If you witness questionable behavior, please use the links below to report it directly to to US Soccer or SafeSport:
Please be aware that under the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and SafeSport Authorization Act of 2017, adults who work in youth sports that compete across state lines and/or internationally are “mandatory reporters” who have an obligation to report to law enforcement facts giving them a reason to suspect child abuse within 24 hours of becoming aware of the facts. Reporting to U.S. Soccer will not fulfill your obligation under federal law—you must still report to law enforcement. That said, we nonetheless encourage you to report to U.S. Soccer any conduct that could violate U.S. Soccer policy so that we may have the opportunity to address the issue separate and apart from law enforcement. Please see www.safesoccer.com for more information regarding our prohibited conduct policy.
This Policy applies to all United Women’s Soccer “Covered Personnel” as defined on pages 3 and 4 of the Operations Handbook , as well as conduct by any subcontractor, supplier, customer or third party and their employees in their dealings with United Women’s Soccer employees. All definitions in this policy are taken from the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement the “SafeSport Code”), as may be amended from time to time. In the event of any conflict between this Policy and the SafeSport Code, the SafeSport Code will govern. The most recent SafeSport Code is always available at www.safesport.org.
United Women’s Soccer is committed to maintaining a work environment that is free from all forms of discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of any legally protected status. Accordingly, United Women’s Soccer does not permit any form of unlawful harassment, discrimination or intimidation against its employees by anyone, including managers, supervisors, coworkers, executives, directors, officers, other employees, vendors, clients, customers or third parties. Protected status includes race, color, age, religion, marital status, sex, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, veteran’s status, pregnancy, disability, sexual orientation, protected activity, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. The policy also prohibits harassment on the basis of the protected status of an individual’s relatives, friends or associates.
United Women’s Soccer is also committed to maintaining a work environment that is free from all forms of sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, emotional misconduct, physical misconduct, bullying and hazing.
Any violation of this Policy by a Covered Individual may subject the Covered Individual to disciplinary action. Appropriate action also will be taken against any subcontractor, supplier, or customer found in violation of this Policy.
Harassment consists of unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical or visual, that is based upon a person’s protected status. United Women’s Soccer will not tolerate harassing conduct that affects tangible job benefits, that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or safety, or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
Among the types of conduct prohibited by this policy are epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping or intimidating acts based on an individual’s protected status and the circulation or posting of written or graphic materials that show hostility toward an individual because of his or her protected status.
Prohibited conduct can also include jokes, kidding, or teasing about another person’s protected status. While harassing conduct is unlawful only if it affects tangible job benefits and/or interferes unreasonably with work performance and creates an abusive or hostile work environment, this Policy forbids harassing conduct even when it does not rise to the level of a violation of law.
Sexual harassment deserves special mention. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, written, or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
Sexual harassment may involve individuals of the same or different gender. It may also occur between individuals of any employment status.
Examples of conduct which may constitute sexual harassment and are prohibited by this Policy include, but are not limited to:
United Women’s Soccer prohibits managers and supervisors from threatening or insinuating, either explicitly or implicitly, that an employee’s submission to or rejection of sexual advances will in any way influence any personnel decision regarding that employee’s wages, assigned duties, advancement, evaluation, shifts, career development, or any other condition of employment.
Racial, religious, or national origin harassment deserves special mention as well, and is expressly prohibited by United Women’s Soccer. Racial, religious, or national origin harassment includes any verbal, written, or physical act in which race, religion, or national origin is used or implied in a manner which would make a reasonable person uncomfortable in the work environment or which would interfere with the person’s ability to perform the job. Examples of race, religious or national origin harassment may include, but are not limited to:
Any sexual activity with a child is prohibited. This includes sexual contact with a child that is accomplished by deception, manipulation, force or threat of force, regardless of the age of the participants, and all sexual interactions between an adult and a child, regardless of whether there is deception, or the child understands the sexual nature of the activity.
Any sexual interaction between an athlete and an individual with evaluative, direct or indirect authority is prohibited. Such relationships involve an imbalance of power and are likely to impair judgment or be exploitative. This section does not apply to a pre-existing relationship between two spouses or life partners.
