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National

Reporting Violations

of Safe Play

<h1>Reporting Violations</h1>
<h2>of Safe Play</h2>
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The 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 the USTA Safe Play Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines.
 
On-Site Response Procedures

 

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 or 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. ADVERTISEMENT  In some cases, the perpetrator may be asked to leave the premises immediately.
  3. A report should be made immediately following the incident.  For details regarding how and to whom, please refer to Sections A, B, and C below. 
     

A. 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 (2) emailing the USTA, clearly describing the incident, location of incident, and people involved. 

 

The SafeSport Entity will have the exclusive authority to investigate and resolve alleged SafeSport Code Violations involving sexual misconduct.  In addition, pursuant to Section 8.7(1) of the Bylaws of the U.S. Olympic Committee (2016), of which the USTA is a member as the NGB for the sport of tennis, the USTA provides exclusive authority to investigate and resolve any allegations of a violation of the USTA Safe Play Conduct, Policies, and Guidelines involving sexual misconduct (as defined in Section II(A)) to the SafeSport Entity.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, the USTA is also obligated to and shall cooperate, to the extent permissible by law, with any investigation by the SafeSport Entity or law enforcement agency related to sexual misconduct within the sport of tennis or otherwise.  The USTA retains the authority to investigate and resolve alleged SafeSport Code Violations or violations of this Safe Play Conduct, Policies and Guidelines that are non-sexual in nature.  To make a report to the SafeSport Entity, please visit https://safesport.org/report-a-concern.   

 

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 who 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.  In addition, the USTA and the Center for SafeSport will consider any forms of Retaliation a violation of these Safe Play Conduct, Policies, and Guidelines and the Code

  

B. State Reporting & Resources

 

Without respect to the USTA or the SafeSport Entity’s reporting procedures (as described in Section C or Section D below), the USTA and its employees, volunteers, independent contractors, agents, and vendors who have reason to believe there has been an incident of misconduct that has occurred will report it to the proper law enforcement authority as required or permitted by applicable law.

 

The USTA will determine, with the assistance of legal counsel if necessary, whether the USTA has a legal reporting obligation based upon the report and act accordingly. Factors relevant to determining whether the USTA or a particular individual shall or should report include without limitation:

 

1. Applicable federal law

 

2. Applicable state law, which:

 

  • Defines “child abuse and neglect”
  • Identifies professionals who are required to report child maltreatment
  • Identifies other individuals who are required to report child maltreatment
  • Who is permitted to report
  • The standard for reporting
  • Whether the communication is privileged
  • Whom reports should be made to
  • Whether the report will be anonymous
  • Whether the reporter’s identity will be disclosed

 

For the avoidance of doubt, the USTA shall cooperate fully, to the extent permissible by law, with any investigation, criminal or otherwise, by any law enforcement or government authority. 

 

The USTA reserves the right to suspend an individual, whom is the subject of an investigation, from participation in any USTA sanctioned tournament, event, or program until said investigation has concluded.

 

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.

 

C. The U.S. SafeSport Entity

 

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement is committed to creating and maintaining a sport community where all persons who participate in sport programs and activities can work and learn together in an atmosphere free of all forms of emotional, physical and sexual misconduct. The U.S. Center for SafeSport (“SafeSport Entity”) has issued the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement and its appendices (collectively, Code) pursuant to the SafeSport Entity’s authority under the United States Olympic Committee’s (USOC) Bylaws.

 

Individuals within the SafeSport Entity’s jurisdiction are responsible for knowing the information, policies and procedures outlined in the Code and its related policies.  The SafeSport Entity reserves the right to make changes to the Code as necessary.  Once posted online, changes are effective immediately unless otherwise noted.  To review the entire SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement and its appendices, please click here.

 

This USTA Safe Play Conduct, Policies & Guidelines is consistent with the Code.  Further, pursuant to the Sexual Misconduct Policy approved by the USTA Board of Directors on March 23, 2017, the SafeSport Entity will have the exclusive authority to investigate and resolve alleged SafeSport Code Violations involving sexual misconduct (as described in Section II(A)).  In addition, pursuant to Section 8.7(1) of the Bylaws of the U.S. Olympic Committee (2016), of which the USTA is a member as the NGB for the sport of tennis, the USTA provides the exclusive authority to investigate and resolve any allegation of a violation of these USTA Safe Play Conduct, Policies, and Guidelines involving sexual misconduct (as defined in Section II(A)) to the SafeSport Entity.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, the USTA is also obligated to and shall cooperate, to the extent permissible by law, with any investigation by the SafeSport Entity or law enforcement agency related to sexual misconduct within the sport of tennis or otherwise.  The USTA retains the authority to investigate and resolve alleged SafeSport Code Violations or violations of this Safe Play Conduct, Policies and Guidelines that are non-sexual in nature.  However, at the USTA’s request, the SafeSport Entity may exercise the discretionary authority to take on cases of this nature.  

 

The USTA reserves the right to suspend an individual, whom is the subject of an investigation, from participation in any USTA sanctioned tournament, event, or program until said investigation has concluded.

 

If you have a reasonable suspicion that sexual misconduct has or is occurring, the USTA encourages you to contact the U.S. Center for SafeSport at https://safesport.org/report-a-concern or by phone 866-200-0796.

 

For more information regarding the U.S. Center for SafeSport and how it handles reports of sexual misconduct, please visit https://safesport.org/.

 

D. How Reports That Are Non-Sexual in Nature Are Handled

 

To the extent permissible by law, the USTA may investigate, as appropriate, non-sexual allegations of violations of Safe Play and address accordingly.  Should the USTA receive a report which involves Sexual Misconduct, the USTA shall act in accordance with Section C and Section D above.  Should the USTA receive a report of non-sexual 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.  Should the USTA receive a report of non-sexual misconduct, 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 unless the circumstances surrounding the allegations reasonably suggest otherwise.

 

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.

 

E. 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.
 

 

Please be advised that these Reporting Procedures are subject to change without notice at the sole discretion of the USTA.

 

 

As of April 1, 2017

 

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