The Rutgers SAFETY Clinic (Sports Awareness for Educating Today's Youth ™) is a three-hour program that meets the "Minimum Standards for Volunteer Coaches Safety Orientation and Training Skills Programs" (N.J.A.C. 5:52) and provides partial civil immunity protection to volunteer coaches under the "Little League Law" (2A:62A-6 et. seq.)
On May 12, 1986, New Jersey became the first state in the nation to pass legislation which protects volunteer athletic coaches, managers, and officials from lawsuits. Commonly referred to as the "Little League Law" (2A:62A-6 et. seq.), this legislation extends partial civil immunity to volunteers who have attended a "safety orientation and training skills program."
Since 1986, the Youth Sports Research Council, in cooperation with the New Jersey Recreation and Park Association (NJRPA) has trained more than 250,000 volunteer coaches in New Jersey.
In accordance with the stipulations in the Little League Law, the Rutgers SAFETY Clinic:
- helps coaches minimize the risk of injury to young athletes
- provides information about fundamental coaching concepts which enhances volunteer coaches' effectiveness
- protects volunteer coaches from civil lawsuits
The curriculum for the Rutgers SAFETY Clinic is based upon the "Minimum Standards for Volunteer Coaches' Safety Orientation and Training Skills Programs" (N.J.A.C. 5:52).
The topics include:
- Legal Aspects of Coaching
- Psychological Aspects of Coaching
- General Coaching Concepts
- Training and Conditioning Athletes
- Medical/First Aid Aspects of Coaching
Individuals attending the Rutgers SAFETY Clinic receive:
- The Coaches' Reference Manual (4th edition)
- The Rutgers S.A.F.E.T.Y. Clinic Certification Card
- Permanent registration with YSRC (.3 CEU)
Registration Fee: $30.00/coach
Youth sports agencies can choose to have the YSRC provide a Clinician to conduct the Clinic ($200 administrative fee), or they can train their own instructors. Any volunteer can learn to teach the Rutgers SAFETY Clinic by attending a 5-hour Clinician's workshop (.5 CEU). Clinicians are provided with all the instruction and tools necessary for conducting the Clinic "on site" at their convenience.
Following completion of the SAFETY Clinic, the host agency is sent a roster of the volunteer coaches attending the clinic. Thereafter, the YSRC will certify any coach's attendance upon request.
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Youth Sport Parents
The Rutgers S.P.O.R.T. Program (Supportive Parents on the Right Track) helps youth sports parents maximize the benefits of their children's participation in organized athletics and addresses the issues which often lead to conflict among committed adults: The Role of Winning in Youth Sports, Effective Communication, Setting a Good Example, and Supportive vs. Pushy Parenting.
On August 25, 2002, the New Jersey state legislature enacted a law, which empowers municipalities and youth sports organizations to establish guidelines for expected behavior at sporting events, and to require players, coaches, and parents to sign a "code of conduct" as a condition of participation. The law also permits league officials to ban any person who "engages in verbal or physical threats or abuse, or initiates a fight or scuffle" at a youth sports practice or competition.
While the threat of punitive measures "sends a strong message" to some individuals who might act inappropriately, the vast majority of spectators are conscientious and supportive. Many parents, however, are unfamiliar with the challenges and opportunities that can arise in youth sports. The important question, therefore, is "how can those who administer youth sport programs help parents become more informed about the nature and purpose of organized youth sports?"
The Rutgers S.P.O.R.T. Program addresses the following issues:
- The Role of Winning in Youth Sports
- Effective Communication
- Setting a Good Example
- Supportive vs. Pushy Parenting
Certified instructors of the Youth Sports Research Council facilitate the Rutgers S.P.O.R.T. Program. Individuals who attend the program also receive:
- Sports and Your Child - 64 page guidebook
Registration Fee: $10.00/person
Municipalities/youth sports organizations can choose to have the YSRC provide an instructor to conduct the program, ($125 administrative fee) or they can elect to have their own staff/volunteers trained to teach the program by attending a S.P.O.R.T. Clinician's Workshop. Instructors are provided with all the tools necessary for conducting the program "on site", depending upon their local communities needs/interests.
For more information or to conduct the S.P.O.R.T. Program in your community, please call (848) 932-7178.