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SafeSport Information

Why SafeSport?

In October of 2013, USRowing adopted new internal policies surrounding SafeSport and joined the United States Olympic Committee in its SafeSport campaign aimed at raising sport safety awareness, stopping child abuse in sports and creating a safe culture in sports programs across the country. 
USRowing’s program was designed to ensure student-athletes’ safety at USRowing team camps and USRowing sanctioned events. This promoted an environment free from bullying, hazing, harassment (including sexual harassment), emotional misconduct, physical misconduct and sexual misconduct (including child sexual abuse).

In conjunction and with the help of the United States Olympic Committee and USRowing, and in compliance with membership in US Rowing, UMW Rowing has adopted the SafeSport policies as they are outlined in this handbook.





Our policies and procedures require staff members and/or volunteers to report abuse, misconduct and violations of its Participant Safety Handbook. UMW Rowing is committed to providing a safe environment for its members. Accordingly, misconduct in any or all of the following areas will be reported to the University of Mary Washington administration in order to maintain a safe environment:

§     Bullying

§     Harassment

§     Hazing

§     Emotional misconduct

§     Physical misconduct, and

§     Sexual misconduct, including child sexual abuse

This handbook is to serve as a guide for student-athlete safety and misconduct prevention strategies within UMW Rowing. The policies outlined in this handbook DO NOT take the place of those in the UMW Student-Athlete Handbook and/or other University of Mary Washington Policies which are also enforced.

APPLICANT SCREENING Staff members and/or volunteers must consent to, and pass, a formal applicant screening process before performing services for UMW Rowing.

Elements of our screening process include, as applicable, successful completion of an application, interview, and criminal background check.





To deter applicants who may be at risk of abusing student-athletes or participants from applying for positions, UMW Rowing educates its applicants about its protection policies.



Each applicant for a position will complete an application form consisting of personal, identifying information and a general background information.



The UMW Athletic Director will interview applicants whose experience and credentials are considered a fit for available positions. During this interview, the Athletic Director will ask questions to encourage discussion, clarify responses and expand on the applicant’s answers to questions from the written application.  The Athletic Director may, at his/her discretion, also seek inputs from one or more UMW Rowing Board members.



All applicants will be asked to undergo a criminal background check that complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act before providing services for UMW Rowing. Through this criminal background check, the UMW Athletic Director and UMW Rowing will utilize reasonable efforts to ascertain past criminal history of an applicant.



The Criminal Background Check Consent and Waiver Release form must be submitted and the applicant cleared before he or she may perform services for UMW Rowing.

On receipt of the Criminal Background Check Consent and Waiver Release form, the Athletic Director and UMW Rowing will request that its vendor perform the criminal background check.



Criminal History

The information revealed by the criminal background check may disqualify an applicant from serving as a staff member, contractor and/or volunteer.

Information that could disqualify an applicant includes, but is not limited to, arrests, pleas of no contest and criminal convictions—especially if the underlying criminal behavior involved sex or violence.

Pending Court Cases

No decision will be made on an individual’s eligibility for work as a new staff member, contractor and/or volunteer if they have a pending court case for any of the potentially disqualifying offenses until the pending case concludes. If, however, during the case’s pendency, the organization undertakes an independent investigation and conducts a hearing, any determination may be used to disqualify the individual.

Full Disclosure

Each applicant has the affirmative duty to disclose his or her criminal history. Failing to disclose or intentionally misrepresenting an arrest plea or conviction history in an application or any other information provided by an applicant during the screening process is grounds for employment, volunteer and/or membership revocation or restriction, regardless of when the offense is discovered.

§     If an applicant (1) is arrested, (2) pleas or (3) is convicted of a crime other than a traffic offense during the screening process, the applicant is required to disclose such information immediately.

§     In the event a person is serving as a staff member, contractor or volunteer and (1) is arrested, (2) pleas or (3) is convicted after the completion of the screening process, he or she has an affirmative duty to disclose such information immediately to his or her supervisor or University of Mary Washington administrator.

