Resources - ACA

Membership

Resources

The ACA is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for paddlesports

The ACA is committed to supporting our athletes at all levels of competition. The U.S. Center for SafeSport and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee also offer resources to support our athletes. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) also manages the United States anti-doping program, including in-competition and out-of competition testing and provides tools and tips to help athletes at all levels navigate their anti-doping rights and responsibilities.

American Canoe Association Athlete Resources

The ACA Athlete Code of Conduct is the guide to acceptable behavior for paddlesport athletes competing domestically and internationally, whether or not the athlete is a member of a USA National Team (“Team”). Acceptance of its provisions is a condition of competing domestically and, at the national and international levels, and of selection to any National Team. Therefore, all ACA competition athlete participants must review and electronically sign this document as part of the Join/Renew process. This includes athletes participating in all ICF disciplines.

Grievance Process

Violations of the Code of Conduct should be reported to the ACA Executive Director through the ACA Grievance process as documented in the Grievance Policy. Alleged violations can be reported directly to the Executive Director or via this electronic form.  Alleged Code of Conduct violations can be reported here.

ACA Athlete Representatives

Competition members of the ACA elect athlete representatives to the ACA Board of Directors and to the USOPC’s Athlete Advisory Council. In addition to serving as a member of these governing bodies, these representatives are resources to our athletes.

USOPC Athlete Advisory Council

  • ACA Representative: Kenny Kasperbauer
  • ACA Alternate: Michal Smolen

ACA Board of Directors:

  • Elite Athletes’ Sprint Director to the ACA Board: Thom Crockett
  • Elite Athletes’ Slalom Director to the ACA Board: Scott Mann
  • Elite Athlete’s Paracanoe Director to the ACA Board: Nik Miller

Background Checks

An important component of ACA’s effort to provide a safe and healthy environment for all competition participants is regular background checks of adults within the competition community who (a) serve in a position of authority over or (b) have regular contact with athletes. This includes ACA staff, officials, coaches, board members, trainers, medical personnel and volunteers in certain roles. Volunteers (18 years and older) who are accompanying athletes on a domestic or international canoe/kayak event must complete and pass the NCSI background check prior to departure of the trip.

To initiate the background check process:

It is important when entering your name, that you use your full legal name as written on your current ID (state driver’s license, passport or driver’s license, passport or state ID with name and DOB). Please also verify that your social security number was typed correctly. Using nicknames or failing to type a correct social security number may delay or invalidate your background check.

NCSI will contact you directly if there are any questions, problems or issues related to your specific information. An email address is required when completing the background check as our contact with you will largely be electronic. Please be sure to add ncsisafe.com to your list of acceptable domains in your email program to receive notifications from us.

If you have any questions or problems submitting your information, please email applicantservices@ncsisafe.com or call the NCSI at (440) 542-9833 or toll free (866) 833-7100. Once you have submitted your information you will receive a confirmation page with a 16- digit Applicant ID Number. The background check generally takes 10 business days to complete and you may check your status on our website under the “Check Your Background Screening Status” link at www.ncsisafe.com. Thank you for your cooperation in this important process.

U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee

The USOPC offers an abundance of services to athletes, and the ACA suggests that any athlete seeking assistance from the USOPC should start with the Office of the Ombuds which can be reached by telephone at 719-866-5000 or email at ombusdman@usathlete.org.

The Office of the Athlete Ombuds and its staff (the Athlete Ombuds) offers independent, confidential advice to athletes regarding their rights and responsibilities in the Olympic and Paralympic Movement, and assists athletes with a broad range of questions, disputes, complaints and concerns. The Athlete Ombuds’ focus is to serve athletes who represent the U.S. in international competition. The Athlete Ombuds operates on the core principles of confidentiality and privacy, independence, and impartiality.

