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Athlete Safety Policies & Guidelines

Updated: September 15, 2021

The following policies and guidelines have been adopted by U.S. Ski & Snowboard to provide a safe environment to participate in snowsports.  Every member of U.S. Ski & Snowboard should assist in the protection of participants’ safety and well-being on and off the snow. If you have any questions regarding these policies or guidelines, please contact us at: usskiandsnowboardsafesport@usskiandsnowboard.org.

 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Logo

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Athlete Safety Policy

U.S. Ski & Snowboard is committed to athlete health, welfare, and safety and adheres to the requirements of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), and the U.S. Center for SafeSport in its efforts to promote a safe and secure environment for athletes.

The following document provides information about key areas of health and safety and provides links to sections of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard website where more detailed information may be found.

The U.S. Ski & Snowboard Athlete Safety Policy, as well as its other policies and guidelines, are aimed at protecting all participants in our sports and apply to all individuals participating in our sports including the following: members, staff, contractors, coaches, officials, trainers, medical, board of directors, volunteers, and athletes.  In addition to following the SafeSport Code and this Athlete Safety Policy, all participants are expected to adhere to U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy (MAAPP) and Code of Conduct.

A.    Prohibited Conduct

Abuse of any kind is not permitted and will not be tolerated within U.S. Ski & Snowboard.  Please refer to the SafeSport Code for prohibited conduct, which includes bullying, hazing, harassment (including sexual harassment), emotional misconduct, physical misconduct, and sexual misconduct. Those terms are further defined in the SafeSport Code.

B.    Jurisdiction over subject matters

The U. S. Center for SafeSport has exclusive jurisdiction over the following matters:

  1. Sexual Misconduct, including without limitation child sexual abuse and any misconduct that is reasonably related to an underlying allegation of Sexual Misconduct;
  2. Criminal Charges or Dispositions involving Child Abuse or Sexual Misconduct;
  3. Misconduct Related to Reporting, where the underlying allegation involves Child Abuse or Sexual Misconduct;
  4. Aiding and Abetting, when it relates to the Center’s process;
  5. Misconduct Related to the Center’s Process;
  6. Other Inappropriate Conduct, as defined in the SafeSport code.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport has discretionary jurisdiction over the following matters:

  1. Non-sexual Child Abuse;
  2. Emotional and physical misconduct, including stalking, bullying behaviors, hazing, and harassment;
  3. Criminal Charges or Dispositions not involving Child Abuse or Sexual Misconduct;
  4. Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy (MAAPP) or other similar Proactive Policy violations.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard will address matters outside of the jurisdiction of the U.S. Center for SafeSport, and matters for which the U.S. Center for SafeSport has declined to exercise its discretionary jurisdiction.

C.    Education and Awareness Training 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard requires the following individuals (i.e., anyone that meets the definition of an Adult Participant under the MAAPP) complete training provided by the U.S. Center for SafeSport:

Individuals associated with Member Clubs

  • Adult athlete members of Member Clubs, except Short Term Athlete Members due to their limited participation and Master Athletes who do not i) have regular contact with minor athletes or ii) have authority over minor athletes.
  • Adult members (who are not athletes) of Member Clubs who i) have regular contact with athletes or ii) have authority over athletes.
  • Employees and Board Members of Member Clubs.
  • Individuals providing services to Member Clubs, including but not limited to contractors, volunteers, interns, who i) have regular contact with athletes or ii) have authority over athletes.

Individuals associated with U.S. Ski & Snowboard

  • Adult athlete members of U.S. Ski & Snowboard, except for Short Term Athlete Members due to their limited participation and Master Athletes who do not i) have regular contact with minor athletes or ii) have authority over minor athletes. 
  • Employees and Board Members of U.S. Ski & Snowboard.
  • Individuals providing services to U.S. Ski & Snowboard, including but not limited to, contractors, volunteers, medical pool members, and interns, who i) are regularly at the Center of Excellence or ii) have regular contact with athletes or iii) have authority over athletes.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard requires athletes who will become 18 years of age during the upcoming membership year, to complete the U.S. Center for SafeSport training on or before their 18th birthday, provided that such athletes under 18 have the consent of their parents or legal guardians.

D.    Reporting Inappropriate Behavior or Misconduct

REPORTS MAY BE MADE ANONYMOUSLY.

