USASA Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies

Created: 12 September 2018

 

The USASA has established reasonable procedures to limit one-on-one interactions, as set forth in federal law and as required by the US Center for SafeSport to implement the following athlete prevention policies for:

  1. One-on-One Interactions, including meetings and individual training sessions
  2. Massages and rubdowns
  3. Locker rooms, rest rooms, and changing areas
  4. Social media and electronic communications
  5. Local travel
  6. Team travel

Minor athletes who become adult athletes

A minor athlete that reaches the age of majority may not be subject to athlete prevention policies if they remain an athlete, and when interacting with minor athletes who are 16 or older. Athlete prevention policies are in effect when this now age of majority athlete interacts with minor athletes 15 or younger. Should a minor athlete reach the age of majority and then obtain a position that presents a potential power imbalance, such as becoming a coach, the individual is subject to athlete prevention policies.

Reporting

Every USASA member must report suspected violations of the SafeSport Code. If you suspect that a child is experiencing misconduct of a sexual nature, don’t investigate yourself. Call the SafeSport hotline and local child protection authorities (Police or Child Welfare Office) and report it to the experts who have the skills to investigate the matter. If you have a doubt on whether conduct is occurring, please err on the side of reporting. Conduct which does not involve sexualized conduct but which may violate one of the six categories of prohibited conduct may be reported to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

SafeSport Helpline

  • The Center for SafeSport provides 24-hour support via the SafeSport Helpline or by calling 866.200.0796.

Reporting Suspected Violations of Sexualized Conduct

 

USASA Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies

The majority of child sexual abuse is perpetrated in isolated, one-on-one situations. By reducing such interactions between children and adults, you reduce the risk of child sexual abuse. However, one-on-one time with trusted adults is also healthy and valuable for a child. Policies concerning one-on-one interactions protect children while allowing for these beneficial relationships.

ONE-ON-ONE INTERACTIONS

The following is the USASA one-on-one policy:

a. Application
This policy shall apply to:

  1. Adults at a facility under the jurisdiction of the USASA
  2. Adult members who have regular contact with amateur athletes who are minors
  3. An adult authorized by the USASA to have regular contact with or authority over an amateur athlete who is a minor
  4. Staff and board members of the USASA

(collectively, Participating Adults)

b. Observable and interruptible

  • One-on-one interactions between minors and an Adult (who is not the minor’s legal guardian) at our facility are permitted, if they occur at an observable and interruptible distance by another adult.
  • Isolated, one-on-one interactions between minors and an Adult (who is not the minor’s legal guardian) at our facility are prohibited, except under emergency circumstances.

c. Meetings

  • Meetings between Adults and minors at our facilities may only occur if another adult is present, except under emergency circumstances. Such meetings must occur where interactions can be easily observed and at an interruptible distance from another adult.
  • If a one-on-one meeting takes place in an office, the door to the office must remain unlocked and open. If available, it will occur in an office that (if available) has windows, with the windows, blinds, and/or curtains remaining open during the meeting.

d. Meetings with mental health care professionals

If a mental health care professional meets with minors at our facilities, a closed-door meeting may be permitted to protect patient privacy – provided that:

  1. the door remains unlocked
  2. another adult is present at the facility
  3. the other adult is advised that a closed-door meeting is occurring
  4. written legal guardian consent is obtained by the mental health care professional, with a copy provided to the USASA.

e. Individual training sessions

  • Individual training sessions between Adults and minors are permitted at our facility if the training session is observable and interruptible by another adult. The Adult must obtain the written permission of the minor’s legal guardian in advance of the individual training session. Parents, guardians, and other caretakers must be allowed to observe the training session. Permission for individual training sessions must be obtained at least every six months.

f. Monitoring

  • When one-on-one interactions between Adults and minors occur at our facility, adults will monitor these interactions. Monitoring includes: knowing that the one-on-one interaction is occurring, the approximate planned duration of the interaction, and randomly dropping in on the one-on-one.

g. Out-of-program contacts

  • Adults are prohibited from interacting one-on-one with unrelated minor athletes in settings outside of the program (including, but not limited to, one’s home, restaurants, and individual transportation), unless parent/legal guardian consent is provided for each out-of-program contact.  Such arrangements are nonetheless strongly discouraged.


