By Bob Vincent, Tim Hinchey III | Monday, April 29, 2019
To All USA Swimming Members -
We are excited to announce enhancements to our Safe Sport policy and education requirements as part of our continued commitment to safeguarding our athletes.
USA Swimming’s top priority continues to be keeping our athletes safe. No form of abuse, including child sexual abuse, has a place in our sport. Under our leadership, this organization will continue to make abuse prevention and response an important piece of everything we do.
The enhancements stem from requirements imposed by the U.S. Center for SafeSport (the “Center”). The Center is the separate, independent organization that oversees all sexual misconduct reports in the Olympic and Para-Olympic movement. The Center is also responsible for creating requirements in the areas of policy, education and training for every National Governing Body (NGB) in the Movement. USA Swimming, as an NGB, must follow the Center’s requirements.
First, the Center requires every NGB to implement a Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy (MAAPP) by June 23, 2019. This Policy addresses risk areas that present opportunities for abuse to occur.
The Policy covers five (5) areas:
1. One-on-One Interactions
2. Travel: Local & Team
3. Social Media & Electronic Communication
4. Locker Rooms & Changing Areas
5. Massages & Rubdowns
For several years, USA Swimming has either required club policies, enacted national rules or recommended best practices in most of these areas. This means that MAAPP requirements should be familiar to USA Swimming members.
MAAPP will apply to all adults who interact with and have direct and frequent contact with minor athletes, including adult athletes. The language used in the policy is Applicable Adult. All Applicable Adults will be required to follow MAAPP.
Education and Training Changes
Second, the Center requires regular and consistent training for all adults who interact with and have direct and frequent contact with minor athletes, including adult athletes. All USA Swimming non-athlete members regularly complete Safe Sport training, known as Athlete Protection Training. Now, all adult athlete members will also be required to complete Athlete Protection Training. All adult members—athlete and non-athlete—will be required to complete the training annually.
At its April 26, 2019 meeting, the USA Swimming Board of Directors reviewed and approved interim changes to USA Swimming rules related to MAAPP. Those same changes will be presented to the House of Delegates in September for permanent implementation.
Accordingly, by June 23, 2019, every USA Swimming member organization is required to update its policies to reflect MAAPP.
Over the next two months, leading up to the June 23 compliance date, USA Swimming will share the policy and education changes across multiple channels and our Safe Sport staff members are prepared to answer any questions you have.
MAAPP is provided in full at sftest.usaswimming.org/maapp. You will also find additional resources to assist you as you make these changes.
If you have questions about these changes, please contact USA Swimming staff at email@example.com.
Your continued support of USA Swimming’s abuse prevention and response efforts is invaluable. Together we can promote a safe and healthy environment for our swimmers.
Bob Vincent, USA Swimming Board of Directors Chair
Tim Hinchey III, USA Swimming President & CEO