US Lacrosse believes there are many reasons to play sports, including athletes enjoying a wide range of physical, emotional and social benefits. But abuse, on any level and in any form, can not be part of the equation. 

The intent of the US Lacrosse Safe Sport Program is to clearly demonstrate the national governing body’s commitment to the safety and well-being of lacrosse athletes, and a new infographic is designed to communicate some of the main elements of the program.

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“I think many people are aware of the preventative measures and tools we offer, such as background screening and online training, but may not be as familiar with our program's other components,” said Abby Morris, manager of US Lacrosse’s Safe Sport Program. “This new infographic is just a way to help introduce people to what our Safe Sport program really incorporates.”

The US Lacrosse Youth Athlete Safety and Protection Policy outlines many of the recommended standards and responsibilities to help keep youth athletes safe. These include appropriate behavior guidelines, as well as the requirements for mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect. US Lacrosse offers a reporting and responding component as part of its package of resources.

US Lacrosse’s ongoing partnerships with NCSI and the U.S. Center for SafeSport also help to create a safer youth lacrosse environment. Since 2018, over 36,000 coaches have completed background screenings through NCSI, and since 2019, about 20,000 coaches have completed online training provided by the U.S. Center for SafeSport. 

Additional resources, such as tool kits and guidelines to help parents initiate important conversations with their children, are also available through USL’s partners.

“Our partnerships with NCSI and the U.S. Center for SafeSport have been a huge part of having more extensive educational tools and resources available for our members,” Morris said. 

The final component of the infographic highlights some easy ways that adults can help to protect youth athletes. 

“Quite often, I think people get overwhelmed or scared because they think that helping to keep youth athletes safe means being an expert in child abuse. We want to help people understand that they can help by doing small, simple things and that they don't need to be experts,” Morris said.
 

#LaxAtHome

Coaches, you can utilize this time away from games and practices to help make lacrosse safer for your youth athletes. Commit a little extra time for online SafeSport training to learn more about abuse prevention and reporting.

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