USTA Safe Play

Conduct, Policies & Guidelines

January 1, 2017
<h1>USTA Safe Play</h1>
<h2>Conduct, Policies &amp; Guidelines</h2>

I. COVERED INDIVIDUAL

Pursuant to Section 8.7(l) of the Bylaws of the U.S. Olympic Committee (2016), of which the USTA is a member as the National Governing Body for the sport of tennis, the following individuals must meet the USTA Safe Play and SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement:  (i) USTA-certified individuals; and (ii) individuals whom the USTA formally authorizes, approves, or appoints to a position of authority over or to have frequent contact with, minor athletes; and (iii) any other individual participating in activities or affairs of the USTA who are subject to the USTA’s Safe Play policies and disciplinary procedures (“Covered Individuals”).  Covered Individuals include coaches and player support personnel, such as athletic trainers.  For the avoidance of doubt, Covered Individuals include individuals within the remit of USTA Player Development Incorporated, the USTA National Tennis Center Incorporated, and the USTA Foundation Incorporated and does not apply to Sectional Associations or Organization Members; however, the USTA strongly encourages Sectional Associations and Organization Members to adopt similar USTA Safe Play policies and disciplinary procedures.

 

This document is consistent with the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement and its appendices (collectively, the Code) issued by the U.S. SafeSport Entity (“SafeSport Entity”) pursuant to its authority under the U.S. Olympic Committee Bylaws.  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) herein).  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) herein) 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.  To review the entire U.S Olympic SafeSport Policies and Procedures including the SafeSport Code, please click here.

 

II. PROHIBITED CONDUCT

The USTA strictly prohibits the following conduct.

 

Please note that unless otherwise defined below, all capitalized terms are defined in the attached Appendix A.

 

A. Sexual Misconduct

 

1. Generally

 

Sexual misconduct offenses include:

 

a. Sexual Conduct (or attempts to commit the same), without Consent.  

 

b. Sexual Conduct (or attempts to commit the same), where there is a Power Imbalance, regardless of purported Consent.  

 

c. Sexual Harassment.

 

d. An Intimate Relationship involving a person in a Position of Power where a Power Imbalance exists.

 

2. Sexual misconduct involving Minors

 

Regardless of any purported Consent, a sexual misconduct offense involving a Minor includes:

 

a. Sexual Conduct (or attempt to commit the same) between a Covered Adult and a Minor where the age difference is three or more years.

 

b. Sexual Conduct (or attempt to commit the same) between a Covered Adult and a Minor where the age difference is less than three years, but a Power Imbalance exists.

 

c. An Intimate Relationship (or attempt to establish the same) between a Covered Adult and a Minor where the age difference is three or more years and a Power Imbalance exits.

 

d. Sexual Conduct between a Covered Minor and another Minor if (1) the age difference is three or more years; or (2) there is a Power Imbalance based on the totality of the circumstances. 

 

3. Child sexual abuse

 

A Covered Individual shall not engage in any behavior that constitutes child sexual abuse as defined by federal or applicable state law.  

 

4. Criminal Disposition

 

A Covered Individual is not considered to be in compliance with Safe Play and shall be in violation of the Code if a Covered Individual is to be convicted of or subject to a Criminal Disposition for a crime involving (a) any form of sexual misconduct or (b) a Minor.   

 

5. Other

 

A Covered Individual shall not engage in any other form of sexual misconduct, including Bullying Behaviors or Hazing of a sexual nature.

 

B. Bullying

 

Bullying is repeated and/or severe (a) aggressive behavior (b) among Minors,*  (c) that is intended or likely to hurt, control or diminish another person emotionally, physically or sexually.

 

1. Forms

 

a. Physical

 

Hitting, pushing, punching, beating, biting, striking, kicking, choking, spitting or slapping; throwing objects such as sporting equipment at another person.

 

b. Verbal

 

Teasing, ridiculing, taunting, name-calling or intimidating or threatening to cause someone harm.

 

c. Social, including cyberbullying

 

Using rumors or false statements about someone to diminish that person’s reputation; using electronic communications including social media or other technology to harass, frighten, intimidate or humiliate someone; socially excluding someone and asking others to do the same.

 

d. Sexual

 

Teasing, ridiculing or taunting based on gender or sexual orientation (real or implied), gender traits or behavior (e.g., taunting someone for being too effeminate), or teasing someone about their looks or behaviors as it relates to sexual attractiveness.

 

2. Rude, mean and conflict – distinguished

 

Conduct may not rise to the level of Bullying Behavior if it is rude (inadvertently saying or doing something hurtful), mean (purposefully saying or doing something hurtful, but not as part of a pattern of behavior), or arising from conflict or struggle between persons, absent of Power Imbalance, who perceive they have incompatible goals.  

