US Lacrosse, the national governing body for lacrosse, considers player safety to be among its highest priorities. This responsibility includes working diligently to protect athletes from abuse within the sports environment.

Fueled by this commitment, US Lacrosse is adding two new requirements to all adult coach memberships -- a national background screening and online SafeSport training.

The national background check will go into effect with all coach membership purchases and renewals after October 14, 2018. The online training course will be launched as a voluntary option in early 2019, before eventually becoming a mandatory requirement. Coaches who are members prior to October 14 will NOT be prompted for the background check or SafeSport training until their annual renewal occurs.

Both of these requirements will be provided at no additional cost to members.

A coach who fails to initiate the national background screening within 10 days of joining the organization will have their membership suspended and will not have the insurance coverage benefit. 

Similarly, once the SafeSport training is launched, coaches will have a specified period of time (yet to be determined) to complete the online training. Failure to meet this requirement will also result in a suspended membership status.

US Lacrosse is partnering with NCSI (National Center for Safety Initiatives) for the background screenings and the U.S. Center for SafeSport for the online training service.

While national background checks are not a new practice at US Lacrosse – the organization has required the screenings for selected initiatives for many years – the online training requirement is driven in part by the SafeSport Authorization Act, passed earlier this year by Congress. 

That law seeks to protect youth athletes by expanding existing mandated reporter laws, requiring completion of abuse awareness and prevention training, and instilling policies that limit one-on-one interactions.

The paramount principal for US Lacrosse is that any and all forms of physical and sexual abuse and/or misconduct are strictly prohibited.

“We have a duty to lead on this critically important issue,” said Steve Stenersen, president and CEO at US Lacrosse. “Making the transition to mandatory background screenings for member coaches, introducing required educational resources to properly train stakeholders, and developing consistent protocols and policies for local lacrosse organizations are all essential to establishing an environment that prevents predators from entering our sport.”

US Lacrosse will be providing members with additional information and details prior to the October 14 implementation date to further clarify the process for both the mandatory national background check as well as the online SafeSport training.

Launched 2013, the US Lacrosse SafeSport initiative is designed to provide safeguards against all forms of physical and sexual abuse or misconduct. As part of that initiative, US Lacrosse developed a Standard for Athlete Safety & Protection, outlining both prohibited and prescribed conducts and behavior guidelines for all adult members of US Lacrosse who interact with youth.

SafeSport Program

Get more details about the SafeSport Program and national background checks.

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