§     Any applicant who has been banned by another sport organization, as temporarily or permanently ineligible, must self-disclose this information. A failure to disclose is a basis for disqualification for potential applicants.





Notice of findings will be provided to:

§     The designated contact [UMW Athletic Director] that submitted the application

UMW Rowing’s criminal background check report will return a “red light” or “green light” score. A green light score means that the background check vendor located no records that would disqualify the applicant. A green light score, however, is not a certification of safety or permission to bypass/ignore other screening efforts. Other disqualifying factors may exist, and can be revealed through an interview and a completed application.

red light finding means the criminal background check revealed criminal records which suggest the applicant “does not meet the criteria” and is not suitable for organization employment or volunteer assignment.

Individuals who are subject to disqualification under a “red light” finding may challenge the accuracy of the reported information reported by the criminal background check vendor.

Individuals automatically disqualified are excluded from participation in any UMW Rowing sanctioned events and/or activities, to include practices.



If, during the course of employment or participation in UMW Rowing’s program, a staff member or volunteer is accused, arrested, indicted or convicted of a criminal offense against a child, it is the duty and responsibility of the staff member or volunteer to notify a UMW Rowing Executive Board member and the UMW Athletic Director.



Even if an applicant passes a criminal background check, other factors may disqualify an applicant. An individual may be disqualified and prohibited from providing services for UMW Rowing if the individual has:

§     Been held liable for civil penalties or damages involving sexual or physical abuse of a minor

§     Been subject to any court order involving any sexual or physical abuse of a minor, including but not limited to domestic order or protection

§     A history with another organization (employment, volunteer, etc.) of complaints of sexual or physical abuse

§     Resigned, been terminated or been asked to resign from a position – paid or unpaid – due to complaint(s) of sexual or physical abuse

§     A history of other behavior that indicates they may be a danger to participants in UMW Rowing; or

§     Not met the job requirements



UMW Rowing will review its disqualifiers every two years or as otherwise required or modified by law.



Records are secured onsite for a period indicated by applicable law or until the applicant is no longer affiliated with UMW Rowing, whichever date is later.





In the event that any staff member or volunteer observes inappropriate behaviors (i.e., policy violations), suspected physical or sexual abuse, or misconduct, it is the personal responsibility of each staff member and volunteer to immediately report his or her observations to a UMW administrator or the UMW Athletic Director.

UMW Rowing is committed to creating a safe and positive environment for student-athletes’ physical, emotional and social development and to ensuring that it promotes an environment free of misconduct.

Staff members and volunteers should not attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of child physical or sexual abuse allegations as a condition for reporting to appropriate law enforcement authorities. Instead, it is the responsibility of each staff member and volunteer to immediately report suspicions or allegations of child physical or sexual abuse to an immediate supervisor or UMW administrator.  Complaints and allegations will be handled by UMW Administration.

UMW Rowing recognizes that the process for training and motivating student-athletes will vary with each coach and student-athlete, but it is nevertheless important for everyone involved in sport to support the use of motivational and training methods that avoid misconduct.


This Policy applies to

§     Staff members and volunteers (Including all paid staff, volunteer staff)

§     UMW Rowing student-athletes and participants’ parents.

Staff members, volunteers, student-athletes and participants shall refrain from all forms of misconduct, which include:

§     Bullying

§     Harassment

§     Hazing

§     Emotional misconduct

§     Physical misconduct

§     Sexual misconduct, including child sexual abuse. 



Child Sexual Abuse

Although most UMW Rowing student-athletes are over the age of 18, UMW Rowing will take all necessary steps to protect any members who are legal minors.

§     Any sexual activity with a child where consent is not or cannot be given. This includes sexual contact with a child that is accomplished by deception, manipulation, force or threat of force, regardless of the age of the participants, and all sexual interactions between an adult and a child, regardless of whether there is deception or the child understands the sexual nature of the activity.

