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HVA Current Policies 

Parent Code of Conduct

As a Parent of the HVA Current, I will abide by the following code of conduct:

  • Commit to the HVA Current's Mission, the HVA Current's Vision, and demonstrate the Current's values of TEAM, Integrity, Grit, Excellence, Respect, and Sportsmanship.

  • Practice teamwork with all parents, swimmers, and coaches by supporting the values of cooperation, loyalty, commitment, and hard work.

  • Refrain from coaching or instructing the team or any swimmer at training sessions or meets (from the stands or any other area) or interfering with coaches on the pool deck.

  • Demonstrate good sportsmanship by conducting myself in a manner that earns the respect of my child, other swimmers, parents, officials, and coaches at meets and practices.

  • Enjoy involvement with the HVAC team by supporting the swimmers, coaches, and other parents with positive communications and actions.

  • Maintain self-control at all times and know my role. Swimmers - swim, Coaches - coach, Officials - officiate, Parents - parent.

  • Communicate with the coaching staff either before or after a swim practice or meet session.

  • Hold questions or concerns regarding decisions made by meet officials or coaches during meets until the end of the meet session. Direct questions to a member of the HVAC coaching staff only.

  • Express problems with any coach, swimmer, parent, or official within HVAC immediately to your child's coach first. If that is unsatisfactory, bring it to the attention of the head coach. If you're still not satisfied with the response, then submit in writing a formal complaint to the HVAC executive board. All such issues must be documented, signed, and dated.

  • Refrain from using audio or visual recording devices, including a cell phone camera, in changing areas, restrooms, locker rooms, or on the pool deck.

  • Refrain from consuming alcohol, tobacco products, or illegal drugs at any HVAC event.

  • Comply with the HVAC social media and electronic communication policies, which can be found in the HVAC Policy Handbook.

HVAC will not tolerate sexual harassment or intolerance of any kind, including but not exclusive to harassing others because of race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and/or sexual orientation/identification.

Athlete Code of Conduct and Activity Policy

The following code (along with the USA Swimming Code of Conduct) is in effect throughout the 2018-19 season and all activities contained within said season.
Additionally, anyone, who acts in a manner that would interfere with the activity objectives listed below, will be subject to return home (at the expense of the individual involved) as well as other possible punishments, including future status with the club.
Note that ALL members involved with a team activity (Coaches, Athletes, and Chaperones) must be members in good standing with USA Swimming.

  1. All team members are expected to behave in an exemplary manner. The reputation of the HVA Current, the coaching staff, and the athletes is dependent on your behavior.

  2. The coaching staff holds the final word on any rules, regulations, or disciplinary action throughout the team activity.

  3. The consumption or usage of any illegal substance of any kind will not be allowed. In addition, any team member found or suspected to be in the presence of others (regardless of team/sport affiliation) partaking in any of the above activities will be subject to the same punishments and probable expulsion from the team.

  4. At no time will male and female team members be alone in a non-public area of the opposite gender. The only exception would be if swimmers are in the presence of the coaching staff or chaperone while under two-deep direct supervision. This applies to ALL members of any team activity.

  5. Regardless of gender, a coach or chaperone shall not share a hotel room or other sleeping arrangement with an athlete (unless the coach or chaperone is the parent, guardian, sibling, or spouse of that particular athlete). If this occurs and an additional athlete shares the room, then all must be of the same gender. In addition, the additional athlete's parents must provide written consent.

  6. No team meetings or activities may be missed. Be punctual to all meetings and activity times.

  7. No team member may be out of his or her room after the assigned bedtime/curfew. Permission must be obtained from the Head Coach to leave the room past this time. The head coach will also establish a "lights out" time.

  8. When visiting public places, athletes must stay in groups of no less than three persons.

  9. Any damages or thievery incurred during any activity will be at the expense of the swimmer, and further disciplinary action will be taken. No loud or boisterous behavior will be tolerated in public areas, and such behavior will be kept to a minimum.

  10. All team members will be polite in public areas, including restaurants. If applicable, leave a 15% tip. If there has been a problem with the service, see a member of the coaching staff.

HVAC Photography Policy

There has been much talk about whether it is safe to have images taken of children participating in sports. While the great majority of images are appropriate and are taken in good faith, it is a fact that images can be misused, and children can be put at risk if common-sense procedures are not observed.

  • The publishing of a photograph of swimmers under 18 either on a notice board or in a published article or video recording (including video streaming of swimming competitions) should only be done with parents' consent. A Photography Waiver is included with the registration process.

  • A parent or guardian has the right to refuse to have children photographed. The exercise of this right of refusal cannot be used as grounds for refusing entry into a swimming competition. Therefore, any photo that may go to press or on a notice board be it through a member of the club or official photographer, should receive parental consent before publishing/displaying the photo, preferably in writing.

  • In the case of open meets and other competitions where the host club has an official photographer present, all parents attending should be made aware of this in the meeting information. If photos are to be published anywhere, the individual parent should be given the opportunity to withhold their consent. Their right to do so should be specifically drawn to their attention.

