Safe Haven Information and Links
AYSO Safe Haven is designed to address the growing need for child and volunteer protection through volunteer training, certification and continuing education policies.
The Volunteer Protection Act of 1997
Safe Haven Online Training
In order to receive the maximum protection provided under this law, AYSO volunteers must:
1. be properly trained and certified
(Safe Haven plus
2. be properely authorized to do their job,
3. be performing their duties as laid out in their volunteer position descriptions,
4. act within the scope of
Rules & Regulations,
Standard Regional Guidelines/Policies and Protocols and Policies.
AYSO provides a continuing training program for all jobs at all levels.
Child and Volunteer Protection Advocate (CVPA)
The AYSO volunteer position of Child and Volunteer Protection Advocate (CVPA) supports the Regional Commisioner (RC) with the promotion and implementation of the AYSO Safe Haven program, including the 4 main elements of volunteer protection. The CVPA is familiar with
the National Child Protection Act of 1993,
the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997,
"Good Samaritan Laws",
reporting of child abuse and maltreatment,
and Child Online Protection Act (COPA).
AYSO recoginizes five types of abusive behavior: emotional, physical, sexual (Megan's Law), neglect and ethical.
Click here for information on the Background Check Policy.
Click here for information on the Collection of Social Security Numbers on Volunteer Applications.
VERB™, It's what you do is a national, multicultural, social marketing campaign coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The VERB campaign encourages young people ages 9–13 (tweens) years to be physically active every day. The campaign combines paid advertising, marketing strategies, and partnership efforts to reach the distinct audiences of tweens and adults/influencers.
Soccer Accident Insurance (S.A.I.)
Players, Coaches, Referees and other volunteers are only insured when registered with the National Office. SAI is a supplementary insurance only, with a $200 deductible. Claims should be filed within 90 days of the date of injury.
The AYSO Incident Report Form" is to be used in the event of Injury, Incident or Property Damage. The region will keep it on file, with a copy of the completed SAI. If parents do not want to use AYSO's SAI, a note to that effect will be placed with the incident report into a file. These reports need to be held for 7 years, just like the player forms, etc. If a legal issue comes from the injury then National will contact the region for the completed form.
- Proper warm-up (create good habits for younger players) and stretching
- Sufficient physical conditioning (especially over age 11)
- Correct soccer techniques (e.g. tackling and
- Knowledge and proper application of the Laws of the Game and the spirit of the Game: Fun, Fair, Safe
- Sufficient rest and plenty
- Equipment (shin-guards are mandatory for practices and games (inside the socks), soft-cleated soccer shoes are recommended (or sneakers; no baseball or metal cleates)
- Players should not wear anything that can be dangerous to themselves or other players: cast, splint, any kind of jewelry, ornamental hairstuff (tape a medical bracelet).
- Maintained facilities (check the field for debris, holes, rocks etc.; don't allow playing with/on
goals; report problems to the
- Common Sense (set the example, don't be the example)
Everyone (other than players in the game and the referee) should remain at least one yard away from the touchlines (the field boundaries running along the sides of the field), and no one is permitted to stand behind the goal lines. Any chairs, coolers and other items should remain at least several yards from the field. There are several reasons for this, including:
- Player safety.
- Assistant referee safety and function. The assistant referees (formerly known as linespersons) need to have an unobstructed view "down the line" to perform their duties during the game. Also, they need to run along the field while watching play, which could create collisions if spectators are in their way. Assistant referees should not enter the playing field.
- Interfering with play. The position of the ball, not of the players, determines when play stops due to the ball leaving the field. Players may be outside of the field while playing the ball. Spectators too close to the field unfairly impede or discourage players from playing the ball as it nears the boundary. And players throwing the ball in after it has left the field should be given extra room, including room to step back and run up to the field.
- Hindering the referee. Spectators and players not participating in the game who are too close to the field make the referee's job harder by obscuring part of the field, blending with players and restricting the assistant referee's movement and position. The Laws of the Game do not permit anyone other than the active players and the referee to enter the field without the referee's permission.