InjureFree Blog

To Reduce Risk, Prioritize Policies!

In youth sports, having rules and policies in place sets expectations and provides clear instructions and guidance for managing any problems should they arise. Our December 6th blog post covered the fundamentals of a sports safety plan and its crucial elements, including implementing standardized policies. Below are some tips for creating and implementing policies within your organization!

  1. Follow your State’s Rules: Based on age range, reference gameplay rules for state youth or high school sports.
  2. Create a Volunteer Board for Oversight: Having a board to help create, oversee and enforce rules and policies will ensure you are fostering a collaborative community within your organization in which accountability does not just fall on one person or coach. This can look like a group of volunteers, parents and coaches.
  3. Outline Your Organization’s Goals & Distribute Rules: Outlining your organization and team’s goals and policies and communicating them to parents, coaches and athletes ensures transparency and accountability from all parties involved.
  4. Four Policies to Implement:
    1. Code of Conduct: Organizations should outline expectations and requirements for all coaches, athletes, and parents. All should acknowledge and sign this at the beginning of the season and will work to hold everyone accountable.
    2. Insurance: Organizations can prioritize insurance policies, including liability and sports accident policies, to protect themselves should an incident occur. 
    3. Facility and Equipment Guidelines: Best practice is to create a policy to address how all team facilities and equipment are used. Think of it as a checklist of tasks that must be completed, including taking inventory, inspecting and maintaining equipment.
    4. Risk Assessment of Facilities: All facilities the team uses for training, practice, and games should be assessed to identify potential hazards. Outline a process identifying how staff report unsafe conditions and how they will be repaired. 

Click here for more tips for creating youth sports rules and policies. 



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