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Revisions to US Club Soccer Policy Manual, largely focused on Safety

By US Club Soccer, 08/29/19, 8:30AM EDT

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US Club Soccer community,

Consistent with our Players First philosophy and to ensure the safest possible environment for participants of all ages, enhancements have been made to US Club Soccer’s Policy Manual.

The revisions are effective September 1 and largely involve Athlete and Participant Safety/Risk Management, in support of U.S. Soccer’s Safe Soccer Program and Policy 212-3.

A summary of highlights is below, and the full policy manual is available via the “Related documents / web pages” section.

RESPONSIBILITY OF US CLUB SOCCER MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS:

Member Organizations are responsible for ensuring their own Covered Personnel comply with US Club Soccer’s Athlete and Participant Safety/Risk Management Policies as well as any other federal and state laws, rules or other regulations that may apply.

With your cooperation and implementation, we truly believe these policies will have a positive impact on our collective participants’ health and safety. Accordingly, please:

  1. Review and become familiar with the revised Athlete and Participant Safety/Risk Management Policies.
  2. Review and become familiar with US Club Soccer’s Safety web page.
  3. Distribute and make this information easily accessible to everyone in your club/organization, including parents of youth participants.

POLICY STATEMENT (13.01):
This section outlines US Club Soccer’s zero tolerance for abuse or misconduct and commitment to providing a safe environment. Several important terms are also adopted:

  • Participating Adult
  • Direct Participating Adult
  • Third-party Participating Adult
  • Youth Participant
  • Covered Personnel
  • Activities within US Club Soccer’s jurisdiction

REPORTING (13.04):

This section outlines reporting obligations, including: a) mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse to law enforcement, pursuant to the SafeSport Act; and b) US Club Soccer’s Athlete and Participant Safety/Risk Management Reporting. Details are available, and a concern may be reported, at usclubsoccer.org/reportaconcern.

PROHIBITED CONDUCT (13.05):

US Club Soccer’s Prohibited Conduct Policy has been adopted from and is consistent with U.S. Soccer’s Prohibited Conduct Policy. It is accessible here, via usclubsoccer.org/safety, and contained as Appendix A of US Club Soccer’s Policy Manual.

PREVENTION POLICIES (13.06):

These detailed policies limit one-on-one interactions between individual Youth Participants and any Participating Adult who is not their legal guardian. Topics include: a) one-on-one interactions/meetings; b) massages and rubdowns; c) locker rooms, rest rooms and changing areas; d) social media and electronic communications; e) local travel; f) team travel; and g) minor athletes who become adult athletes.

BACKGROUND SCREENING (13.09):

US Club Soccer significantly enhanced its background screening of all individuals completing US Club Soccer’s staff registration process in 2016. The screening requirements have now been expanded to include additional roles.

U.S. CENTER FOR SAFESPORT TRAINING (13.10):

SafeSport Core Training has been required of all individuals completing US Club Soccer’s staff registration process since July 1, 2018. The training requirements have now been expanded to include additional roles and incorporate Refresher training on an annual basis.

Additionally, US Club Soccer strongly encourages Youth Participants and their parents to take the applicable online training on an annual basis. Details and other resources are available on the For Parents and Youth Participants web page.

COMPLIANCE (13.11):

Third-party Participating Adult Certification Forms will be made available shortly at usclubsoccer.org/safety for use by Member Organizations as an aid in documenting compliance.

OTHER:

Several definitions were added or revised, largely related to the terms established in Policy 13.01.

The former Section 14 (Player Rules) was consolidated into Section 4 (Registration and Player Rules), and some administrative revisions were made within that section.

Additionally, it is now more clearly specified that U.S. Soccer Federation-registered referees are required to be used for all US Club Soccer programming unless a request for an alternate arrangement is approved in writing by US Club Soccer.

RELEVANT DOCUMENTS / WEB PAGES:

The Athlete and Participant Safety/Risk Management Policies are part of US Club Soccer’s Policy Manual (as Section 13 and Appendix A) and have been consolidated into this document for convenience. That document and additional resources are also accessible via usclubsoccer.org/safety.

The full US Club Soccer Policy Manual is available on the Bylaws/Policies web page, and a red-lined version showing all revisions approved on August 16 is available here.

***

Kevin Payne
CEO/Executive Director

ABOUT US CLUB SOCCER:

A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible environment for players of all ages.

Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.

US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and supported by LaLiga through a technical partnership.

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