Today’s youth sports climate overflows with programming choices, making it challenging for organizations to stand out among the crowd, and difficult for parents to gauge which ones can deliver high-quality experiences for young athletes.
Like the Good Housekeeping Seal given to household products that meet high standards, the Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider designation recognizes those organizations that have met an equally high standard when it comes to administering youth sports programming. Any organization can apply to be evaluated for the designation, and no cost is involved.
More than 30 million children participate in organized youth sports programs each year in the U.S. and there is little consistency from one youth sports organization to the next.
Some youth sports programs are led entirely by volunteer parents while others are led by professionals with extensive youth sports experience. From the training and screening of volunteers to what policies and procedures are in place, there is no set template for how youth sports programs are operated and managed.
How can parents have confidence that their child’s program provider has taken the appropriate steps to ensure a quality environment?
Organized youth sports programs are one of the greatest resources available for instilling valuable life skills in children, the leaders of tomorrow. Quality should not be left to chance. These points are the rationale for the National Standards for Youth Sports, a framework by which youth sports programs should be designed and executed.
The Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider designation has been developed around the National Standards for Youth Sports as a way to recognize and promote youth sports organizations that make quality a priority. If an organization meets the benchmark requirements of the designation, parents can be assured that specific safety and quality measures have been implemented.
CYSAs, who are a group of certified youth sports leaders from around the country, and the National Alliance for Youth Sports believe that every youth sports program should utilize the National Standards for Youth Sports to ensure quality, safety, consistency and predictability from program to program. CYSAs, short for Certified Youth Sports Administrators, are leaders of youth sports in many communities and serve as a conduit to their local youth sports community. This distinguished group wants every parent to have confidence that their child’s youth sports program meets a benchmark for quality.
1. Review all requirements.
Any youth sports organization is eligible to earn the designation as long and it meets the requirements. First, review the checklist of requirements and mark your responses.
2. Submit initial application.
A representative from the organization will fill out the application online.
3. Submit supporting materials.
If the organization answers “yes” for each requirement in the application, the next step is to provide supporting documents to verify each requirement. Keep this in mind and prepare these in advance. Supporting materials may include organizational policies, by-laws, background check details and training protocol.
The information submitted is reviewed to verify compliance with all requirements.
Organizations that meet the benchmark are designated as a Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider. Organizations that do not yet meet the requirements of the designation are provided guidance and recommendations to implement specific safety and quality measures.
6. Maintain designation.
The designation is valid through the following calendar year. Organizations are required to reapply to show continued commitment to quality.
Your children deserve to learn and improve upon their sports skills in an environment that puts their needs first. Many organizations do but there is no consistency from program to program. Too many organizations cut corners, make excuses and operate with unnecessary risk. It can be hard to predict if a sports provider is a quality choice for your family. Ask the tough questions – you deserve to have confidence when you choose a program since all programs are not alike.
You know your program stands out among the rest. Tell your community by applying for the Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider designation. Earning the designation means that you have taken the steps to ensure a safe, quality playing environment for children. Proudly displaying the designation seal will help build trust in your organization. It shows parents that you truly care.
Note: As you complete the initial application, keep in mind in order to earn the designation you will be required to submit supporting documents to verify each requirement.
When are applications accepted?
Applications can be submitted at any time.
What type of organizations are eligible for the designation?
Any agency or organization offering sports programs with organized teams for children (age 17 and under) is eligible to apply for the Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider designation. Those offering only camps, athlete training sessions or clinics are not eligible to apply.
Who should submit the application?
An administrator or official representative from the applying organization should submit the application. Parents, coaches and others should encourage their organization's leaders to apply.
Does an organization need to be affiliated with the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) to apply?
No. Though the program is administratively managed by the National Alliance for Youth Sports, involvement with NAYS programs does not influence an organization’s ability to earn the designation.
What is the cost?
$0. At this time, there are no fees associated with the Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider designation.
NAYS is seeking a program sponsor. Please contact email@example.com with sponsorship interest.
What happens after the application form is submitted?
The application form is reviewed. If all requirements are met, applicants will be asked to submit supporting verification documents. Then all information gathered will be reviewed and verified. If approved, official notification will be sent within three to four weeks.
What happens when an organization is approved for the Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider designation?
The organization will receive:
· An approval letter by mail and email
· A certificate by mail and email
· A high-quality seal for use in digital and print formats
· A marketing guide with tips for promoting the designation
· A listing in the database of approved providers
Organizations are encouraged to promote the designation as a way to highlight their efforts to create a quality sports experience for the children and families they serve.
What happens when an organization does not meet all requirements?
If an organization does not yet meet the requirements to earn the Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider designation it will receive guidance with constructive recommendations to help them meet the requirements. Organizations that are denied may resubmit at any time once requirements have been implemented.
How long is the designation valid?
The designation can be earned at any time and is valid through the following calendar year. For example, if a program provider earns the designation at any point in 2018, the designation is valid until December 31, 2019. Organizations must reapply before the expiration date. The certificate will state the exact expiration date and the seal will include the year.
Who are CYSAs?/What is the role of CYSAs?
Certified Youth Sports Administrators (CYSAs) are professionals who work in youth sports organizations throughout the US and on military installations worldwide. These certified professionals spearheaded the designation and believe that every recreational youth sports organization should strive to become a Better Sports for Kids Quality Sports Provider.
What are the National Standards for Youth Sports and how do they connect to the designation?
The National Standards for Youth Sports serve as the blueprint for how recreational youth sports providers can meet the needs of all their participants. The National Standards for Youth Sports place in motion guidance for league and program administrators to implement to ensure the best possible youth sports experience for all.
By applying for the designation, you acknowledge and agree to the following:
• You are an official representative from the applying organization.
• The information provided is truthful and provided in good faith.
• Any false or misleading information received will immediately disqualify applicant.
• NAYS may use your organizational information in the listing of Quality Program Providers.
• NAYS may revoke use of the designation at any time.
• Use of the designation and logo(s) can only be used when designation is up-to-date.
• Earning the designation is not a guarantee of the quality and safety of a youth sports program. NAYS is not liable for injuries, accidents or misconduct occurring within an organization that has earned the designation.
Please contact us with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Alliance for Youth Sports, Inc
2050 Vista Parkway
West Palm Beach, Florida 33411
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