Good morning all State and Regional Administrative chairs,
I have been asked to share the below with you from USAG’s Safe Sport department:
As most of you are aware, USA Gymnastics released our updated 2021 USA Gymnastics Safe Sport policy in August. This policy builds and expands on the previous policy, and was created in accordance and compliance with the U.S. Center for Safe Sport and includes all mandatory components of the Center’s model policy, the Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Polices (MAAPP).
The updated policy adds a couple of new requirements for State and Regional Committees, outlined below.
- All state and region websites MUST provide a link to both reporting portals of the U.S. Center for SafeSport and USA Gymnastics. The links to both portals can be accessed below. The links do not have to be located in a specific location on the website, nor are they required to have more prominence than other links on the page. It is essential that they are visible and can be located easily by a random user of the website. Both portals need to indicate which agency the link applies to. For example, “Click here to make a report to the Center for SafeSport” or “To make a report to USA Gymnastics click here.”
- USA Gymnastics Reporting Portal: https://usagym.i-sight.com/portal
- U.S. Center for Safe Sport Reporting Portal: https://uscenterforsafesport.org/report-a-concern/
- Additionally, the Center for SafeSport is requiring that anyone with regular contact and/or authority over minors who works at a USA Gymnastics sanctioned event, must be given access to a letter that highlights the basic tenets of the USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy. To meet this requirement, USA Gymnastics has taken steps to reach all members regardless of status at an event. We are asking for all State and Regional Committees to post a link to this letter on their website for easy access for meet directors, and anyone else in need of the information. Communicating Safe Sport policy is required per federal mandate and a part of the audit standards imposed by the Center. The letter should be titled, “USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Letter”
- USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Letter: https://usagym.org/PDFs/Member%20Services/Sanction/Signs/safesportletter.pdf
As always, if you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women’s Development Program Director
Professional Photography/Video Policy at Sanctioned Events -Update
Independent Photographer/Videographer (non-USA Gymnastics Premier event)
• Independent Photographer/Videographer NOT associated with a third-party vendor must become Instructor Member, which requires completion of USA Gymnastics background check and U110: U.S. Center for SafeSport Core course.
• The meet director and/or host club should have a written agreement directly with the individual photographer/videographer that explains their role and expectations for the event.
• Independent Photographer/Videographer and meet director and/or host club are responsible for following the Safe Sport Policy related to Photography and Videography. That policy can be found on page 15 of the Safe Sport Policy.
• Meet Directors are required to confirm that the Independent Photographer/Videographer is an Instructor Member.
• The Independent Photographer/Videographer must present their Instructor membership card that reflects current U110: U.S. Center for SafeSport training and Background Check certification.
• The Independent Photographer and meet director and/or host club are responsible for obtaining any required consent and/or authorization to photograph individuals or locations.
Third Party Photography/Videography Vendor (non-USA Gymnastics Premier event)
• Third-Party Photography/Videography vendors are defined as companies that have contracted with a meet director and/or host club to provide photography/videography services and assign staff to provide said services at a sanctioned event.
• Third-Party Photography/Videographer Vendor must have at least one owner or managing director obtain an Instructor Membership, which requires completion of USA Gymnastics background check and U110: U.S. Center for SafeSport Core course.
• The staff assigned by the Third-Party Photography/Videography Vendor to provide services at a sanctioned event, are not required to become members of USA Gymnastics. However, the Third-Party Photography/Videography vendor must ensure, and show proof upon request, that all Third-Party Vendor staff assigned to such events have successfully passed a background check screening consistent with USA Gymnastics Criminal Background Screening Policy.
• The meet director and/or host club should have a written agreement directly with the Third-Party Photography/Videography Vendor that explains their role and expectations for the event.
• The Third-Party Photography/Videography Vendor and meet director are responsible for following the Safe Sport Policy related to the Photography and Videography. That policy can be found on page 15 of the Safe Sport Policy.
• The Third-Party Photography/Videography Vendor and meet director or host club are responsible for obtaining any required consent or authorization to photograph individuals or locations.
Clarification of Photo/Video Equipment Usage by Spectators Attending a Local/Invitational Sanctioned Event
USA Gymnastics does not set rules and regulations regarding photography/videography equipment used by spectators at non-premier USA Gymnastics event; e.g., local/invitational sanctioned events. Meet Directors have and are given the authority to set photography/videography policies depending on the individual environmental conditions of each sanctioned event for they serve as the meet director.
Medical Personnel Policy at a Sanctioned Events- Update
Core Medical Providers
• Core Medical Providers are individual medical providers who contract directly with the meet director and/or host club to provide medical services at a USA Gymnastics sanctioned event.
• Core Medical Providers must be Instructor Members of USA Gymnastics, which requires completion of USA Gymnastics background check and U110: U.S. Center for SafeSport Core course.
• Core Medical Providers must submit to the Meet Director proof of Instructor membership and appropriate medical licenses and credentials.
Third Party Medical Vendors
• Third-Party Medical Vendors are organizations that have contracted with a meet director and/or host club to provide medical services and assign staff to provide said services at a sanctioned event.
• The staff assigned by the Third-Party Medical Vendors to provided services at a sanctioned event, are not required to become members of USA Gymnastics. However, the Third-Party Medical Vendors must ensure, and show proof upon request, that all
Third-Party Vendor staff assigned to such events have successfully passed a background check screening consistent with USA Gymnastics Criminal Background Screening Policy and are appropriately medically licensed.
