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Zero Tolerance Policy


The following guidelines and procedures are established for our staff, volunteers and participants.  All members of MSYSA are expected to observe and adhere to these guidelines.  Coaches, players, managers, club team officials, and volunteers that are registered through MSYSA are expected to adhere to this policy.  In addition, spectators that are participating through the registration of their child/children with MSYSA are expected to adhere to this policy as well.



Zero Tolerance for Abuse



US Youth Soccer and the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association (MSYSA) have a zero tolerance for abuse in all youth soccer teams, programs or activities. It is the responsibility of every coach and volunteer to participate in the effort to create a safe environment for all soccer participants.




US Youth Soccer ACTIVITY

“US Youth Soccer Activity” includes State Associations and their registered members registered through their State Association. US Youth Soccer activities include but are not limited to, National Championship Series (State, Regional and National), National President Cup Series (State, Regional and National), TOPSoccer Programs, Soccer Across America Programs as well as regional competitions/leagues, National League, Olympic Development Programs and State Association soccer related activities that qualify. Any coach, assistant coach, team trainer, team manager, referee, league president, league delegate, labor employee, or any other individual over the age of 18 seeking affiliation with the State Association or affiliated leagues within the State Association who has direct or indirect contact or influence on a youth player whom seeks risk management certification within the State Association shall qualify as an activity.


Please view the MSYSA Code of Conduct for more information 



Enforcing MSYSA’s Zero Tolerance Policy

The objective of the MSYSA adjudication process is to ensure that every member of MSYSA will receive a fair, impartial, objective, and timely hearing of any complaint or appeal that has standing before the committee.


The Adjudication will:

        -Investigate any allegation of referee abuse or assault,

        -Investigate any allegation of referee misconduct,

        -Review appeals from decisions of MSYSA members and program managers,and 

            -Investigate other cases delegated to it by the MSYSA Board of Directors


The Adjudication Committee relies on USSF Bylaws and Policy and the MSYSA Zero Tolerance Policy Against Abuse as its guiding principles.Coaches, players, managers, club team officials, volunteers, and spectators that are registered through MSYSA are expected to adhere to these guiding principals. Abuse of any kind is not permitted within our organization. MSYSA does not tolerate physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse or misconduct from our players, coaches, officials, volunteers, parents or spectators.

All coaches, officials, and volunteers are appointed through the registration process as protection advocates of this policy. Every member is responsible for reporting any cases of questionable conduct or alleged mistreatment toward participants by any coach, official, volunteer, player, parent, sibling or spectator.

For more Information  on MSYSA’s adjudication, including a list of people  who have been suspended, please go to the Adjudication Section of the web site. 

Incidents of abuse for investigation can be reported to the Adjucation Committee Chair at



Mandatory Background Checks on All Youth Soccer Officials


Unfortunately, times have changed, lawsuits are on the rise and crime is prevalent. The safety of our players, coaches and volunteers has and will never take a backseat to vulnerability. While the affiliate club is the first level in protecting the safety of the youth players, the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association is committed to working with affiliates to help ensure the success of their programs and to ensure that any negative findings are properly disseminated to protect youth players throughout the state and region. 

As part of its overall risk management program, MSYSA intends to exclude from participation in all sanctioned activities persons convicted of felonies, crimes of violence or crime against persons. MSYSA and its affiliate clubs have the right to perform criminal background checks of all coaches, administrators, and registered volunteers. MSYSA will not knowingly allow any person convicted of a felony, a crime of violence or crimes against persons to be in a position that would allow direct contact with children.


As of January 1, 2010, MSYSA requires all affiliated clubs and organizations to provide background checks for all rostered adult team officials. 


This requirement will become one of the benchmarks in establishing affiliates standing and could have a negative effect on their ability to participate in US Youth Soccer and state activities and events.


MSYSA has an agreement with the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) for background screening and has established a statewide background-screening program for its clubs. NCSI is a full-service screening organization that works in accordance with the Recommended Guidelines© established by the National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS). In addition to conducting the background search, NCSI is responsible for interpreting the results, issuing a “red light/green light determination” and handling all aspects of communication with applicants and the organizations to ensure the highest level of accuracy and confidentiality in the process. NCSI is also responsible for maintaining the privacy of applicant information obtained in the background search process.


MSYSA has the ability to confidentially view Red Light / Green Light results for applicants in all participating club accounts.  All accounts within the program will operate with the same set of:

·         Background Search Components

·         Criteria

·         Program Length (Annual program with a 6 month re-check)


Through participation in the MSYSA statewide program, individual clubs can take advantage of discounted pricing (only $20 for each person screened) and operate on a consistent platform with the other participating clubs throughout the state. Thus, all coaches and administrators are being screened in the same manner and using the same criteria.


All MSYSA affiliate clubs and organizations not using NCSI as their background screening provider are required to provide MSYSA the name of their selected background screening company, background screening contract start and end dates and the name of their club risk management point of contact. In addition, affiliates not using NCSI must provide MSYSA immediate notice of any negative background determinations that may affect an individual’s right to participate