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I received an email today from USATF notifying me that I need to update my "Safe Sport" training. Now I am wondering why I would need to do this. I do not coach anyone, nor am I involved in any coaching organization.

Does anyone on this forum know of any reason to renew this training? Is this a condition of membership in USATF? We're not required to maintain a membership in USATF in order to measure and/or certify - right?

Any advice is appreciated.

Last edited by Race Resources LLC
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If you sign certificates you are supposed to maintain USATF membership.

I'm required to do Safe Sport because I'm also an official. I wasn't aware that they want people who aren't an official or coach to take it. I agree with you that it doesn't make any sense for final sigs or certifiers (or for that matter someone who maintains membership just to support USATF).

If you don't take it will they revoke your membership? Or will you just not be able to get any officials or coaching certifications/credentials?

Lyman,

I discussed the safe sport topic with fellow measurer Steve Vaitones, managing director of the USATF New England association. Members of all USATF Committees are supposed to be USATF members and to be 3-Step Safe Sport Compliant.

https://www.usatf.org/safe-sport

While measurers are not required to be USATF members, others like final signatories, regional certifiers, vice chairs and chairs are part of the Road Running Technical Council and have positions of responsibility within the USATF organization.

There's a continuing thought that SafeSport is only for coaches with athlete interaction.  It's actually much more than that.  It applies to anyone in a position of power - which a final signatory or regional certifier is.  It's also to be aware of what's happening around them with athletes, coaches, and peers - two high school kids shouldn't be going into a team tent and zipping the door flap shut.

Each of the USATF associations has their own SafeSport officer. I checked the Potomac Valley Association directory:

https://potomacvalley.usatf.org/about/directory

and found the SafeSport contact email listed under Administrative > SafeSport.

You may want to contact your SafeSport officer for details on the requirements.

Hope this helps. Thank you. -- Justin

Last edited by justinkuo

As a final signatory, I rarely come in live contact with my clients. I do not officiate at events in my capacity as a certifier or as an FS. I do not coach. By renewing my USATF membership and my Safe Sport certification, am I somehow assuming some responsibility for looking out for potential victims of sexual abuse? If I am on site on race day to ensure a course I certified is laid out correctly, am I somehow assuming some responsibility if I witness activity that may or may not be suspicious?

I for one completely support the purpose and the goals of Safe Sport. If I were in some position of "power" afforded to me by my USATF FS status, I would easily grasp the reasons for renewing Safe Sport.

I do not readily understand what Safe Sport action items, if anything, I am supposed to adhere to in my work as an FS. Once in a blue moon, I perform a tandem measurement with another measurer. I haven't done this since early 2020, and I have no such engagements on my calendar.

I am not terribly keen to send money to USATF when I see no purpose for it. If USATF wants to contribute my membership fee to maintaining our online certifications system, then I am happy to participate.

It is harder for me to see a reason for Safe Sport certification given that I do not function in any roles that would be informed by it, Mark. Neither have I seen any particular benefit from being a member of USATF. Maybe I am missing something here?

I am not a person of means. Every dollar counts. I would appreciate knowing what my annual membership in USATF provides.

A side issue is USATF collecting money from volunteers, then seeming to decline to help us with our pressing needs. What are they doing with our membership funds?

You are signing USATF documents. They require you to be a USATF member to do that. That seems reasonable to me.

Below is from the USATF Safe Sport FAQ.

3. WHO NEEDS TO BE USATF 3-STEP SAFE SPORT COMPLIANT?

The current list of those required by USATF to be background screened and to complete SafeSport training is expansive. We currently require members of the following groups to be USATF 3-Step Safe Sport Compliant: National Office Staff, Board of Directors, registered coaches, certified officials, authorized agents, club officers, National Team staff, National Committee Chairs, Association leadership, Youth Committee members, AAC Committee Members, AAC Event Leaders, all meet volunteers in an official capacity, Youth Camp staff, vendors with access to athletes.

Not sure I see anything in that list that FS, or even Certifiers would be part of. But Certifiers are in a position of power over others. I agree it's hard to make that argument for FS.

I suppose certifiers have "power" over measurers, which could be abused. I haven't heard any history of any such thing about certifiers or anyone associated with RRTC. I suppose it could happen... The local USATF association in my region has a truly terrible history of abuse, even requiring law enforcement being called to a meeting once when physical violence broke out. It seems that Safe Sport can help with this sort of malfeasance.

You are right, it's not easy to make an argument for an FS. My imagination fails me in seeing how my signing a certificate could make me have to promise not to engage in in-person illegal or unethical practices with other people. I can't exert any power of anyone - at least not that I am aware of.

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