Officials and the USATF Restricted Volunteer Waiver Program

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Dear Officials and Certification Chairs,
As you may know, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 requires youth sporting organizations to have mandatory prevention policies, prevention training, and reporting requirements regarding bullying, hazing, harassment, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse and misconduct.  Those mandatory prevention policies dictate we must establish reasonable procedures to limit one-on-one interactions between minors and adults who:

1)     Are in a position of authority; 

2)     Have regular contact with athletes; and,

3)     Are not in an observable and interruptible distance from another adult. 

At USATF, if a volunteer or any other individual checks one of those boxes (is in a position of authority, has regular contact, or who is not in an observable and interruptible distance), then we require USATF 3-step SafeSport compliance. 

That means having:

1) a current USATF membership; 

2) a current USATF background screen (and agreeing to acknowledgments therein); and, 

3) SafeSport training. 

Consequently, no individual shall be permitted to volunteer at any USATF Event who is not USATF SafeSport compliant and, therefore, listed on the USATF SafeSport Compliance List contained on the website.
However, we recognize that there may be some volunteer roles at Association and Regional events where the volunteer serves in a position without authority, without frequent contact with USATF athletes, or otherwise in an observable and interruptible distance from another adult.  In those instances, USATF will allow the use of the Restricted Volunteer Waiver Application and Acknowledgment though its Restricted Volunteer Waiver Program. 
As USATF works to implement its Restricted Volunteer Waiver Program, SafeSport at USATF is reaching out to ensure officials are best equipped to understand the program as well as to provide detail on what to look out for when an event the official is working is using the Restricted Volunteer Waiver Program.  Officials play a very important role in making events run smoothly, and we want to make sure communication is consistent and accurate on this front.
Volunteers working under the Restricted Volunteer Waiver Program will be working at Association and Regional events only.  This is not applicable at National Championships or third-party sanctioned events.  These Restricted Volunteers will be easily identifiable, wearing a neon red wristband that reads "Temp Volunteer".  These volunteers are not to have frequent contact with athletes, be in a position of authority over them, or otherwise not be in an interruptible and observable distance from another adult.  These volunteers have not been vetted with the same rigor as officials, coaches, or other event workers, so it is imperative officials are aware of this program and these individuals when officiating Association and Regional events.  An FAQ has been attached below with more information on the Restricted Volunteer Waiver Program.
To be clear, USATF does not expect our officials to monitor or police the Restricted Volunteer Waiver Program.  The purpose of this communication is to make you aware of the program; if you see something, say something.  For example, if an official notices that a volunteer wearing a neon red "Temp Volunteer" wristband is having one-on-one contact with an athlete, it should be reported to the nearest meet Referee, who should report it to the event director. 
SafeSport at USATF thanks you for all your dedicated time and effort and appreciates your understanding in making our sport a safe one in which athletes can compete and train.  Additional questions and concerns should be directed to and copy Officials Committee Chair Mike Armstrong at
1.What is the USATF Restricted Volunteer Waiver Program?

a.      The USATF Restricted Volunteer Waiver Program was created by the National Office to allow for casual, event-support volunteers to serve in roles not considered positions of authority, without regular contact to athletes, and/or who otherwise are in an observable and interruptible distance from another adult. 

2.How does it work?

a.      A volunteer working in the abovementioned capacity will be able to volunteer up to three (3) times within a calendar year under this waiver program.  Event directors/Association leadership will provide the application and waiver to the volunteer (along with an accompanying information sheet).  The volunteer must complete the application and waiver and return it to the event director/Association leader before beginning his/her duties.  When the application and waiver is returned to the event director/Association leader and verified against a state-issued ID for accuracy, the volunteer will be provided a wristband to be worn during the duration of the event.  The event director/Association leader must designate on the waiver which wristband (by serial number) was distributed to the volunteer.  The volunteer will be required to wear the wristband throughout the entirety of the meet.  The volunteer will be permitted to work in positions listed in 1(a), above.  Once the meet/event has concluded, event directors/Association leaders should upload the documents into USATF's volunteer management system, where they may be reviewed for compliance by the National Office. 

3.What if my volunteer is working in a position of authority, has regular contact with athletes, or will be volunteering in a position that is not in an observable distance from another adult?

a.      If your volunteer is working in a position of authority, has regular contact with athletes, or will be volunteering in a position that is not in an observable distance from another adult, then this volunteer is not permitted to work under the Restricted Volunteer Waiver Program, and would need to be USATF 3-Step SafeSport Compliant before volunteering. A compliant individual has: 1) obtained a current USATF membership; 2) completed and passed an annual USATF background screen (and agreed to acknowledgements therein); and, 3) completed SafeSport training. 

4.Where do I get the waiver and wristbands?

a.      The waiver and wristbands will be mailed to Associations by the National Office. Volunteers will obtain waivers and wristbands from event directors/Association leaders.

5.What does it mean when a volunteer signs the application and the waiver?

a.      By signing the Restricted Volunteer waiver and accompanying application, the volunteer is acknowledging USATF's SafeSport policies and procedures, including the SafeSport Handbook and reporting requirements.  Furthermore, the volunteer is agreeing to be subject to the jurisdiction of both USATF and the U.S. Center for SafeSport to resolve any alleged violations of such policies.  The accompanying information sheet will also provide information on how/when to report, and other information related to SafeSport at USATF.

6.At what events can the program be used?

a.      This program can be used at USATF Regional and Association meets.  It cannot be used at National Championships or third-party sanctioned events.

7.How many times can a volunteer work under this program?

a.      Volunteers are permitted to work under this program a maximum of three (3) times in a calendar year.  If wishing to volunteer a fourth or more times, the volunteer must become USATF 3-Step SafeSport Compliant (meaning the volunteer must 1) obtain a USATF membership; 2) pass a USATF background screen (and agree to the acknowledgements therein); and 3) complete SafeSport training).

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