Fellowship of Christian Athletes is committed to creating a safe and positive
environment for its participants’ physical, emotional and social development
and ensuring it promotes an environment free from abuse and misconduct.
Fellowship of Christian Athletes has implemented policies addressing certain
types of abuse, misconduct and policies intended to reduce the areas where
potential abuse and misconduct might occur.
The policies below address the following types of abuse and misconduct:
- Sexual Abuse and Misconduct
- Physical Abuse and Misconduct
- Emotional Abuse
- Threats and Harassment
- Locker Room Policy
- Electronic Communications Policy
- Travel Policy
Emotional Abuse/Misconduct Definitions
Repeater or severe non-contact behavior involving (a) verbal acts, (b)
physical acts and/or (c) acts that deny attention or support. Emotional
misconduct is determined by the objective behaviors, not whether harm is
intended or results from the behavior
Verbal acts: Verbal assaults that repeatedly attack someone personally,
repeatedly and/or excessively (e.g. calling someone worthless, fat and
disgusting, and yelling at a particular athlete or other participant in a
manner that offers no productive training or motivational purpose).
Physical Acts: Physically aggressive behaviors such as throwing (sports
equipment, water bottles, chairs) at or in the presence of others and
punching walls or other objects.
- Acts that Deny Attention: Ignoring or isolating an athlete.
Physical Abuse/Misconduct Definitions
Any contact or non-contact conduct that causes or reasonably threatens to
cause physical harm to another person.
Contact Violations: Punching, beating, biting, striking, choking, slapping,
intentionally hitting another with objects, encouraging an athlete to return
to play prematurely following a serious injury without medical clearance.
Non-Contact Violations: Isolating an athlete to a confined space, forcing an
athlete to assume a painful stance or position for no athletic purpose,
denying adequate hydration, nutrition, medical attention or sleep, providing
alcohol, illegal drugs or non-prescription medications to another.
Sexual Abuse/Misconduct Definitions
Sexual touching or non-touching sexual behavior, with a person of any age,
that is non-consensual or forced, coerced or manipulated, or perpetrated in an
aggressive, harassing, exploitative or threatening manner. Creates an
inappropriate or hostile environment and includes the following behavior:
- Sexual harassment
Intimate relationship with a person in position of power or power imbalance
sexual jokes, comments or innuendos to or about an athlete
- Child sexual abuse: Any sexual behavior with a minor
An intimate relationship between a coach and an athlete or another person in
a position of power, trust and authority
Threatening to disseminate pictures, videos or recordings of another person
in sexual act or private activity
- Taking or viewing pictures, videos and/or audio of a sexual act
Repeated or severe conduct that (a) causes fear, humiliation or annoyance, (b)
offends or degrades, (c) creates a hostile environment, (d) reflects
discriminatory bias in an attempt to establish dominance, superiority or power
over an individual athlete or group based on age, gender, sexual orientation,
gender expression, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, religion,
national origin or mental or physical disability, (e) any act or conduct
described as harassment under federal or state laws.
Emotional, physical or sexual misconduct as well as:
- Discriminatory Harassment: Based on race, age, sex, etc.
- Stalking: Following a person, frequent phone calls, emails, etc.
Sexual Harassment: Sexual advances, request for sexual favors, verbal or
physical behaviors of sexual nature
Written, verbal, physical or electronically transmitted expression or intent
to physically injure or harm someone.
Repeated or severe aggressive behavior among minors that is intended or likely
to hurt, control or diminish another person emotionally, physically or
Social/Cyberbullying: Using rumors or false statements about someone to
diminish that person’s reputation; using electronic communications, social
media or other technology to harass, frighten, intimidate or humiliate
someone; socially excluding someone and asking others to do the same.
Physical: Hitting, punching, pushing, beating, biting, striking, kicking,
choking, spitting or slapping; throwing objects, such as sporting equipment,
at another person.
Verbal: Teasing, ridiculing, taunting, name-calling, intimidating or
threatening to cause someone harm.
Sexual: Teasing, ridiculing or taunting based on gender or sexual
orientation (real or implied), gender traits or behavior (e.g. taunting
someone for being too effeminate); teasing someone about their looks or
behavior as it relates to sexual attractiveness.
For more on Bullying, please see FCA's Anti-Bullying Policy
Any conduct that subjects another person to anything that may endanger, abuse,
humiliate, degrade or intimidate the person as a condition of joining a group,
team or organization. This can be done physically, mentally, emotionally or
- Tying up, taping or physically restraining another
- Beating, paddling or physical assault
- Forcing consumption of alcohol, illegal drugs, binge drinking
- Excessive training and/or sleep deprivation
- Withholding food or water and personal hygiene
- Engaging in any mentally abusive harassments, threats, chants, songs and/or
yelling or screaming
For more on hazing, please see FCA's Anti-Hazing Policy below.