§     Any act or conduct described as child sexual abuse under federal or state law.




Sexually abusive acts may include sexual penetration, sexual touching or non-contact sexual acts such as verbal acts, sexually suggestive electronic or written communications, exposure or voyeurism.

Emotional Misconduct

§     A pattern of deliberate, non-contact behavior that has the potential to cause emotional or psychological harm to a student-athlete. Non-contact behaviors include:

1.     verbal acts

2.     physical acts

§     Any act or conduct described as emotional abuse or misconduct under federal or state law (e.g. child abuse, child neglect).


Emotional misconduct does not include professionally-accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, team building, discipline or improving athletic performance. 


Examples of emotional misconduct prohibited by this policy include, without limitation:

§     Verbal Acts. A pattern of verbal behaviors that (a) attack a student-athlete personally (e.g., calling them worthless, fat or disgusting) or (b) repeatedly and excessively yelling at a particular participant or participants in a manner that serves no productive training or motivational purpose.

§     Physical Acts. A pattern of physically aggressive behaviors, such as (a) throwing sport equipment, water bottles or chairs at, or in the presence of, participants; or (b) punching walls, windows or other objects.

Note: Bullying, harassment, and hazing, defined below, often involve some form of emotional misconduct.

Physical Misconduct

§     Contact or non-contact conduct that results in, or reasonably threaten to, cause physical harm to a student-athlete or other sport participants; or

§     Any act or conduct described as physical abuse or misconduct under federal or state law (e.g. child abuse, child neglect, assault).


Physical misconduct does not include professionally-accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, team building, appropriate discipline or improving student-athlete performance. For example, hitting, punching, and kicking are well-regulated forms of contact in combat sports, but have no place in rowing.


Examples of physical misconduct prohibited by this Policy include, without limitation:

§     Contact offenses. Behaviors that include:

(a) punching, beating, biting, striking, choking or slapping a student-athlete;

(b) intentionally hitting a student-athlete with objects or sporting equipment;

(c) providing alcohol to a student-athlete under the legal drinking age (under U.S. law);

(d) providing illegal drugs or non-prescribed medications to any student-athlete;

(e) encouraging or permitting a student-athlete to return to play pre-maturely following a serious injury (e.g., a concussion) and without the clearance of a medical professional;

(f) prescribing dieting or other weight-control methods (e.g., weigh-ins, caliper tests) without regard for the nutritional well-being and health of student-athlete.

§     Non-contact offenses. Behaviors that include:

(a) isolating a student-athlete in a confined space (e.g., locking a student-athlete in a small space);

(b) forcing a student-athlete to assume a painful stance or position for no athletic purpose (e.g. requiring a student-athlete to kneel on a harmful surface);

(c) withholding, recommending against or denying adequate hydration, nutrition, medical attention or sleep.

Note: Bullying, harassment and hazing, defined below, often involve some form of physical misconduct.

Sexual Misconduct

§     Any touching or non-touching sexual interaction that is (a) nonconsensual or forced, (b) coerced or manipulated, or (c) perpetrated in an aggressive, harassing, exploitative or threatening manner;

§     Any sexual interaction between a student-athlete and an individual with evaluative, direct or indirect authority. Such relationships involve an imbalance of power and are likely to impair judgment or be exploitative; or

§     Any act or conduct described as sexual abuse or misconduct under federal or state law (e.g. sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, rape)

Note: An imbalance of power is always assumed between a coach and a student-athlete.

Types of Sexual Misconduct

Types of sexual misconduct include:

§     sexual assault,

§     sexual harassment,

§     sexual abuse, or

§     any other sexual intimacies that exploit a student-athlete. Minors cannot consent to sexual activity with an adult, and all sexual interaction between an adult and a minor is strictly prohibited.




