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New Federal Legislation Affecting Church and Community Youth Sport Programs

President Trump recently signed new legislation which will affect privately run youth sport programs directly and indirectly, including church and community youth sports programs. Given the broad scope of the bill, this memo will address specifically how it will affect churches, nonprofits, and private community sports programs. Should you desire to read more on the background and analysis of the new bill in full, see the linked article by our ministry partner Greg Love of MinistrySafe, entitled “Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in Youth Sport – New Federal Legislation Takes Extraordinary Step”.

How will this law affect my church, nonprofit, or private sports program?

For churches, nonprofits, and private community sports programs, the “Safe Sport Act”[1] will create what is called a “standard of care” which will essentially do three things: 1) increase reporting requirements, 2) mandate prevention training, and 3) require prevention policies. Please be advised that if you do not have policies and training, they are now required and if you do have policies and training in place, they may not be up to the standards created by this new preventative legislation. A legal review of your current reporting requirements, training procedures, and policies to ensure compliance is essential to the protection of your program. If you have no policies in place, this presents an exceedingly great risk, most importantly to the children entrusted to your care as participants in the program, but also to the stability, legal compliance, and reputation of your church, nonprofit, and/or private sports program. 

For an assessment of your risk prevention protocol and legal compliance for sports youth programs and other church and nonprofit activities, please reach out to our attorneys at Simms Showers today. 

Disclaimer: This memorandum is provided for general information purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice particular to your situation. No recipients of this memo should act or refrain from acting solely on the basis of this memorandum without seeking professional legal counsel. Simms Showers LLP expressly disclaims all liability relating to actions taken or not taken based solely on the content of this memorandum. Please contact Robert Showers at hrs@simmsshowerslaw.com or Justin Coleman at jrc@simmsshowerslaw.com for legal advice that will meet your specific needs.

[1] Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017.

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