MASSAGES AND RUBDOWNS

The following is the USASA massages and rubdowns policy:

a. Application
This policy shall apply to:

  1. Adults at a facility under the jurisdiction of the USASA
  2. Adult members who have regular contact with amateur athletes who are minors
  3. An adult authorized by the USASA to have regular contact with or authority over an amateur athlete who is a minor
  4. Staff and board members of the USASA

(collectively, Participating Adults)

b. Licensed, certified professional

  • Any massage or rubdown performed by an Adult on a minor athlete at our facilities or a training or competition venue is prohibited unless such Adult is a licensed massage therapist.
  • Any massage or rubdown performed at our facilities or a training or competition venue by a licensed professional must be conducted in open and interruptible locations.
  • Any massage of a minor athlete must be done with at least one other adult present and must never be done with only the minor athlete and licensed massage therapist in the room.  Even if a coach is a licensed massage therapist, the coach shall not perform a rubdown or massage of an athlete under any circumstances.

c. Written consent

  • Written consent by a legal guardian shall be provided before providing each massage or rubdown on a minor athlete. Parents must be permitted to be in the room as an observer.


LOCKER ROOMS, REST ROOMS, AND CHANGING AREAS

The following is the USASA locker room, rest room, and changing area policy:

a. Application
This policy shall apply to:

  1. Adults at a facility under the jurisdiction of the USASA
  2. Adult members who have regular contact with amateur athletes who are minors
  3. An adult authorized by the USASA to have regular contact with or authority over an amateur athlete who is a minor
  4. Staff and board members of the USASA

(collectively, Participating Adults)

b. 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, rest rooms, changing areas, or similar spaces at a facility under the USASA’s jurisdiction is prohibited. Exceptions may be made for media and championship celebrations, provided that such exceptions are approved by the the USASA and two or more adults are present.

c. Undress

  • Under no circumstances shall an unrelated Adult at a facility under the USASA’s jurisdiction be undressed (disrobed or partial or full nudity where private body parts are exposed) in front of minor athletes.

d. Isolated one-on-one interactions

  • At no time are unrelated Adults permitted to be alone with a minor in a locker room, rest room, or changing area when at a facility under our jurisdiction, except under emergency circumstances.
  • If the USASA is using a facility that has access to a single set of such facilities, we will designate times for use by Adults, if any.

e. Monitoring

  • The USASA regularly and randomly monitors the use of locker rooms, rest rooms, and changing areas at facilities under our jurisdiction to ensure compliance with these policies.

f. Non-exclusive facility

  • If the USASA uses a facility not under its jurisdiction (for, e.g., training or competition or similar events) and the facility is used by multiple constituents, Adults in categories 2 through 4 are nonetheless required to adhere to the rules set forth here.

g. To minimize the risk of bullying and hazing, the USASA uses locker room monitors to ensure that minors are not left unattended in locker rooms, rest rooms, and changing areas.

h. Adults make every effort to recognize when an athlete goes to the locker room or changing area during practice and competition and, if they do not return in a timely fashion, we will check on the athlete’s whereabouts.

i. We discourage parents from entering locker rooms and changing areas unless it is truly necessary. In those instances, it should only be a same-sex parent. If this is necessary, parents should let a coach or administrator know about this in advance.