Examples of sexual misconduct prohibited under this Policy include, without limitation:

§     Touching offenses. Behaviors that include:

§     fondling a student-athlete’s breasts or buttocks

§     exchange of reward in sport (e.g., team placement, scores, feedback) for sexual favors

§     genital contact

§     sexual relations or intimacies between persons in a position of trust, authority and/or evaluative and supervisory control over student-athletes or other sport participants.

Authority and Trust. Once the unique coach-athlete relationship is established, the authority and trust on the part of the coach over the student-athlete shall be assumed, regardless of age. Accordingly, sexual interaction or intimacies between a coach and a student-athlete or other participant are prohibited, regardless of age, both during coaching and during that period following coaching if an imbalance in power could jeopardize effective decision-making.

Imbalance of Power. Factors relevant to determining whether there is an imbalance of power include, but are not limited to: (a) the nature and extent of the coach’s supervisory, evaluative or other authority over the student-athlete being coached; (b) the actual relationship between the parties; (c) the parties’ respective roles; (d) the nature and duration of the sexual relations or intimacies; (e) the age of the coach; (f) the age of the student-athlete or participant; (g) and whether the coach has engaged in a pattern of sexual interaction with other student-athletes or participants.

§     Non-touching offenses. Behaviors that include:

§     coach requesting or sending a nude or partial-dress photo to student-athlete

§     exposing student-athletes to pornographic material

§     sending student-athletes sexually explicit or suggestive electronic or written messages or photos (e.g. “sexting”)

§     sexual harassment; specifically, the sexual solicitation, physical advances, or verbal or nonverbal conduct that is sexual in nature, and

1.     is unwelcome, offensive or creates a hostile environment, and the offending individual knows or is told this

2.     is sufficiently severe or intense to be harassing to a reasonable person in the context.


§     An intentional, persistent and repeated pattern of committing or willfully tolerating physical and non-physical behaviors that are intended, or have the reasonable potential, to cause fear, humiliation or physical harm in an attempt to socially exclude, diminish or isolate the targeted student-athlete(s), as a condition of membership

§     Any act or conduct described as bullying under federal or state law


Bullying does not include group or team behaviors that (a) are meant to establish normative team behaviors, or (b) promote team cohesion.

For example, bullying does not include verbal admonitions to encourage team members to train harder and to push through a difficult training regimen.


Examples of bullying prohibited by this Policy include, without limitation:

§     Physical behaviors. Behaviors that include (a) hitting, pushing, punching, beating, biting, striking, kicking, choking, or slapping a student-athlete; (b) throwing at, or hitting a student-athlete with, objects such as sporting equipment.

§     Verbal and emotional behaviors. Behaviors that include (a) teasing, ridiculing, intimidating; (b) spreading rumors or making false statements intended to cause the student-athlete emotional distress; or (c) using electronic communications, social media, or other technology to harass, frighten, intimidate or humiliate (“cyber bulling”).


§     A repeated pattern of physical and/or non-physical behaviors that (a) are intended to cause fear, humiliation or annoyance, (b) offend or degrade, (c) create a hostile environment or (d) reflect discriminatory bias in an attempt to establish dominance, superiority or power over an individual student-athlete or group based on gender, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression or mental or physical disability; or

(2) Any act or conduct described as harassment under federal or state law




Examples of harassment prohibited by this Policy include, without limitation:

§     Physical offenses. Behaviors that include (a) hitting, pushing, punching, beating, biting, striking, kicking, choking or slapping a student-athlete or participant; (b) throwing at or hitting a student-athlete with objects including sporting equipment.

§     Non-physical offenses. Behaviors that include (a) making negative or disparaging comments about a student-athlete’s sexual orientation, gender expression, disability, religion, skin color, or ethnic traits; (b) displaying offensive materials, gestures, or symbols; (c) withholding or reducing playing time to a student-athlete based on his or her sexual orientation.


§     Coercing, requiring, forcing or willfully tolerating any humiliating, unwelcome or dangerous activity that serves as a condition for (a) joining a group or (b) being socially accepted by a group’s members; or

§     Any act or conduct described as hazing under federal or state law


Hazing does not include group or team activities that (a) are meant to establish normative team behaviors or (b) promote team cohesion.


