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Safesport Act: It's the Law

enacted in 2018

The Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act was signed into law in 2018, designed to protect amateur athletes from sexual abuse.  An amateur athlete is any child or minor involved in sports under the age of 18.

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. 

How does this apply to my club?

There are additional and more specific requirements for several categories of youth sports providers listed as "Applicable Entity" within the law.  Those listed under this category include:
Safesport Act: Training Requirements
  • Prevention Training – Under U.S. Soccer's SafeSoccer Framework, all Amateur Sports Associations (Iowa Soccer) sanctioned by a NGB (U.S. Soccer) must provide consistent training to adult-age members who are in contact with amateur athletes who are minors. 
    • Per U.S. Soccer, starting September 1, 2019,  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.
Safesport Act: Reporting Requirements, Prohibiting Retaliation
  • 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.
  • All associated policies must make clear it is prohibited to retaliate against those who report.
Iowa Soccer's Policy