 

3. Criminal conduct

 

Bullying Behavior includes any conduct described as bullying under federal state law.

 

* Bullying-like behaviors among adults are addressed under other forms of misconduct such as Hazing and Harassment.

 

 
C. Hazing

 

Any conduct that subjects another person, whether physically, mentally, emotionally or psychologically, to anything that may endanger, abuse, humiliate, degrade or intimidate the person as a condition of joining or being socially accepted by a group, team or organization. Purported Consent by the person subject to Hazing is not a defense, regardless of the person’s perceived willingness to cooperate or participate.

 

1. Examples

 

Examples of Hazing include:

 

a. Contact acts

Tying, taping or otherwise physically restraining another person; beating, paddling or other forms of physical assault.

 

b. Non-contact acts

Requiring or forcing the consumption of alcohol, illegal drugs or other substances in an effort to elicit a negative physiological response, including participation in binge drinking and drinking games; personal servitude; requiring social actions (e.g., wearing inappropriate or provocative clothing) or public displays (e.g., public nudity) that are illegal or meant to draw ridicule; excessive training requirements demanded of only particular individuals on a team that serve no reasonable or productive training purpose; sleep deprivation; otherwise unnecessary schedule disruptions; withholding of water and/or food; restrictions on personal hygiene.

 

c. Sexualized acts

Actual or simulated Sexual Conduct of any nature.

 

2. Criminal acts

Any act or conduct that constitutes hazing under applicable federal or state law.


D. Harassment

Repeated and/or severe conduct that (a) causes fear, humiliation or annoyance, (b) offends or degrades, (c) creates a hostile environment, or (d) reflects discriminatory bias in an attempt to establish dominance, superiority or power over an individual athlete or group based on age, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, national origin, or mental or physical disability; or (e) any act or conduct described as harassment under federal or state law. Whether conduct is harassing depends on the totality of the circumstances, including the nature, frequency, intensity, location, context and duration of the behavior.

 

1. Forms

Harassment, which may be a form of Emotional, Physical or Sexual Misconduct, includes but is not limited to:

 

a. Discriminatory Harassment

Conduct with the design or effect of establishing dominance, superiority or power over an individual or group based on age, sex, race, color, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, or mental or physical disability.

 

b. Stalking

Conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking generally involves a course of conduct which includes two or more acts, involving persistent and frequent unwanted inperson contact, surveillance or unwanted telephone and/or other electronic contact.

 

i. Examples

Stalking behaviors include without limitation: following a person; appearing at a person’s home, class, work or practice; frequent phone calls, emails, or text messages; continuing to contact a person after receiving requests to stop; leaving unwanted written messages, objects or gifts; vandalizing a person’s property; threatening, intimidating or intrusive behavior; and violating a lawful order preventing contact with a person.

 

c. Sexual Harassment

Conduct by a Covered Adult toward an Athlete or other non-employee, Non-athlete Participant that includes (a) sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical behaviors of a sexual nature; or (b) is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive and objectively offensive that it negatively affects an individual’s performance.

 

 

E. Emotional Misconduct

 

Repeated and/or severe non-contact behavior involving (a) Verbal Acts, (b) Physical Acts and/or (c) Acts that Deny Attention or Support. Emotional Misconduct is determined by the objective behaviors, not whether harm is intended or results from the behavior.

 

1. Verbal Acts

Verbal assault that repeatedly attacks someone personally (e.g., calling a person worthless, fat or disgusting; taunting a person for being too effeminate); repeatedly and excessively yelling at a particular athlete or other participant in a manner that serves no productive training or motivational purpose.

 

2. Physical Acts

Physically aggressive behaviors, such as throwing sport equipment, water bottles or chairs at or in the presence of others; punching walls, windows or other objects.

 

3. Acts that Deny Attention or Support

Ignoring or isolating a person for extended periods of time, including routinely or arbitrarily excluding a participant from practice.

 

4. Exclusions

Emotional Misconduct does not include professionally accepted and age-appropriate coaching methods for skill and performance enhancement, physical conditioning, team building or appropriate discipline.

 

5. Criminal conduct

Emotional Misconduct includes any act or conduct (e.g., psychological abuse, emotional abuse, mental abuse, child abuse) that can be described as emotional abuse under applicable federal or state law.

 

F. Physical Misconduct

 

Any contact or non-contact conduct that causes or reasonably threatens to cause physical harm to another person.

