Reference Check

As our industry has grown the knowledge has greatly expanded and so has the number of experts. People that have probably forgotten more than most will ever know, like James Speed and Debbie Love, have passed on what they know to so many and that next generation has expanded on the knowledge base and passed it on again. It’s been a great way to share knowledge with those that want it and make the industry better.

The concern is knowing who the new experts are or aren’t, and therefore knowing who to take advice from. Many people that portray themselves as experts aren’t and it seems like they are more likely to present themselves as experts than the people that truly are. Combine that with the ease of self-promotion via social media and suddenly every “expert” has a platform to spread their lack of knowledge. The takeaway from this should be to take advice with a grain of salt until you are sure the person giving the advice is credible.

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!

In Review – December 2016

December, along with 2016, has left us. Here’s the news that ended the year, including the news of the year.

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