USA Water Ski & Wake Sports

SAFE SPORT

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

(Updated March 18, 2021)

GENERAL

Q: What is Safe Sport?

The U.S. Center for SafeSport (the “Center”) is an independent, nonprofit organization created by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), committed to ending all forms of abuse in sport. This includes bullying, harassment, hazing, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual misconduct and abuse. The Center is the first and only national organization of its kind. The Center provides services to sport entities on abuse prevention techniques, policies and programs and provides a safe, professional and confidential place for individuals to report sexual abuse within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movements.

Q: Why did USA Water Ski & Wake Sports institute a SafeSport program?

USA Water Ski & Wake Sports has always been committed to providing a safe environment for our athletes to compete and train. We believe this is paramount to the success of all our programs. The USOPC recommended all national governing bodies (NGBs) implement the program in 2014 and it became required of all NGBs in 2015. 

Q: Who determines how an individual who violated SafeSport policies is disciplined?

The Center handles all reports of sexual abuse within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements, including child sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, non-consensual sexual conduct, sexual harassment, and intimate relationships involving an imbalance of power.

USA Water Ski & Wake Sports’ internal Ethics Committee handles reports of other misconduct, not pertaining to the above-mentioned forms of sexual misconduct.

REPORTING

Q: How do I know if I am supposed to report? What am I required to report?

All USA Water Ski & Wake Sports members and participants must report to the Center conduct of which they become aware that could constitute (a) sexual misconduct, (b) misconduct that is reasonably related to the underlying allegation of sexual misconduct, and (c) retaliation related to an allegation of sexual misconduct. This report must be made within 24 hours of learning about the alleged misconduct. Importantly, the obligation to report requires reporting any conduct that comes to a member’s or participant’s attention, which if true, would violate the U.S. Center for SafeSport Code or USA Water Ski & Wake Sports’ SafeSport Handbook. Individuals should not investigate or attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of allegations involving sexual misconduct, as a condition of reporting to the Center.

If your concern deals with physical or emotional abuse or misconduct, bullying, hazing, harassment, or any other violation of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports’ SafeSport Handbook, reports should be made directly to USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Executive Director Nate Boudreaux at nboudreaux@usawaterski.org or (863) 508-2095.

Q: How do I report a complaint?

Please use these guidelines to help you on the first step of reporting:

If your concern deals with any of the following, please contact the U.S. Center for SafeSport to make a report and use the online reporting form or call (720) 531-0340.

  • Child sexual abuse
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Non-consensual sexual conduct
  • Sexual harassment
  • Intimate relationships involving an imbalance of power

In addition, individuals may, and in many cases MUST report any allegation of child physical or sexual abuse to relevant law enforcement authorities. USA Water Ski & Wake Sports recommends you contact your local law enforcement authorities if you have a reasonable suspicion that child sexual abuse or neglect has occurred or have received a report of child sexual abuse or neglect. Reports or abuse not involving a minor may also be reported to local law enforcement authorities. Review your state’s mandatory reporting laws.

If your concern deals with any of the below, please contact USA-WSWS directly to make a report. You can contact Executive Director Nate Boudreaux, at nboudreaux@usawaterski.org or (863) 508-2095.

  • Physical or Emotional misconduct
  • Bullying
  • Harassment
  • Hazing
  • Any other violation of USA-WSWS SafeSport Handbook

Q: Can I make an anonymous report?

Yes. Whether reporting online, by email or by phone, you may stay anonymous. Please note, however, this may make it difficult for the Center to investigate and we will not be able to follow-up with you if we have questions.

Q: Am I required to report suspected abuse that occurred several years ago?

Yes. There is no statute of limitations applicable to reports made to the U.S. Center for SafeSport or to USA-WSWS.

Q: Why doesn’t the U.S. Center for SafeSport and USA-WSWS release information publicly about the results of its investigations or its decisions?

Publicly disclosing information is inconsistent with best practices and can jeopardize the Center’s mission to protect athletes and other sport participants. The Center’s decisions are always shared with the Claimant(s) and Respondent.

Q: What if I do not file a report?

It is the obligation of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports members and member clubs to report suspicions or allegations of abuse or misconduct, including compliance with all state mandatory reporting laws. If a person in authority knows, or should reasonably have known, that harassment or abuse may have occurred and fails to report it or take appropriate action as set out in this policy statement, that person may be subject to disciplinary action.

SAFESPORT TRAINING

Q: Who is required to take training?