Principles Of The Athlete Ombuds

CONFIDENTIALITY and PRIVACY

  1. The Athlete Ombuds maintains as confidential any information communicated or provided in confidence in any matter involving the exercise of their official duties.
  2. The Athlete Ombuds will not testify or produce evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding with respect to any matter involving the exercise of their official duties.
  3. The Athlete Ombuds treats all work product, memoranda, notes or case files as confidential. Such information is not subject to discovery, subpoena, or other means of legal  compulsion, and is not admissible as evidence in a judicial or administrative proceeding.
  4. The Athlete Ombuds maintains and prepares data and/or reports in a manner that protects confidentiality and privacy.
  5. These confidentiality and privacy provisions shall not apply to:
    • Information necessary to communicate, mediate or resolve a concern or dispute, with the permission of the athletes involved;
    • Applicable reporting requirements under federal law and/or the policies of the U.S. Center for SafeSport;
    • A felony personally witnessed;
    • A situation in which an individual is at imminent risk of serious harm;
    • A congressional subpoena;
    • The general operation and processes of the Athlete Ombuds; and/or
    • Responding to an official investigation or allegation concerning the conduct of the Athlete Ombuds in exercising its official duties.
  1. The Athlete Ombuds maintains these confidentiality and privacy provisions on their website and distributes to employees of each National Governing Body (NGB) and the USOPC.
  2. Each NGB shall publish these confidentiality and privacy provisions on its website and communicate to athletes their availability.

U.S. Center for Safe Sport

The U.S. Center for SafeSport is an independent nonprofit committed to building a sport community where participants can safely work and learn together. The Center develops resources and policies to safeguard athletes from bullying, harassment, hazing, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and sexual misconduct. It is the exclusive authority to respond to reports of allegations of sexual abuse and sexual misconduct within the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee and their recognized National Governing Bodies (NGBs). Learn more by reading the Safe Sport Code.

If You Need Immediate Help

If you need support or assistance at any time, you can contact the 24-hour SafeSport Helpline at 866-200-0796.

If you are facing a life-threatening emergency, contact 911.

Specialists for the Helpline (operated by RAINN) can provide confidential, one-on-one live support by phone, chat, or mobile app including crisis intervention, referrals, and emotional support specifically designed for athletes, staff, and other SafeSport participants affected by sexual violence.

ACA Requirements for SafeSport Education and Training

ACA adult members who are (a) in a position of authority over or (b) have regular contact with amateur athletes who are minors are now required to complete the initial 90-Minute SafeSport™ Core training. Additional (20-minute) refresher trainings are required annually.

This specifically includes:

  • Adult athletes (18 years and older) traveling to sanctioned national and international competition
  • Officials & Judges
  • Coaches
  • Professional medical personnel (outside of a hospital or doctor’s office setting), including Doctors, Physicians Assistants, Physiologists, Physical Therapists, Massage Therapists, and Psychologists
  • Adult Volunteers traveling domestically and internationally with teams
  • ACA Staff
  • Board of Directors
  • Instructors or PAC Members with regular contact and/or authority over minors

ACA SafeSport Resources:

How to Complete SafeSport Training

As of 3/3/2021, SafeSport training will be completed using a new US Center for SafeSport learning platform. Any past training has been saved and transferred to your profile on the new platform. You will have to reset your password when logging in for the first time on safesporttrained.org using the ‘Forgot Password’ link.

For those who have not completed training or made an account prior to 3/3/2021 use the instructions below.

  • Click on the ACA SafeSport link here
  • Create online profile
  • Complete the initial 90-Minute SafeSport™ Core training
  • The Core Training remains valid as long as:
    • You complete an annual refresher course, which takes about 20 minutes, within 12 months of your previous training.
    • Simply login to your existing SafeSport account and the refresher course will appear on your dashboard. You do not need an access code.

For optional minor athlete (17 and younger) and parent online training, the Center offers several age-appropriate modules.

To Report Suspected Sexual Abuse or Misconduct

The U.S. Center for SafeSport handles ALL reports of sexual abuse within the Olympic and Paralympic Movement. Make a report to the Center if you have a reasonable suspicion of sexual misconduct such as child sex abuse, non-consensual sexual conduct, sexual harassment, or intimate relationships involving an imbalance of power.

You may report anonymously. No direct fees or other cost is involved with making a SafeSport report.

You may submit a report electronically  or by telephone (24 hours a day, Monday through Friday) at 1-833-587-7233.

All reports of child abuse or sexual assault of a minor must also be reported to local authorities. Reports of abuse not involving a minor may also be reported to local authorities.

For more information or to submit a complaint to the ACA please follow this link.

To Report Emotional or Physical Misconduct

Other forms of misconduct, such as emotional or physical misconduct, bullying, hazing, harassment, or violations of the minor athlete abuse prevention policies, can be reported to either the ACA, or the Center, or both.

To report electronically to the ACA, complete this form or contact the ACA Executive Director. To report anonymously, please enter “Anonymous” in the first and last name fields.

Suspended and Permanently Ineligible ACA Member List

Membership in the ACA is a privilege and not a right. In order to retain this privilege, members must comply with the published Code of Conduct and other provisions of the Code. That privilege can be withdrawn by the ACA at any time where a member’s conduct is determined to be inconsistent with the best interest of the sport and of the athletes we are serving.

