- SAFESPORT PROGRAM
The U.S. Center for SafeSport, is focused on preventing physical, emotional and sexual abuse in sport. The Center, initially chartered by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), is an independent organization with a nine-member board of directors, including subject matter experts in abuse prevention, child abuse and sexual assault investigation, ethics compliance and sport administration. It collaborates with sport organizations to foster a culture of safety by raising awareness, developing best practices, and providing education and training to promote respect and prevent abuse. As a member of the USOC, USA Water Polo supports the US Center for SafeSport seeking to create a healthy, supportive environment for all participants through education, resources, and training, in order to recognize, reduce, and respond to misconduct in sport.
USA Water Polo and the USOC have a ZERO tolerance policy for the following six (6) primary types of misconduct:
- Sexual Misconduct
Sexual misconduct involves any touching or non-touching sexual interaction that is nonconsensual or forced, coerced or manipulated, or perpetrated in an aggressive, harassing, exploitative or threatening manner. It also includes any sexual interaction be-tween an athlete and an individual with evaluative, direct or indirect authority. Last, any act or conduct described as sexual abuse or misconduct under fed-eral or state law (e.g., sexual abuse, sexual exploita-tion, rape) qualifies as sexual misconduct.
- Physical Misconduct
Physical misconduct involves contact or non-contact behavior that can cause physical harm to an athlete or other sport participants. It also includes any act or conduct described as physical abuse or misconduct under federal or state law (e.g., child abuse, child ne-glect and assault).
- Emotional Misconduct
Emotional misconduct involves deliberate, non-contact behavior that has the potential to cause emo-tional or psychological harm to an athlete. Non-contact behavior includes verbal and physical acts, as well as actions that deny attention or support. It also includes any act or conduct (e.g., child abuse and child neglect) described as emotional abuse or mis-conduct under federal or state law.
Bullying is an intentional, persistent and/or repeated pattern of committing or willfully tolerating physical and non-physical behavior that is intended, or has the reasonable potential, to cause fear, humiliation or physical harm in an attempt to socially exclude, dimin-ish or isolate the targeted athlete(s) as a condition of membership. It includes any act or conduct described as bullying under federal or state law.
Harassment is a physical and/or non-physical behav-ior intended to cause fear, humiliation or annoyance, offend or degrade, create a hostile environment; or reflect discriminatory bias in an attempt to establish dominance, superiority or power over an individual athlete or group based on gender, race, ethnicity, cul-ture, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression or mental or physical disability. It includes any act or conduct described as harassment under federal or state law.
Hazing involves coercing, requiring, forcing or willfully tolerating any humiliating, unwelcome or dangerous activity that serves as a condition for joining a group or being socially accepted by a group’s members. It includes any act or conduct described as hazing un-der federal or state law. Activities that fit the definition of hazing are consid-ered to be hazing regardless of an athlete’s willing-ness to cooperate or participate.
The U.S. Center for SafeSport website provides a wide range of resources for USA Water Polo clubs, athletes, coaches, officials and parents: U.S. Center for SafeSport Website.
POLICIES & GUIDELINES
USA Water Polo is committed to creating a healthy and safe environment for all of our members. For that reason, we ask each member to read and agree to a Code of Conduct upon joining or renewing their membership with USA Water Polo. The following Codes of Conduct, are intended to serve our members as we work together to maintain a safe, positive environment.
Background checks are important tools in keeping our athletes safe. All USAWP coach, referee, and club administrator members of USA Water Polo must pass a criminal background check, or obtain a waiver from a special hearing panel, in order to become certified professional members. Follow these links: Coach Screening --- Referee Screening --- Club Administrator Screening
TRAINING AND EDUCATION
USAWP and SafeSport offer training regarding how to respond to misconduct in sport and the measures we can all take to protect athletes. Learning about the types of misconduct is an important step to recognize, reduce and respond effectively to inappropriate and potential harmful behavior.
USA Water Polo coaches, referees, and some club administrators are the representatives primarily and directly responsible for administering and supervising water polo events at the local level. As such, these representatives are required to be fully versed in U.S. Center for Safe Sport Program and possess the information necessary to more effectively monitor their organization, minimize the opportunities for child physical and sexual abuse and other types of misconduct, and respond to concerns. Club board members, parents, volunteers and athletes are strongly advised to be fully versed in the program as well.
Under the auspices of the United States Olympic Committee, USA Water Polo has adopted the U.S. Center for SafeSport training materials, which include a series of online training videos. The current training videos are approximately 90 minutes long in total.
Coach, referees, and club administrators, including all High Performance and ODP Coaches and staff members are required to complete the SafeSport training. Upon completion of the SafeSport training, the member should save a copy of the certification of completion. The USA Water Polo National Office will receive record of course completion directly from the Training Site and will record it within your member account. Failure to complete training will result in a disqualification from participating in future USA Water Polo activity.
To Complete the SafeSport Course:
1. Login to your USAWP membership account
2. Select "Start the SafeSport program" under the Member Requirements grid on your home page
3. Register for SafeSport within your member account (no charge)
4. Follow on-screen instructions in your confirmation and go to Team USA site* to complete training
Coaches, Referees, and Club Administrators will not be able to participate in club practices or activity without a current SafeSport certification on file with USAWP. Please login to your USAWP account so you receive credit for the course.
With the opening of the U.S. Center for SafeSport, the SafeSport training will soon move to a NEW platform. Anyone needing to complete the existing SafeSport course on the USOC Training Site must do so by December 15th. The new SafeSport Training Web site and three-course training program is set for launch in late November. After December 15th, anyone without a completed, current SafeSport certification will need to complete the new courses. No credit will be given for In Progress courses on the old site, unless completed prior to December 15th.
SafeSport's "Make the Commitment: Stop Abuse in Sport" Video Series
Make the Commitment with Team USA
Life Without Sports
Why Kids Should Play Sports
How Do You Celebrate After A Game?
Why Is Your Coach Great?
Why Do You Like Sports?
- Sexual Misconduct
- REPORTING MISCONDUCT RESOURCES
When child sexual abuse, misconduct or policy violations occur, the top priority is to protect our athletes and prevent further incidents. It is critical that any suspicions or allegations of misconduct be reported to USA Water Polo and/or appropriate law enforcement authorities.
Please click here for information SafeSport Reporting.
Please click here for more information on how to file a grievance with USAWP.
More resources can be found on the USOC's SafeSport Reporting page.
The more prepared each member is, the greater the likelihood of the best possible outcome.
Emotional, Physical and Sexual Misconduct:
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
>Staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with professional crisis counselors
Bullying, Hazing and Harassment:
Your Life, Your Voice
>A 24/7 hotline with resources for children, teens and young adults dealing with depression, abuse or contemplating suicide.