 

1. Examples

Examples of physical misconduct may include, without limitation:

 

a. Contact violations

Punching, beating, biting, striking, choking or slapping another; intentionally hitting another with objects, such as sporting equipment; encouraging or knowingly permitting an Athlete to return to play prematurely following a serious injury (e.g., a concussion) and without the clearance of a medical professional.

 

b. Non-contact violations

Isolating a person in a confined space, such as locking an Athlete in a small space; forcing an Athlete to assume a painful stance or position for no athletic purpose (e.g., requiring an athlete to kneel on a harmful surface); withholding, recommending against, or denying adequate hydration, nutrition, medical attention or sleep; providing alcohol to a person under the U.S. legal drinking age; providing illegal drugs or non-prescribed medications to another.

 

2. Criminal conduct

Physical misconduct includes any act or conduct described as physical abuse or misconduct under federal or state law (e.g. child abuse, child neglect, assault).

 

3. Exclusion

Physical misconduct does not include professionally accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, team building, appropriate discipline or improved athlete performance. For example, hitting, punching and kicking are well-regulated forms of contact in combat sports but have no place in tennis.

 

III. CONTACT & SUPERVISION

The USTA has established the following guidelines for its programs, events, tournaments, and other activities.  These guidelines are in place in order to set standards for professional boundaries, minimize the appearance of impropriety an have the effect of preventing boundary violations and prohibiting grooming tactics.**   The following are best practices for all Covered Individuals and Athletes and should be abided by to the greatest extent possible:

 

a. Rule of Three  

 

Interaction with participants should be in an open and observable environment.  Adults should strive to avoid being alone with a single child or teen where he or she cannot be observed by others.  The “Rule of Three” offers a reminder that a minimum of three persons (two adults and one teen or child; or one adult and two teens or children) should be present at all times during USTA events, programs, tournaments, and activities.

 

b. Restrooms, Locker Rooms, and Changing Areas

 

Vulnerable individuals should not be permitted to enter a rest room or locker room alone.  Adhering to the “rule of three” should be the goal that you strive to follow. 

 

Cellular phones or other electronic devices containing a camera or any other recording capability including audio are strongly discouraged from use in all restrooms, changing areas, and locker rooms at any USTA events, programs, tournaments, and activities. 

 

** “Grooming” describes the process whereby a person engages in a series or pattern of behaviors with a goal of engaging in sexual misconduct.  Grooming is initiated when a person seeks out a vulnerable minor.   Once selected, offenders will then earn the minor’s trust, and potentially the trust of the minor’s family. After the offender has engaged the minor in sexually inappropriate behavior, the offender seeks to maintain control over him/her. Grooming occurs through direct, in-person and/or online contact.


IV. TRAINING & EDUCATION

The USTA requires that all Covered Individuals complete education detailing the key elements of the USTA’s safety program at least every two years.  The USTA has adopted the SafeSport Entity’s online education program for this purpose.

 

Further, this training and education requirement applies to any Non-Athlete Participant the USTA authorizes to train, reside, or work at the USTA National Campus or at any Olympic Training Center.  Such individuals are expected to demonstrate successful completion of the safety program before accessing the USTA National Campus or any Olympic Training Center.  The USTA has adopted the SafeSport Entity’s online education program for this purpose.

 

For more details regarding accessing the training and education, please visit here.

 

V. BACKGROUND SCREENING

The USTA requires a background screen be conducted for all Covered Individuals.  The background screening process shall take place at least every two years.

 

Screening shall be conducted by a reputable background screening firm with experience working with youth-serving organizations. Sectional Associations and District Associations or Subdivisions of Sectional Associations may develop policies that go beyond the requirements described herein.  

 

To access the background screen application or for details regarding the USTA’s background screen policy, please visit here

 

VI. REPORTING & RESPONDING

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 these USTA Safe Play Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines.

A. 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:

 

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.    

 

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.

 

A report should be made immediately following the incident.  For details regarding how and to whom, please refer to Section B below.   

 

B. How to Report to the USTA

 

Reports can be made by either: (1) 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 at safeplay@usta.com, clearly describing the incident, location of incident, and people involved; or (3) completing and submitting a Safe Play Misconduct Reporting form to the USTA.

 

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/response/reporting.    

 

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

 

C. State Reporting & Resources

Without respect to the USTA or the SafeSport Entity’s reporting procedures (as described in Section VI(B) or Section VI(D) herein), 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.

 

D. 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/response/reporting or by phone at 720.524.5640 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. MT).  

 

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

 

E. 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 Sections VI(C) and VI(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.

