USA Swimming News

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Athlete Protection Policies

Athlete Protection Policies





The following policies related to Athlete Protection are mandatory components of the USA Swimming Code of Conduct:


305.1 Inappropriate touching between an athlete and an adult non-athlete member or Participating Non-Member (as defined in 401.1) is prohibited, including, but not limited to, excessive touching, hugging, kissing, sexually oriented behavior, sexually stimulating or otherwise inappropriate games, and having an athlete sit on a non-family member adult’s lap.


305.2 Any rubdown or massage performed on an athlete by any adult member or Participating Non-Member, excluding the spouse, parent, guardian, sibling, or personal assistant of such athlete, is prohibited unless such adult is a licensed massage therapist or other certified professional.

Any rubdown or massage performed at a swim venue by a licensed professional must be conducted in open/public locations and must never be done with only the 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.


305.3 Use of audio or visual recording devices, including a cell phone camera, is not allowed in changing areas, rest rooms or locker rooms.


305.4 Employees and volunteers of USA Swimming, Zones, LSCs and member clubs who interact directly and frequently with athletes as a regular part of their duties and individuals with any ownership interest in a member club must be non-athlete members of USA Swimming and satisfactorily complete criminal background checks as required by USA Swimming. This does not apply to volunteers such as timers, marshals, computer operators, etc. who only have limited contact with athletes during a meet. Any individual who is banned, currently suspended or ineligible for membership is prohibited from serving as a timer, marshal, or computer operator, or otherwise being on deck at any time in connection with a USA Swimming activity.


305.5 Travel

.1 Regardless of gender, a coach shall not share a hotel room or other sleeping arrangement with an athlete unless the coach is the parent, guardian, sibling, or spouse of that particular athlete.


.2 Team managers and chaperones must be members of USA Swimming and have successfully passed a USA Swimming-required criminal background check.


.3 When only one athlete and one coach travel to a competition, the athlete must have his/her parent's (or legal guardian’s) written permission in advance to travel alone with the coach.


.4 Clubs and LSCs shall develop their own travel policies. USA Swimming will provide a model club travel policy as an example. Club travel policies must be signed and agreed to by all athletes, parents, coaches and other adults traveling with the club.


305.6 Clubs shall establish their own action plans for implementing USA Swimming’s anti-bullying policy. USA Swimming shall provide a model plan as an example which shall serve as the default for any club that fails to establish its own plan. Club anti-bullying plans must be reviewed and agreed to annually by all athletes, parents, coaches and other non-athlete members of the club.


305.7 Clubs shall establish their own electronic communication/social media policy. USA Swimming shall provide a model policy as an example, which shall serve as the default for any club that fails to establish its own policy. Club electronic communication policies should be reviewed and agreed to annually by all athletes, parents, coaches and other non-athlete members of the club.







306.1 It is every member’s responsibility to promptly report any incident regarding sexual misconduct by a member as described in Article 304.3.7 to USA Swimming’s Director of Safe Sport. 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. Various state laws may also require reporting to law enforcement or to a designated child protection agency.


306.2 Filing a knowingly false allegation of sexual misconduct is prohibited and may violate state criminal law and civil defamation laws. Any person making a knowingly false allegation of sexual misconduct shall be subject to disciplinary action by USA Swimming.


306.3 Neither civil nor criminal statutes of limitation apply to reports of cases of sexual abuse.





307.1 No Member shall retaliate against any individual who has made a good faith report under 306.1 or 304.3.12.


307.2 For the purposes of 307.1, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that any adverse action regarding the employment, membership, or other material rights of an individual who has made a good faith report under 306.1 or 304.3.12 within 90 days of a report is retaliatory. An adverse action includes, without limitation: discharge or termination; demotion or reduction in compensation for services; or the removal of or from, or restrictions on, access to facilities, team activities or team membership privileges.

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