Safety Promotes Success

SafeSport for Juniors

Athletes will perform better, soar higher, and get more from sport if they feel safe. SafeSport seeks to create a healthy, supportive environment for all participants. Through education, resources, and training, we help members of the sport community recognize, reduce, and respond to misconduct in sport.

You should know that a whole team stands ready to help and protect you. If you have questions, want to disclose an incident or just need someone to talk with, USA Volleyball and SafeSport can help.

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Critical information to help keep every program safe: Everyone will perform better, soar higher, and get more from sport if they feel safe. This SafeSport online training program teaches the nature of misconduct in sport: how to recognize it, how to prevent it and how to take action.

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SafeSport Videos

Make the Difference

Recognizing misconduct in sport is critical; implementing the right policies and communicating them to all members of the sport community is the next challenge. While every situation is different, you don’t need to start from scratch.

When everyone - clubs, coaches, staff and parents - understands his/her role, we can work as a team to protect athletes and create the best conditions for sport.

Why Kids Should Play Sports

Sport can help kids learn how to work hard, find ways to improve and make new friends. Practice and competition, as well as winning and losing, can build character and teach you valuable lessons. All of these things should take place in a safe, supportive environment. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out what’s okay and what crosses the line. Some types of behavior – inappropriate touching and abusive or threatening language – aren’t part of sport or part of being a champion.


It’s important for every athlete to understand what unacceptable behavior is and when to reach out to an adult to ask for help and guidance. Below find information from Safe4Athletes on when you should speak to an adult and ask for help.

Sometimes athletes are worried that if they complain or report a situation about a coach or an adult, the coach will no longer like them or give them good instruction. Or, you may think your teammates will get mad at you.

Don’t be afraid to speak up – everyone deserves respectful conduct.

  • When should you speak to an adult and ask for help?
    • Whenever something happens – that, to YOU – doesn’t feel right, it’s important to speak up to protect yourself and your teammates.
  • No Bullying, Emotional or Verbal Abuse Allowed! Talk to someone:
    • When an adult or another athlete who is bigger, stronger or older tries to make you do something wrong, makes you feel worthless or makes fun of you in order to embarrass you or make you feel bad.
    • When someone yells at you, calls you names or swears at you.
    • When someone pushes, shoves, punches, pinches or hurts you in any way.
    • When someone tries to make you feel like you are a bad person.
    • When someone repeatedly attempts to control your personal or social life.
  • No Sexual Abuse! Talk to someone:
    • When sexual contact, sexual attention and any other behavior with sexual overtones happen that makes you uncomfortable and you do not want to have happen.
    • When an adult shares sex jokes, cartoons or photos.
    • If someone touches you inappropriately, tries to pinch, touch or kiss you.
    • If someone is talking to you about sex, asking you to have sex or asking you to touch them or kiss them.
    • If someone is talking about your body or your outfit and calls you “hot” and it makes you feel uncomfortable.
    • If someone emails you, text messages you or uses social media to talk about sex or suggest sexual things or send sexual photos.
    • If anyone tries to hurt you sexually or forces you to touch them.
  • No Romantic or Dating Relationships With Coaches!
    • Your coach must treat every athlete equally and should not be spending time alone with any athlete.
    • The coach is your teacher and romantic relationships are NOT ok.
  • No Hazing, Initiation Rituals or Physical Punishment!
    • No team is allowed to have an initiation ritual or make you think that you have to do something embarrassing to be accepted on the team.
    • Activities that should NOT be allowed:
      • Pressuring you to drink alcohol, take drugs or eat or drink something that you don’t want to.
      • Giving you any substance for the purpose of improving performance.
      • Making you shave any part of your body or take off clothes or show body parts.
      • Making you dress up and look silly.
      • Forcing you to do hard physical activity as punishment, beyond what is generally acceptable.
      • Asking you to perform a physical activity that is clearly beyond your physical activity and may cause injury.
  • Physical Contact!
    • A coach must always ask for your permission prior to touching you. The following situations are generally acceptable unless YOU (the athlete) feels uncomfortable. If you do, ask the coach to stop.
      • When the coach asks for permission to put a body part in a correct mechanical position or correct physical form.
      • A “high five” or pat on the head or back when congratulating an athlete for a good performance.
      • “Spotting” or any protective coaching intended to reduce the risk of practicing or performing a skill that may cause harm, with “spotting” techniques explained to you and your teammates beforehand.
      • In general, if a coach or anyone else touching you makes you feel uncomfortable for any reason, it is ok for you to ask the person to stop. Such physical contact must stop immediately no matter what the reason.

