What is SafeSport?
U.S. Soccer Federation (U.S. Soccer), the national governing body for the sport of soccer in the United States. U.S. Soccer has developed the Safe Soccer Framework as a foundation from which all participants in the soccer community, be they athletes, coaches, referees, administrators or volunteers, play an active role in creating an environment free from emotional, physical or sexual abuse. The Safe Soccer Framework is a comprehensive program of policies and process, screening, education and training, reporting, monitoring and enforcement designed to help participants detect and report abuse, respond to it, and prevent future occurrences.
If you suspect child abuse, report it to law enforcement within 24 hours.
Virginia Youth Soccer Association is dedicated to maintaining zero tolerance for Prohibited Conduct. As such, it is vital that everyone actively participates in the protection of Youth. VYSA encourages everyone to report SafeSport Code violations and stresses that Covered Personnel are mandatory reporters per applicable state and federal law.
Under the SafeSport Act, the reporting obligation is triggered when a mandatory reporter becomes aware of “facts that give reason to suspect” a child has suffered an incident of child abuse. Child abuse includes physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, or negligent treatment of a child. Sexual Abuse is defined to include the employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of a child to engage in, or assist another person to engage in, sexually explicit conduct or the rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children or incest with children. Mental Injury means harm to a child’s psychological or intellectual functioning which may be exhibited by severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal or outward aggressive behavior, or a combination of those behaviors, which may be demonstrated by a change in behavior, emotional response or cognition.
The SafeSport Act also includes qualified immunity for good faith reports. U.S. Soccer urges all mandatory reporters to refrain from judging or evaluating the credibility of such allegations leave that to law enforcement.
Failure to promptly report suspected child abuse to law enforcement authorities may constitute a violation of applicable state and federal law and, in any event, will be deemed a violation of U.S. Soccer’s SafeSport Framework.
SafeSport training is REQUIRED for all coaches, staff, volunteers and admins of official Virginia Youth Soccer Association Member Clubs.
The SafeSport training is good for one (1) year. After that year is up, a Refresher Course will become available. Please see the instructions below for SafeSport training.
SafeSport Training Instructions: For new coaches/admins you will need to work with your club to get the SafeSport instructions in order to register and create an account to access the SafeSport training under the US Soccer affiliation.
For those who have taken the main training module, you will need to sign back into your account to access the Refresher Course at Safesporttrained.org.
For any issues within the SafeSport website or issues with your account, please contact SafeSport directly. Their contact information can be found at their website.
SafeSport Training for Youth
The U.S. Center for SafeSport has released five training modules focused on Youth Athletes. The modules are age-based and free for participants:
- Grades K-2
- Grades 3-5
- Middle School
- High School
Each training module is 10-20 minutes in length. A parent/guardian must first create a SafeSport account in order to give consent for their child to access the training and select the module for their child’s age.
Each year, all member clubs are required to submit a SafeSport Compliance form in order to verify that the club is in good standing and completed all required risk management. The SafeSport Compliance form attests to all club admins/coaches have a valid background check and SafeSport training.
SafeSport Compliance Form is due to VYSA by September 10, 2023.
If a club is in the process of getting all their coaches and admins completed, there is a place to mark that status on the form. The form must be signed by a club chief representative or Executive Director and sent in to Kristen@vysa.com.
VYSA members are required to comply with Federal Law S.534 Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017, that was signed into law in February of 2018. Completion of Safe Sport Training by every coach and administrator in your club (both recreational and travel) is required by the law and your affirmation of compliance is required by VYSA Safe Sport Policy. Your cooperation in this matter will help to protect your minor athletes from abuse and your club from legal liability
All Team Officials rostered on travel and recreational teams for the 2022-2023 year will be required to complete the SafeSport training. The SafeSport training will be valid for 1 calendar year, with a refresher course required each year after.
Team Officials should contact their Club Administrator for access to SafeSport training link.
VYSA SafeSport Policy
The VYSA Board of Directors unanimously passed an updated SafeSport policy in August 2019 to include requirements from US Soccer.
All clubs and leagues are required to become familiar and adhere to all aspects of the new policy.
Contact SafeSport@vysa.com with questions.