SOCIAL MEDIA & ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS

The following is the USASA social media & electronic communications policy:

a. Application
This policy shall apply to:

  1. Adult members who have regular contact with amateur athletes who are minors
  2. An adult authorized by the USASA to have regular contact with or authority over an amateur athlete who is a minor
  3. Staff and board members at the USASA

(collectively, Participating Adults)

b. Content

All electronic communication originating from Participating Adults to amateur athletes who are minors must be professional in nature.

c. Open and transparent

  • If a Participating Adult needs to communicate directly with an amateur athlete who is a minor via electronic communications, another Participating Adult or the minor’s legal guardian will be copied.
  • If a minor athlete communicates to the Participating Adult privately first, the Participating Adult should respond to the minor athlete with a copy to another Participating Adult or the minor’s legal guardian.
  • A Participating Adult communicating electronically to the entire team will copy another Participating Adult.
  • Amateur athletes who are minors may “friend” the USASA’s official page.

d. Prohibited electronic communications

  • Participating Adults are not permitted to communicate privately via electronic communications with amateur athletes who are minors, except under emergency circumstances.
  • Participating Adults are not permitted to “private message,” “instant message,” “direct message”, or send photos via Snapchat or Instagram to a minor athlete privately.
  • Participating Adults are not permitted to maintain social media connections with minors; such adults are not permitted to accept new personal page requests on social media platforms from amateur athletes who are minors and existing social media connections with amateur athletes who are minors shall be discontinued

e. Requests to discontinue

Legal guardians may request in writing that their child not be contacted through any form of electronic communication by the USASA or by the USASA’s Participating Adults. The USASA will abide by any such request that their child not be contacted via electronic communication, absent emergency circumstances.

f. Hours

Electronic communications will only be sent between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

g. Monitoring

  • The USASA monitors its social media pages and removes any posts that violate the USASA’s policies and practices for appropriate behavior.
  • The USASA will inform the legal guardian of a minor athlete of any prohibited posts, as well as the USASA’s administrator.

LOCAL TRAVEL

The following is the USASA local travel policy:

a. Application
This policy shall apply to:

  1. Adult members who have regular contact with amateur athletes who are minors
  2. An adult authorized by the USASA to have regular contact with or authority over an amateur athlete who is a minor
  3. Staff and board members at the USASA

(collectively, Participating Adults)

b. Transportation

  • The USASA does not arrange for local travel.
  • Participating Adults who are not also acting as a legal guardian, shall not ride in a vehicle alone with an unrelated athlete who is a minor, absent emergency circumstances, and may only drive with at least two other minor athletes or another adult at all times, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the minor athlete’s parent/legal guardian in advance of each local travel.

c. Shared or Carpool Travel Arrangement

  • We encourage parents/legal guardians to pick up their minor athlete first and drop off their minor athlete last in any shared or carpool travel arrangement.

d. Parents/legal guardians receive education concerning child abuse prevention before providing consent for their minor to travel alone with a Participating Adult.

TEAM TRAVEL

The following is the USASA team travel policy:

a. Application
This policy shall apply to:

  1. Adult members who have regular contact with amateur athletes who are minors
  2. An adult authorized by the USASA to have regular contact with or authority over an amateur athlete who is a minor
  3. Staff and board members at the USASA

(collectively, Participating Adults)

b. Team/competition travel

  • When only one Participating Adult and one minor athlete travel to a competition, the minor athlete must have his/her legal guardian’s written permission in advance and for each competition to travel alone with the Participating Adult.

c. Hotel rooms

  • Participating Adults shall not share a hotel room or other sleeping arrangement with a minor athlete (unless the Participating Adult is the legal guardian, sibling, or is otherwise related to the minor athlete).

d. Meetings

  • Meetings shall be conducted consistent with the USASA’s policy for one-on-one interactions – i.e., any such meeting shall be observable and interruptible.
  • Meetings shall not be conducted in a hotel room.

e. Team travel policies must be signed and agreed to by all minor athletes, parents, and Participating Adults traveling with the USASA.

f. Participating Adults who travel with the USASA must successfully pass a criminal background check and other screening requirements consistent with the USASA’s policies.

g. During team travel, when doing room checks, attending team meetings and/or other activities, two-deep leadership and observable and interruptible environments should be maintained.

h. Parents/legal guardians receive education concerning child abuse prevention before providing consent for their minor to travel alone with a Participating Adult.

 

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