  • All photographs must observe generally accepted standards of decency.

  • Action shots should be a celebration of the sporting activity and not a sexualized image in a sporting context.

  • Action shots should not be taken or retained where the photograph reveals a torn or displaced swimsuit.

  • Photographs should not be taken from behind swimming blocks at the start of a race or exhibit a child climbing out of the swimming pool.

  • Photographs should not be taken in locker rooms or bathrooms.

  • HVAC Coaches and Staff may only take photographs or videos of athletes for a specific purpose that pertains to club business.

HVAC Electronic Communication Policy

Purpose

HVA Current (HVAC) recognizes the prevalence of electronic communication and social media in today's world. Many of our swimmers use these means as their primary method of communication. While HVAC acknowledges the value of these methods of communication, we also realize that there are associated risks that must be considered when adults use these methods to communicate with minors.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure best practices are followed as determined by USA Swimming. This policy is not intended to encourage swimmers to register for membership in the various forms of electronic social media. Parents are still responsible for ensuring they are adhering to the rules and regulations for each of these sites.

General Content

All communications between a coach (or other adult) and an athlete must be professional in nature and for the purpose of communicating information about team activities. The content and intent of all electronic communications must adhere to the US Center for SafeSport's Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies and the USA Swimming Code of Conduct regarding Athlete Protection.

For example, as with any communication with an athlete, electronic communication should not contain or relate to any of the following:

  • drugs or alcohol use, sexually-oriented conversation, sexually explicit language, sexual activity,

  • the adult's personal life, social activities, relationship or family issues, personal problems, or

  • inappropriate or sexually explicit pictures.

Note: Any communication concerning an athlete's personal life, social activities, relationship or family issues, or personal problems must be transparent, accessible, and professional.

Whether one is an athlete, coach, board member, or parent, the guiding principle to always use in communication is to ask: "Is this communication something that someone else would find appropriate or acceptable in a face-to-face meeting?" or "Is this something you would be comfortable saying out loud to the intended recipient of your communication in front of the intended recipient's parents, the coaching staff, the board, or other athletes?"

With respect to electronic communications, a simple test that can be used in most cases is whether the electronic communication with swimmers is Transparent, Accessible, and Professional.

Transparent: All electronic communication between coaches and athletes should be transparent. Your communication should not only be clear and direct but also free of hidden meanings, innuendo, and expectations.

Accessible: All electronic communication between coaches and athletes should be considered a matter of record and part of the club's records. Whenever possible, include another coach or parent in the communication so that there is no question regarding accessibility.

Professional: All electronic communication between a coach and an athlete should be conducted professionally as a representative of the program. This includes word choices, tone, grammar, and subject matter that model the standards and integrity of a staff member. If your communication meets all three of the TAP criteria, then it is likely your method of communication with athletes will be appropriate.

Facebook, Blogs, and Similar Sites

Coaches may have individual social media pages, but they are not permitted to have any athlete member of HVAC join their personal page as a "friend," even if it is a professional account. A coach should not accept any "friend" request from an athlete. In addition, the coach should remind the athlete that this is not permitted. Coaches and athletes cannot "private message" each other through Facebook and are not permitted to "instant message" each other through Facebook chat or other IM methods. HVAC has an official Facebook page where athletes and their parents can "friend" for information and updates on team-related matters.

Coaches are encouraged to set their pages to "private" to prevent athletes from accessing the coach's personal information unless the coach's page is intended for professional purposes (meaning, not for personal connections). It is at the coach's discretion whether or not he/she allows swimmers to "friend" them after they have graduated high school and moved on. Even then, it can only be after the swimmer has completely departed from the HVAC program and is at least 18 years of age.

Twitter, Instagram

HVAC has official Twitter and Instagram pages that coaches, athletes, and parents are encouraged to follow for information and updates on team-related matters. Coaches and athletes may follow each other on Twitter or Instagram as long as the contact is professional. Coaches cannot "favorite" or "retweet" an athlete's post unless it pertains to the program and is not inappropriate or condescending in any context. Coaches and athletes are not permitted to "direct message" each other through Twitter or Instagram. A Reminder to Swimmers: Be cognizant of what you are posting, the language you use, and how others may perceive it. If you plan on going to college (and continue swimming or not), this is a popular outlet for admissions offices to decide whether or not they accept a student to their school.

Texting

Subject to the general guidelines mentioned above, texting is allowed between coaches and athletes during the hours from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm. All texting shall only be used for the purpose of communicating information directly related to team activities.

There are only two exceptions in relation to appropriate times during the day. The first is allowing swimmers and coaches who have 5:00 am-7:00 am practices to text during those times only in the event of an emergency situation (i.e., a swimmer's car breaks down on the way to practice). The second is for those swimmers whose practice goes until 8:30 pm. They may text their group coach up until 9:00 pm, but only in the event of an emergency situation.

HVA Current recommends that athletes set up a "group text," which includes at least one parent and their coach (or coaches) at the beginning of the season. This text group ensures that a parent always receives a copy of texts between the swimmer and coach.

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