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The Importance of Background Checks in Youth Sports


SportsSignup is committed to creating a safe and healthy environment for all youth athletes, which is why we offer KidSafePlus as part of our online sports registration solution. We are currently polling sports parents, coaches and league administrators to find out more about how coach and volunteer background checks are viewed in your community. Our coach and volunteer background survey is only 10 questions long and we appreciate you taking the time to help us. All answers are 100% anonymous confidential.

Here is a terrifying statistic—one of every four girls and one of every six boys will be victims of sexual abuse by the time they are 18. An even scarier statistic is this—more than 90% of the abusers are people the children knew and trusted. This includes family members and friends, as well as family acquaintances. Only 5% of sexual abuse is perpetrated by a stranger. While no one likes to think that a member of their community could commit such a heinous act, the truth is that we can’t risk the children involved in our youth sports organizations by not preparing for the worst. One of the best ways to protect youth athletes is to keep predators from getting involved in your organization in the first place. That’s why a coach/volunteer background check is so important for youth sports.

We at SportsSignup have noticed a 180% increase in requests for volunteer background checks in the last year, which we take as a good sign. Sports organizations are ultimately responsible for the safety and well-being of all the players, which includes protecting them from any kind of abuse. While a criminal background check isn’t 100% infallible at weeding out predators, it can dramatically reduce the risk of someone getting involved with your sports organization that shouldn’t be. In addition to a child protection program and training your staff to recognize the signs of sexual abuse, implementing a mandatory volunteer background check for anyone looking to get involved with your sports organization is one of the best ways to protect your players.

Please take a few moments to fill out our 10 question coach/volunteer background survey!


"one of every four girls and one of every six boys will be victims of sexual abuse by the time they are 18" 
Where is the supporting info for this claim? I don't see it in your link...
Posted @ Thursday, June 28, 2012 3:23 PM by Really?
I appreciate this basic information a great deal. All of the leagues we deal with do a decent job with background checks but again nothing is 100%. Due diligence is required by all.  
One of the things that I find discouraging is families dropping off their children for practice or a game and returning at a later time. I strongly believe that when a commitment is made to participate on a team it is a family commitment, not just the players, until a certain age is reached. 
I also believe that there should be mandated parent/coaches meetings at the beginning of every season in which this and other issues are reviewed. Also a chance to allow parents and coaches to mingle and get to know one another. 
Thanks for another great piece. 
Posted @ Sunday, July 01, 2012 11:11 AM by Peter
Comments have been closed for this article.

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