Position of Power
- When a person has direct supervisory, evaluative or other authority over
Imbalance of Power
- Coach-athlete relationship is an imbalance of power relationship
Retaliation against any athlete or parent who makes a report in prohibited.
Any report of retaliation will be fully investigated and those who do
retaliate will be held responsible.
All coaches, volunteers or staff that come into regular contact with minor
athletes, or hold a position of power, should be properly vetted and screened
prior to contact with minors.
Purposes of a Screening Policy
- Protects participants from known offenders.
Deter offenders that have not been caught away from joining FCA programs
because of known policies against abuse.
Help protect Fellowship of Christian Athletes and its employees and
volunteers from liability that could arise from allowing a previous offender
to have access to minor participants.
The locker room can be a vulnerable place for athletes and misconduct. All
clubs should have clear policies for expectations in this environment. Below
are policies on ways to keep the locker room safe.
Locker rooms must be supervised by a screened and approved adult. This adult
will regularly and frequently enter the locker room to monitor activity.
Coaches and adults are not to dress, shower or changes in the locker room
Coaches and adult participants are not to be alone with an athlete in the
Any meeting with a coach and minor in the locker room must include another
Cell phones and other mobile devices with recording capabilities, which
include voice, still camera and video cameras, are not permitted in the
- Separate locker rooms should be available for both genders.
Offenders use social media to gain access to minors and to introduce them to
sexual content. Coaches are not permitted to privately text, email, call or
socially engage with individual athletes on any social media site.
- All texts should be sent to the team and include parents.
Texts should never include offensive, sexual or inappropriate language.
Members of the club and coaches can follow TeamSnap or club Facebook page.
Physical Contact Guidelines
Coaches are not permitted to have bodily contact with athletes outside of
the sport and can only have physical contact within the sport with the
Permission is given by athlete and the contact is for correcting physical
form or mechanical position.
- Spotting with permission.
- Congratulatory high five or pat on head or back.
Coaches are not to massage or give back rubs to athletes, wrestle, tickle or
engage in horseplay.
Coaches are prohibited from kissing, lap sitting and touching an athlete in
the genitals, breast, buttock or thigh areas.
- Physical abuse and sexual abuse are prohibited.
One on One
- Coaches are not allowed to be alone with an athlete.
- Coaches are not permitted to drive alone with an athlete in a car.
Coaches are not permitted to be alone with an athlete in a hotel room,
athlete’s home, locker room, storage room, car or coach’s home, or social
Coaches are not permitted to socialize alone, outside of the sport, with an
Coaches are not permitted in an athlete’s hotel room to visit or sleep.
- Coaches are not permitted to travel alone with an athlete.
- Have appropriate chaperones.
Athletes should travel and stay with parents. If parents are unable to
travel, they can assign their child to travel with another family (not the
coach or coach’s family).
Other Prohibited Behaviors
- Commenting on athlete’s bodies or appearances in a sexual manner.
- Exchanging or giving gifts.
- Romantic communications with athletes.
- Show obscene or suggestive photos.
- Video or photograph athletes in revealing or suggestive poses.
Discuss sexual topics, jokes, comments, and sexually oriented banter with
- Ask athletes about their dating behavior.
- Sharing personal marriage or dating, or sexual behaviors.
Holding “closed” practices or practices or events no open to parents or
Predators are allowed access to an athlete’s life by gaining the confidence of
the child’s parents and organizations. The child’s family is led to believe
the special attention the child receives is beneficial and empowering. The
predator uses grooming, which is special treatment over time, to lower the
victim’s defenses. The predator uses institutional manipulation, mastering
organizational rules to exploit lapses, create opportunities to prey on the
victim, and later to keep the victim quiet.
Grooming Behaviors or Red Flags:
- Singling youth out for special attention.
- Gift giving by coach to individual athlete.
Spending one-on-one time with minor athletes, separating an individual
athlete or finding ways to be alone with an athlete.
- Touching minor athletes in ways no related to training or sport.
- Telling youth sexual or inappropriate jokes or stories.
- Commenting on a child’s appearances when not related to sport.
Treats an individual athlete different than others and makes that athlete
Creates a dynamic where the athletes “need” him/her and he/she “needs” the
- Befriends an athlete’s parents and socializes outside of the sport.
Encourages an athlete to keep secrets about the team activities, travel, and
- Become “friends” with the athlete.
- Shows obscene or suggestive photos.
- Asks about dating history, sex questions, etc.
- Being “handsy,” always touching, hugging, patting butt and thighs.