November Member Services E-Newsletter
posted on 11/04/2009

Issue: #18 November 4, 2009



Protect Your Business: the Importance of Keeping Records

Record keeping is an important responsibility for all gymnastics clubs as well as individuals. USA Gymnastics would like to take this opportunity to remind you of this responsibility and reinforce the importance, requirementsand consequences.

Record keeping is a risk management consideration and vital to protect you and your business from a liability standpoint. Keeping signed waiver and release forms, athlete membership forms, and other records is not only good business practice, but also a requirement inthe area of USA Gymnastics athlete/introductory membership forms. The USA Gymnastics Athlete Membership form must be completely filled out by the athlete and his/her parent and the club owner and kept on file at the gym. This form serves as an agreement between the athlete (and his/her parents), the gym club, and USA Gymnastics and it is required in the case of injury or the need to use the secondary insurance coverage benefits. Even if athletes are registered online, clubs must see to it that these forms are completed and kept on file at the club.

Records are helpful in terms of documentation, but are essential in the case of lawsuits. Attorneys or others may request certain forms as proof of membership, release, medical conditions, etc. Protect yourself and your business by making sure forms are completed and keep them organized and in a safe place.

Keep in mind that an injured minor may be able to bring suit after he/she becomes an adult. Because of this fact, records should be maintained evenfollowing termination of the relationship with the program participant. You should seek local legal assistance in determining the proper length of time for retaining records. Continue reading the Membership section of this newsletter for further record keeping tips and requirements of USA Gymnastics.

Protect Your Business: Record Keeping

Tips to Maintain Proper Record Keeping

New Coaching Education Resources and more

Member Club News

Safety Matters: Planning and Preparation


click course title to register

Safety Certification
Nov 7 - Johnstown, PA
Nov 8 - W. Conshohocken, PA
Nov 15 - Wilmington, MA
Nov 20 - Rock Hill, SC
Nov 22 - Elizabethtown, KY
Nov 22 - Santa Clarita, CA
Nov 28 - Baton Rouge, LA
Nov 28 - Stroudsburg, PA

Preschool Fundamentals Pt. 2: Hands on Training
none currently scheduled.

Learn how your gym can host one!

*please check the schedule online to verify course dates and times

New Women's Rules & Policies NOW AVAILABLE

**If you have submitted your request via the online form or by email, the books are being mailed out this week. Please do not submit duplicate requests.**

Women's Professional members may request ONE complimentary copy. Please use the online form found HERE. The R&P is also available for download.

Additional copies can be purchased through the Technical Materials store.

Tips to Maintain Proper Record Keeping

Most club owners and administrators understand the importance of practicing proper record keeping as it applies to the day to day operation of their gymnastics businesses. Unfortunately, some club owners and administrators fail to follow such practices when it applies to the applications and registration of their USA Gymnastics introductory/athlete members.

Failure to follow proper record keeping not only places the gymnastics club and USA Gymnastics in a poor legal liability situation, but also causes confusion and frustration on the part of the athlete and the athlete's parents. Reviewing the tips below is a great way to ensure that your business and its clients will not be caught in an unfavorable legal and/or financial situation.

  • Print the introductory/athlete membership application form(s) from the USA Gymnastics website prior to registering any athletes in your club. Ensure that the form is completely filled out by the parent, athlete and the club administrator. A new athlete/introductory athlete form MUST be completed for each competitive season regardless of how long an athlete has participated with your club.

  • Give a copy of the completed introductory/athlete membership form to the parent of each athlete for their personal record keeping. As a reminder, the completed application form is a signed legal contract between USA Gymnastics, the parent, and the club. Therefore, it is important to provide the proper documentation to all parties involved.

  • NEVER register an introductory/athlete membership online unless you first have the completed form(s) on file at the time of registration. Failure to complete this vital step, often leads to forgetting to obtain the form. As a reminder, USA Gymnastics can audit a club at anytime and request copies of the completed introductory/athlete membership application forms. Don't be caught off guard, be prepared!

  • Should a mistake be made during online registration, contact USA Gymnastics IMMEDIATELY. All USA Gymnastics memberships are non-transferrable and non-refundable, however USA Gymnastics understands that mistakes can happen from time to time, such as selecting the wrong athlete name when registering online. In the event of an online registration error USA Gymnastics MUST be notified within 72 business hours. Under certain circumstances a refund or transfer may be granted. Please keep in mind, that when such incidents occur you will be requested to submit the completed introductory/athlete membership application forms of those you wish to have the introductory/athlete membership. USA Gymnastics may not be able to process a request if proper forms are not submitted to the National Office within the time requested. Please also note that USA Gymnastics CANNOT provide any refunds or transfers on introductory/athletes that have already competed with the current membership, switched gymnastics locations, or stopped participating in the sport of gymnastics.

