To help safeguard athletes from misconduct, the USTA has developed the Safe Play program. Governing the program is the USTA Safe Play Policy which incorporates the U.S. Center for SafeSport Code* and Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies**. As a Participant, you are required to follow the USTA Safe Play Policy which includes the Safe Play Proactive Policies. Key highlights from the USTA Safe Play Policy and Proactive Policies are provided below and may require your attention, so please review carefully.
The USTA requires that the following Participants complete education concerning misconduct in sport and child abuse prevention on an annual basis:
Adult USTA members who have regular contact with athletes who are minors
Adults authorized to have regular contact with or authority over an athlete who is a minor by the USTA, Sectional Associations and District Associations or Subdivisions of Sectional Associations
Adult staff and board members of the USTA, Sectional Associations and District Associations or Subdivisions of Sectional Associations.
Non-athletes whom the USTA authorizes to train, reside or work at any Olympic Training Center. Such individuals are expected to demonstrate successful completion of the safety program before accessing any Olympic Training Center.
The USTA has adopted the training and educational materials developed and provided by the Center to meet the requirements outlined above. To get started, please visit www.usta.com/safeplay and select “Get Approved."
Where do the Proactive Policies apply?
One-on-One Interactions Policy (which includes meetings and individual training sessions such as massages and rubdown/athlete training modalities) and the Locker Room and Changing Area Policy apply at all facilities that are partially or fully under the jurisdiction of the USTA.
Partial or full jurisdiction includes the following:
Any sanctioned event / competition by the USTA.
Any facility that the USTA owns, leases, or rents for competition, training or practices.
Any hotel or lodging that the team is using when traveling to a sanctioned USTA event / competition.
Who does each required Proactive Policy apply to?
All of the Proactive Policies (One-on-One Interactions Policy which includes meetings, individual training sessions, massages and rubdowns/athletic training modalities; Locker Rooms and Changing Area Policy; Social Media and Electronic Communication Policy; Local Travel Policy; and Team Travel Policy) must be followed by the following:
Adult members of the USTA who have regular contact with minor athletes (e.g., coaches, officials, adult athletes, etc.).
Adults authorized by the USTA to have regular contact with minor athletes (e.g., coaches, officials, adult athletes, volunteers, etc.).
Adults authorized by the USTA to have authority over minor athletes (e.g., coaches, officials, adult athletes, volunteers, etc.).
Adult staff and board members of the USTA.
One-on-One Interactions Policy which includes meetings, individual training sessions, massages and rubdowns/athletic training modalities; and the Locker Rooms and Changing Area Policy ALSO need to be followed by:
Any adult member at a facility that is partially or fully under the jurisdiction of the USTA.
Proactive Policies Key Highlights
- All one-on-one interactions between an adult and an unrelated minor athlete must occur in an observable and interruptible location. This includes during any training or practice scenario.
- Any meeting between a health professional and a minor athlete requires advance written consent from the minor’s legal guardian. The door may be closed but must be unlocked. Another adult must be present at the facility and aware of the meeting.
- Any individual training session that is not observable and interruptible requires advance written consent from the minor’s legal guardian. A parent, legal guardian, or another caretaker must be permitted to attend.
- All sports medicine therapies including massage therapy performed on a minor athlete must be conducted in a location where individuals can walk by and observe what is occurring and interrupt if necessary. A second adult must be present in the room; an adult located outside of the room or in an adjacent room does not meet the standard.
- Under no circumstances, including in a locker room or changing area, shall an unrelated adult intentionally expose his or her breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals to a minor athlete.
- Use of any device’s (including a cell phone’s) recording capabilities, including voice recording, still cameras and video cameras, in locker rooms, changing areas or similar spaces is prohibited. Exceptions may be made in limited circumstances with USTA approval and when all athletes are fully clothed.
- The USTA must complete regular and random monitoring of locker rooms and changing areas.
- All electronic communications between an unrelated adult who has authority over minor athletes and a minor athlete must copy either (i) the minor’s legal guardian or parent; or (ii) another adult from the USTA program, event, or tournament. ALL electronic communication between an adult and a minor athlete must be professional in nature. The minor’s legal guardian or parent can request to discontinue communication to their minor athlete except in emergency circumstances.
- Adults (except for the parent or legal guardian) shall not ride in a vehicle alone with an unrelated minor athlete, absent emergency circumstances, and must have at least two minor athletes or another adult in transport at all times, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the minor athlete’s parent/legal guardian in advance of each local travel.
- When only one adult and one minor athlete travel to a competition which involves an overnight stay, the minor athlete must have his or her legal guardian’s written permission in advance.
- Adults SHALL NOT share a hotel room or other sleeping arrangement with a minor athlete (unless the adult is the legal guardian, sibling, or is otherwise related to the minor athlete). However, a parent/legal guardian may consent to such an arrangement in advance and in writing.
- All meetings during travel must be observable and interruptible. Meetings are not permitted to be conducted in a hotel room.
The USTA has adopted the educational resources provided by the U.S. Center for SafeSport to inform parents and athletes of all ages about preventing misconduct in sport.
The USTA STRONGLY ENCOURAGES all athletes and their parents / legal guardians complete training regarding the prevention of abuse in sport. To access these resources please visit https://www.usta.com/en/home/safe-play/resources.html.
Violations (or a suspicion of a violation) of the USTA Safe Play Policy or the Proactive Policies must be reported to the USTA immediately. These reports and any other suspicions you believe the USTA should be made aware of can be made by visiting www.usta.com/safeplay/report or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Any suspicions of child abuse or child sexual abuse must be reported immediately to the local authorities and to the U.S. Center for SafeSport by visiting www.uscenterforsafesport.org.
* The SafeSport Code establishes consistent standards of response and resolution to abuse and misconduct claims across the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, whose affiliated individuals must comply with policies and procedures as defined by the Code.
** The Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies (MAAPP) is a collection of prevention and training policies that bind adult participants and organizations in the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Movement.