SafeSport QUICK GUIDE
SafeSport is a federally mandated training program on abuse for all coaches; recreational or competitive. Additionally, the US Center for SafeSport has also recently recommended specific player/athlete abuse education.
For coaches in a member league or club of Ohio Soccer Association, this training is completed in Player’s Health and renewed annually. Please visit this page for directions on how to complete the training.
On February 14th, 2018, the President signed the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act which is aimed at protecting amateur athletes* from sexual abuse. You can view the Legislation by clicking here: S.534 – 115th Congress (2017-2018): Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017
The Law has a three-pronged approach:
- Any adult interacting with amateur athletes* in the program has a duty to report abuse and or suspected abuse within a 24 hour period. EVERY adult is a mandatory reporter.
- The statute of limitations is extended for up to 10 years after a victim realizes he or she was abused.
- Limits an athlete under the age of 18 from being alone with an adult who is not their parent.
*What is an amateur athlete? Any child or minor under the age of 18.
There are additional and more specific requirements for several categories of youth sports providers listed as ‘Applicable Entity’ within the Bill. Those listed under this category include:
- National Governing Body (NGB) – Such as the United States Soccer Federation
- Amateur Sports Organization (sanctioned by NGB) – Such as Ohio Soccer Association and Member Affiliates (leagues and clubs)
- Amateur Sports Organizations (NOT sanctioned by NGB) – Such as YMCA, Church Leagues, Municipal Leagues, Independent Recreation Leagues, Camps, all others
U.S. Center for SafeSport fact sheet: https://www.safesport.org/files/details/78
Reporting: a mechanism that allows a complaint to be easily reported for a reasonable suspicion of Sexual or Physical abuse/neglect, within a 24 hour period of awareness. Federal regulations state that reports should be made to a) local law enforcement and b) local/state child protective services, c) US Soccer, and d) the US Center for SafeSport. EVERYONE is a MANDATORY REPORTER.
Ohio Soccer Association’s Mechanism for Reporting
(Everyone listed below MUST be contacted when physical or sexual abuse is suspected)
- Local Law Enforcement Number
- Local Child Protective Services Number
- State Risk Manager – Steve Wood, email@example.com
- National Governing Body (NGB)
Other forms of misconduct such as emotional abuse, bullying, hazing, or harassment.
- Club Risk Manager Contact Information (every club should have a point person for reporting)
- Club or BOD Review/Hearing – There should be a process in policy to document and address this other misconduct. The decision of the Club or BOD should be sent to the State Risk Manager.
Reasonable Procedures: Policies and procedures aimed at PREVENTING one-on-one interactions between an amateur athlete who is a minor and an adult.
An individual who is required, but fails, to report suspected child sexual abuse is subject to criminal penalties including fines and up to one (1) year in jail.
Prevention Training: Under US Soccer’s SafeSoccer Framework, all Amateur Sports Associations (i.e. Ohio Soccer Association) sanctioned by an NGB (i.e. USYS) must provide consistent training to adult members who are in contact with amateur athletes who are minors. Commencing with 2019, and mandatory per U.S. Soccer by September 1, 2019, all adults involved in youth soccer must take an initial Abuse Prevention Training course and then within the next calendar year, an annual refresher each year of participation. The course is offered online at no cost through the U.S. Center for SafeSport.
The following identified adults will register with or be added by your League or Club in Demosphere via their organizations dedicated registration website:
- Coaches and Soccer Trainers
- Board Members of Leagues and Clubs
- Club Administrators, Team Administrators and Team Managers,
- Tournament Organizers
- Athletic Trainers
- Organizational Employees who may have the opportunity to have direct and unmonitored access to minors
Once they complete their registration, they will receive an email from Demosphere containing a link to access the course via Player’s Health. After they take the initial course they must take a refresher every year thereafter.
Prohibit Retaliation: Include in your league or club policy that there can be no retaliation from the league or club toward those who are reporting.
Prohibited Conduct Policy
US Soccer Bylaw 212-3 is effective September 1, 2019.
This policy is US Soccer’s Policy (“Policy”) that applies to all Ohio Soccer Association Covered Personnel (as that term is defined in Ohio Soccer Association Bylaw 12) as well as conduct by any subcontractor, supplier, customer or third party and their employees in their dealings with Ohio Soccer Association and personnel of Member Organizations. This Policy has been adopted from and is consistent with U.S. Soccer’s Prohibited Conduct Policy.
Ohio Soccer Association is committed to maintaining a work environment that is free from all forms of discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of any legally protected status. Accordingly, Ohio Soccer Association does not permit any form of unlawful harassment, discrimination or intimidation against its employees by anyone, including managers, supervisors, coworkers, executives, directors, officers, other employees, vendors, clients, customers or third parties. Protected status includes race, color, age, religion, marital status, sex, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, veteran’s status, pregnancy, disability, sexual orientation, protected activity, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. The policy also prohibits harassment on the basis of the protected status of an individual’s relatives, friends or associates.
Ohio Soccer Association is also committed to maintaining a work environment that is free from all forms of sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, emotional misconduct, physical misconduct, bullying and hazing.
Any violation of this Policy by Covered Personnel may subject the Covered Personnel to disciplinary action. Appropriate action also will be taken against any subcontractor, supplier, or customer found in violation of this Policy.
This Policy is in addition to all other provisions of the Ohio Soccer Association Bylaws, Policies and Rules as well as all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations. It is the obligation of all Covered Personnel to know and comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations.
Required Policies for One-on-One Interactions
The majority of child sexual abuse is perpetrated in isolated, one-on-one situations. By reducing such interactions between children and adults, programs reduce the risk of child sexual abuse. However, one-on-one time with trusted adults is also healthy and valuable for a child. Policies concerning one-on-one interactions protect children while allowing for these beneficial relationships.