On June 28, 2019, Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association notified all soccer organizations that Congress had passed the Abuse Prevention Act. U.S. Soccer established requirements for all adults involved in youth soccer.
Mass Youth Soccer believes there is nothing more important than the safety of our children. We greatly appreciate the roles that administrators, coaches, referees and volunteers play in offering youth athletes from all backgrounds the opportunity to play soccer. An integral part of these roles is taking steps to ensure the safety of the participants. Collectively, we are responsible for providing a playing environment that is healthy, non-threatening, and free from emotional, physical or sexual abuse. Please refer to the following information on Massachusetts Youth Soccer Associations' Athlete and Participant Safety Policy (which is also attached and can be referenced on the Mass Youth Soccer website..
The Safe Sport Act
On February 14, 2018, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act was signed into law. It is aimed at protecting amateur athletes* from sexual abuse. The law has two parts:
Title – I: Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse - Mandatory Reporting requirements which are outlined on the Mass Youth Soccer Mandatory Reporting webpage: https://www.mayouthsoccer.org/mandatory-reporting/.
Title – II: Safe Sport Act - Per the SafeSport Act under Title II, each Organization Member that is an “Applicable Entity” or otherwise has adult members (adult participants) who are in regular contact with amateur athletes who are minors, must maintain, as part of that risk management program, an athlete and participant safety program that includes the six components listed below.
All required policies listed above are covered in detail in the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Associations' Athlete and Participant Safety Policy; In addition, this policy must be, and has been adopted by all Mass Youth Soccer Member Organizations, including Peabody Youth Soccer Association.
Parents play an important role in the prevention of misconduct and abuse in sports. Below are two links, the first is to resources designed for parents of athletes of all ages, the second link is a registration help guide. The Toolkits and courses are age/grade specific and explain the issues of misconduct and abuse in sports. Reviewing the information provided and taking the available Abuse Prevention courses will help you as a parent ensure the players have a positive and safe sport experience.
Mandatory and Prohibitive Conduct Reporting Information
Mass Youth Soccer has partnered with Players Health for reporting known or suspected child abuse and prohibited conduct. Two different reporting steps, the same reporting portal.
All Adult Participants of Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association are considered mandatory reporters of any known or suspected child abuse. Abuse does not need to be confirmed. Adult Participants should never seek to conduct their own investigations.
Mass Youth Soccer and our member organizations are responsible for providing a process and method that allows for a reasonable suspicion of sexual or physical abuse to be easily reported within a 24 hour period of awareness.
To report known or suspected child abuse - All steps below must be completed:
Note: Any allegation of sexual misconduct, regardless of the age of the parties involved, must be reported to the Center for SafeSport; you should submit a report with Players Health to ensure all necessary steps are taken.
Mass Youth Soccer and our member organizations are also required to have a process and method for individuals to report prohibited conduct. This is defined in the Mass Youth Soccer’s Safe Sport Athlete & Participant Safety Policy. All are encouraged to report suspected violations of prohibited conduct to Players Health. Players Health will ensure all appropriate reporting steps are completed.
To report prohibited conduct (discrimination, harassment, sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, emotional misconduct, physical misconduct, bullying and hazing) as outlined in Appendix A of the Mass Youth Soccer’s Safe Sport Athlete & Participant Safety Policy - Complete both steps below
IMPORTANT: Making a report online to Players Health will alert the State Risk Manager and assist Mass Youth Soccer in taking any appropriate action (temporary measures). Mass Youth Soccer does not tolerate retaliation of any kind. Any Adult Participant who makes a good faith report will not be subject to retaliation, including harassment, as a result of making a report. The SafeSport Act also includes qualified immunity for good faith reports. The obligation to report is not always satisfied by making an initial report and an Adult Participant is required to report supplemental information of which they become aware that may be relevant in a pending investigation.