 

F. 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 this USTA Safe Play Conduct, Policies and Guidelines is subject to change without notice at the sole discretion of the USTA.

 

As of April 1, 2017


Appendix A

 

DEFINITIONS


(1) “Athlete” is an individual recognized as an athlete by an NGB under its bylaws, rules, regulations, guidelines or other governing documents.

 

(2) “Bullying” is defined in Section II(B).

 

(3) “Coercion” is unreasonable pressure to engage in Sexual Conduct. Whether pressure is unreasonable depends on four factors, considered together: (a) frequency, (b) intensity, (c) isolation and (d) duration.

 

(4) “Consent” is freely given agreement by all people involved. As it relates to Sexual Conduct, Consent requires words or actions by a person who is legally and functionally competent to give informed permission for specific sexual activity. Consent to any one form of sexual activity does not automatically imply Consent for any other forms of sexual activity. Previous relationships or prior consent does not imply consent to future sexual activity. Once given, Consent can be withdrawn through clear communication.  Consent does not exist if a person does not give Consent, or an Inability to Consent or Inability to Refuse exists.

 

(5) “Covered Adult” is a Covered Individual who is 18 years of age or older.  

 

(6) “Covered Individual” is required to meet the USTA’s Safe Play criteria:  (i) USTA-certified individuals; and (ii) individuals who the USTA formally authorizes, approves, or appoints to a position of authority over or to have frequent contact with, minor athletes; and (iii) any other individual participating in activities or affairs of the USTA who are subject to the USTA’s Safe Play policies and disciplinary procedures (“Covered Individuals”).  Covered Individuals include coaches and player support personnel, such as athletic trainers.  For the avoidance of doubt, Covered Individuals include individuals within the remit of USTA Player Development Incorporated, the USTA National Tennis Center Incorporated, and the USTA Foundation Incorporated and does not apply to Sectional Associations or Organization Members; however, the USTA strongly encourages Sectional Associations and Organization Members to adopt similar USTA Safe Play policies and disciplinary procedures.

 

(7) “Covered Minor” is any Covered Individual who is under the age of 18.

 

(8) “Criminal Disposition” is any disposition of a criminal proceeding, other than an adjudication of not guilty, including an adjudication of guilt or admission to a criminal violation; a plea to a lesser included offense; a plea of no contest; or the disposition of the proceeding through a diversionary program, deferred adjudication, disposition of supervision, conditional dismissal, or similar arrangement.

 

(9) “Discriminatory Harassment” is defined in Section II(D)(1)(a).

 

(10) “Emotional Misconduct” is defined in Section II(E).

 

(11) “Force” is the use or threat of physical force that overcomes free will or resistance.

 

(12) “Harassment” is defined in Section II(D).

 

(13) “Hazing” is defined in Section II(C).

 

(14) “Inability to Consent” exists when Consent cannot be given because the person (a) lacks legal capacity or (b) is Incapacitated.

 

(15) “Incapacitated” is a state where a person cannot make a rational, reasonable decision because they lack the capacity to give informed consent (i.e., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of the sexual interaction).  A person may be Incapacitated because of a developmental or mental disability, illness, injury, alcohol or other drug use (voluntary or involuntary), blackout, sleep, unconsciousness or involuntary physical restraint.

 

(16) “Inability to Refuse” exists when effective Consent cannot be given because of the use of Coercion, Force, Intimidation, or creating or misusing a Power Imbalance.

 

(17) “Intimidation” are implied threats or acts that reasonably cause a fear of harm in another.

 

(18) “Intimate Relationship” is a close personal relationship that exists independently and outside of the sport relationship. Whether a relationship is intimate is based on the totality of the circumstances, including: regular contact and/or interactions outside of or unrelated to the sport relationship (electronically or in person), the parties’ emotional connectedness, the exchange of gifts, ongoing physical contact and/or Sexual Conduct, identity as a couple, the sharing of sensitive personal information, and/or knowledge about each other’s lives outside the sport relationship.

 

(19) “Minor” is an individual under eighteen years of age.

 

(20) “National Governing Body” (“NGB”) A U.S. Olympic National Governing Body, Pan American Sport Organization, or Paralympic Sport Organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee pursuant to the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, 36 U.S.C. §§ 220501-220529. When the USOC manages and governs a Paralympic sport, the USOC falls within this definition.

 

(21) “Non-Athlete Participant” is any coach, trainer, team staff, medical, or paramedical personnel, administrator, official, or other athlete support personnel, employee, or volunteer who participates.

 

(22) “Physical Misconduct” is defined in Section II(F).

