The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
FEDERAL WAY, Wash.— (press release) — In a move that will significantly increase the safety and security of the greater than 148,000 players, coaches, administrators and volunteers in Washington Youth Soccer, members of the Washington Youth Soccer Council have approved an increase in the annual player fee from $12.07 to $14.00 effective fall 2012-2013 to support a partnership between the State Association and backgroundchecks.com to greatly enhance the ability of local Clubs and Associations to protect their young players.
The increase in the player fee will allow Washington Youth Soccer to contract with BackgroundChecks.com, one of the nation’s leading risk management services and an official partner of US Youth Soccer, to conduct national background checks on all adult coaches, volunteers and others who interact with our children through Washington Youth Soccer programming.
The change was approved at the 2013 Annual Player Fee Meeting, held January 26 in Seattle, at which Association Presidents and District Commissioners from across the state were present, as well as the members of Washington Youth Soccer ‘s Board of Directors.
“There is no more fundamental task for a youth organization than to protect the children it seeks to serve,” says Doug Andreassen, President of Washington Youth Soccer’s Board of Directors. “Throughout the years, Washington Youth Soccer has developed strong Risk Management policies and procedures to safeguard our players, coaches, referees and volunteers from dangers physical, financial and otherwise. We have led the way on concussion legislation, and have implemented numerous Risk Management policies that have become models for the entire nation.
“The landmark decision made by the Council in January will allow us to maintain our forward-thinking momentum in the area of Risk Management, and pursue new programs and new technologies that will further ensure the health and safety of our members — which is, unquestionably, our single most important task.”
Under the current system, Washington Youth Soccer conducts the background checks through the Washington State Patrol, which is limited to actions committed under Washington State Patrol jurisdiction. This process will continue to be centralized under the management of Washington Youth Soccer at backgroundchecks.com, and each Club and Association throughout the state will have access to a consistent, national system of background checks, significantly increasing the safety of each of our state’s players.
Further details about the background checks process will follow in the coming weeks, with the full process expected to begin this summer, in advance of the 2013-14 season.
“Each of us share a passion for the game of soccer, and a common goal of fostering a safe and stable environment in which our children can learn the game of soccer, and grow into confident and well-rounded adults — hopefully with a lifetime love for the beautiful game,” Andreassen said. “With this action, we have taken a significant step forward in that mission, and I commend the Council on their forward-thinking action.”
About Washington Youth Soccer
Washington Youth Soccer is the largest youth soccer organization in Washington. Washington Youth Soccer is the state’s affiliate for US Youth Soccer, which is the largest sports organization in the United States and the most populous member of the United States Soccer Federation, the governing body for soccer in the United States. The Washington Youth Soccer is the sixth largest membership in the nation; our organization represents over 115,000 players (ages 4-19) and their families, 15,000 coaches on 12,000 teams and 6,500 referees in the state of Washington. Washington Youth Soccer’s mission is to foster the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of the State of Washington’s youth through the sport of soccer at all levels of age and competition.