It is important to know what a safe and healthy youth sports experience looks like for your child. While some of those decisions will be based on individual needs, there are some basic policies that are important to look for when choosing a team or club.
Here is a partial list of components of a safe and healthy youth sports program, but a more complete list is found at the link below (from the National Alliance for Youth Sports):
- Make sure the program is child-centered, including policies regarding age-appropriate skill development, frequency of practices, travel, safety, discrimination, inclusivity, sportsmanship, code of conduct, and fair play.
- Teams should provide an outline for the expected role of parents within the team/club. This involvement should include parent orientation, conduct and communication expectations and the opportunity to provide feedback.
- Look for a safe playing environment. This can include equipment inspections, emergency action plans for medical, weather or other emergencies, injury management, on-site CPR-trained adults and automated external defibrillator, policies regarding injury prevention and management, substance abuse, discrimination, bullying, and abuse.