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The Safe Sport Act

In  2018, the President of the United States signed the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act which is aimed at protecting amateur athletes from sexual abuse. 
 
What exactly does the Law state?
The Law has a three-pronged approach:
  1. Any adult interacting with amateur athletes in the program has a duty to report abuse and or suspected abuse within a 24-hour period. EVERY adult is a mandatory reporter.
  2. The statute of limitations is extended for up to 10 years after a victim realizes he or she was abused. 
  3. Limits an athlete under the age of 18 from being alone with an adult who is not their parent. 
What is an amateur athlete?
Any child or minor involved in sports under the age of 18. 
 
Legislation is available for download by clicking the link below: 

What else is important to know about this Law? 
 
How might my club be impacted?
There are additional and more specific requirements for several categories of youth sports providers listed as ‘Applicable Entity’ within the Bill.  Those listed under this category include:
  • National Governing Body (NGB) – Such as the United States Soccer Federation
  • Amateur Sports Organization (sanctioned by NGB) – Such as Montana Youth Soccer and Member Clubs
  • Amateur Sports Organizations (NOT sanctioned by NGB) – Such as YMCA, Church Leagues, Municipal Leagues, Independent Recreation Leagues, Camps, all others

What are the requirements for NGB's and NGB-Affiliated?
Reporting – a mechanism that allows a complaint to be easily reported for a  reasonable suspicion of Sexual or Physical abuse/neglect, within a 24 hour period of awareness. Federal regulations state that reports should be made to a) local law enforcement and b) local/state child protective services , c) US Soccer, and d) the US Center for SafeSport. EVERYONE is a MANDATORY REPORTER.
 
Montana Youth Soccer's Mechanism for Reporting 
(Everyone listed below MUST be contacted when physical or sexual abuse is suspected)
  1. Local Law Enforcement Number (posted on club website and given to athletes and parents)
  2. Local Child Protective Services Number (posted on club website and given to athletes and parents)
  3. Child & Family Services Division of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (Montana DPHHS) - Montana’s Mandatory Reporting Guidelines
  4. Club Risk Manager Contact Information (every club should have a point person for reporting)
  5. State Risk Manager – Jeff Schoonover, jeff@montanayouthsoccer.com, (406) 565-2676
  6. National Governing Body (NGB)
For other forms of misconduct such as emotional abuse, bullying, hazing, or harassment.
  1. Club Risk Manager Contact Information (every club should have a point person for reporting)
  2. Club or BOD Review/Hearing – There should be a process in policy to document and address this other misconduct.  The decision of the Club or BOD should be sent to the State Risk Manager.
Montana Code 41-3-207 Penalty for Failure to Report states:
  1. Any person, official, or institution required by law to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect who fails to do so or who prevents another person from reasonably doing so is civilly liable for the damages proximately caused by such failure or prevention.
  2. Any person or official required by law to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect who purposely or knowingly fails to report known child abuse or neglect or purposely or knowingly prevents another person from doing so is guilty of a misdemeanor. 
Reasonable Procedures‚Äč – Policies and procedures aimed at PREVENTING one-on-one interactions between an amateur athlete who is a minor and an adult.

What are the requirements for NGB’s and NGB-Affiliated?
1. Prevention Training – Under US Soccer's SafeSoccer Framework, all Amateur Sports Associations (i.e., Montana Youth Soccer) sanctioned by an NGB (i.e. USYS) must provide consistent training to adult members who are in contact with amateur athletes who are minors. Mandatory per U.S. Soccer by September 1, 2019, all adults involved in youth soccer must take an initial Abuse Prevention Training course and then within the next calendar year, an annual refresher each year of participation.  The course is offered online at no cost through the U.S. Center for SafeSport. If the Adult has already taken the course, they can upload their certificate in GotSport. After they take the initial course they must take a refresher every year thereafter.
2. Prohibit Retaliation – Include in your club policy that there can be no retaliation from the club toward those who are reporting.

US YOUTH SOCCER COMMUNICATIONS
Please click on the links below to view US Youth Soccer communications regarding the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017. 
 
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