WHAT IS THE SAFESPORT ACT?
Public Law 115-126, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 (the “SafeSport Act”), (sometimes referred to by Organization Members by its bill number, “S.534,”) serves two functions. It: 1) amends the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990; and 2) amends the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act of 1978. In brief, the SafeSport Act:
extends the duty to report suspected child abuse, including sexual abuse, within 24 hours to certain adults who are authorized to interact with minor or amateur athletes at a facility under the jurisdiction of a national governing body. A “national governing body” means an amateur sports organization that is recognized by the United States Olympic Committee. [USSF is a National Governing Body.] An individual who is required, but fails, to report suspected child sexual abuse is subject to criminal penalties.
requires applicable amateur sports organizations to:
— Comply with the SafeSport Act’s reporting requirements and prohibit retaliation by the applicable amateur sports organization against any individual who makes a report;
— Establish reasonable procedures to limit one-on-one interactions between an amateur athlete who is a minor and an adult (who is not the minor’s legal guardian) at a facility under the jurisdiction of the applicable amateur sports organization; and
— Offer and provide consistent training to adult members in regular contact with minor amateur athletes and, subject to parental consent, to members who are minors, regarding prevention and reporting of child abuse.
An “amateur sports organization” under the SafeSport Act is a not-for-profit corporation, association, or other group organized in the United States that sponsors or arranges an amateur athletic competition.
A full copy of the SafeSport Act is available here.
DOES THE SAFESPORT ACT APPLY TO MY ORGANIZATION?
Any U.S. organization that sponsors or arranges amateur athletic competition should review the SafeSport Act to determine if you are covered. In general, an organization will be covered if it is, among other things, an amateur sports organization sanctioned by U.S. Soccer under 36 U.S.C. § 220525 or if it participates in an interstate or international amateur athletic competition and whose membership includes any adult who is in regular contact with an amateur athlete who is a minor. (See 36 U.S.C. § 220530(b)).
Regardless of whether your organization constitutes an “applicable amateur sports organization” under the SafeSport Act, if you are an Organization Member of USSF, you are subject to USSF’s Bylaws and Policies, including its Athlete & Participant Safety Policy.