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USAS COVID-19 Updates to Sanctioned Events

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Dear USA Shooting Clubs, Coaches and Membership,

First and foremost, we hope that you are staying safe and healthy as our nation and the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like you, we here at USA Shooting are eager to be back training and competing in this sport we love. With that said, the safety of our members, spectators and staff is our top priority and thus we have been forced to make many decisions which have impacted the 2020 USA Shooting calendar. Event-specific updates are available on our website [usashooting.org].

As you are aware, much of the event schedule [including all State Junior Olympic matches, USAS matches or PTOs] has been canceled. We are monitoring the feasibility of all events [at the Junior and Open levels] and exploring the postponements to later dates in the year [TBD] when conditions improve. It would be far easier for us to simply cancel all these events, but the overwhelming feedback that we have received from you has been in favor of trying to establish an event calendar later in the 2020 season. You want to shoot, and we want to provide you with the competitions to do so, ensuring a safe environment. We are hopeful that we will be able to accomplish this once the established protocols, policies and procedures are vetted and in place. To that end, the USOPC has established protocols and guidelines found here: https://www.teamusa.org/coronavirus  

Again, your safety is paramount to USA Shooting; please note that we are closely monitoring local, state and federal social distancing guidelines and recommendations. We are furthermore developing new processes, procedures and regulations that will be put in place to further enhance the safety of the events. Final decisions on whether to proceed will only be made as the Sport community is able to gain valid and reliable information from stakeholder organizations.

Thank you for your patience as we work through this ever-changing global pandemic.

USA Shooting is extending the prohibition of sanctioning of all USA Shooting activities (including but not limited to events [yes, this includes all State JOs or any other USAS matches], practices, team activities, individual training sessions or anything covered by USA Shooting insurance) through July 1st, 2020.

We have been involved in bi-weekly meetings with and following several communications with the USOPC, the U.S. Center for SafeSport, and our insurance providers. USA Shooting has received permission to sanction virtual training/coaching/instruction/meetings during this period of sanction suspension. Any virtual training/coaching/instruction/meetings involving minors are subject to requirements of Safe Sports: MAAPP [Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy] specifically the regulations on electronic communications and one-on-one interactions.

These requirements include the following:

  1. All virtual trainings/coaching/meetings must be “observable and interruptible,” able to be ended at any time, and have at least two applicable adults on each session, i.e., coach and assistant, coach and club director, etc.
  2. All parents/guardians must be provided the code or link to join the virtual session.
  3. All parents/guardians must sign a waiver in advance as these sessions could be viewed as individual training. A record of which clubs/coaches have been approved to conduct these sessions should be kept. USAS has created a standardized waiver form if you care to use it.
  4. If a minor athlete ends up emailing a video to a coach for feedback or additional coaching, the coach needs to copy the parent/guardian and/or other applicable adult on all correspondences.

To be clear, virtual training/coaching/instruction/meetings will only be considered sanctioned so long as the above requirements are followed.

USA Shooting has been asked by local clubs whether such ban applies to club activities covered under the club’s own (non-USA Shooting) insurance. In these situations, USA Shooting strongly encourages all member clubs and coaches to adhere to USA Shooting’s policies. However, should a club decide to voluntarily disregard those policies and assume all risks associated therewith, we recommend that the club adhere to CDC; local, state and federal guidelines and recommendations when deciding whether or not to host practices or individual training sessions. If a club does host practice or individual training sessions, those activities would be considered a non-sanctioned activity by USA Shooting and thus not covered by USA Shooting insurance. In the spirit of ‘Avoidance of Doubt’, USA Shooting has not sanctioned any events as of this date [May 1, 2020].

As parts of our nation have commenced plans for reopening, USA Shooting Interim CEO Bob Gambardella and Board Chair Chad Whittenburg will be establishing a task force to create a comprehensive roadmap to safely restart USASs sanctioning of activities when it is appropriate.

This group will be collaborating with the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, medical experts, government entities, shooting clubs and other national governing bodies to adopt a phased reopening plan in accordance with federal, state and local guidelines and with the foremost goal of safeguarding USAS members and spectators. Please note that USAS will not be sanctioning activities until it is safe to do so.

The health and welfare of our membership, shooting families and fellow citizens is our primary concern in all decisions we are making during these uncharted times. USA Shooting is monitoring the situation daily and will continue to provide updates on a regular basis.

Again, we [USA Shooting] want to reiterate that as of this communication, there have been no USAS sanctions awarded to any event operators. If you host any type of event, training, competition, etc you assume all risk and any liability related to the activity.

Thank you in advance for your patience as we develop our roadmap forward to insure a safe and competitive environment for our athletes, coaches, parents and other members of the shooting community. We will continue to monitor this pandemic issue and will make a determination on events for July & August by June 1.

Sincerely,
USA Shooting

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