SPARKS, Md. — US Lacrosse is evolving its program to help prevent potential abuse within the sports environment. The new name of the initiative is the Abuse Prevention Program and an online course is available free of charge to all US Lacrosse coach and official members as a benefit of membership. The course can be accessed by US Lacrosse members on its E-Learning platform. The course takes roughly 90 minutes to complete and includes a series of videos followed by an assessment test.

“Helping to ensure the safety of our youth players is a responsibility we take seriously,” said Mike Cather, VP & Chief Relationship Officer for US Lacrosse. “Our financial support for the abuse prevention training and the criminal background checks is one way of showing that commitment. We’re absorbing these costs to assist leagues and programs in providing the best and safest environment for their players.”

In addition to the abuse prevention training, as part of its ongoing commitment to player safety, US Lacrosse began requiring, and covering the cost of, criminal background checks through NCSI for all adult coach members in 2018. More than 36,000 individuals have completed background screenings during that time. To build on this effort, US Lacrosse has chosen to expand its partnership with SportsEngine, the parent company of NCSI, to offer the online training course from Abuse Prevention Systems (APS).

"We are honored to continue our partnership with US Lacrosse in support of their efforts to improve youth sports safety,” said Brett MacKinnon, General Manager, SportsEngine, Inc. “Helping to provide safe, positive youth sports experiences is at the core of why we do what we do at SportsEngine, and we applaud US Lacrosse for their continued commitment to setting standards around policies and best practices for athlete safety.” 

US Lacrosse began offering online training from the U.S. Center for SafeSport in 2019 and more than 20,000 coaches have completed the online training. Using the new APS courses, US Lacrosse will transition away from the U.S. Center for SafeSport training. However, completion of the U.S. Center for SafeSport training will still fulfill the US Lacrosse membership requirement for coaches.

Members wishing to continue with U.S. Center for SafeSport training can do so for a fee. There are also select online courses offered by the U.S. Center for SafeSport geared towards parents and youth that are available free of charge.

Current coach members that have already completed their abuse prevention training do not need to take any additional action. For renewing or new members moving forward, if they have completed an abuse prevention training course within the last six months through APS or the U.S. Center for Safe Sport that will fill the US Lacrosse requirement. If the course was taken outside of the US Lacrosse platform, then they will need to submit proof of completion to US Lacrosse.

Additional resources for the Abuse Prevention Training Program can be found on the US Lacrosse website.

Any suspicion of child abuse must be reported to state and local child protective services and law enforcement agencies. To assist in understanding where to report in a specific location, check or call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678. 

For questions related to creating a safer sport, please contact [email protected]