ASCA Code of Ethics

Criteria for Full ASCA Membership

(Amended October 2016/March 2018 by the Board of Directors)

Full Membership in the ASCA will consist of those coaches who meet the criteria outlined below. These criteria are predicated on the premise that professionalism is based on the concept of credentials that demonstrate the most current training, and behavior that demonstrates our concern for the well-being of our clients and fellow professionals.

Note: Associate Memberships will be available to individuals who choose not to pursue the educational or performance requirements of the ASCA. Associate Members will pay the regular membership fee and will be held to the same Code of Ethics and Conduct.


It is the intention of the ASCA that all new members shall:

  1. Actively pursue completion of the certification coursework through Level 4.
  3. We urge new members to begin this work as close to their initial membership date as possible.


  1. An ASCA member shall agree to abide by the Code of Ethics and Conduct by meeting the requirements below with regard to professional behavior, and accept the due process of its enforcement. Written signature of the Code of Ethics and Conduct, and/or competed on-line application will constitute informed consent.
  2. As a member of the ASCA, it is strongly encouraged that all coaches pursue professional contributions to the sport. These may include publications, committee work at the local or national level, clinic instruction or administration, or other contributions to professional development of the sport and other swimming professionals.

Code of Ethics and Conduct of ASCA

The conduct and ethical behavior of a professional is determined by the degree of respect with which he/she interacts with the public that he/she serves. This public consists of both client and peer, as well as all volunteers. The intent of the following code is to define the parameters of that interaction, and behavior in general, and to provide for adherence to the four components outlined below. A coach not only represents him or herself and their club, but the sport and the entire coaching profession. Compliance with this code, as with all law in an open society, depends primarily upon understanding and voluntary compliance, secondarily, upon reinforcement by peer and public opinion, and finally, when necessary, upon enforcement through disciplinary proceedings, i.e., in the court of law, or within USA Swimming or the USOC. The code does not exhaust the moral and ethical considerations that should inform an ASCA Member professional swim coach, for no worthwhile human activity can be completely defined by rules. This simply provides a framework for the ethical coaching of the sport of swimming and is primarily designed to address issues concerning the safety of our athlete members and issues related to egregious or destructive coach behavior.


  • Article #1. A coach member of the American Swimming Coaches Association shall not abuse alcohol in the presence of athletes. Additionally, a coach member of ASCA shall not use illegal drugs. A legal conviction involving drugs or alcohol shall be an automatic violation of this rule.
  • Article #2. All professional communications shall be conducted in an honest, open manner consistent with the best interests of the athletes, the sport, and the profession.
  • Article #3. Integrity is a basic part of coaching, whether financially or in dealing with organizations, swimming events, and entries. A member should be accurate and forthright in all dealings.


  • Article #1. Coaches should act with integrity when dealing with other coaches in all matters. In situations regarding the changing of organizational affiliation of athletes, the initial discussion of any such change in affiliation should be initiated by the athlete, and not by the coach or direct agent acting on behalf of the coach.


  • Article #1. A coach member of the American Swimming Coaches Association will always make decisions based on the best interest of the athlete.
  • Article #2. A coach member of the American Swimming Coaches Association shall not inflict physical or emotional abuse on an athlete.
  • Article #3. A coach member of the American Swimming Coaches Association shall not engage in sexual activity of any nature with any minor. Sexual misconduct consists of any behavior that utilizes the influence of the coaching position to encourage inappropriate intimacy between coach and athlete.
  • Article #4. Coaches of college-aged athletes shall not engage in sexual relations with athletes that they coach, even of legal age.


  • Article #1. A legal felony conviction in any capacity will constitute a violation of the Code of Conduct.

The Ethics Committee of the ASCA

The Ethics Committee shall consist of three individuals and shall be appointed by the Executive Committee. The Committee Chair will be a current Vice-President and the remaining two members will be either current or past Board Members. The Ethics Committee Chair will act as the liaison to USA Swimming and its Safe Sport Division if needed. The committee positions will be appointed in each Olympic year and shall serve a four-year term, unless a members’ Board tenure expires and he/she chooses to vacate their Committee position. In such a case, the Executive Committee will appoint a new committee member.

Responsibilities of the Ethics Committee and Due Process

  • The Ethics Committee shall meet as required as cases or issues come to the attention of the ASCA via:
    • a) Legal findings through the judicial or court system
    • b)USA Swimming’s Safe Sport Division or the USOC Center for Safe Sport
  • The Ethics Committee will review all findings and/or rulings to determine if an ASCA Code of Ethics and Conduct violation has occurred
  • The Ethics Committee will make a recommendation to the Board of Directors as to the appropriate action to be taken, such as; notification, reprimand, partial or lifetime ban from the ASCA, and removal of received honors
  • The Board of Directors will make a ruling by majority vote

NOTE: The Ethics Committee is not an investigatory body and will rely on findings in the court of law and the aforementioned institutions. The Ethics Committee and Board of Directors will use such findings to make its determinations and rulings. There is no appeal process.

I have read and agree to abide by the American Swimming Coaches Association’s Code of Ethics and Conduct.

Print Your Name: _____________________________________________________________________

Signature: ____________________________________________ Date: ________________________

American Swimming Coaches Association Board Policy on Coaches Banned by USA-Swimming (Safe Sport)

The Board of Directors met and discussed this issue on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016.

The following Board Policy was resolved:

  1. The ASCA Ethics Committee consists of Board Vice President Kathleen Prindle, and Board Members Chuck Warner and Amy Montgomery.
  2. The Ethics Committee shall meet as required (when a case comes to our attention) when a coach member of the ASCA has been banned by Safe Sport, with Safe Sport representatives to hear the nature of the complaint and banning.
  3. If the Ethics Committee is confident that the ban by Safe Sport is reflective of a violation of the ASCA Code of Ethics, the named coach shall be removed from both membership and any attendant honors from the ASCA.

Respectfully Submitted:

ASCA Executive Director.

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