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Federal Law and Policy Changes for USA Wrestling

By USA Wrestling, 04/04/18, 8:45AM EDT


Dear Constituents:
As a leader within USA Wrestling, you are receiving this letter to inform you of some recent significant changes in the amateur sports world and how this may relate to you. 
On February 14, 2018, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 was signed into law.  As the name reflects, the law adds additional measures to increase safety for all athletes involved in Olympic sport.  The law does not just extend to USA Wrestling as the national governing body, but for all youth-serving amateur sports organizations that participate in interstate athletic competition and whose membership includes any adult who is in regular contact with minor athletes. 
Knowing the responsibilities as outlined by law and what is expected by our members and families, the Executive Committee of USA Wrestling has voted in some incredibly important policy changes to again increase athlete safety that will go into effect beginning with the 2018-19 membership season.  These proactive changes will help increase awareness of misconduct and mandatory reporting requirements, empower members and parents to identify and report misconduct, and ensure that those who do not belong in wrestling are not part of it.
The changes as voted to go into effect with the 2018-19 USA Wrestling membership season are as follows:

  1. Requirement of all adult athlete members to complete SafeSport training (the training is provided at no cost by the U.S. Center for SafeSport and is required in order to be a member coach and/or official of USA Wrestling and all of Olympic sport organizations/National Governing Bodies). 
  2. Requirement of all member coach and official memberships to be sold online as a way to ensure no one is purchasing membership without the required vetting.
  3. Requirement of all USA Wrestling sanctioned event coaches and officials to be members of USA Wrestling, which will ensure that the only people in a position of authority over children will be properly vetted.


​​​​​​​The second and third requirements do not constitute a change for the majority of our members, but it does standardize these criteria nationwide.

USA Wrestling has a history of being the leader in safety in our sport.  In the last decade, some examples worth noting:  

  • First national wrestling organization to require its member coaches and officials to complete a criminal background check.
  • First and only national wrestling organization to require its member coaches and officials to complete SafeSport training (abuse and misconduct training).
  • First and only national wrestling organization to make its membership data publicly available so leaders in the sport can be verified.
  • First and only national wrestling organization to maintain a publicly available list of all individuals ineligible for membership.


​​​​​​​We encourage you to share this information with all your contacts with the wrestling community as the new law pertains to all wrestling organizations that fit the criteria defined by Congress.

USA Wrestling will not shy away from this important topic and will continue to take appropriate measures to be a leader in this space. We hope that you continue to join us in this effort to provide a safe and secure sport for all to participate in.

Thank you and congratulations on being a leader on this critical matter. Your continued commitment to provide a safe environment for youth to participate in the greatest sport ever.


Bruce Baumgartner   Rich Bender
USA Wrestling President   USA Wrestling Executive Director