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USTA Safe Play

Reporting Misconduct, Maltreatment or Violations of Safe Play

The United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) asks that anyone with credible information (first-hand knowledge or reliable information from a knowledgeable third party) report misconduct, maltreatment or behavior that conflicts with USTA Safe Play.
 
ON-SITE RESPONSE PROCESS
 
If a program or event coordinator witnesses or receives a report of misconduct – regardless if it is reported by the victim or not – the coordinator should proceed as follows:

  1. Depending on the severity of the situation, the coordinator should use his/her discretion as to whether the misconduct rises to a level appropriate for local authorities. In those instances, local authorities should be contacted immediately.     
  2. If the situation does not require immediate involvement of local authorities, as reasonably determined by the program or event coordinator, then the coordinator should confront the perpetrator, make it clear such behavior is unwelcome and offensive and instruct them to stop immediately or they will be asked to leave the program or event. In some cases, the perpetrator may be asked to leave the premises immediately.
  3. Complete and submit a Safe Play misconduct reporting form to the USTA clearly describing the incident, people involved and action taken (regardless of the method of reprimand). To do so, please click here Please note: Bullying, Harassment and Hazing, as defined herein, often involve some form of emotional misconduct. Please refer to those definitions for clarification.  Should you have any questions, please contact the USTA at safeplay@usta.com.  


HOW TO REPORT TO THE USTA
 
Reports can be made by either: (1) completing and submitting a Safe Play Misconduct Reporting form to the USTA; (2) calling the USTA’s reporting hotline at 855-791-1345 (toll-free, within the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico and Canada); or (3) emailing the USTA at safeplay@usta.com, clearly describing the incident, location of incident, and people involved.
 
A note regarding anonymous reporting: Anonymous reporting may make it difficult for the USTA to investigate or properly address violations of Safe Play. There are times that in order to investigate a report, the USTA may need additional information from you or may ask some follow-up questions to gain more clarity regarding the allegations asserted. As a result, we encourage all that file reports anonymously to check back periodically to see if additional questions have been posted to the initial report. Nonetheless, while the USTA recognizes how difficult it may be to report an allegation of misconduct, we strongly encourage individuals to include their contact information when making a report.
 
Should you need to contact someone immediately or have questions on how to report, please contact safeplay@usta.com.
 
Maliciously or vindictively making a report of misconduct is prohibited and may violate state and federal criminal laws as well as civil defamation laws as well as any sanctions issued by the USTA.
 

STATE REPORTING AND RESOURCES
 
Please see below for links to state-by-state reporting laws as well as resources for those who think they might be a victim of misconduct. 
  • For statutes governing child abuse and neglect for your state, please click here.
  • For a list of the appropriate agencies in your state designated to receive and investigate reports of suspected child abuse and neglect, please click here.
  • If you think you are a victim of child physical or sexual abuse, please contact Stop It Now! for immediate help and consultation. Click here for a list of resources.
  • If you think you are a victim of or witness to bullying, please contact StopBullying for immediate help and consultation. Click here for more information. For statutes governing bullying for your state, please click here.
  • If you think you are a victim of or a witness to hazing, please contact Hazing Prevention.org for immediate help and consultation. Click here for more information. For statues governing hazing for your state, please click here.
  • Click here for state specific resources for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • If you think you are the victim of or a witness to elder abuse, please contact the Department of Health and Human Services National Center for Elder Abuse. For state-by-state resources, please click here.
HOW REPORTS ARE HANDLED
 
To the extent permissible by law, the USTA may investigate, as appropriate, allegations of violations of Safe Play and address accordingly. Should the USTA receive a report of misconduct which, as determined by the USTA, rises to the level of unlawful behavior, the USTA will make a report to the proper law enforcement agency. The USTA shall not conduct an investigation if said investigation in any way interferes with a pending legal investigation or criminal prosecution. The USTA does reserve the right to suspend that individual’s participation in any USTA sanctioned tournament, event, or program until said investigation has concluded.
 
On receipt of a complaint, the USTA will determine in its discretion the appropriate steps to address the conduct based on several factors, including (i) the age of the complainant or victim, (ii) the age of the accused and (iii) the nature, scope and extent of the allegations. As appropriate, the USTA may involve the Section, Club, or other legal entity having authority within the territory of the alleged complaint.  If the accused individual is a minor, the USTA will contact his or her parents or guardians.
 
The USTA will address allegations against a staff member and/or volunteer under relevant organizational policies (e.g., Employment Policies and Procedures, Bylaws and Constitution, local laws).
 
The USTA will address violations or alleged violations of any provision(s) of Safe Play or any other current USTA policy in its discretion, in consideration of the safety and wellbeing of all participants, and in accordance with USTA Codes of Conduct and USTA bylaws. Such action will be taken in proportion to the severity of the infraction.
 
BAD-FAITH ALLEGATIONS
 

Any individual who alleges misconduct under Safe Play that, upon review, is determined to be malicious, frivolous or made in bad faith will be a violation of Safe Play. Bad-faith reports may also be subject to criminal or civil action may be taken as well appropriate USTA sanctions.

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