Standard for Athlete Safety and Protection US Lacrosse

Posted: January 4, 2014 in HRLax, US Lacrosse
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Unfortunately, sports can also be an environment for misconduct, including child physical and sexual abuse. Such conduct is intolerable, and is considered harmful to the psychological and physical health of athletes of all ages and genders. While almost all participants in our sport have the utmost integrity, some may use sports as a means for perpetuating abuse.

It is the intent of this Standard to clearly state and to allow US Lacrosse to demonstrate its commitment to the safety and well-being of athletes that are minors. There will be no tolerance for verbal, psychological, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse of children in the sport of lacrosse. Any suspicion will be reported to state and local child protective services and law enforcement agencies. These suspicions could also lead to a loss of membership, if substantiated.

As a matter of policy, US Lacrosse does not investigate suspicions or allegations of child verbal, psychological, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. Chapters and leagues must not either; they should report any suspicions or allegations to the appropriate authority and fully cooperate with the investigation. Additionally, it is a serious violation of this Standard if a staff member and/or volunteer knows of misconduct, but takes no action to intervene on behalf of the child.

When an allegation of child verbal, psychological, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse is made against a staff member, youth and/or volunteer, the local league or chapter should immediately remove that individual from contact with any children in the program until the allegation has been investigated by an official agency. Membership will be terminated for a conviction of a crime related to an allegation. US Lacrosse may also terminate membership for improper conduct as described in Section Three – Prescribed Conduct. Malicious, frivolous or bad-faith allegations or reporting of sexual or physical abuse is prohibited conduct.

Protecting Youth Athletes from Sexual Abuse


Questions You Can Ask Your Sport Organization about Participant Safety

  • Do you have a plan in place to recognize, reduce, and report misconduct?
  • What is your screening process for hiring coaches and staff?
  • What type of training do you give your coaches and staff?
  • Have you had any incidents reported and how were they handled?

What to Ask Your Coach

  • If an athlete comes to you with a complaint or disclosure, how would you respond?
  • Have you received training on the club’s policies and procedures?
  • What measures have you taken to create safe conditions for your athletes?

What to Ask Your Camp

  • What guidelines do you have in place for non-sport activities and travel?
  • How are the locker rooms and facilities secured?
  • What resources do you have available if an athlete makes a disclosure or complaint?

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