WLBL Policy on Child Abuse/Molestation

Updated Wednesday February 4, 2015 by Randy James.

Western Loudoun Basketball League
Policy on Child Abuse/Molestation

The Western Loudoun Basketball League League is committed to providing a safe environment for its members and participants, and to preventing abusive conduct in any form. Every member of this organization is responsible for protecting our participants and ensuring their safety and well being while involved in sponsored activities.

To this end, we have established the following guidelines of behavior and procedures for our staff, volunteers and participants. All members of this organization, as well as parents, spectators and other invitees are expected to observe and adhere to these guidelines.

1. Abuse of any kind is not permitted within our organization. This means we do not tolerate physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse or misconduct from our players, coaches, officials, volunteers, parents or spectators.

2. Physical and sexual abuse, including, but not limited to, striking, hitting, kicking, biting, indecent or wanton gesturing, lewd remarks, indecent exposure, unwanted physical contact, any form of sexual contact or inappropriate touching, are strictly prohibited within our organization.

3. Emotional abuse or verbal abuse is also prohibited. These include, but are not limited to such forms of abuse as: yelling, insulting, threatening, mocking, demeaning behavior, or making abusive statements in regard to a person's race, gender, religion, nationality/ethnicity, sex or age.

4. We are committed to providing a safe environment for our players, participants and staff. We do so by appointing all coaches, officials and volunteers -and anyone else affiliated with our organization -as protection advocates. Every member of this organization is responsible for reporting any cases of questionable conduct or alleged mistreatment toward our members by any coach, official, volunteer, player, parent, sibling or spectator.

5. Limit One on One Contact: It is this organizations policy that no activities shall take place involving one on one contact between a single, non-related league volunteer and a child, if such activities can be practically avoided. Instead, a buddy system is encouraged where two (2) adults should always be present during practices, games, carpooling and special events.

6. Prohibition of Sleepovers: All sports organization sanctioned team or league sleepover activities are prohibited, i.e. overnight parties.

7. Touch Policy: Touch is acceptable only if it is respectful and appropriate.

8 Take Home/Pick-Up: Take home/pick-up of athletes by league personnel is strongly discouraged because of the difficulty in limiting one on one contact between adult and child. Parent(s) should provide transportation for their own children to and from scheduled events. The league will clearly outline the expected start and end time for all events and communicate this with all parent(s). Parent(s) should be instructed to make back-up plans in the event they cant provide transportation. If parent(s) cant provide transportation, they must communicate in writing to the sports organization the name of the person(s) who are authorized to pick up the child, prior to the child leaving with anyone other than the parent(s).

9. Supervision/Chaperone ratio: We recommend that for any sponsored activity, the ratio of adults to youth participants be 1:8, one (or more) adults for every eight children, with a minimum of two adults for every activity.

10. We want to empower our children to trust their feelings and let them know that their concerns, fears and hopes are important by listening to them. Open communication between children and parents, or between children and other adults in the organization may help early warning signs of abuse to surface.

11. We encourage parents to become as active as possible in sponsored activities, games, practices and other events. The more the parents are involved, the less likely it is for abusive situations to develop.

12. We will respond quickly to any and all allegations of abuse within this organization. This information will be communicated to the authorities for investigation and will be reviewed by the organization's directors. The alleged offender will be notified of such allegations promptly.

13. Any person accused of sexual or physical abuse may be asked to resign voluntarily or may be suspended by the board until the matter is resolved. Regardless of criminal or civil guilt in the alleged abuse, the continued presence of the person could be detrimental to the reputation of the organization and could be harmful to the participants. A person who is accused but later cleared of charges, may apply to be reinstated within the organization. Reinstatement is not a right, and no guarantee is made that he or she will be reinstated to his/her former position.

14. We promote good sportsmanship throughout the organization and encourage qualities of mutual respect, courtesy and tolerance in all participants, coaches, officials and volunteers. We advocate building strong self-images among the youth participants. Children with a strong self-image may be less likely targets for abuse; similarly, they may be less likely to abuse or bully others around them.

I acknowledge that I have read WLBL's Policy on Child Abuse/Molestation Risk and that I have carefully reviewed it and voluntarily agree that as a condition of future participation, employment or involvement in this organization, I will abide by all the terms, conditions, policies, and procedures contained within this program.

I also understand that Western Loudoun Basketball League shall have the right to dismiss me if I violate or fail to abide by the Policy on Child Abuse/Molestation.

If I violate the policies, regulations, or spirit of this program, I will indemnify and hold harmless the sports organization, its employees, board members, volunteers and officials from any and all liability including negligence and any intentional tort claims.