SAFEGUARDING PICKLEBALL
 

WHAT IS SAFEGUARDING PICKLEBALL?

Safeguarding pickleball aims to create safe and positive environments for participants to enjoy and prosper in pickleball. Safe and positive environments are those within which participants can play, train and compete without fear of bullying, harassment or abuse.

The Tennis Professionals Association (TPA) and Tennis Canada are committed to safeguarding pickleball by delivering safe sport education and training, developing best practices and implementing current and comprehensive policies. The TPA’s safeguarding pickleball initiative is aligned with the Responsible Coaching Movement (RCM) which is led by the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC).


WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP SAFEGUARD PICKLEBALL?

We all need to recognize the responsibility that we have in protecting our participants. We all play a part in creating a safe and supportive environment that fosters positive growth and personal development for participants, on and off the court. Education and awareness are the most critical components to creating a safe environment free of abuse and harassment. We can all help safeguard pickleball by encouraging organizations to adopt safe sport education and screening requirements. Adopting these requirements is important because:

  • We have an ethical and moral duty to protect our athletes
  • It is imperative that all persons in positions of authority be held to a high standard of conduct
  • It reduces the liability for coaches and club board members. Liability can extend to not only the perpetrator of the act, but also to an organization “sufficiently close” to make a claim of vicarious liability appropriate

 


SAFE SPORT EDUCATION & SCREENING REQUIREMENTS

In accordance to Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) guidelines, Tennis Canada with the support of its provincial partners has made it mandatory for everyone that is coaching, instructing, or assisting and that is in a position of authority to complete the following safe sport education and screening requirements:

1. Code of Conduct (online form) – must be completed every three years 

2. Declaration of Character (online form) – must be completed  every three years 

3. Background Check (can be done online) – must be completed every three years

4. Respect in Sport for Activity Leaders (online education module) – must be completed every three years 
 


IMPORTANCE OF THE RULE OF TWO

We also strongly encourage clubs/organizations to strengthen their policies and procedures regarding child safety and implement them in everyday practice. One of the easiest ways to do this is to educate all coaches and staff on the Rule of Two, which requires 2 screened and certified coaches to always be present with a single participant or multiple participants when in an enclosed space. The spirit of this rule is to ensure that both athlete and coach are not put in a vulnerable position. 

More information on how to implement the Rule of Two can be found here. Additional best practices for clubs/organizations can be found here.


HOW TO COMPLETE YOUR SAFE SPORT REQUIREMENTS

Individuals can complete their four safe sport requirements through the certification process. For information on registration for upcoming certification courses click here.