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USA Football implemented a corporate SafeSport policy that addresses misconduct. Athletes who have been mistreated may experience social embarrassment, emotional turmoil, psychological scars, loss of self-esteem and negative impacts on their relationships with their family, friends, and the sport.
Misconduct may hurt an athlete’s competitive performance and may cause him or her to stop participating in sports entirely. USA Football requires all of our full-time staff and any volunteers, contractors, interns and adult participants who have routine contact with minors or who meet other criteria set forth in the policy to be both background checked and SafeSport certified.
USA Football encourages your football organization to create its own SafeSport Policies. SafeSport, a U.S. Olympic Committee initiative, developed materials and resources to help your organization create a culture that encourages safety, openness and disclosure. By implementing the appropriate policies and procedures, youth football organizations can fulfill their obligations to coaches, athletes and parents. Although every league and club is different, the model handbook provides information that can serve as a starting point for designing an effective plan.
In addition to the policies, the handbook includes guidance on what to do in the event of suspected misconduct, including sample reporting and investigation forms.
As part of the youth football league and club SafeSport policy, USA Football strongly recommends that youth football organizations require background checks and SafeSport certification. The SafeSport Certification Course is a free video that teaches the six types of misconduct behavior and the actions that each of us can take to address misconduct in sport. The training takes approximately 90 minutes and includes a quiz at the end of each section. You can stop the training at any time and return to it at your convenience.