Who do the new laws apply to?
The new safe sport laws apply to all USA Swimming non-athlete members (coaches, officials, etc.) and athlete members 18 years old and older. Non-compliant 18+ athletes will not be allowed in meets or practices.
The new Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy must be reviewed and agreed to in writing by all athletes, parents, coaches, and other non-athlete members on a yearly basis. This includes having current athletes age 18+ to sign and complete USA Swimming’s Athlete Protection Course.
- Meetings between coaches and athletes must be done in and observable and interruptible distance from another adult.
- Meetings held in a coaches or other office must be done with the door and blinds of the room open.
- When at a travel meet, meetings may not be conducted in any coaches/adults or athletes hotel room.
- All electronic communication between coaches and athletes must be professional in nature.
- If the minor athlete and coach need to communicate via email, the parent of the minor needs to be copied in the email.
- If the minor athlete reaches out to the coach via email first, the coach still needs to copy the minor athlete’s legal guardian in the response email.
- Legal guardians can request in writing that the LSC or Coach may not contact the minor electronically by any means.
- Electronic communication can only be done from the hours of 8am and 8pm, unless emergency circumstances exist, or during competition travel.
- Coaches/Adults and minor athletes are not allowed to be friends, follow, communicate, or like each other’s personal page by any means.
- The only social media that is prohibited between minor athletes and an LSC and LSC members are fan pages, or the contact is deemed as celebrity contact as opposed to regular contact. Existing social media connections with minor athletes must be discontinued. Minor athletes may “friend” the club and/or LSC’s official page.
Travel: travel to a competition or other team activity that the organization plans and supervises.
- Local travel consists of travel to training, practice and competition that occurs locally and does not include coordinated overnight stay(s).
- Applicable Adults must not ride in a vehicle alone with an unrelated minor athlete, absent emergency circumstances, and must always have at least two minor athletes or another adult in the vehicle, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the minor athlete’s legal guardian.
- [Recommended] Legal guardians must pick up their minor athlete first and drop off their minor athlete last in any shared or carpool travel arrangement.
Team Travel: travel to a competition or other team activity that the organization plans and supervises.
- During team travel, when doing room checks two-deep leadership (two Applicable Adults should be present) and observable and interruptible environments must be maintained.
- When only one Applicable Adult and one minor athlete travel to a competition, the minor athlete’s legal guardian must provide written permission in advance and for each competition for the minor athlete to travel alone with said Applicable Adult.
- Team Managers and Chaperones who travel with the club or LSC must be USA Swimming members in good standing.
- Unrelated non-athlete Applicable Adults must not share a hotel room, other sleeping arrangement or overnight lodging location with an athlete.
Minor Athletes and Athletes 18+
- Minor athletes should be paired to share hotel rooms or other sleeping arrangements with other minor athletes of the same gender and of similar age. When a minor athlete and an adult athlete share a hotel room or other sleeping arrangement, the minor athlete’s legal guardian must provide written permission in advance and for each instance for the minor to share a hotel room or other sleeping arrangement with said adult athlete.
- Meetings during team travel must be conducted consistent with the One-on-One Interactions section of this Policy (i.e., any such meeting must be observable and interruptible). Meetings must not be conducted in an individual’s hotel room or other overnight sleeping location.