Safe Sport, Background Screening and

Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies Synopsis for Clubs


(Updated: April 3, 2020)
 

 

INTRODUCTION

The U.S. Biathlon Association (USBA) encourages all members and clubs/club directors to read the entire Safe Sport, Background Screening and Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies, found on the USBA website under “Resources -> SafeSport” ( https://www.teamusa.org/us-biathlon/resources/safesport ). The purpose of these policies is to ensure the safety of all our members,and apply to anyone dealing with athletes, whether these relationships are formalized (coach-athlete) or not (volunteers, teammates, etc.). The purpose of the Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy (MAAPP) is to add some additional rules around those who work with athletes under the age of 18.

This synopsis is provided as a general overview, but does not supplant the actual policies. Further, if there is any inconsistency in the language of this synopsis and the policies, the language of the policies controls. Any questions regarding the policies can be directed to Sara Studebaker-Hall, Director of Operations, at sara@usbiathlon.org or the Center for SafeSport at their website www.uscenterforsafesport.org . Again, this document is not meant as a substitute for the complete policy.

DEFINITIONS
Child, children, minor or minor athlete: refers to anyone under the age of 18.
Delegation events: international sporting events including but not limited to Youth Olympic Games. Local Affiliated Organization (LAO): local clubs directly affiliated with USBA
APPLICATION

These policies apply to coaches, officials and others working with athletes. It includes USBA member athletes as well. It also applies to all individuals in a position of authority over or with regular contact with athletes.

PROHIBITED CONTACT/CONDUCT

Includes but is not limited to sexual misconduct, child abuse, bullying, emotional misconduct, stalking, hazing, harassment, and other criminal and otherwise inappropriate conduct.

BACKGROUND SCREENING

USBA requires background screening at least every two years for individuals USBA formally authorizes, approves or appoints to (1) serve in a position of authority over or (2) have frequent contact with athletes. This includes, but is not limited to, staff, coaches, officials, local affiliated administrators/directors, board members, medical personnel, independent contractors and volunteers1;

1 Volunteers with only incidental and observable contact with athletes at events are exempt from this requirement.

all athletes selected by USBA to participate in national or international teams or delegation events; athletes who train at any US Olympic and Paralympic Training Center or USOPC High Performance Training Center; and other individuals with regular contact with athletes. USBA has discretion to bypass this requirement for people under the age of 18.

A minor has 45 days to fulfill this requirement upon reaching the age of majority (18 years). EDUCATION AND TRAINING

USBA requires safe sport education and training for (a) all individuals USBA formally authorizes, approves or appoints to (1) serve in a position of authority over or (2) have frequent contact with athletes, and (b) all USBA staff. USBA requires the completion of education and training PRIOR to when contact with athletes begins, and in any event within 45 days of the commencement of a new role..

Minor athletes who reach the age of 18 and then obtain a position of authority (e.g. coach or official), must also comply with these requirements.

MINOR ATHLETE ABUSE PREVENTION POLICY (MAAPP)

Education and Training

The following adults at USBA shall complete training concerning child abuse prevention: adult members who have regular contact with athletes who are minors; adults authorized by USBA or a LAO to have regular contact with or authority over an athlete who is a minor; and adult staff and board members

MAAPP training shall occur before regular contact with an athlete who is a minor begins and in any event within 45 days of initial membership, or upon beginning a new role.

A refresher course is required on an annual basis.

Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for victims/survivors. Requests for exceptions should be made to the U.S. Center for SafeSport at ngbservices@safesport.org or to USBA at info@usbiathlon.org.

MAAPP - ONE-ON-ONE INTERACTIONS

One-on-one interactions between applicable adults and minor athletes should be observable and interruptible, except in emergency circumstances. Meetings should only occur if another adult is present and should be observable and interruptible. The door to an office where a meeting is taking place should remain open and unlocked, and if there are windows, the shades /curtains should be open.

Meetings with mental health professionals or health care providers can happen in one-on-one scenario provided the door remains unlocked, another adult is present at the facility and is advised of the meeting, and written consent from the minors parent/legal guardian is obtained prior to the meeting. A copy of this signed permission should be provided to USBA.

Individual training sessions should only occur in observable and interruptible locations unless prior written permission is provided by the minor’s parent/legal guardian. This permission must be obtained at least every six months.

MAAPP - MASSAGES AND RUBDOWNS/ATHLETIC TRAINING MODALITIES

Massage or rubdown/athletic training modalities must be conducted in an open and interruptible location. They must never be performed with only the minor athlete and the person performing the massage/rubdown/modality in the room.

MAAPP - LOCKER ROOMS AND CHANGING AREAS

Recording Devices

Use of recording devices including voice recording, still or video cameras is prohibited in locker room/changing rooms.

Undress

Under no circumstances shall an unrelated applicable adult intentionally expose his or her breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals to a minor athlete.

One-on-one interactions

Except for athletes on the same team, at no time are unrelated applicable adults permitted to be alone with a minor athlete in a locker room or changing area. If there is a single locker room/changing area, separate times for use by applicable adults must be designated.

MAAPP - SOCIAL MEDIA & ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION

Content from applicable adults to minors must always be professional in nature. Except in emergency situations, an applicable adult should always copy another applicable adult or the minor athlete’s legal guardian when communicating via electronic communication (email, text, social media, etc.). If a minor athlete initiates the communication, the applicable adult should always copy another applicable adult or the athlete’s guardian in their response. This includes team-wide communication.

Legal guardians may request in writing that their minor athlete not be communicated with via any form of electronic communication.

MAAPP - LOCAL TRAVEL
-Travel to training, practice or competitions that do not include overnight stays.

If an applicable adult is not also a minor athlete’s legal guardian, they shall not ride in a vehicle alone with a minor athlete unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the minor athlete’s legal guardian in advance. This permission must be given in writing prior to each travel.

MAAPP - TEAM TRAVEL
-Travel to a competition or other team activity that is not in the immediate local area and may require overnight stay.

If only one applicable adult and one minor athlete travel to a competition, the minor athlete must have prior written permission from their legal guardian to travel alone with said applicable adult.

Applicable adults shall not share a hotel room or other sleeping arrangement with a minor athlete unless they have prior written consent from the minor athlete’s legal guardian. This includes athletes on the same team if one is a minor athlete.

REPORTING

Every participant must report reasonable suspicions or allegations of (1) violations of these policies and (2) child physical or sexual abuse to either the Center for SafeSport or USBA. See policy for exact steps.

Additionally, all cases of suspected emotional, physical or sexual abuse of a minor must be reported to law enforcement immediately.

To report to the U.S. Center for SafeSport: h ttps://safesport.org/report-a-concern To report to USBA: h ttps://www.teamusa.org/US-Biathlon/Resources/SafeSport

It is a violation of this policy if a constituent knows of OR suspects misconduct, but does not report the issue as set forth in this policy.