Examples of hazing prohibited by this Policy include, without limitation:

§     requiring, forcing or otherwise requiring the consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs

§     tying, taping or otherwise physically restraining a student-athlete

§     sexual simulations or sexual acts of any nature

§     sleep deprivation, otherwise unnecessary schedule disruption or the withholding of water and/or food

§     social actions (e.g. grossly inappropriate or provocative clothing) or public displays (e.g. public nudity) that are illegal or meant to draw ridicule

§     beating, paddling or other forms of physical assault

§     excessive training requirements focused on certain individuals on a team 

Comment: Activities that fit the definition of hazing are considered to be hazing regardless of a student-athlete’s willingness to cooperate or participate.





It is a violation of this student-athlete Protection Policy if a staff member and/or volunteer knows of misconduct, but takes no action to intervene on behalf of the student-athlete(s), participant(s), staff member, and/or volunteer. 



Although these policies are designed to reduce child sexual abuse and other misconduct, it can still occur. Staff members, volunteers and participants of UMW Rowing shall follow the reporting procedures set forth in UMW Rowing’s Reporting Policy.



Violations of the student-athlete Protection Policy shall be reported to the University of Mary Washington Athletic Director and any other necessary staff.


PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH student-athletes

Appropriate physical contact between student-athletes and coaches, staff members, contractors or volunteers is a productive and inevitable part of sport. Student-athletes are more likely to acquire advanced physical skills and enjoy their sport participation through appropriate physical contact. However, guidelines for appropriate physical contact reduce the potential for misconduct in sport.





UMW Rowing adheres to the following principles and guidelines in regards to physical contact with our student-athletes:

Common Criteria for Appropriate Physical Contact

Physical contact with student-athletes – for safety, consolation and celebration – has multiple criteria in common which make them both safe and appropriate. These include:

§     there is no potential for, or actual, physical or sexual intimacies during the physical contact

§     the physical contact is for the benefit of the student-athlete, not to meet an emotional or other need of the coach/volunteer.



The safety of our student-athletes is paramount and in many instances we make the athletic space safer through appropriate physical contact. Examples include:

§     spotting a student-athlete so that they will not be injured by a fall or piece of equipment

§     positioning a student-athlete’s body so that they more quickly acquire an athletic skill, get a better sense of where their body is in space, or improve their balance and coordination

§     making student-athletes aware that they might be in harm’s way because of other student-athletes practicing around them or because of equipment in use

§     releasing muscle cramps



Sports are physical by definition and we recognize participants often express their joy of participation, competition, achievement and victory through physical acts. We encourage these public expressions of celebration, which include:

§     greeting gestures such as high-fives, fist bumps, and hugs

§     congratulatory gestures such as celebratory hugs, “jump-arounds” and pats on the back for any form of athletic or personal accomplishment



It may be appropriate to console an emotionally distressed student-athlete (e.g., a student-athlete who has been injured or has just lost a competition).  Appropriate consolation includes:

§     embracing an emotionally distressed student-athlete

§     putting an arm around a student-athlete while verbally engaging them in an effort to calm them down (“side hugs”)

§     lifting a fallen student-athlete off the playing surface and “dusting them off” to encourage them to continue competition

§     assisting an injured student-athlete maneuver to a resting space or location where they will receive treatment.



Prohibited forms of physical contact, which shall be reported immediately under our Reporting Policy include, without limitation:

§     asking or having a student-athlete sit in the lap of a coach, administrator, staff member or volunteer

§     lingering or repeated embraces of student-athletes that go beyond the criteria set forth for acceptable physical contact

§     slapping, hitting, punching, kicking or any other physical contact meant to discipline, punish or achieve compliance from a student-athlete

§     “cuddling” or maintaining prolonged physical contact during any aspect of training, travel or overnight stay

§     continued physical contact that makes a student-athlete obviously uncomfortable, whether expressed or not

§     any contact that is contrary to a previously expressed personal desire for decreased or no physical contact, where such decreased contact is feasible in a competitive training environment.