Currently, the following USA-WSWS participants are required to complete the SafeSport core program:

  • Adult Participants who have regular contact with any athlete or other Participant who is a minor
  • Adult Participants who have authority over any athlete or other Participant who is a minor
  • Adult Participants who are USA Water Ski & Wake Sports employees or board members

Beginning January 1, 2022, all adult participants (members 18 years and older) will be required to complete the Core SafeSport course and any required refresher courses annually. The purpose of this requirement is to educate members on how to prevent abuse in sport, how to recognize the red flags of emotional, physical and sexual misconduct, and what to do if abuse does occur.

The Core SafeSport training course is an online training module created by the Center. The Core training course covers Mandatory Reporting, Emotional and Physical Misconduct, and Sexual Misconduct Awareness Education topics, and takes roughly 90 minutes to complete. It includes pre- and post-quizzes and a final training certificate.

Completed annually after the Core SafeSport training, the Refresher course is a shorter, 15-minute-long course designed to refresh your knowledge on misconduct in sport. Refresher courses likewise contain pre- and post-quizzes and a final training certificate.

Q: How often do you need to take the training?

SafeSport training occurs in a reoccurring 4-year cycle. The required SafeSport Core training (approximately 90 minutes) only needs to be completed once every four years. Three SafeSport Refresher Trainings, which takes approximately 15 minutes, must be completed annually thereafter.

Q: Is there a cost involved?

No. The training is free.

Q: How do I know I have completed the required SafeSport Training?

Your USA Water Ski & Wake Sports membership profile on the dashboard within the Members Only area of the website will be automatically update once you have completed your training. You will also be given a chance to download or print your “SafeSport Trained” or “Refresher Course” PDF certificate after you complete your training. Please keep a copy of this certification for your records.

Remember, SafeSport training is an annual requirement. You will need to log in to your USA Water Ski & Wake Sports membership profile on or before your training lapses each year to renew. Auto-generated emails will be sent annually to remind you to complete SafeSport training.

Q: I am a survivor of abuse and believe this training could be an emotional trigger, what do I do?

If you are a victim or a survivor of abuse and believe this training could be an emotional trigger, please contact USA Water Ski & Wake Sports (Jessica Modrak at jmodrak@usawaterski.org) or the U.S. Center for SafeSport at training@safesport.org, before accessing the SafeSport Training course.

Q: What happens if I do not comply with the SafeSport Training requirement?

Those who do not complete the required SafeSport training within 30 days of joining/renewing their USA Water Ski & Wake Sports membership, will be ineligible to participate in USA Water Ski & Wake Sports activities, including tournaments and competitions, and will have a flagged membership until the training is completed.

Q: What happens if I join or renew my membership at an event?

If you join or renew your membership at an event, you will have 30 days from the day you join or renew to complete the required SafeSport training. Scores attained at an event will count. If you do not complete the required SafeSport training after the 30-day grace period, you will be ineligible to compete and scores attained at an event will not be counted until the required SafeSport training is completed.

Q: If I have taken the SafeSport training once, do I have to take it again?

Yes. SafeSport training must be renewed on an annual basis. The Refresher courses are much shorter and take just 15 minutes to complete.

Q: What if I have taken the Core SafeSport training or any of the Refresher trainings through another sport or organization, do I need to take the training again with USA Water Ski & Wake Sports?

The USA Water Ski & Wake Sports membership database has a direct connection to the SafeSport database. Any SafeSport trainings completed through another sport organization (as long as the dates of completion are valid), can be used to fulfill the USA Water Ski & Wake Sports annual training requirement.

Q: Why is the SafeSport training not required for USA Water Ski & Wake Sports members under the age of 18?

The U.S. Center of Safe Sport currently offers free minor and parent training options. These trainings are not a requirement but are offered to members as additional educational resources. These free resources include courses for children of preschool age; grades K-2; grades 3-5; middle school and high school. These online trainings are designed as an introduction for minor athletes and their parents or other caregivers to understand the importance of positive, welcoming environments in sports, where misconduct like bullying or abuse is less likely to happen, and to know where to report abuse, should it occur.

The Center’s free Online Parent Toolkits give parents the necessary SafeSport information for young athletes. Separated by age group or combined for all ages, these Toolkits help parents understand SafeSport best practices and how to respond to signs of abuse.

Q: Why do I have to take the SafeSport Training when I have little or no interaction with those under the age of 18?

USA Water Ski & Wake Sports’ SafeSport Policy and the rules that govern it have been created to protect all athletes from misconduct. Recognizing the signs and behaviors associated with abuse will help all of us to prevent it. In addition, the training covers information on reporting, and under Federal Law, we all have a mandate to report any reasonable suspicion of sexual misconduct with a minor.