Safe Sport Strategies
Participant Welfare PolicyThe USA Gymnastics Participant Welfare Policy provides guidance on how clubs, coaches and parents can work together to provide a safe environment, as well as requirements and expectations of USA Gymnastics' members. The topics covered in the policy include: definitions of abuse used by USA Gymnastics for both physical and sexual abuse; reporting procedures and requirements for suspected abuse; misconduct/grievance procedures; member obligations and recommendations, as well as staff; standards of behavior; and education and communication about the policy to members and the general public.
Mandatory criminal background screening and safety/risk management certification for professional membersBackground screening is renewed every two years. Safety/Risk Management certification is renewed every four years.
- USA Gymnastics Club Program for background check
- Visit the National Center for Safety Initiatives for more
Code of Ethical ConductThe USA Gymnastics Code of Ethical Conduct offers general principles to guide the conduct, and the judicious appraisal of conduct, of all USA Gymnastics' members (including employees and agents of USA Gymnastics) in situations that have ethical implications.
Published list of individuals banned from membership in USA GymnasticsPosted on the usagym.org and printed in both magazines, this lifetime ban means the individual does not have any of the rights or privileges associated with membership in USA Gymnastics, including but not limited to participation in any event conducted or sanctioned by USA Gymnastics. Beginning in 2012, once a final decision has been rendered to bar an individual from membership, not only will the person's name and state be posted on the permanently ineligible for membership list, but also which of the Corporation's Bylaws, rules, regulations or policies was violated. (The expanded listing only applies to matters investigated after the adoption of this policy.)
Bylaw changesChanges to the Bylaws, including Articles 9 and 10 that deal with Member Misconduct and Disciplinary Proceedings and Grievances, improve policies and avoid any ambiguity in the procedures. The most significant changes included an expanded definition of misconduct; delineated types of complaints; clarification of who can file a grievance; and providing additional information on the permanently ineligible list.
USA Gymnastics Member ClubsTo become a USA Gymnastics Member Club, the organization must have a policy consistent with USA Gymnastics' Participant Welfare Policy; certify that no persons permanently ineligible for USA Gymnastics membership - which includes convicted sex offenders and/or persons on the permanently ineligible for membership list - are or will be associated with the organization or its activities in any way during the membership/registration term; and employ at least one staff member who holds a current professional or safety-certified instructor membership.
Sanctioning policyUSA Gymnastics expanded its sanction policy to ensure that the club(s), independent organization(s), and/or committee(s) that hosts a sanctioned event is either a Member Club or Registered Business of USA Gymnastics.
Member Club Affiliate RequirementsAll athletes participating in USA Gymnastics-sanctioned events must be affiliated with a USA Gymnastics member club. Only member clubs may apply for membership in USA Gymnastics on behalf of an athlete and/or register a team of athletes into sanctioned events. All member clubs agree to follow a number of registration requirements, including implementing recommendations from the Participant Welfare Policy; certifying that no persons permanently ineligible for USA Gymnastics membership – which includes convicted sex offenders and/or persons on the permanently ineligible for membership list – are or will be associated with the club or its activities in any way during the club’s membership period; and employing at least one staff member who holds a current, certified professional membership (or a certified instructor for a recreational facility).