Reporting to Law Enforcement

Child Abuse and Child Sexual Abuse.  Most adult persons affiliated with U.S. Ski & Snowboard are now required to comply with the reporting requirements of Section 226 of the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 (34 U.S.C. § 20341) and report any suspected child abuse to law enforcement authorities and/or child protective services in your jurisdiction immediately. Child abuse is defined in the federal law and includes various forms of abuse, including sexual and non-sexual child abuse. The persons subject to the mandatory reporting requirements are also specifically defined in the federal law (34 U.S.C. § 20341). A failure to timely comply with the mandatory federal reporting requirements may result in criminal liability under federal law, including imprisonment for up to one (1) year and/or a fine.

Reporting to the U.S. Center for SafeSport and U.S. Ski & Snowboard

If you suspect that an athlete is experiencing misconduct of a sexual nature, in addition to reporting to law enforcement, such misconduct should also be reported immediately to the U.S. Center for SafeSport by calling the SafeSport hotline at 833-5US-SAFE or CLICK HERE to complete an online reporting form.

Every U.S. Ski & Snowboard member must report suspected violations of the SafeSport Code, including the following:

  • Child Abuse
  • Sexual Misconduct
  • Physical Misconduct
  • Emotional Misconduct
  • Stalking, Bullying, Threats, and Harassment (including sexual harassment)
  • Hazing
  • Aiding and Abetting
  • Willfully Tolerating Misconduct
  • Retaliation for reporting conduct or for providing information related to a report
  • Violation of Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies

The above terms are further described in the SafeSport Code.

Conduct that does not involve sexual conduct but which may violate one of the categories of prohibited conduct must be reported.  You may report the conduct to either:

The U.S. Center for SafeSport
Hotline:  
833-5US-SAFE
Report:   CLICK HERE

OR

U.S. Ski & Snowboard
Report: CLICK HERE

Reporting is mandatory.  Adult Participants are REQUIRED to report suspected sexual misconduct to law enforcement and the U.S. Center for SafeSport.  Failure to timely report may subject the person to criminal liability and further discipline by the U.S. Center for SafeSport.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard will immediately report any report it receives regarding sexual misconduct or abuse of a minor to law enforcement and the U.S. Center for SafeSport.  U.S. Ski & Snowboard will notify the reporting party, if not anonymously reported, of the party taking jurisdiction of any report.

E.      Criminal Background Checks

U.S. Ski & Snowboard requires criminal background checks on an annual basis to be carried out in accordance with the USOPC Background Check Policy for covered individuals.  Please CLICK HERE for specific information regarding the background check requirements and policy. Covered individuals must complete their background check before contact with athletes begins and, in any event, within forty-five (45) days of the new role.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard requires athletes who will become 18 years of age during the upcoming membership year, to complete their background screening within forty-five (45) days of their 18th birthday.

F.      Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy (MAAPP)

All Adult Participants (as defined in the MAAPP) are expected to follow U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy (MAAPP) and to report any violations of the MAAPP either to the U.S. Center for SafeSport or U.S. Ski & Snowboard using the reporting options outlined above.

G.        Enforcement

U.S. Ski & Snowboard will enforce this Athlete Safety Policy consistent with the SafeSport Code, the U.S. Center for SafeSport policies, and U.S. Ski & Snowboard Bylaws and policies.

H.     Retaliation

U.S. Ski & Snowboard prohibits retaliation against anyone who reports misconduct or provides information about misconduct. Retaliation includes threatening, intimidating, harassing, coercing or any other conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging or participating in the complaint processes when the action is reasonably related to the report or engagement with the process. U.S. Ski & Snowboard expressly prohibits retaliation before, during, or after the process of resolving a report of misconduct.  Retaliation may be present even where there is a finding that no violation occurred.

I.          Appeal Rights

All disciplinary action taken by the U.S. Center for SafeSport will be subject to the SafeSport Code for appeal rights.

All disciplinary action taken by U.S. Ski & Snowboard shall follow the procedures outlined in U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Bylaws and any member that receives a disciplinary decision may file an appeal pursuant to such procedures.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard reserves the right to amend this Athlete Safety Policy from time to time as it deems appropriate.

H.        Participation in Sport – Note to Participants and Parents

When participating in activities associated with ski and snowboard sports, U.S. Ski & Snowboard recommends that participants check the status of coaches, trainers, and other adult participants to confirm their affiliation with U.S. Ski & Snowboard and that they are in good standing.  Information is publicly available to search and participants should check the following databases:

    1. U.S. Center for SafeSport Centralized Disciplinary Database
    2. U.S. Ski & Snowboard Membership Lookup Tool (confirm that both SafeSport training and background screening are current)