If it feels wrong, it is wrong!

For further information please visit Safe4Athletes.


You’ve heard your parents and coaches talk about abuse and misconduct, but what does that mean? Below are some situations to help you determine if something that happens to you or a teammate is ok, or if you should tell another adult.

You’ve heard your parents and coaches talk about abuse and misconduct, but what does that mean? Below are some situations to help you determine if something that happens to you or a teammate is ok, or if you should tell another adult.

  • My coach or another adult at my club gives me gifts that I like a ton and takes me to really fun things a lot, like concerts or games. He or she told me not to tell anyone about these things – and told me that if I tell anyone, he or she will stop giving me things. Is this normal?
    • Probably not. People who want to hurt athletes by abusing them sexually often use gifts, like sport equipment or tickets to an event, as a way to gain the athlete’s trust and to find ways to spend time alone with them without other adults or teammates. If this person is telling you not to tell anyone else about the gifts, you should tell your parent(s) or another trusted adult.
  • My coach (or another adult) makes me feel funny the way that they touch me, but I don’t really understand why. Is this bad?
    • You should never feel funny about the way someone is touching you. If it doesn’t feel right, talk to you parent(s) or another trusted adult about what the adult is doing that makes you feel funny. They can help you understand if what is going on is ok.
  • My coach says that he/she is the only coach that can help me become a great athlete. Is this true?
    • No. There are plenty of well-qualified coaches out there who can work with you to be a great athlete. You don’t need to work with a particular coach to succeed.
  • My coach tells me that he/she is the only one who can get me an athletic scholarship and that if I tell anyone what we do, or if I don’t do what he/she wants me to, I won’t get the scholarship. Is this true?
    • No. There are lots of coaches out there who can help you find an athletic scholarship if your skills are consistent with collegiate competition.
  • Sometimes my coach or another adult sends me weird texts. He or she asks me whether I’m having sex with my boyfriend or girlfriend, or other things about sex. Is this normal?
    • No. There is no reason for an adult to ask you about your sex life. Depending on the content of the texts, this could be misconduct. Show these messages to a parent or another trusted adult.
  • An adult at my club makes a lot of comments about the way I look – mostly that I’m really sexy and beautiful and that he/she would like to see me naked. He/she told me that he/she can say this kind of stuff because he/she isn’t touching me. Is this true?
    • No. Adults should never make sexual comments to or about you. This is a type of sexual misconduct. You should tell your parent(s) or trusted adult.
  • One of the adults at my club says that if I tell anyone about the sexual stuff we do, he/she will tell my parents that I’ve been drinking alcohol or taking drugs. My parents might believe him/her and they will ground me. What should I do?
    • If an adult uses the threat of drugs, alcohol or other behavior as a way to make you keep a secret, you should tell someone about the sexual abuse. Stopping the sexual abuse is the most important thing!
  • I know volleyball is really hard work and it’s my coach’s job to push me to perform better than I think I can. But is it ok for him/her to keep calling me names (like “fat cow”) or throw things at me, even if they don’t hit me?
    • To help you perform better, comments and directions are most useful if they address your skills and performance. Calling you a “fat cow” or throwing things at you doesn’t critique your performance, it attacks you as a person. Tell someone if an adult makes you feel threatened in any way or you fear for your safety.
  • My teammate just had a concussion and he/she doesn’t want to go back into the game. My coach told my teammate that he/she has to play or he/she will get kicked off the team. Is that ok?
    • Unfortunately, sometimes you will get hurt or injured while playing volleyball. It can still be a safe place for you to play as long as someone isn’t trying to hurt you. Coaches should never make you or your teammates play if you are injured, especially if you let the coach know that you do not want to go in. If you feel your coach is asking you to do something beyond what is healthy for you, you should stop.
  • My coach doesn’t let us drink any water during practice, even when it’s 100 degrees out and we’ve been practicing for three hours. Is that ok?
    • Withholding, recommending against or denying adequate water can be considered physically harmful. If this happens, let a trusted adult know as soon as you can.

