SSCV Child Protection SafeSport Guidelines


Ski & Snowboard Club Vail is an industry-leading organization that prides itself on setting the national and international standard for snowsports training and competition. These guidelines are in place to assist our coaching staff in the methodology of “good practice” and construction of a safe environment for our athletes and membership.

These guidelines are not intended to serve as legal advice or to supplant legal definitions of abuse and harassment that vary depending on jurisdiction. Instead, these guidelines are designed to raise awareness of areas of concern.

Definition of a Child

For the purpose or these guidelines, a child/athlete is defined as anyone under the age of 18 years.

Promote a Sport Culture Built on Respect


  • The welfare of the minor child is paramount.
  • Children must be protected from harm, abuse and degrading treatments.
  • Parents must be involved in any action taken to intervene on behalf of their child.

Our Programs

SSCV offers programs in:

Good Practices

Positions of Trust

Good Practice

  • The welfare of the child is the primary concern.
  • Be aware that the closeness of the coach/athlete relationship may encourage feelings that are not directly related to the sport.
  • Set out and maintain appropriate boundaries.
  • Promote fairness.
  • Prevent and correct bullying.
  • Treat all children equally, with dignity and respect.
  • Give enthusiastic and constructive advice rather than criticism.

Unacceptable Behavior

  • NEVER enter into a sexual relationship with a child under your care/supervision.
  • NEVER use your influence over a child for your own interests.

Physical Contact

Good Practice

  • Physical contact is recommended only in support of the following purposes, and should only be carried out by appropriately qualified staff:
    • To develop or demonstrate sports skills,
    • To diagnose or treat an injury, or
    • To give appropriate sport massage.
  • Physical contact may be appropriate in other circumstances, as in congratulating a child or consoling a child who is upset. However, always ensure that physical contact is carried out in the open or in the presence of another supervising adult.
  • Remember that interpretations of touching will be affected by factors such as cultural differences, religious implications, relative age or sexual orientation.

If a child is uncomfortable with physical contact, STOP!

General Supervision

Good Practice

  • A supervising adult should never be alone with a child in potentially compromising situations, i.e. in a hotel room, bathroom, changing room, locker rooms, etc.
  • Whenever possible, mixed gender teams should be accompanied by both male and female responsible adults.

 Unacceptable Behavior

  • DO NOT take a child alone on a trip unless in an emergency and/or with written parental permission.
  • DO NOT enter the room of a child without another responsible adult present.
  • NEVER share a room with a child.

Always discourage sexually provocative jokes and conversation.


Good Practice

  • When you are close to a child, you may gather very personal information about the child.
  • Try to make the child aware of the importance and implications of the information he is sharing.

Unacceptable Behavior

  • You should NEVER encourage confidences or intrude into the private life of the child.

Always maintain appropriate boundaries


Good Practice

  • Discourage children from talking offensively about others but be aware that the child may be trying to describe an instance of abuse.
  • Coaches should never talk offensively or negatively about others.
  • Encourage children to obey the rules of the sport, compete in good faith and treat officials and other competitors with respect.

Unacceptable Behavior

  • NEVER advocate measures to gain an unfair advantage or cheat in any way.
  • NEVER allow children in your care to take advantage of a mistake or oversight by an official or volunteer at any time.

Always emphasize fair play!

Personal Standards Good Practice

Good Practice

  • Always exhibit high personal standards.
  • Respect SSCV’s Core Values of Character, Courage and Commitment.
  • Respect SSCV’s Coaches, Parent and Athlete Code/Standard of Conduct.
  • Always project a favorable image of the sport, SSCV, the Olympic movement, U.S. Ski & Snowboard, USASA and FIS and any other applicable governing bodies
  • Always project an image of health, cleanliness and efficiency.

Unacceptable Behavior

  • DO NOT use any types of tobacco, or drink alcohol to excess, when in the company or presence of children.
  • Never use profane, insulting or otherwise offensive language.
  • NEVER use any form of sexually charged verbal intimacy or innuendoes.
  • ALWAYS err on the side of protecting the child. Take action.

If you are unsure….

  • Always err on the side of protecting the child.
  • If you have doubts of what is appropriate or necessary in a particular circumstance, you should consult your direct supervisor, medical professionals or contact SSCV’s Leadership Team for guidance.
  • Always involve the child’s parents in any action involving their child.


Physical Abuse

  • Physical injury of all types when such injury is intentional or results from neglect.
  • Giving a child alcohol or inappropriate medications or drugs.
  • In a sports situation, this may also occur when the nature and intensity of training disregard the capacity if the child’s immature and growing body.

Emotional Abuse

  • May involve telling a child that he/she is useless or devaluing them.
  • Constant criticism and negative feedback.
  • Shouting, threats or taunts.
  • Unrealistic expectation of performance at levels above a child’s capability.


  • Failure to provide adequate food or shelter.
  • Prolonged or unnecessary exposure to cold or heat.
  • Unnecessary risk of injury.

Sexual Abuse

  • In sport, activities which might involve physical contact with children may create situations where sexual abuse may go unnoticed.
  • The power of the coach over the athlete could, if misused, lead to abusive situations developing.


  • May be physical, verbal or emotional.
  • Is usually repeated over a period of time.
  • May involve staff, other athletes, or parents.

Signs of abuse may include a drop in performance, behavioral changes, mood swings, reluctance to train/compete, frequent loss of possessions, physical injuries (bruising, scratches, etc), poor sleep and/or loss of appetite/weight.

Be Vigilant

  • Watch for signs of abuse and bullying.
  • Note any physical symptoms and signs, changes in behavior and/or drops in performance.

Take Actions

  • It is NOT your responsibility to decide if abuse is taking place.
  • However, if you suspect abuse, you should take action. Report your concerns to your immediate supervisor first, then parents or, if necessary, to child protection services and/or law enforcement.
  • Seek advice from qualified or supervisory individuals to assist your Club in addressing objectionable behaviors.


  • The effects of abuse may have very long-lasting consequences for the child.
  • The welfare of the child is paramount.

Children must be protected from harm, discrimination and degrading treatment at all times.


These guidelines are intended to complement and are incorporated by reference. All SSCV employees are held accountable to these guidelines:

  • The SSCV Parent Code of Conduct
  • The SSCV Athlete Code of Conduct
  • The SSCV and U.S. Ski & Snowboard Criminal Background Screening Policy
  • FIS, U.S. Ski & Snowboard, USADA and WADA Anti-Doping Policies and any other applicable governing bodies
  • All coaching staff, administration, volunteers and members of SSCV will be beholden to all information listed in the U.S. Ski & Snowboard (and other NGBs as applicable) and USOC Policies. All guidelines and protocols are subject to relevant and timely updates.
  • SSCV follows all relevant guidelines and protocols regarding matters of abuse, molestation and sexual harassment put forth by U.S. Ski & Snowboard as listed at U.S. Ski & Snowboard
  • Additional guidelines and protocols put forth by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) are listed at SafeSport

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