acknowledge MAAPP every year and there are numerous MAAPP resources available in Spanish to assist our Spanish speaking members.

The full MAAPP can be found at www.usaswimming.org/maapp, along with educational materials to assist Zones, LSCs and member clubs with implementation.

3. Reporting:

It is every member’s responsibility to promptly report any incident regarding abuse, including sexual misconduct, by a member to USA Swimming. Reporting must occur when an individual has firsthand knowledge of misconduct or where specific and credible information has been received from a victim or knowledgeable third party.

In addition, pursuant to federal law, all adults authorized to interact with minor athletes who learn of facts that give reason to suspect a child has suffered an incident of child abuse, including child sexual abuse, are mandatory reporters and must make a report of the suspected abuse to law enforcement and/or the state's designated agency, as well as to the U.S. Center for SafeSport immediately (e.g., within 24 hours).

  • This reporting requirement is a part of the USA Swimming Code of Conduct Article 306: Child Abuse Reporting Requirements. Various state laws may also require reporting to law enforcement or to a designated child protection agency.
  • Article 307 of the USA Swimming Code of Conduct also states no member shall retaliate against any individual who has made a good faith report. False reporting of sexual misconduct made in bad faith is prohibited, and neither civil nor criminal statutes of limitation apply to reports of cases of sexual abuse. See more about the Whistleblower and Anti-Retaliation Policy here.

Reporting sexual, physical or emotional misconduct can be very difficult. To provide ease in reporting, USA Swimming provides numerous ways in which members can report, which includes the ability to report anonymously.

  • Fill the online reporting form here;
  • Text message at 888-270-SWIM (7946);
  • Email [email protected]; and
  • Call USA Swimming headquarters at 719-866-4578.

If you need any advice or help in making your report, please contact USA Swimming Safe Sport staff at [email protected] or visit www.usaswimming.org/report. To learn more about SwimAssist, USA Swimming’s survivor’s assistance fund, please view our website here or read this article.

 

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Following all of the USA Swimming Safe Sport policies and requirements throughout your membership year is vital. Should you have any questions about this information or anything Safe Sport related, contact USA Swimming Safe Sport staff at [email protected]