Courtesy of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) SafeSport Program


U.S. National Team member Cassidy Lichtman

Who do you want to be?

No, really. Stop. Actually think about what kind of person you want to be. What do you want to bring to the world? What kind of impression do you want to leave on the people you’ve touched in your life?

No, really. Stop. Actually think about what kind of person you want to be. What do you want to bring to the world? What kind of impression do you want to leave on the people you’ve touched in your life?

Maybe those feel like really deep questions, but you’re answering them every day with everything you do and every interaction you have. So it might be a good idea to think about what your answers are. Because you can tell yourself you want to be the kind of person that makes the world better, but that means absolutely nothing if it doesn’t come out in how you treat the people around you.

When I say the people around you, I mean all of them. It’s easy to be nice to people you like or those with authority over you or someone who’s higher up in the “social hierarchy."

But you know what? How you treat other people has nothing to do with who they are; it’s about who you are. So when you laugh at the unpopular girl at school or ignore the awkward kid on your team, it says nothing about them and everything about you. And it does not make you better than anyone else. Bullying never makes you cool; it just makes you a jerk.

Do you have any idea the power that you have? Every day when you get up in the morning, you have the ability to make other people’s lives better. With one word, one smile, you can brighten someone’s day and make the world a happier place. But every time you make someone feel bad about themselves, every time you judge someone for being different from you, every time you make someone feel like they are alone in this world, all you do is make the world a little bit darker.

So what do you want to do? Do you want to go to bed at night knowing that you’re responsible for a little more love and light in the world or for a little more pain? That’s the choice that you have every day and you will be remembered for that choice.

Also, there’s no middle ground here. Maybe you aren’t a bully. You don’t make fun of other people or participate in the gossip. But you don’t do anything to stop it.

I get that it’s scary to take a stand because you don’t want to end up a victim, too. So maybe you start small. Stop laughing at jokes made at someone else’s expense. Don’t ignore someone just because the kings and queens of the social hierarchy have declared them an outcast. Don’t underestimate the power of just a kind word or a smile. Start with those things and I hope that someday you will have the strength and the courage to speak up against something you know is wrong.

Most importantly, understand that you have the same choice as everyone else. You have the same power as everyone else. I know it’s hard to challenge the status quo or to go against what’s “cool." But take a moment and ask yourself: Is your fear greater than someone else’s happiness? If one word from you could make someone else feel like they’re worth something, can you really justify not saying it?

What all of the drama boils down to, if you really look at it, is that we judge people for liking different things than we do. That’s it. They like the "wrong" things. And if you ask me, that’s completely ludicrous because think about how boring and dysfunctional our world would be if those differences didn’t exist. If all anyone cared about was sports then nobody would’ve been able to design your iPhone. If we all spent our time solving equations then you’d never have found your favorite song. Maybe your interests aren’t totally aligned with someone else’s, but you can appreciate them anyway.

Because you want to know what’s really cool? Passion. Passion is what shapes the world. It’s how we break records and find new cures for diseases. All the people we look up to — great athletes, leaders, artists, celebrities and scientists — everyone who you think is really awesome has that in common. All of them have found something they loved and gone after it.

So when you make someone feel bad about the things they like, all you’re doing is depriving the world by suppressing that passion. It doesn’t matter what it is. There is nothing cooler about loving sports than math or about listening to rap over the opera. It’s not about what you’re into; it’s about finding what that is and owning it.

That’s my advice, as well, for those of you who have been on the other side and know what it feels like to be bullied. Find what you love and own it. When you do that, you’ll find other people who love it too. And all of those people who will look down on you for that? They’re just going to have to sit back and watch their world get reshaped by people like you who aren’t afraid to love what they love.