Violations of this policy must be reported to a University of Mary Washington administrator, or the UMW Athletic Director and violations will be addressed under our Disciplinary Rules and Procedures.



As part of UMW Rowing’s emphasis on student-athlete safety, all posts, messages, texts, or media of any kind between coaches and student-athletes must be for the benefit of team functions and not in any way used for emotional misconduct, sexual misconduct, bullying, harassment, or hazing.



From time to time, digital photos, videos of practice or competition, and other publicly obtainable images of the student-athlete – individually or in groups – may be taken. These photos and/or videos may be submitted to local, state or national publications, used in club videos, posted on club or club associated websites, or offered to the club families seasonally on disc or other electronic form. It is the default policy of UMW Rowing to allow such practices as long as such imagery is both appropriate and in the best interest of the student-athlete, UMW Rowing, and UMW. Imagery must not be contrary to any rules as outlined in UMW Rowing’s Participant Safety Handbook.



Social media and electronic communications can also be used to commit misconduct (e.g., emotional, sexual, bullying, harassment, and hazing). Such communications by coaches, staff, volunteers, administrators, officials, parents or student-athletes will not be tolerated and are considered violations of our Participant Safety Handbook.



Violations of UMW Rowing’s Electronic Communications and Social Media Policy should be reported to a UMW Administrator, or the UMW Athletic Director for evaluation.



The following guidelines are designed to maintain personal privacy as well as to reduce the risk of misconduct in locker rooms and changing areas.


We practice indoors at the University of Mary Washington in Goolrick Hall. We share a changing area with other university students and student-athletes. As such, there are likely to be people who are not associated with UMW Rowing in the changing area around the time of practice.



UMW Rowing has staggered practices, with different groups arriving and departing throughout the day. It is therefore not practical to constantly monitor locker rooms and changing areas over this extended course of time. If there is suspected harassment or bullying occurring in the locker rooms, both the UMW Athletic Director and the Department of Campus Recreation will be notified.





Use of cell phones and other recording devices in changing areas in order to sexually harass, haze, or bully another student-athlete will not be tolerated.


Travel will be a standard aspect of our competitive season and UMW Rowing has established policies to guide our travel and increase student-athlete safety.

Local Travel

Local travel—travel to and from our practice site—will be coordinated with the University of Mary Washington Campus Recreation Department. All personal vehicles transporting student-athletes will have registration and proof of insurance on file. All members and coaches driving will have documented their valid state driver’s license with the Campus Recreation Department. Administrators within the department will be notified who is driving and which vehicles are being used on a daily basis. The University of Mary Washington passenger vans will only be driven by students and coaches who have taken and passed a van familiarization course.

Team Travel

Team travel is overnight travel that occurs when UMW Rowing coordinates or arranges for travel so that our teams can compete locally, regionally, nationally or internationally. Personal vehicles and parent vehicles, in addition to UMW vans, will be used to transport student-athletes. For each overnight travel event, all vehicles and drivers licenses will be documented with the UMW Campus Recreation Department.

For team travel, hotels and air travel will be booked in advance by UMW Rowing. Student-athletes will share rooms, with 2-4 student-athletes assigned per room depending on accommodations. There will be no co-ed rooming. 



Every UMW Rowing staff member and/or volunteer must report:

(1) violations of the Participant Safety Handbook,

(2) misconduct as defined in UMW Rowing’s student-athlete Protection Policy, and

(3) suspicions or allegations of physical or sexual abuse.

