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Athlete & Participant Safety Program

WYSA Athlete and Participant Safety Program
Melissa Zielinski
414.328.9972 ext. 105

Following the establishment of Public Law 115-126 Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 (the “SafeSport Act”), as well as U.S. Soccer Federation Policy 212-3, WYSA has implemented the Athlete and Participant Safety Program.

Legislature and Policy
Public Law 115-126
USSF Policy 212-3
WYSA Athlete and Participant Safety Program

Training Resources
Adult SafeSport Training
Youth SafeSport Training
SafeSport Registration Guide

The U.S. Center for SafeSport
Safe Soccer
Wisconsin Department of Children and Families
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

WYSA Athlete and Participant Safety Program
The program includes six key components:

1. Background Screening Policy
2. Mandatory Reporting Policy
3. Training and Education Policy
4. Prohibited Conduct Policy
5. Policy to Limit One-on-One Interactions
6. Policy on Monitoring and Enforcement

Many of these policies are new, and contain components not previously legislated by WYSA. Please pay close attention to each section of the program. The policies and procedures that have been adopted are intended to help participants detect and report abuse, respond to it, and prevent future occurrences.

Beginning August 1, 2019 every Covered Personnel* must complete a Risk Management Disclosure (authorizing a background check), every two years through WYSA’s online risk management system. In addition to the background screening, all Covered Personnel must complete the Core SafeSport Training in order to meet the “SafeSport Trained” requirement. Both an approved background check and completion of the Core SafeSport training is mandatory to obtain a WYSA issued Pass Card. (Additionally, team approval in the State Registration system is contingent upon coaches’ compliance with the Background Screening, and Training & Education Policies.) A copy of the SafeSport certification will be a required upload during the risk management application process. WYSA will verify current certification for new or renewing RM applicants. Clubs are responsible for ensuring that individuals who received a state issued pass card prior to the effective date of this policy have successfully completed the Core SafeSport training.

*Covered Personnel are required to follow all policies included in WYSA’s Athlete and Participant Safety Program. Covered Personnel include adult individuals (aged 18 and over) who are authorized directly by WYSA or indirectly by a member organization that is directly affiliated with WYSA to have:

1. Routine and/or regular contact with an amateur athlete who is a minor;
2. Authority over an amateur athlete who is a minor; 
3. Authority over those adults who have routine and/or regular contact with an amateur athlete who is a minor. 

Examples of Covered Personnel may include but are not limited to WYSA board members; WYSA committee members; WYSA employees and independent contractors; Club and District Board Members, Representatives, Administrators and/or Volunteers; Coaches, Assistant Coaches, Team Managers, Other Team Officials, Team Trainers; Referees (*While Referees, Referee Coaches, Referee Mentors, Referee Assignors, and other Referee Program-Affiliated Personnel are expected to adhere to these policies due to referee involvement in WYSA sanctioned activities and competitions, it is understood that these individuals are also subject to any policies set forth by the Wisconsin Program for Referee Development and/or U.S. Soccer Policy.)

Participant Training for Minors
In addition to covered personnel, WYSA is also obligated to offer training to minor participants. The U.S. Center for SafeSport has released five training modules focused on Youth Athlete Training on The modules are age-based: Preschool, Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Middle School and High School, and are anywhere from 10-20 minutes in length. A parent/guardian must first create an account in order to give consent for their child to access the training as well as select the appropriate module for their child’s age. It is not necessary for us (WYSA or Clubs) to track participation of minor athletes in the training, however we do need to document the offering.

Mandatory Reporting
Per the SafeSport Act, the definition of mandatory reporter now includes any “adult who is authorized, by a national governing body, a member of a national governing body, or an amateur sports organization that participates in interstate or international amateur athletic competition, to interact with a minor or amateur athlete at an amateur sports organization facility or at any event sanctioned by a national governing body, a member of a national governing body, or such an amateur sports organization.”

In accordance with federal legislation, it is WYSA’s Mandatory Reporting Policy that all Covered Personnel shall be considered mandatory reporters for cases of suspected child abuse. Individuals who may not be considered “Covered Personnel” under WYSA’s Athlete and Participant Safety Program may nonetheless have an obligation to report suspected child abuse under applicable federal or state law. Therefore, WYSA urges all individuals to act to report suspected child abuse.

In the event the reporting obligation is triggered, a report must be made, within 24 hours, to appropriate law enforcement authorities, as governed by applicable federal and state law. Should the mandatory reporter require assistance making a report to the appropriate law enforcement authority, he or she should consult with the WYSA State Office.

A report to law enforcement may be made anonymously. There is no fee or cost associated with making a report.

In addition to the obligation to report cases of suspected child abuse to law enforcement pursuant to the SafeSport Act, Covered Personnel must also make a report to the WYSA State Office.

Without limiting the foregoing, it is also WYSA’s Mandatory Reporting Policy that Covered Personnel must report any suspected violation of the WYSA Athlete and Participant Safety Program to the WYSA Executive Director. Furthermore, WYSA prohibits retaliation against individuals making good faith reports of any suspected violation of the WYSA Athlete and Participant Safety Program. The SafeSport Act also includes qualified immunity for good faith reports.

Importantly, civil or criminal statutes of limitations do not affect or negate the obligation of a Covered Personnel to report possible sexual misconduct. Misconduct should be reported, regardless of when it occurred.

Please read WYSA Athlete and Participant Safety Program for full Mandatory Reporting Policy

Reporting Resources:
Report a Concern through SafeSport
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
The State of Wisconsin Department of Children and Families