So don’t ever let anyone tell you that just being you isn’t good enough. Don’t ever let them make you feel like you aren’t worth anything or that you aren’t important. You have a purpose. You have the power to make our world better. And you have people who love you for exactly who you are. When the world gets you down and it feels like there’s nobody on your side, remember this: I think you’re awesome, for nothing other than being you. I’ll be on your side.

Don’t forget those questions we started with. It’s a good reminder for all of us to look at how we live. Be the person you actually want to be. Use your power wisely to bring more light into this world. Instead of trying to place yourself above somebody else, lift them up and you will be remembered for it. And let’s all try to love each other, and ourselves, a little better.

USA Volleyball SafeSport
Report Abuse

Reporting Abuse

Please note that there are a number of options and requirements to report abuse.

Report to law enforcement immediately if you are aware of abuse. If abuse includes sexual misconduct report to both law enforcement and the U.S. Center for SafeSport.

Click here for a list (by state) of where to report.

Click here to report to the U.S. Center for SafeSport.

For any other forms of misconduct including: physical misconduct, emotional misconduct, bullying, hazing, and or harassment report to USA Volleyball. Call 1-855-306-7775 or complete the form below to report abuse..

By submitting the form below, you are giving permission to USA Volleyball's SafeSport Program staff to contact you. Your report will be sent to the appropriate region for review and action. Although USA Volleyball accepts anonymous reporting be aware that doing so limits the ability to investigate and respond.

Out of respect for the importance of this issue and to encourage honest and effective reporting, knowingly making a false or malicious report will not be tolerated and may be a violation of USA Volleyball's Code of Conduct.

Call 1-855-306-7775 or complete the form below to report abuse

Report Abuse Form

1. Person Being Reported

Provide as much information as possible about the person you are reporting.

First Name:*

Last Name:*

Age or Approximate Age:


Club Affiliation (or none):*

Position(s) this individual holds or held:*

2. Alleged Offense Information

Provide as much specific information as you are able.

Type of Offense (select all that apply):*

Location that the incident(s) took place. Enter unknown or city, state, specific location:*

Date(s) of Alleged Offense:

Description of Alleged Offense (include as much detail as possible):*

Knowledge of victim(s) involved in the alleged offense:

3. Victim or Victims

If you are the victim and wish to remain anonymous, you may do so. In that case, please enter your name as Anonymous. You may also be unaware of who the victim is. In that case, please enter Unknown.

First Name:*

Last Name:*

Age or Approximate Age:


Club Affiliation (or none):

Additional Information:

4. Additional Victims

Fill this section out if additional victims are involved.

First Name:

Last Name:

Age or Approximate Age:


Club Affiliation (or none):

Additional Information:

5. Individual(s) Who May Have Additional Information

List anyone who may be able to provide additional information regarding the alleged offense. We will not identify you when we contact these individuals.

First Name:

Last Name:

Phone(include area code):

E-mail Address:

Club Affiliation (or none):

First Name:

Last Name:

Phone(include area code):

E-mail Address:

Club Affiliation (or none):

6. Report Submitted By

You may remain anonymous if you wish. However, providing your information is vastly helpful to a swift and effective investigation. All reports are kept strictly confidential by Safe Sport Program staff. A person reporting alleged misconduct should not fear any retribution and/or consequence when filing a report he/she believes is true. Retaliation of a report made in good faith is a violation of the USA Volleyball Code of Conduct.

First Name:*

Last Name:*

Phone(include area code):

E-mail Address:*

USA Volleyball Member:


Relationship to victim (if any):*

7. Other Information

Enter any other information that you feel would be helpful to an investigation of the alleged offense you have reported.

Other Information:

SafeSport Training Course

To Register for SafeSport training:

  1. Go to https://webpoint.usavolleyball.org/
  2. Log in to your USAV account
  3. In the navigation menu, click on USAV Clinics and select USAV Coaching Clinics
  4. Select SafeSport On-Demand: Two-Season Certification
  5. Complete registration
  6. To access coursework, click on the Log into USAV Academy button

Should you need to return to your coursework at a later time, log in to your USAV account and click on the Log into USAV Academy button.

For technical issues, while completing the course, please visit: http://help.usavolleyballacademy.org/.