I recently had the opportunity to attend a NFL Youth Safety roundtable at NFL HQ in New York. Multiple youth sports organizations were in attendance to share what they are doing to focus on youth safety in their sports. Obviously this is a hot button issue with parents across the country as safety in professional sports has been under the microscope lately.
Organizations that were in attendance included:
- USA Football
- Little League Baseball
- USA Basketball
- USA Cheer
- USA Hockey
- USA Gymnastics
- US Lacrosse
- US Youth Soccer
The importance of keeping our kids safe was an underlying theme and something that is a primary focus of each organization. During the conversation we discussed the fact that it is the responsibility of parents to ensure the league that your child plays in is a member in a governing body that puts the kids first. Often times this may not be the case since some teams choose the path of least resistance instead of doing what’s best for the kids that they are responsible for.
During the conversation I was able to note several suggestions on what parents should look for when deciding on a team for their kids to participate with and I wanted to share them with you.
When you are looking for a team or league to have your child participate with here are four questions you need to ask leadership:
1) Do you have a protocol around concussions?
2) Do you have a system to screen volunteers?
3) How many officials are required to be on the field?
4) What is the organizations risk plan if something were to happen on field?
Please use these four questions just as a starting point to make sure your child’s league is putting safety first. If you find out that they are not, don’t forget you are your child’s biggest advocate, and that their safety should come first.
Do you know what governing body your team and league are associated with? Can you already answer the questions above? How do you choose a sports team?