  • Ensure proper COMMUNICATION between the individual collecting the introductory/athlete membership applications and the individual actually performing the online registration and payment. Often Member Services receives calls from clubs stating that there was a lapse in communication causing a mistake with athlete registrations. While USA Gymnastics respects such errors, we often cannot resolve the errors that may occur in these situations.

  • Notify Member Services of any changes/deletions to your club roster list. Maintaining a proper club roster with USA Gymnastics is an important way to avoid mistakes in the future. Send changes to Member Services via email or fax to 317-692-5212. All changes will be completed within 24-48 business hours.

  • Obtain and keep on file an introductory/athlete membership form for any new introductory/athlete that joins your club that may have already been paid for this season (e.g. through another club). It is the current club's responsibility to ensure that they have a completed membership application form, regardless of club affiliation at the time the registration was paid.

For any questions or concerns regarding the proper maintenance of USA Gymnastics application forms please contact USA Gymnastics Member Services at 800-345-4719 or via email.

USA Gymnastics Member Services Department
Phone Hours: Monday 12:30pm-5:30pm eastern daylight savings time
Tuesday - Friday 8:30am-5:30pm eastern daylight savings time
1-800-345-4719 toll free

New Coaching Education Resources and Technical Materials Store

Coaching Education Portal

Just recently the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) announced a new coaching education website - The main purpose of this site is to serve as a hub or portal for coaches to find and access various types of education from sport specific education to more general sports science and sports management topics. There is also information for parents and others provided on the site. All of the USA Gymnastics University courses are linked from the portal as well as those from other well-known organizations. Check out this site often and remember the importance of continuing education.

Fresh New Look for the Technical Materials Store

USA Gymnastics is happy to announce a newly redesigned and more user-friendly version of our online Technical Materials store. Users will find clearer listings of items, better searching capabilities, and a smoother check out process. To order materials through the new version of the store, users will be required to set up a new username and password. Don't forget to enter your USA Gymnastics member number at checkout to receive your discount.

Reminder: All professional, junior professional, and instructor members will receive a 5% discount on Technical Material orders through the store.

The online Technical Materials store carries technical materials for all of the programs including rule books, videos, and awards and recognition items as well as general educational materials such as posters, safety and business materials, athlete development guides and more. Check out the Technical Materials store today!

Member Club News: CMN Donations and Promoting your Camps

Submit donations by November 9 to qualify for the 2009 Children's Miracle Network Top Fundraising Prizes

Each year, USA Gymnastics recognizes the top three clubs and individuals that raise funds for the Children's Miracle Network. This is our way of saying a big "thank you" from the gymnastics community for helping to benefit so many children's lives by making a difference in your community.

Prize eligibility is as follows: clubs must raise a minimum of $8,000 and individuals must raise a minimum of $3, 500. Individual donations will go towards the overall club amount. Most importantly, in order to qualify for prizes, all donations must be sent to Children's Miracle Network in Salt Lake City, Utah by November 9. Click HERE to download a form to submit your pledges

National Gymnastics Day Celebrations: We have enjoyed sharing photos and stories of club activities from National Gymnastics Day 2009 online and in our magazines. If you have not submitted your photos, it's not too late! Send your photos and short write-up to

Attention Club Owners: Promote your Summer Camps

To register and promote your summer camp in the USA Gymnastics Summer Camp Directory, click HERE and follow the directions!

In order to register your camp in the directory, USA Gymnastics requires that you certify that no persons permanently ineligible for membership in USA Gymnastics, currently are or will be associated with your organization's gymnastics related activities or the position, activity or event that you intend to publish in the directory. Click HERE to access the list of individuals who are permanently ineligible for membership. This list is made available to help you protect your business and athletes.


Safety Matters: Risk Management through planning and preparation

USA Gymnastics is pleased to offer this Safety Matters short series detailing some of the steps gymnastics professionals can take to avoid injuries and the lawsuits which sometimes arise because of them.

Provide appropriate emergency assistance -- Gymnastics professionals are expected to know what to do if an injury occurs. Knowledge of basic first aid, injury management procedures, and how to implement the emergency action plan are important. Take the steps you need to educate and prepare yourself.

Know the gymnasts -- Gymnastics professionals should consider a variety of factors such as age, height, maturity, skill level, experience, and emotional state in determining what skills, drills, and teaching activities are appropriate for the athletes and at what level and intensity. Other key information to know includes athletes' names, medical status, and longevity in the program.

The topics of the importance of proper instruction and keeping detailed records will be covered in the next edition of the Member Services E-News.

These and other key risk management principles can be found in the new 2009 edition of the Gymnastics Risk Management Safety Course Handbook, now available through the USA Gymnastics technical materials online store. Individuals who renew their certification at a live course or online will receive a copy of the new handbook.


USA Gymnastics is a non-for-profit organization which is the sole national governing body (NGB) for the sport of gymnastics in the United States. Our mission is to increase public awareness of, and encourage participation in, all aspects of gymnastics, and to support athletes in their pursuit of competitive excellence.

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