In October of 2013, USRowing adopted SafeSport policies aimed at eliminating any forms of sexual misconduct, emotional misconduct, physical misconduct, bullying, harassment and hazing in our sport.
USRowing’s program is designed to assure athlete safety at our team camps and our sanctioned events, as well as in our member clubs and any affiliated organization, by promoting and enforcing policies and programs that address: bullying, hazing, harassment (including sexual harassment), emotional misconduct, physical misconduct and sexual misconduct (including child sexual abuse and/or grooming behaviors).
Working with the USOC, the program we developed is based on education and training, as well as reporting and enforcement policies that include criminal background checks. Our staff, coaches and volunteers who work on the front line with athletes are now part of this SafeSport process.
After establishing our own policy, USRowing asked all member organizations to join us in the SafeSport campaign to protect athletes across the country.
Beginning January 1, 2015, all USRowing member organizations were required to have their own athlete safety program. While the primary focus is to safeguard children, these policies extend to all age groups including masters and college level. USRowing will continue to audit member policies for compliance and provide feedback and recommendations to clubs to ensure that their SafeSport policies provide protection for their membership and staff.
In 2016, the United States Olympic Committee established the Center for SafeSport. The role of the center is to work with all NGBs to assure compliance with SafeSport policies and procedures. USRowing has provided jurisdictional authority to the Center for SafeSport to investigate and adjudicate all issues of sexual misconduct. As a condition of membership, USRowing organizational members also must accept the jurisdictional role of the Center for SafeSport to investigate and adjudicate any issues of sexual misconduct within their organization.
SafeSport violations for behaviors other than sexual misconduct should be investigated and handled within each organization following its internal policies and procedures. After exhausting all remedies afforded by the organization’s policy, issues of misconduct may be brought to USRowing for investigation. Procedures and forms for initiating SafeSport actions within USRowing, or directly with the Center for SafeSport, are provided on the USRowing website. Organizational members may contact USRowing and speak with our staff for further guidance.
If your organization needs help in revising or strengthening your policy, USRowing has numerous resources including policy guidelines, a SafeSport guidebook, access to background checks and free SafeSport training. These resources are available to help you through the process.
If you have any additional questions, please contact:
Director, Safesport and Special Projects
P: (302) 383-9923
Basic SafeSport Program Requirements
The U.S. Olympic Committee and Center for SafeSport have required SafeSport programing to be adopted by each National Governing Body. The following section provides an overview of the basic policy and procedures USRowing has adopted to meet this requirement. This is followed by the policy and procedures that USRowing expects of each of its member organizations.
USRowing SafeSport Program
The USRowing SafeSport program addresses six areas of misconduct: sexual misconduct (including child sexual abuse and/or grooming behaviors), emotional misconduct, physical misconduct, bullying, hazing, and harassment.
To protect athletes and all members of the USRowing community, part- and full-time employees of USRowing, members of the Board of Directors, coaches, referees, volunteers that have direct access to athletes over the course of several days, and vendors with direct access/interactions with athletes are required to undergo criminal background checks; receive education and training; and be familiar with the USRowing SafeSport reporting, investigation, and hearing process.
Organizational Member SafeSport Programs
Individuals covered by an organizational member’s SafeSport policy should include part- and full-time administrators, trainers, and coaches, as well as volunteers with direct access to athletes. At a minimum, these individuals must complete background checks, receive training in the six areas of misconduct, and be familiar with internal reporting, investigation and hearing procedures.
USRowing has partnered with the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) to provide background checks for all USRowing covered individuals.
Organizational members also may utilize NCSI to bring their organization into compliance. Discounted background checks are available from NCSI for $20 (additional county fees may apply) for all covered individuals. Organizational members can get started by clicking this link.
After registering your organization through the online form, NCSI will contact you directly to finalize the application.
Education and Training
USRowing has partnered with the Center for SafeSport to provide training and education on the various forms of misconduct. The center has developed a comprehensive online program, which is free to all members of the USRowing community. It focuses on both identifying misconduct and the steps needed to prevent it. All USRowing covered individuals are required to take the online SafeSport training program.
USRowing recognizes that education and awareness may be the best approach to prevent issues of misconduct. USRowing therefore strongly encourages each member organization to adopt a policy that all athletes and parents view the online SafeSport training program provided by the U. S. Center for SafeSport.
Organizational members of USRowing may use the online training course to educate all covered individuals within their organization, as well as parents and athletes. The Center for SafeSport online program may be accessed as follows:
- Go to SafeSport.org and click on the “Sign In” button (upper right corner).
- Register following the prompts and create your account. (As this is a new program, you must create a new account. You will not be able to login with your SafeSport credentials from the previous website.)
- Select U.S. Rowing as your “Membership” from the drop-down menu.
- The following account code should be used for USRowing: J5YZ-UJKV-YMFX-4ENI
Policies and Procedures
USRowing has developed several policies and procedures to protect our athletes and all members of the USRowing community. These are found in the essential resources section below.
To assist organizational members in developing their internal SafeSport policies and procedures, we have provided a SafeSport template. The template includes policy sections that can be used directly in an organization’s manual. These are in a black font, while the minimum SafeSport requirements for an organizational member are in a blue font.
Several state and local governments have enacted SafeSport reporting requirements. After your organization has drafted its internal SafeSport policy and procedures, it is important to have the policy and procedures vetted to ensure that it meets these requirements.
Safe SportUSRowing SafeSport Reporting FormUSRowing SafeSport Reporting Form
Safe SportUSRowing SafeSport Compliance PolicyUSRowing has established procedures to assure all members of the rowing community are protected from instances of misconduct.
Safe SportUSRowing SafeSport Complaint Investigation and Hearing ProcessUSRowing SafeSport Complaint Investigation and Hearing Process
Member ServicesUSRowing Participant Safety HandbookUSRowing's internal policies and participant safety handbook. Our SafeSport policies.
GovernanceUSRowing BylawsDownload the current Bylaws of the organization.
GovernanceBoard Policy ManualDownload the current Board Policy Manual
Member ServicesUSRowing SafeSport Member Template (.doc)The word-format of a policy handbook to help organizations develop their SafeSport policy.
Member ServicesBackground Checks through NCSIDiscounted background checks through our partnership with the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI).
Member ServicesSafeSport TrainingEducating your coaches, parents, volunteers and leadership is key - click for free online SafeSport training.
Safe SportAdditional SafeSport ResourcesAdditional SafeSport resources from the USOC, USRowing, and other organizations.