skip navigation

SafeSport: What’s Happened and What’s Upcoming

12/17/2019, 6:15pm CST
By Suzie Riewald, USA Fencing SafeSport Coordinator

2019 in Review

  • Introduction of the MAAPP: Effective June 2019, the USA Fencing proactive policies were replaced by the Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy (MAAPP). This updated policy addresses the following:
    • One-on-one interactions, including meetings and lessons (USA Fencing is required to establish procedures to limit one-on-one interactions, as set forth by federal law)
    • Massages and rubdowns/athletic training modalities (medical treatment)
    • Locker rooms and changing areas
    • Social media and electronic communications
    • Local travel
    • Team travel
  • For the 2019-20 membership season, we aligned SafeSport training with membership renewal. As part of the membership renewal process, anyone who was a Coach member, +Check or +Coach had to complete the online training at the time. Because SafeSport training is now required on an annual basis, SafeSport expiration will always align with membership renewal. 
  • A new Black Card Policy was adopted on October 18, 2019. This policy was put in place to assist in providing a safe environment for all USA Fencing members, including athletes, coaches, parents, referees and spectators.  
  • New SafeSport Training Courses: The U.S. Center for SafeSport launched several free age-appropriate online training for minor athletes. Additionally, a new training course designed for adult athletes was developed as it is recognized that abuse and misconduct is not limited to minors. The courses can be found here (use code ADULTATHLETENGB to complete it for free).
  • The USA Fencing Codes of Conduct were updated.  We have Member, Coach and Spectator Codes of Conduct that communicate expectations related to behavior to ensure a positive and supportive environment for all – both on and off the strip. Violations of the Codes of Conduct should be reported via the Code of Conduct Reporting Form, which will be reviewed by the Ethics Committee. 

What’s on the horizon?

  • Beginning January 1, 2020, USA Fencing will be adopting new background screen search components and criteria to meet the new USOPC requirements. There will be no changes in how members complete the background screen and it is still required every two years. The new search components and criteria will be updated in the SafeSport FAQs.
  • In order to maintain a Coach, +Coach or +CheckEd membership, all individuals must remain SafeSport compliant with up-to-date background screens and trainings done on an annual basis. As a reminder, when a club’s staff is out of compliance with SafeSport requirements, that club also is out of compliance and its USA Fencing membership (and associated insurance) is no longer deemed current. In 2019-20, we aligned the expiration of SafeSport training with the end of the membership year on July 31. In order to assist members and clubs with compliance, background screens also will expire on July 31, 2020 and will need to be renewed every other year on July 31. This will alleviate confusion on multiple expiration dates across the year and allow Coach, +Coach and CheckEd members to renew memberships, background checks and SafeSport training at the same time.  
  • USA Fencing is working with the U.S. Center for SafeSport to develop and implement additional training for our fencing membership. These will be offered in person during some of our national events. More details to follow.
  • Looks for updates to the Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies in early 2020. The U.S. Center for SafeSport, with input from NGBs, is working on minor changes to the policy based on an assessment over the past year of implementation. We will clearly communicate these changes to our membership when they are put in place.

Because we know the how tough it is to navigate the policies and changes within SafeSport, the National Office will be reaching out to individual clubs to talk through any challenges or concerns related to SafeSport and point clubs to resources to facilitate effective implementation of the MAAPP and compliance with the SafeSport Policy. 

Tag(s): SafeSport