Safe Sport Policy
PALM BEACH ROWING ASSOCIATION (“PBRA“) SUPPORTS USROWING’S SAFE SPORT STANDARDS
TRAINING AND EDUCATION
Our policies and procedures require coaches, members, contractors and/or volunteers to report abuse, misconduct and violations. Misconduct in sport includes:
- Emotional misconduct
- Physical misconduct, and
- Sexual misconduct and abuse
ATHLETE PROTECTION POLICY
COMMITMENT TO SAFETY
In the event that any member or volunteer observes inappropriate behaviors (i.e., policy violations), suspected physical or sexual abuse, or misconduct, it is the personal responsibility of each member and volunteer to immediately report his or her observations to a PBRA board member.
Members and volunteers should not attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of the misconduct. Complaints and allegations will be addressed by the PBRA board. PBRA recognizes that the process for training and motivating athletes will vary with each coach and athlete, but it is nevertheless important for everyone involved in sport to support the use of motivational and training methods that avoid misconduct.
Coaches, contractors, volunteers, and athletes shall refrain from all forms of misconduct, which include:
- Emotional misconduct
- Physical misconduct
- Sexual misconduct
Physical or emotional misconduct does not include professionally-accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, team building, discipline or improving athletic performance.
WILLFULLY TOLERATING MISCONDUCT
It is a violation of this Athlete Protection Policy if any member, coach, contractor, or volunteer knows of misconduct, but takes no action to intervene on behalf of the athlete(s), member, coach or volunteer.
Coaches, volunteers and athletes of PBRA shall follow the reporting procedures set forth in the reporting procedures. PBRA does not investigate suspicions or allegations of abuse, or attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of such allegations, as a condition of reporting suspicions or allegations to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.
Violations of the Athlete Protection Policy shall be reported pursuant to our Reporting Procedures and will be addressed under our Disciplinary Rules and Procedure.
To Whom to Report
Members, contractors and volunteers may report to:
- Coach or supervising volunteer with whom they are working
- Club Board Member
- Where applicable, appropriate law enforcement authorities
How to Report
PBRA will take a report in the way that is most comfortable for the person initiating a report including an anonymous, in-person, verbal or written report. Regardless of how you choose to report, it is helpful to PBRA for individuals to provide, at a minimum, (1) the name of the complainant(s); (2) the type of misconduct alleged and the name(s) of the individual(s) alleged to have committed the misconduct.
To the extent permitted by law, and as appropriate, PBRA will keep confidential the complainant’s name on request, not make public the names of potential victims, the accused perpetrator or the people who made a report of physical and sexual abuse to the authorities.
PBRA recognizes it can be difficult for an athlete, teammate, friend or family member to report an allegation of misconduct and strives to remove as many barriers to reporting as possible. Anonymous reports may be made without the formality of completing an Incident Report Form:
- by completing the Reporting Form without including their name
- by expressing concerns verbally, electronically, or in writing to a PBRA board member
Regardless of outcome, PBRA will support the complainant(s) and his or her right to express concerns in good faith. PBRA will not encourage, allow or tolerate attempts from any individual to retaliate, punish, allow or in any way harm any individual(s) who reports a concern in good faith. Such actions against a complainant will be considered a violation of our guidelines and grounds for disciplinary action.
A report of abuse, misconduct or policy violations that is malicious, frivolous or made in bad faith is prohibited. Such reports will be considered a violation of our guidelines and grounds for disciplinary action. Depending on the nature of the allegation, a person making a malicious, frivolous or bad-faith report may also be subject to civil or criminal proceedings.
HOW REPORTS ARE HANDLED
Following PBRA’s notice of a credible allegation that results in the removal of a coach, member, contractor, or other volunteer, PBRA may consider the circumstances in which it will notify other athletes with whom the accused individual may have had contact. At PBRA’s discretion, as appropriate, and after consultation with counsel, PBRA may notify its coaches, contractors, volunteers, and/or athletes of any allegation of abuse or other criminal behavior that (1) law enforcement authorities are actively investigating; or (2) that PBRA is investigating internally. Advising others of an allegation may lead to additional reports of abuse and other misconduct.
Disciplinary Rules and Procedure
While PBRA endeavors to provide support and guidance to participants on a day-to-day basis, it is also important for PBRA to have a formal procedure for disciplinary action to address alleged violations of its policies and other inappropriate behaviors.
PBRA recognizes that there are varying levels of misconduct. For example, physical and sexual misconduct are serious violations that may result in immediate dismissal. Less serious misconduct, and depending on the circumstances, might be dealt with more appropriately through dialogue and a verbal warning. In all cases, PBRA’s disciplinary procedures and actions will be proportionate, reasonable and applied fairly and equally.
On receipt of an allegation, PBRA will determine in its discretion the appropriate steps to address the conduct based on several factors, including the nature, scope, and extent of the allegations. PBRA’s disciplinary response will depend on the nature and seriousness of the incident and in extreme cases, misconduct will result in immediate summary dismissal.
Sanctions for violations of our guidelines will be proportionate and reasonable under the circumstances. In addition to day-to-day guidance, PBRA may take the following disciplinary actions, without limitation:
- Provide the individual with guidance, redirection and instruction
- Temporary suspension from competition
- File a formal incident report
- Issue a verbal warning
- Issue a written and/or final written warning
- Engage in restorative practices, i.e., creation of a respectful and safe dialogue when a misunderstanding or harm has occurred
- Suspend or terminate involvement or membership.