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The Youth Sports Leader’s Guide to Athlete Protection

By Melissa Wickes
October 27, 2022
2 min

As a leader in youth sports, your top priority is to provide amazing youth sports experiences to kids and keep them safe, happy, and protected from any dangers in the process. This includes injuries, unfair play, bullying and other kinds of abuse, and any other unsafe situations.

It’s clear that leaders like you will do whatever you can to keep your athletes safe, so we created this free Risk Management Guide to Protecting Your Athletes to help you make the decisions that will help protect your athletes from harm. This guide is a compilation of advice and guidance from experts like Joe Janosky, director of injury prevention programs for the Sports Medicine Institute at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and more.


Here’s a little bit of what you’ll learn about risk management in the free eBook

Background Checks

Parents trust you with their kids for hours at a time every week, and that’s why running background checks on every adult that will be interacting with kids at your organization is absolutely crucial. After all, we’ve seen too many devastating cases of abuse in sports—like the USA Gymnastics scandal in 2018—and many national governing bodies including Little League, USA Football, and U.S. Soccer now require them.

This chapter will take you through the dos and don’ts of background checks—with a list of frequently asked questions and their answers. Plus, we’ll highlight some of the leading technology providers in youth sports that can support your background checks strategy, like YardStik.

Age Verification

There’s a reason age rules exist in youth sports—they produce the best possible outcome for all parties involved. Unfortunately, many families still try to get around age eligibility guidelines because they think they’re giving their child an advantage. You can enforce age eligibility rules in your organization by using tools that:

  • Eliminate checking player documents at events
  • Make sure all players are eligible for the divisions they’re participating in
  • Make sure all teams meet the requirements before the competition begins

Chapter two will go into detail about age verification and offer technology options for these processes.


Concussion Training

Concussion training is huge for coaches and other leaders in youth sports—sports and recreational activities contribute to more than 21% of all traumatic brain injuries amongst American children and adolescents, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. You can access free, online concussion training courses for coaches, athletic trainers, parents, and more in the eBook—as well as concussion resources by sport.


In this chapter, Joe Janosky, director of sports safety at Hospital for Special Surgery, offers three concrete ways youth sports leaders can help prevent injuries on the field.

Bullying and Other Types of Abuse

Fostering a safe and comfortable environment where kids can play and be safe from bullying and other types of abuse is a top priority. This chapter will take you through what to do if you see bullying, how to stop it before it happens, as well as a response and prevention plan for other types of abuse.

Access the Full Guide to Protecting Your Athletes

The free eBook expands on the topics above with concrete takeaways and examples that will help you better protect your athletes from harm.  Click here to download the free guide to Protecting Your Athletes now!