Emotional misconduct in all forms is prohibited. Emotional misconduct is a pattern of deliberate, non-contact behavior that has the potential to cause emotional or psychological harm to another person. Non-contact behaviors include verbal acts, physical acts, or acts that deny attention or support; or any act or conduct described as emotional abuse or misconduct under federal or state law (e.g. child abuse, child neglect). Emotional misconduct does not include professionally-accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, team building, appropriate discipline or improving athletic performance.
Physical misconduct in all forms is prohibited. Physical misconduct is defined as contact or non-contact conduct that results in, or reasonably threatens to, cause physical harm to another person; or any act or conduct described as physical abuse or misconduct under federal or state law (e.g. child abuse, child neglect, assault). Physical misconduct does not include professionally-accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, team building, appropriate discipline or improving athletic performance. For example, hitting and punching are well-regulated forms of contact in combat sports but have no place in soccer.
Intentional, persistent and repeated pattern of committing or willfully tolerating physical and non-physical behaviors that are intended, or have the reasonable potential, to cause fear, humiliation or physical harm in an attempt to socially exclude, diminish or isolate the targeted athlete(s), as a condition of membership are prohibited. Bullying does not include group or team behaviors that (a) are meant to establish normative team behaviors, or (b) promote team cohesion.
Coercing, requiring, forcing or willfully tolerating any humiliating, unwelcome or dangerous activity that serves as a condition for (a) joining a group or (b) being socially accepted by a group’s members are prohibited. Hazing does not include group or team activities that (a) are meant to establish normative team behaviors or (b) promote team cohesion.
All Covered Personnel are responsible to help ensure that we avoid misconduct. United Women’s Soccer cannot act to eliminate misconduct unless it has notice of the conduct. Covered Personnel are charged with reporting any concerns regarding compliance with this policy by using the Complaint Form. For the avoidance of doubt, in some instances, Covered Personnel will be required to report to law enforcement and/or the U.S. Center for SafeSport.
Furthermore, United Women’s Soccer employees are responsible to help assure that the work environment, on or off-premises, is free from harassment. All employees have an obligation to promptly report any and all allegedly harassing conduct they are the subject of, that they learn of, or that they witness. Our Policy provides for immediate notice of problems to the persons designated in this Policy so that we may address and resolve any problems as quickly as possible.
An employee must report the harassing conduct to either:
If the employee feels uncomfortable going to his or her supervisor with the complaint, he/she must report the matter to any other member of management as designated above.
This Policy does not require reporting the misconduct to any individual who is creating the harassment or discrimination.
All Covered Personnel have an obligation to cooperate in any investigation of a complaint of misconduct, including providing any and all information concerning the complaint. Failure to do so may be a violation of this Policy.
United Women’s Soccer’s Prohibited Conduct Policy offers its employees greater protection from harassment than does the law. Consequently, Covered Personnel who are found to have violated United Women’s Soccer’s Prohibited Conduct Policy shall be subject to corrective action, discipline or termination, even in cases where applicable laws may not have been violated and without regard to whether the conduct constitutes a violation of the law.
An employee wishing to file a complaint outside the Federation may also contact either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the fair employment agency in his or her state.
Employees and other Covered Personnel over the age of 18 that have Regular Contact with athletes must successfully complete the U.S. Center for SafeSport training every year, consistent with the Minimum Training Policy found at II.D. on page 19. The U.S. Center for SafeSport training can be accessed at http://training.safesport.org/. Minor Athletes that directly register with United Women’s Soccer must be offered training from the U.S. Center for SafeSport every year and, may take the training with parental consent.1 Additionally, parents of Minor Athletes must be offered parent training provided by the U.S. Center for SafeSport.
The investigation and adjudication of matters involving allegations or reports of sexual abuse or misconduct by or against Covered Personnel, or other violations of this Prohibited Conduct Policy that involve prohibited conduct that is reasonably related to and accompanies an alleged violation involving sexualized behavior by Covered Personnel are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States Center for Safe Sport in accordance with the requirements of the USOC and as set forth in the Center’s Bylaws or other Center’s governing documents. Please see the Section V.A. entitled, “Exclusive Jurisdiction Over Investigation/Adjudication of Sexual Abuse or Misconduct” on page for more information.