As a matter of policy, UMW Rowing does not investigate suspicions or allegations of child physical or sexual abuse or attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of such allegations as a condition for reporting to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

Reporting Misconduct and Policy Violations

If any staff member and/or volunteer receives an allegation or observes misconduct or other inappropriate behavior that is not reportable to the appropriate law enforcement authorities, it is the responsibility of each staff member and/or volunteer to report their observations to:

(1)  their immediate supervisor, the UMW Athletic Director or

(2) a UMW administrator if it is an emergency and the UMW Athletic Director is not available.

UMW Rowing also encourages member parents, student-athletes and other sport participants to communicate violations of the Participant Safety Handbook and/or allegations and suspicions of physical and sexual abuse to a UMW administrator, the UMW Athletic Director, or member of UMW Rowing’s Executive Board.  Where applicable, parents may also report to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.



To Whom to Report

Staff members and volunteers may report to the UMW Athletic Director in the form of communication they are comfortable sharing their concerns.

A staff member and/or volunteer may report any allegation of child physical or sexual abuse to relevant law enforcement authorities.

How to Report

UMW Rowing 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 UMW Rowing 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, UMW Rowing 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 child physical and sexual abuse to the authorities.

Anonymous Reporting

UMW Rowing recognizes it can be difficult for a student-athlete, teammate, friend or family member to report an allegation of misconduct and strives to remove as many barriers to reporting as possible.

§     by expressing concerns verbally to a UMW Rowing board member who will then contact the UMW Athletic Director on their behalf, or

§     through email or written letter left for a UMW Rowing board member to pass on to the UMW Athletic Director.

However, anonymous reporting may make it difficult for UMW Rowing to investigate or properly address allegations.

All suspicions of child physical or sexual abuse will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. 

“Whistleblower” Protection

Regardless of outcome, UMW Rowing will support the complainant(s) and his or her right to express concerns in good faith. UMW Rowing 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 Participant Safety Handbook and grounds for disciplinary action.

Bad-Faith Allegations

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 Participant Safety Handbook 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.



Misconduct and Policy Violations

UMW Rowing addresses internally alleged policy violations and misconduct – bullying, harassment, hazing, emotional, physical and sexual – that are not reportable under relevant state or federal law. The Director of Campus Recreation, in combination with the appropriate level of University of Mary Washington administration, will consider each report and have authority over any and all necessary disciplinary action.


Following UMW’S notice of a credible allegation that results in the removal of an employee, coach or other volunteer, UMW Rowing may consider the circumstances in which it will notify other parents of student-athletes with whom the accused individual may have had contact.  In UMW Rowing’s discretion, as appropriate, and after consultation with counsel, UMW Rowing may notify its staff members, contractors, volunteers, parents, and/or student-athletes of any allegation or criminal behavior that (1) law enforcement authorities are actively investigating; or (2) that UMW is investigating internally.  Advising others of an allegation may lead to additional reports of child physical or sexual abuse and other misconduct.


By monitoring the interactions among staff, volunteers, student-athletes, and other, UMW Rowing works to prevent, recognize and respond to inappropriate and harmful behaviors as set forth in our Participant Safety Handbook, while reinforcing appropriate behaviors.


UMW Rowing utilizes multiple monitoring methods to observe how individuals are interacting, including without limitation (1) formal supervision, when suspicious of policy violation without evidence or observation of a violation; and (2) informal supervision, including regular and random observation (e.g., roving and checking interactions throughout practices), and (3) maintaining frequent contact with staff members, volunteer and student-athletes who interact off-site.


While UMW Rowing has a formal reporting policy, staff members and volunteers should be prepared to respond immediately to inappropriate or harmful behavior, potential risk situations and potential boundary violations.

Staff members and volunteers will redirect inappropriate behaviors to promote positive behaviors, confront inappropriate or harmful behaviors, and report behaviors if necessary.


Staff members and volunteers are required to report policy violations, misconduct and physical and sexual abuse consistent with UMW Rowing ‘s Reporting Policy. UMW Rowing does not investigate suspicions or allegations of child physical or sexual abuse or attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of such allegations as a condition for reporting to appropriate law enforcement authorities.