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is the national anti-doping organization in the United States for Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American, and Parapan American sport. The organization is charged with managing the anti-doping program, including in-competition and out-of competition testing, results management processes, drug reference resources, and athlete education for all USOPC national governing bodies, their athletes, and events. Additionally, USADA contributes to the advancement of clean sport through scientific research and education & outreach initiatives focused on awareness and prevention.

  • Athlete Guide to Anti-Doping
  • USOPC National Anti-Doping Policy
  • Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE): USADA has created a TUE Pre-Check Form to help athletes determine if they need to apply for a TUE. This form lets the athlete provide key pieces of information before they visit their primary care provider, allowing USADA to closely work with the athlete to ensure that frustrations with incomplete applications can be avoided and they get one-on-one service from the Drug Reference Team.
  • TUE Frequently Asked Questions

Travel Resources

ACA’s International Travel Requirements

All teams and athletes traveling internationally on official ACA trips to train or compete are required to complete the following prior to departure:

Athletes

Coaches, Team Leaders, and Volunteers

Delta

Delta is now the Official Airline of Team USA! In support of the National Governing Bodies (NGB), Delta is working with the ACA to create a custom travel plan to meet the needs of every athlete and staff member.

We will continue to update this page with specific information on this program as we confirm more of the logistics with Delta.

 

2022 USOPC Athlete Stipends, Elite Athlete Health Insurance (EAHI) & Other Resources

All athlete stipends will be disbursed on or before the end of each month. Any athlete that meets the criteria to be eligible to receive athlete support in 2022 will also be eligible for EAHI from the date of eligibility through December 31, 2022.

Athlete Stipends and EAHI Eligibility and Criteria Approved for this Term:

Sprint:

Any returning Olympic medalists from the 2020 Tokyo Games will receive a monthly stipend for the entirety of 2022.

Slalom

Any athlete achieving one of the following results will receive a monthly stipend for the entirety of 2022.

  • 2020 Olympics – Any Slalom athlete placed within the top 8 at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
  • 2021 World Championship – Any Slalom medalist at the 2021 World Championships in an Olympic Event.
  • 2021 Jr/U23 World Championships – any Slalom athlete achieving a gold medal at the Jr/U23 World Championships in an Olympic event.

Paracanoe

  • Any returning Paracanoe medalists from the 2020 Paralympic Games will receive a monthly stipend for the entirety of 2022. These athletes will be eligible for EAHI starting January 1, 2022.
  • Any returning Paracanoe finalists from the 2020 Paralympic Games will receive a monthly stipend for the entirety of 2022. These athletes will be eligible for EAHI starting January 1, 2022.
  • The highest placed USA Paracanoe athlete, not yet qualified to receive an Athlete Stipend in any Paralympic event, meeting a 2022 ACA Paracanoe Quality Standard (to be posted at the link by April 1, 2022) at the 2022 USA Paracanoe Team Trials in April 2022 will receive a monthly stipend starting in May 2022 through the end of 2022. This athlete will be eligible for EAHI starting May 1, 2022.
  • If after the conclusion of the 2022 USA Paracanoe Team Trials in April 2022 there is not an athlete eligible for an Athlete Stipend per this criterium, any returning Paracanoe medalists and Paracanoe finalists from the 2020 Paralympic Games will be allocated an equal share of this monthly stipend in addition to their monthly allocation starting in May 2022 through the end of 2022.

2022 USOPC Operation Gold Event

  • 2022 ICF Canoe Sprint & Paracanoe World Championships, August 3-7,2022, Halifax, Canada
  • 2022 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships, July 26-31, 2022, Augsburg, Germany
  • Any supplementary funds for the USOPC Operation Gold Event will be distributed by ACA to qualified athletes. Details will be outlined and communicated to athletes through ACA’s athlete agreement, including payment criteria, award amounts, and athlete eligibility terms.
  • In non-Olympic Games years, Operation Gold Awards are limited to one award per athlete in the Term; athletes who qualify for more than one award automatically receive the higher award.
  • Individuals must finish in one of the top eight places, while teams must finish in one of the top-six places at the qualifying event in a discipline on the program of the Olympic Games to qualify for an Operation Gold Award in a non-Olympic Games year.
  • In an Olympic Games year, teams and individuals must place in the top-three at the Olympic Games to qualify for an Operation Gold Event Award; multiple Operation Gold Event Awards can be received if an athlete has multiple top-three finishes at the Olympic Games.