SafeSport Q&A

With the recent stories about SafeSport in the news, we’re all aware there’s so much more to do to protect athletes. Your questions, submitted by Dave Shrock, are important to us and we have provided responses below to each subject matter.

Do volunteers need to become members, complete the SafeSport course and pass a USATF background screen?
Yes, all adult volunteers who are operating in an official capacity at a USATF event need to meet this criteria in order to work at your Association event. Volunteers under the age of 18 need to complete the SafeSport course and become USATF members. These volunteers, who are under the age of 18, need to be monitored and supervised by adult volunteers who have met the above criteria.

What Association events must meet the criteria?
— All Association sanctioned and operated championships.
— Any developmental event that an Association conducts that is not part of a championship series, whether it requires participants to be members or not.
— Any regional event that an Association operates.

Do Association LDR Championships need to meet the criteria?
Yes, to the extent that there are areas where only USATF members participating in the championship will have access. Any personnel who would have access to that area will need to meet the SafeSport criteria.

Do employees of the facility where the Association event is being held need to comply with the SafeSport criteria?
USATF National Office will provide Associations with draft language that should be included in rental agreements with all facilities to ensure there is coverage of the facility employees.

Who falls into the vendor category for an Association event?
Any individual and/or company that the Association hires to provide a service at the Association event and will have access to athlete areas.

Do media members with access to athlete areas need to meet the SafeSport criteria?
No, media members do not need to complete the SafeSport criteria. Associations will however need to comply with the following guidelines governing media access at events. Media shall only be permitted in the designated “Athlete Media Zone”. This shall be a credentialed area with specific access for media only. Interaction between athletes and media shall always be in this designated public area with USATF staff or Association supervision. Media access to any other athlete areas is strictly prohibited.

Do the SafeSport requirements apply to all sanctioned events?
USATF is focused on creating and maintaining a safe environment for all of its athletes at any USATF event. Unfortunately, while USATF sanctions thousands of events, the amount of control USATF has over the event varies, depending on the type of event. That said, USATF policies and procedures do apply to all USATF sanctioned events.
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How will these requirements be enforced?
Enforcement efforts are being developed for recommendation to the Board of Directors. That effort may include the following:
— The National Office will be working with the Board of Directors and the Association Committee to find solutions that assist in achieving the long-term goals, which will include compliance results in the Association Accreditation process.
— The National Office is in the process of examining the actions that will be taken in a case of non-compliance with these mandates. Fines and/or sanctions against the Association may be recommended for adoption if: 1) An individual who worked an Association event is found to have not met the criteria, or 2) An Association does not submit the necessary documentation to the National Office following an Association event.

Further questions or clarifications, please contact Desiree Friedman: Desiree.Friedman@usatf.org

(posted March 30, 2018)