USASF: All Star Leaders Gather

In early June, 63 representatives from 35 companies including apparel, makeup, accessories, music, coaches, choreography, photography, video and the media that cover the sport came together with USASF Board members and staff in a first-of-its-kind discussion and discovery. Attendees learned about the risks of sexual exploitation of All Star athletes and to unify around the commitment to be diligent in how we portray children  so we do not put them at risk.

USASF Logo 2018The USASF asked a research firm to survey parents considering All Star cheer as an activity for their child and learned that, in addition to concerns about cost and time, 9% of parents did not choose All Star cheer because of the image and appearance of athletes. Image concerns included uniforms, hair, makeup and, of that 9% that did not choose All Star, a shocking 23% of parents worry about the potential for abuse and exploitation in All Star. The companies in attendance committed to protect athletes through the products and services they offer by supporting new Athletic Performance Standards as outlined in the USASF Professional Responsibility Code and Safety Rules for All Star.

Stacy Pendarvis, Program Director for the Monique Burr Foundation for Children was in attendance and affirmed that All Star is leading the way for other youth sports to follow regarding athlete protection. Companies will meet again at the USASF National Meeting in August.

USASF: Athlete Protection Messaging

Dear USASF Members:

The USASF Board of Directors held their annual in-person meeting on November 6-7, 2017. One of the key discussions at the meeting was a thorough review of USASF policies and resources targeted at athlete protection.

The USASF mission includes “strive for a safe environment for our athletes.” To the USASF, safety extends beyond our Cheer and Dance safety rules for performance. We’re committed to equipping our members with the tools to create the safest overall environment for every All Star athlete, so we’ve established membership requirements and made resources available that are aimed directly at athlete protection.

As we enter the 2017-18 competition season, the Board strongly urges that all USASF members review membership requirements regarding athlete protection and make it a priority to implement the resources provided. The Board will continue to review our efforts to ensure that the most timely policies and resources are in place.

Membership Requirements

Professional Responsibility Code

The “PRC” contains the terms and conditions that all members agree to upon joining the USASF. From sportsmanship to a code of ethics to athlete protection, membership expectations are clearly defined here.

Athlete Sexual Abuse Prevention

The USASF requires that all member Programs have clear, written guidelines that prohibit adults who have contact with minors from engaging in conduct that is either inappropriate and/or illegal. We’ve partnered with the Positive Coaching Alliance to provide an applicable policy and protocol.

Electronic Communications Policy

The USASF recognizes the need to address the prevalence of inappropriate messaging between adults affiliated with a USASF Member program and athletes via email, texting, and social media. It is required that all member Programs adopt a clear and concise policy regarding Electronic Communication.

Addressing Bullying

USASF member programs are required to have an action plan to address bullying.

Background Screening

Implemented in 2015, the USASF requires background screening for anyone age 18 or older who accompanies a team into a warm up room at all USASF Sanctioned Events.

In close partnership with event producer, program owner and coach members, the USASF takes seriously our collective responsibility of the protection of the athletes in our care. The membership requirements and associated additional resources for implementation show our commitment to safeguarding All Star participants.

USASF Regional Directors conduct regular webinars to educate members on the protocols, policies and resources available to them. It’s true teamwork and takes diligent effort by all of us to ensure that All Star is, and remains, a safe and wholesome sport.

Thank you for standing together in support of our athletes!

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