 

(23) “Position of Power” exists when one person has direct supervisory, evaluative or other authority over another.  For example, a person who may be in a Position of Power includes someone such as a coach, boss, employee or medical personnel. 

 

(24) “Power Imbalance” may exist: 

 

a. Where one person is in a Position of Power such that, based on the totality of the circumstances, there is a Power Imbalance.

i. Whether someone occupies a Position of Power such that there is a Power Imbalance depends on several factors, including: the nature and extent of the supervisory, evaluative or other authority over the person; the actual relationship between the parties; the parties’ respective roles; the nature and duration of the relationship; the age of the adult; the age of the people involved.

ii. Once a coach-Athlete relationship is established, a Power Imbalance is presumed to exist throughout the coach-Athlete relationship (regardless of age) and is presumed to continue for Minor Athletes after the coach-Athlete relationship terminates and the Athlete reaches 20 years of age. A Power Imbalance may exist, but is not presumed, where an Intimate Relationship existed before the sport relationship (e.g., a relationship between two spouses or life partners that preceded the sport relationship).

 

b. Based on the totality of the circumstances, including whether there is an aggressor, and/or a significant disparity in age, size, strength or mental capacity.

 

(25) “Reporting Party” in proceedings under the SafeSport Practices and Procedures for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, the person alleging a violation of the Code.

 

(26) “Responding Party” in proceedings under the SafeSport Practices and Procedures for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, the person alleged to have violated the Code.

 

(27) “Retaliation” is any adverse action taken by a Covered Individual against a person participating in the SafeSport Entity’s proceedings. Retaliation by a Covered Individual against a person for making an allegation, supporting a Reporting Party or providing information relevant to an allegation is a serious violation of these Safe Play Conduct, Policies and Guidelines as well as the Code.

 

(28) “SafeSport Code Violation” (“Violation”) is conduct by a Covered Individual that violates (a) the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement; (b) any previous NGB or USOC standards concerning the type of conduct prohibited in the Code; or (c) other standards accepted at the time of conduct analogous to prohibited conduct in the Code. 

 

(29) “Sexual Conduct” are contact and non-contact behaviors of a sexual nature.

 

a. Contact behaviors of a sexual nature

Any intentional bodily contact of a sexual nature, however slight, whether clothed or unclothed, of a person’s intimate body parts with any object or body part up to and including a completed or attempted penetration.

i. Sexual Contact

Sexual contact is (a) any intentional bodily contact, however slight, whether clothed or unclothed, of a person’s intimate body parts (primarily genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttock or breast) with any object or body part and/or (b) any other intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner.

ii. Sexual Intercourse

Sexual intercourse is (a) a completed or attempted penetration of the vulva or anus by a penis, object, tongue or finger; and/or (b) contact between the mouth and the penis, vulva or anus.

 

b. Non-contact behaviors of a sexual nature

Non-contact behaviors of a sexual nature include (a) exposure to sexual situations (e.g., pornography, voyeurism, exhibitionism); (b) sexual comments, sexually explicit photographs; or (c) filming, taking or disseminating photographs of a sexual nature.

i. Exploitation

Non-contact behavior of a sexual nature includes Exploitation (taking sexual advantage of another to benefit or gratify one’s self or any person other than the person or persons being exploited). Exploitation includes, but is not limited to (a) voyeurism or spying on persons engaged in intimate or sexual behavior, (b) exposing genitals or inducing another person to expose his or her genitals without Consent, (c) taking pictures or video or audio recordings of another in a sexual act or in any other private activity, without the Consent of all involved in the activity, or (d) disseminating or threatening to disseminate pictures, video recordings or audio recordings of another person in a sexual act or any other private activity.

 

(30) “Sexual Harassment” is defined in Section II(D)(1)(c).

 

(31) “Stalking” is defined in Section II(D)(1)(b).

 

(32) “Third-party Reporter” is a person who reports or discloses a possible violation of the Code, if not the Reporting Party.

 

(33) “Third-party Reports” are reports or disclosures of a possible violation of the Code, brought by a person other than a Reporting Party.

 

 

Additional Resources

 
The USTA’s Safety, Security, and Sensitivity Handbook

 
In 2012, the USTA released its Safety, Security, and Sensitivity handbook which provides recommended guidelines for youth tennis programs. A copy of which can be downloaded via the link below.

The Safety, Security, and Sensitivity handbook contains guidelines, sample policies, and implementation criteria for:  i) applicant screening; ii) medical safety; iii) personal security and safety; and iv) sensitivity fairness and equality for youth tennis programs.
 
To download a full copy of the USTA’s Safety, Security, and Sensitivity Handbook, please click here.
 

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