US Lacrosse believes there are many reasons to play youth sports, including athletes enjoying a wide range of physical, emotional, and social benefits. But abuse, on any level and in any form, can not be part of the equation.
It was for that very reason that US Lacrosse, in 2018, instituted a mandatory national background screening for all adult coach members. To demonstrate our commitment to the importance of this issue, US Lacrosse has absorbed the cost of these background checks since the beginning, yielding no direct cost in the membership fee of coaches.
Through our partnership with the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI), over 36,000 adult coach and volunteer background screenings have been completed over the past three years. NCSI background checks are considered the “Gold Standard” for youth sports organizations and national governing bodies across the country.
Coaches can initiate the process through the ‘My Account’ portal on the US Lacrosse website.
“A key part of our mission is to help provide safe and positive experiences for youth athletes and we are proud to see US Lacrosse leading the way to protect their athletes on and off the field,” said Trish Sylvia, NCSI vice president. “US Lacrosse is a world-class organization setting the example for others in their commitment to safety and we look forward to continuing our partnership.”
The mandatory national background screening is just one element of US Lacrosse’s Abuse Prevention Program. Other components include online abuse prevention training, abuse reporting protocols, educational tools and resources, and a documented youth athlete safety policy.
The harsh reality is that statistics indicate almost 90% of child sexual abuse involves a perpetrator that the child knows and trusts, including coaches and other youth leaders.
“We have a duty to lead on this critically important issue,” said Steve Stenersen, president and CEO at US Lacrosse. “We’re committed to doing what is needed to protect our kids and to make our sport safer. There’s no room for predators in lacrosse.”