Last summer, US Lacrosse took a bold and courageous step forward to enhance player safety in lacrosse, adding mandatory SafeSport online training for all adult member coaches. 

This educational training, coupled with a mandatory national background check for coaches, places US Lacrosse at the forefront among national governing bodies in addressing the issue of abuse in youth sports.

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This Friday, January 10, US Lacrosse is taking another step forward by hosting its first-ever Safe Sport Symposium at LaxCon in Philadelphia. Featuring a line-up of subject-matter experts and panelists, the Symposium is a free event and scheduled from 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Abuse, on any level and in any form, must never be part of the youth sports experience, and US Lacrosse believes that education and awareness are important tools for helping to prevent abuse and misconduct against youth. 

“As the national governing body we have the resources to develop programs and policies, but they don’t affect the athlete until they are implemented at the local level. The Symposium gives us the opportunity to connect with local leaders about the importance of these efforts,” said Dr. Bruce D. Griffin, director of the Center for Sport Science at US Lacrosse.

The Symposium is structured in five sessions, and features speakers who are among the national leaders in youth player safety. These include Trish Sylvia, founder of NCSI, an industry leader in youth centered background screenings; Dan Mills, assistant director for training at the U.S. Center for SafeSport; and Christine Mayer, SafeSport Coordinator for USA Hockey.

“As US Lacrosse continues to expand our safety initiatives, the next logical step was to host this Safe Sport Symposium,” said Abby Morris, SafeSport Program Manager at US Lacrosse. “Keeping abuse and misconduct out of lacrosse requires the efforts of the whole community, and this event offers attendees the opportunity to learn about our policies and resources. The US Lacrosse SafeSport program is focused on taking a comprehensive approach to creating a culture of safety.”

Former University of Richmond lacrosse player Alexis Brandolini will be serving as a facilitator for the Symposium’s opening session, entitled ‘A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.’ She notes that the event hopes to empower coaches and attendees to apply the proper safety guidelines in their local lacrosse organizations. 

“This is a serious topic, and we want to help the attendees to champion this issue in their programs,” Brandolini said. “We hope that they will walk away and feel that they can implement changes.” 

Nearly 30,000 US Lacrosse member coaches and officials have completed backgrounds screenings and over 7,000 have completed the online training. Both components of the US Lacrosse Safe Sport Program are offered at no cost to adult member coaches and officials. 

“Athlete safety and well-being is a primary focus of US Lacrosse and keeping abuse out of the sport is a very important part of that effort,” Griffin said.

SafeSport Symposium

An event designed to provide leadership in youth sports safety by protecting athletes from abuse and misconduct.

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