• The meet director and/or host club should have a written agreement directly with the Third-Party Medical Vendors that explains their role and expectations for the event.
Clarification of the One-on-one Travel Policy Between Coaches and Athletes
The one-on-one policy always applies, including daily transportation to and from regular activities. Absent emergency circumstances, adult professional and instructor members of USA Gymnastics shall not ride in a vehicle alone with a single unrelated Minor Athlete.
A member club MAY deviate from the USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy for the limited purpose of airline travel or local travel with parental consent. The Member Club exercising this option must:
• Indemnify USA Gymnastics from all liability, and must execute the Indemnification form found at https://usagym.org/PDFs/safesport/indemnification.pdf
• Submit the Indemnification form to MBusby@usagym.org, where it will be filed with your club membership agreement.
• The parent(s) or legal guardian(s), the Authorized Agent for Club, and the unrelated adult must sign the written consent and original kept on file with the Member Club and a copy submitted to USA Gymnastics.
• Parents and Minor Athletes involved must take the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s course on recognizing and responding to signs of abuse. This course can be found at https://uscenterforsafesport.org/training-and-education/training-and-education-services/
Clarification of the Parental Access to Training Policy
Per USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy, all member clubs must permit parents and guardians access to training sessions.
• Clubs CAN set parameters related to viewing times based on space available, parental behavior during practice sessions or behavior of the athlete while the parents are viewing.
• Club CANNOT ban all team parents from viewing of practices. Rather, clubs CAN develop a schedule that allows for team parents to rotate in-person parental viewing of practice.
• Club CANNOT physically prevent a parent from entering a building where their child is located; e.g., locking business doors to prevent parental access to the building.
• Clubs CAN should a parent create a disruptive club environment for staff, athletes or other clientele, establish an alternative viewing opportunity, such as closed-circuit video viewing, and/or assigning another family member to view practice. Please note, a club
must provide fair notice and process to any parent that they will be denying the ability to physically witness practice.
USA Gymnastics encourages member clubs and parents to work together to find solutions to issues related to access to training. Additionally, it is considered a best practice that the age of the athlete and social/emotional development of that athlete is considered when setting parameters around parental viewing. Listening to parental concerns is paramount to finding equitable solutions, especially if the child is very
young, new to the team environment, or presents with a learning disability or other developmental challenges.
• Please contact the USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Department via email at email@example.com or call 833-844-7233 for any
questions or concerns.
Webinar on How to Talk About Child Sexual Abuse Prevention
As part of our outreach for Child Abuse Prevention Month, the USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Department recently conducted a webinar on “How to Talk About Child Sexual Abuse Prevention,” which is available in the webinar archive. I have included a link to the webinar because it provides some of the guidance you and your professional members have requested for addressing safe sport issues. I also encourage you to share with the professional members in your states and regions. And, as always, please contact Toby Stark, our director of safe sport, if you have any questions. We appreciate your time and dedication to our athlete’s safety and well-being.
Women’s Junior Olympic Program Director
130 E. Washington Street, Suite 700
Indianapolis, IN 46204
p: 317.829.5659 | usagym.org
Women’s Program State, Regional and National Chairmen Conference
Hi everyone, your regional and state chairs just got back from Indianapolis. This was a one day conference Women’s Program State, Regional and National Chairmen. It reaffirmed our belief that USA Gymnastics is headed in the right direction and will be a stronger organization. There are still questions to be answered but all members in attendance crafted a statement of commitment. The statement is below.
“USA Gymnastics holds the highest standard of care for athletes and members.
We have the desire to rebuild and to move forward.
We have the opportunity right now, in the history of USA Gymnastics, in our sport, and in our country, to lead, saying, we are going to get it right. By doing that, we will honor our athletes who have been impacted and we will honor all USA Gymnastics members and participants, including, but not limited to, athletes, coaches, parents, judges, and volunteers.
We will not be the organization that shuts the doors, changes the name, and puts a new face on the same institution.
At the end of the day, we have an opportunity to improve USA Gymnastics. We have an obligation to meet the challenge that has been set before us and to become a better organization. It is about sharing positive gymnastics stories and getting it right.
We will get it right.
Eighty-Eight Women’s Program USA Gymnastics National, Regional, and State leaders stood today to wholeheartedly support USA Gymnastics.
A message from Kerry Perry
President and CEO, USA Gymnastics
Today I want to address the significant events that have taken place since I started with USA Gymnastics 90 days ago and what our path forward looks like in creating a culture of empowerment with our focus on athlete safety and well-being.
There is no doubt that all of us have been forever changed by the recent Larry Nassar hearings. I was in the courtroom to listen to the incredibly courageous women explain in vivid and painful detail the impact he had on their lives. Their powerful voices will stay with me for the rest of my life. I commit to you that I will keep their words and experiences at the core of every decision I make, every day, as the leader of this organization. Their stories have broken my heart, but also strengthened my resolve.
The best way to honor our athletes is to ensure that we do everything we can to prevent this from happening again by making bold decisions and holding ourselves to the highest standards of care.
Safe Sport Webinar – Fall 2017
What’s New in the USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy – USA Gymnastics Webinar featuring Toby Sparks: