Welcome to our Gymnastics Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up

USAG clarifies Safesport guidelines

suds

Member
Proud Parent
Jun 26, 2015
114
Country
USA
I’m encouraged. It’s a positive move.

To USAG: Four modifications are needed:

1. ADD:

“An athlete must be able to leave a coach, or training facility, at any time without negative repercussions for the athlete or the parent.
No athlete or parent will be required to sign documents that take away this right.
Pre-existing financial obligations to the coach / training facility must still be honored by the parent / athlete."


2. ADD:

“Child
athletes are not treated medically for anything other than either

A: Truly emergent conditions or
B: Simple “first aid kit” conditions (band-aids, ACE wraps, etc.),

without a parent first being notified, and consent obtained, and medical provider approved by the parent.
Parent may choose the medical provider who treats their child.
There will be no negative repercussions for the child, or the parent, for this stipulation.
No child or parent will be required to sign documents that take away this right."


3. CHANGE: (In “Access to Training Sessions” of USAG’s new Safe Sport Policy)

Change from : “All training sessions should be held in open and interruptible locations.”
Change to : “All training sessions must be held in open and interruptible locations.”

There is a world of difference between “should” and “must”.


4. ADD:

“There must be mechanisms established for parents to be able to have direct access to their child at all times:
verbal contact, physical contact, and visual contact.

With reasonable and appropriate behavior of the child and parent, there will be no negative repercussions for the child, or the parent, for this direct access. No child or parent will be required to sign documents that relinquish this right.”


(“Parent” = legal guardian of the child.)


Increased inspection and access results in increased accountability and compliance, thus increasing child safety.

Devil’s advocate: “But this will not allow the highest level of athlete development.”

Counter-argument: “High level athlete development… coming at what personal cost to the child / to children?”
 

Aussie_coach

Moderator/Coach
Staff member
Verified Coach
Coach
Proud Relative
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Former Gymnast
Judge
Club Owner
Fan
Jan 4, 2008
3,209
Country
Australia
So point 1, a gymnast can leave a facility with no cl sequence and the gym can not have a family sign a document relinquishing this right. Does that mean that from now on, the gymnasts can't include any sort of cancellation policy in their requirements. Ie 2 week c acellation fee if a gymnast leaves mid season?
 

Aussie_coach

Moderator/Coach
Staff member
Verified Coach
Coach
Proud Relative
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Former Gymnast
Judge
Club Owner
Fan
Jan 4, 2008
3,209
Country
Australia
And how do these policies affect your gyms? Do any of your gyms not have the physical capacity for a viewing area, or have no way to make it possible for parents to have physical and verbal contact with their children.

Obviously we are not bound by these policies as we are in a different country. We have a viewing area and have always allowed (and believed in) parents to view any or all of their child's class. However, we have a very strict no parents in the gymnastics area rule. The coaches do not allow any parent to go through the door and enter the gymnastics area. Parents are not covered by the same insurance as the gymnasts, what if a parent trips over a mat (easy to do if they are not used to walking on them), and hurts themselves. Or a parent exersizing their right to have physical contact with their child wanders across the floor while a gymnast tumbles or the vault run etc. If I was in the US, I would struggle to implement the policy allowing parents physical and verbal contact at all times.
 

skschlag

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Jul 19, 2011
10,081
Region 9
Country
USA
And how do these policies affect your gyms? Do any of your gyms not have the physical capacity for a viewing area, or have no way to make it possible for parents to have physical and verbal contact with their children.

Obviously we are not bound by these policies as we are in a different country. We have a viewing area and have always allowed (and believed in) parents to view any or all of their child's class. However, we have a very strict no parents in the gymnastics area rule. The coaches do not allow any parent to go through the door and enter the gymnastics area. Parents are not covered by the same insurance as the gymnasts, what if a parent trips over a mat (easy to do if they are not used to walking on them), and hurts themselves. Or a parent exersizing their right to have physical contact with their child wanders across the floor while a gymnast tumbles or the vault run etc. If I was in the US, I would struggle to implement the policy allowing parents physical and verbal contact at all times.
I am not sure that they will be allowed in the gym per se, but can interrupt and have the kid come to them. Really won't be an issue for 99% of the people.

At our gym, we sit out in the gym area, but are separated from the gym proper. It is amazing.
 

CLgym

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2014
1,049
Country
USA
Do any of your gyms not have the physical capacity for a viewing area, or have no way to make it possible for parents to have physical and verbal contact with their children.
Our gym does not have a live viewing area, and the team gym cannot be seen from the lobby (rec gym is more easily accessible for live viewing). There are many cameras set up throughout both gym spaces (team and rec), with tv monitors in the lobby showing a live stream so you can watch. However, there are a few areas not captured by camera (e.g., the start of the vault runway for example). And obviously no verbal communication can occur via the cameras. As far as I can tell, there would be no way to create a parent viewing area short of allowing parents into the gym proper....

The only live viewing areas I've ever seen are always behind glass and closed doors -- so no verbal contact. And often times there are gym spaces that cannot be seen even with these types of set ups.

It's a tough one. Gyms require a lot of square footage (ours is 20,000 square feet), and are often repurposed commercial spaces. I imagine it is hard to create a perfect viewing scenario in all cases.... But obviously efforts should be made
 
  • Like
Reactions: PinPin

wandrewsjr

Verified Coach
Verified Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 4, 2009
2,307
Country
USA
A considerable number of gyms I know have the viewing area on the second floor, which means no direct physical contact. More than just 1%, at least in my area. They do this mostly to maximize valuable real estate(usually main gym is essentially 2 story for necessary height, then office/dance rooms/preschool gym/bathrooms are 1 story with viewing area above). I am not sure how they will fix it.
 

gymbeam

Active Member
Proud Parent
Mar 18, 2014
1,931
Country
USA
A considerable number of gyms I know have the viewing area on the second floor, which means no direct physical contact. More than just 1%, at least in my area. They do this mostly to maximize valuable real estate(usually main gym is essentially 2 story for necessary height, then office/dance rooms/preschool gym/bathrooms are 1 story with viewing area above). I am not sure how they will fix it.
I would think that’s fine. They can see them and as long as no doors are locked they can walk out to them if needed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PinPin

gymbeam

Active Member
Proud Parent
Mar 18, 2014
1,931
Country
USA
Having sound for video seems like an obstacle for many gyms. Our previous gym had video but because they also taught dance, martial arts and music there were multiple screens for different rooms. Not sure how you make it where audio would be available for all.
 

CLgym

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2014
1,049
Country
USA
We have so many cameras/live streams going at once, that audio would be a jumbled mess. And very annoying to parents who want to sit quietly and read/work in the lobby area. However, doors to the gym are always kept open to the lobby. This is probably partly because there are some common spaces (e.g., bathrooms, team lockers) just past the lobby -- technically in the gym -- so there are often parents going in and out. In this way, you can hear somewhat. Some parents will actually stand by the bathrooms and watch for a minute or two, although that is discouraged due to limited space. And certainly if you saw something troublesome on the monitor, you could walk right into the gym through the open doors (although signage and parent emails ask that parents not walk into the training areas without permission for everyone's safety).

All this is to say that I feel comfortable with the gym set up -- and I think this comfort level is derived from trust and a feeling that the gym (both the physical space and coaches) is open and accessible to parents, even though the viewing has limitations.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PinPin

Flipfloppy

New Member
Proud Relative
Gymnast
Apr 28, 2017
48
Country
USA
How about , coach cannot date a gymnast when she turns 18. Talk about grooming ... and yet it happens often.
That is an existing policy in the Center for SafeSport Code. It doesn't matter if the athlete believes they are "dating" the coach: it's a clear violation. Please report it if you see it happening.
 

skschlag

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Jul 19, 2011
10,081
Region 9
Country
USA
I was happy to see that they kept the no one-on-one travel! I saw that SafeSport had amended that to allow parental permission for 1:1 travel, but USAG says no. Thank goodness. What a easy way to groom....
 

suds

Member
Proud Parent
Jun 26, 2015
114
Country
USA
I really appreciate the exchange of ideas. This is a really important discussion to have.

It is a paradigm shift:
Establishment of a new normal predicated on contemporaneous safety standards and cultural expectations.

Incredulous.
This is uniformly the response from adults outside of the gymnastics community when I describe some
current administrative practices that I am aware of (nationwide) within gymnastics.

The reality:
Adults hold themselves to higher standards when they know they are being monitored.

Successful change:
Athlete has the power to leave the gym at any time without retribution by coaches / gym.
Pre-existing financial agreements (i.e. if you up and leave you still owe us $____ ) are still enforceable,
as long as the amount of money still owed is reasonable.
Unacceptable:
When an athlete leaves, badmouthing the athlete or other negative retaliatory actions.
Expecting excessive amounts of future tuition when an athlete leaves.

Direct access mechanisms: means, find some mutually acceptable solution to make direct access work.
Successful:
Parents are aware if and when screaming or belittling occurs in the gym, and can see body language of coaches and athletes.
Parents have a mechanism to call a gymnast off the floor.
Unsuccessful implementation:
Parent running like a gazelle across the floor ex surface en route to their child.

Coaches and staff are monitored.
Mutually acceptable mechanisms exist for child and parent to have access to each other.
Athletes have the power to leave.
Parents don’t sign away rights.

It is the new normal.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mommyo2az

Gymmamabear

Member
Proud Parent
Mar 11, 2013
130
To USAG: Four modifications are needed:

1. ADD:

“An athlete must be able to leave a coach, or training facility, at any time without negative repercussions for the athlete or the parent.
No athlete or parent will be required to sign documents that take away this right.
Pre-existing financial obligations to the coach / training facility must still be honored by the parent / athlete."

Is this in the policy now?? Or is this something that you hope some day will be included? Also isn't pre-existing financial obligations a direct contradiction of being able to leave the facility at any time without negative repercussions? I have heard of girls staying in not great environments because they have a year long contract signed and if they leave they will still be obligated to pay $500 a month till the contract is up.
 

Aussie_coach

Moderator/Coach
Staff member
Verified Coach
Coach
Proud Relative
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Former Gymnast
Judge
Club Owner
Fan
Jan 4, 2008
3,209
Country
Australia
I read it as, pre existing contracts, being those signed prior to the introduction of these new policies. Meaning that from now of gyms will not be allowed to put such contracts in place.

This one will be problematic either way. Of course if an athlete is in an abusive program, requiring them to stay or pay $500 per month until the end of the season is not appropriate. But each gym is a business, and like any business there are contracts. Many gyms run their teams with little to no profit. They will except the minimum number of gymnasts into the team each season to make it financially viable, if one leaves they often can’t be replaced until the new season.

Not saying the above scenario is acceptable. We do not expect a gymnast to pay out for the rest of the year if they leave mid season. But we do have a reasonable cancellation fee, of a few weeks of classes, if a gymnasts stops mid pay period.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PinPin

rjb123

Active Member
Proud Parent
Aug 17, 2013
810
I think that a 30 day notice is perfectly reasonable. It is generally accepted in the professional world, so I would think it should be fine for the gym world as well. Year long contracts are absurd- forcing a kid to pay when they are being abused is horrific IMO.
 

Gymmamabear

Member
Proud Parent
Mar 11, 2013
130
I read it as, pre existing contracts, being those signed prior to the introduction of these new policies. Meaning that from now of gyms will not be allowed to put such contracts in place.

This one will be problematic either way. Of course if an athlete is in an abusive program, requiring them to stay or pay $500 per month until the end of the season is not appropriate. But each gym is a business, and like any business there are contracts. Many gyms run their teams with little to no profit. They will except the minimum number of gymnasts into the team each season to make it financially viable, if one leaves they often can’t be replaced until the new season.

Not saying the above scenario is acceptable. We do not expect a gymnast to pay out for the rest of the year if they leave mid season. But we do have a reasonable cancellation fee, of a few weeks of classes, if a gymnasts stops mid pay period.
I must be missing it - where in the document is this? Curious as I'm at one of those gyms with a year long contract.
 

moogacat

Member
Proud Parent
Nov 1, 2018
102
47
Country
USA
I think that a 30 day notice is perfectly reasonable. It is generally accepted in the professional world, so I would think it should be fine for the gym world as well. Year long contracts are absurd- forcing a kid to pay when they are being abused is horrific IMO.
My daughter’s gym allows you to leave on a 30 day notice. That seems eminently reasonable but allows the gym some planning time.
 

coachp

Verified Coach
Verified Coach
Proud Parent
Apr 5, 2013
3,670
SOCAL
Country
USA
I think that a 30 day notice is perfectly reasonable. It is generally accepted in the professional world, so I would think it should be fine for the gym world as well. Year long contracts are absurd- forcing a kid to pay when they are being abused is horrific IMO.
A year financial contract is horrific period
 

Similar threads