Dear MSYSA League Presidents & Delegates:
This communication is to inform you about recently enacted federal legislation. President Trump recently signed the
Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017
) into law.
In brief, the legislation requires all National Governing Bodies (e.g. US Soccer) and their members to immediately report suspected child abuse, including sexual abuse, within 24 hours.
The legislation also amends the Amateur Sports Act of 1978 to authorize National Governing Bodies to develop training, practices, policies and procedures to prevent the abuse of minors or amateur athletes and requires National Governing Bodies to develop and enforce policies, mechanisms and procedures to prevent, report and respond to the abuse of minor and amateur athletes. In addition, the legislation calls for regular and random audits to ensure compliance. The U.S. Center for SafeSport has released a fact sheet about the legislation which can be found
In addition to the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s fact sheet, the information below delineates additional detail on the specific mandatory reporting of child abuse requirements as mentioned above.
The bill amends the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990
to extend the duty to report suspected child abuse, including sexual abuse, within 24 hours to all adults who are authorized to interact with minor or amateur athletes
. These individuals are called ‘covered individuals’ in the new legislation.
- Child abuse is defined as physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, or negligent treatment of a child.
- Per current federal regulations, reports of child abuse should be made to the local law enforcement agency or local child protection services agency that has jurisdiction to investigate reports of child abuse or to protect child abuse victims or to the FBI. These regulations have not yet been updated to reflect the recent change to the law. Until such time as the regulations are updated, please make reports to (1) local law enforcement where any alleged incident took place, to the extent it can be determined, and the incident occurred in the United States, (2) local law enforcement where the victim resides if different than (1), and (3) the FBI.
- An individual who is required, but fails, to report suspected child sexual abuse is subject to criminal penalties including fines and up to one (1) year in jail.
- These obligations are in addition to any state law requirements that an individual may have in a particular jurisdiction.
In closing, US Soccer has been working closely with various congressional offices, the USOC and the National Governing Bodies of other sports. We anticipate that US Soccer will continue to provide guidance to US Youth Soccer and State Associations, including MSYSA, to assist with compliance with the legislation. In the interim, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the MSYSA State Office.