1 Athletes 18 or older that directly register with the U.S. Center for SafeSport must comply with the
training requirements by September 1, 2019 and refresher training each year thereafter.
The majority of child sexual abuse is perpetrated in isolated, one-on-one situations. By reducing such interactions between children and adults, you reduce the risk of child sexual abuse. However, one-on-one time with trusted adults is also healthy and valuable for a child. Policies concerning one-on-one interactions protect children while allowing for these beneficial relationships. Covered Organization for the purpose of this policy includes all teams and affiliates of United Women’s Soccer.
If a mental health care professional meets with minors at our facilities, a closed-door meeting may be permitted to protect patient privacy – provided that (1) the door remains unlocked, (2) another adult is present at the facility, (3) the other adult is advised that a closed-door meeting is occurring, although the minor’s identity need not be disclosed, and (4) written legal guardian consent is obtained by the mental health care professional, with a copy provided to our organization.
Individual training sessions between Adults and minors are permitted at our facility if the training session is observable and interruptible by another adult. The Adult must obtain the written permission of the minor’s legal guardian in advance of the individual training session. Parents, guardians, and other caretakers must be allowed to observe the training session. Permission for individual training sessions must be obtained at least every six months, and such permission may be withdrawn at any time.
Written consent by a legal guardian shall be provided before providing each massage or rubdown on a minor athlete and documented at least on an annual basis. This consent may be withdrawn at any time. Parents must be permitted to be in the room as an observer.
Use of any device’s (including a cell phone’s) recording capabilities, including voice recording, still cameras, and video cameras in locker rooms, rest rooms, changing areas, or similar spaces at a facility under our organization’s jurisdiction is prohibited. Exceptions may be made for media and championship celebrations, provided that such exceptions are approved by the Covered Organization and two or more adults are present.
Under no circumstances shall an unrelated Adult at a facility under our organization’s jurisdiction be undressed (disrobed or partial or full nudity where private body parts are exposed) in front of or shower with minor athletes.
Our organization regularly and randomly monitors the use of locker rooms, rest rooms, and changing areas at facilities under our jurisdiction to ensure compliance with these policies. Our organization will provide a private or semi-private place for minor athletes to change clothes or undress at sanctioned events that include locker rooms and/or changing areas for athlete use.
If our organization uses a facility not under its jurisdiction (for, e.g., training or competition or similar events) and the facility is used by multiple constituents, Adults in categories 2 through 4 are nonetheless required to adhere to the rules set forth here.
All electronic communication originating from Participating Adults to amateur athletes who are minors must be open and transparent, and professional in nature.
Legal guardians may request in writing that their child not be contacted through any form of electronic communication by the organization or by the organization’s Participating Adults. The organization will abide by any such request that their child not be contacted via electronic communication, absent emergency circumstances.
“Transportation” consists of travel to training, practice, and competition that occurs locally and does not include coordinated overnight stay(s).
The following is a model lodging policy, provided to assist Covered Organizations in developing their own policies. Any policy developed by a Covered Organization must include the Mandatory Components. If a Covered Organization does not create a lodging policy, the Mandatory Components and Recommended Components will become the default lodging policy for that organization.
Covered Organizations must include components a through d.” Lodging” is team travel to a competition or other team activity that the organization plans and supervises, and that requires an overnight stay or use of a hotel.
Participating Adults shall not share a hotel room or other sleeping arrangement with a minor athlete (unless the Participating Adult is the legal guardian, sibling, or is otherwise related to the minor athlete), or unless the adult is a personal care assistant for an athlete who requires help with activities of daily living, and parent/guardian consent has been obtained.
1 Adult personal care assistants authorized by a parent or guardian to help athletes requiring assistance with activities of daily living are permitted to interact with minor athletes one-on-one in a private setting, provided parent/guardian consent has been obtained.
2 Adult personal care assistants authorized by a parent or guardian to help athletes requiring assistance with activities of daily living are permitted to assist minor athletes one-on-one, provided parent/guardian consent has been obtained.
3 Adult personal care assistants authorized by a parent or guardian to help athletes requiring assistance with activities of daily living are permitted to transport a minor athlete one-on-one, provided parent/guardian consent has been obtained.