certification for youth sports administrators

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is the Academy for Youth Sports Administrators?

A: The Academy for Youth Sports Administrators is a comprehensive certification program offering cutting-edge information on critical topics for professional youth sports administrators. The Academy’s primary goal is to provide professionals with a foundation and tools needed to positively impact the youth sports experience for all children in their communities. It is designed as an interpersonal, educational and networking opportunity that no youth sports administrator should miss. The Academy is offered online or onsite and is the only place where the Certified Youth Sports Administrator (CYSA) credential can be earned! Attendees gain a foundation of knowledge as well as new perspectives on developing workable solutions to challenges and issues faced while on the job.


Q: What does it mean to be a Certified Youth Sports Administrator (CYSA)?

A: The CYSA designation is an exclusive credential that is held by those who have successfully completed the Academy training either onsite or online. CYSAs are an elite group of professionals that continuously demonstrate their professional commitment to the field of youth sports. In addition, they have access to the CYSA Area to network with one another and to access materials, resources and other important tools. CYSAs are regarded by a higher standard because they undergo the necessary training and continuing education to fulfill the duties of their position. Training for these professionals is the key to raising the level of professionalism in youth sports and setting the standard for successful youth sports in each community.


Q: Should every community have a Certified Youth Sports Administrator?

A: YES! In communities across the country, youth sports have fallen victim to a lack of leadership. An estimated 80 percent of all youth sports programs are operated by parent-interest groups, with either compromised policies and in some cases no requirements at all. Each community must be equipped with a Certified Youth Sports Administrator (CYSA) to oversee the entire youth sports operation. Along with overseeing their own programs, the CYSA's role is to work closely with each group that applies to use the community’s facilities to ensure that the rules and policies are clearly understood, and that deviating from them will not be tolerated in any way. The responsibilities of this position should also include providing information and resources to enhance the sports experience for not just children, but adults, in whatever their respective roles may be. Every group that applies to use the community’s facilities should be required to go through a brief educational program that addresses the importance of youth sports in a child’s development, and what the behavior expectations are for the adults, regardless if they’re a coach, official, or simply a spectator. Many communities and U.S. military installations worldwide have discovered the benefits of appointing a CYSA to oversee the local youth sports offerings. More than 3,000 professionals have become Certified Youth Sports Administrators (CYSAs) to date.


Q: How can my community’s youth sports administrator become a CYSA?

A: To become a CYSA, administrators must attend the Academy for Youth Sports Administrators. The Academy is the most comprehensive, cutting edge education available for youth sports administrators. It provides administrators with the tools needed to build their body of knowledge to positively impact the youth sports experience for all children. The Academy is a thorough certification program that is available onsite or online. The topics covered include youth sports philosophy, professional development, mission statements, policies & procedures, volunteer management, child abuse and bullying prevention, parent management, conflict resolution, insurance & risk management, inclusion of children with disabilities and evaluation & marketing of programming. The training and education the Academy provides is vital to ensure a positive, safe, healthy and fun youth sports experience in communities across the country.


Q: How does the Online Academy work?

A: The Online Academy makes high quality youth sports administration training available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Online Academy is user-friendly and is available to anyone using any internet browser. The CYSA credential can be obtained at your own pace from the comfort of your office or home. Upon registration, you will receive a username and password and you will then have two months to complete the exam.


Q: What is the Onsite Academy?

A: The Onsite Academy offers an in-person educational opportunity for CYSA candidates. Comprehensive sessions including group discussions, exercises and role playing are presented by a professional faculty from around the country. Short breaks are taken periodically throughout the Onsite Academy to give participants plenty of networking opportunities. The format and duration of the Onsite Academy varies depending upon location. For example Special One-Day Academies are offered in conjunction with some state park and recreation conferences and each year a 2.5 day Academy is offered simultaneously with the NAYS Youth Sports Congress at the Athletic Business Conference & Expo. At the conclusion of any Onsite Academy, participants are required to complete the Academy and certification process within the Online Academy. Upon successful completion of the Onsite training and the online exam, the Certified Youth Sports Administrator (CYSA) credential is awarded.


Q: Where are future Onsite Academies going to be located?

A: Dates and times of the Onsite Academies:

December 12, 2017 - Parker, Colorado (One-Day Academy)

January 11, 2018 - Rock Hill: Manchester Meadows Park, South Carolina (One-Day Academy)

March 1, 2018 - Osage Beach, Missouri (One-Day Academy)

March 12, 2018 - Provo, Utah (One-Day Academy)

March 13, 2018 - Long Beach, California (One-Day Academy)

August 29, 2018 - Homewood, Alabama (One-Day Academy)

November 7-10, 2018 - New Orleans, Louisiana (NAYS Youth Sports Congress)


Q: How do I extend my CYSA?

A: The CYSA credential is valid for two-year increments. Once you have earned, submitted and documented 10 hours of CEUs, your CYSA credential will be extended for another two-year cycle.


Q: How do I maintain my CYSA credential?

A: Every two years, CYSAs are required to earn at least 10 hours of continuing education/professional development related to the field. These continuing educational units (CEUs) are tracked within the CYSA CEU Processing Center that is located in the CYSA Area. CYSAs can earn continuing education in a variety of ways, including:

  • OPTION #1 – CYSAs register and participate in the NAYS Youth Sports Congress that is held annually in conjunction with the Athletic Business Conference & Expo. CYSAs must register through NAYS and document attendance at a minimum of 10 hours of sessions during the event. The NAYS Congress registration fee includes any and all CEU fees. Attendance at the Youth Sports Congress allows CYSAs to not incur additional CEU processing fees.

  • OPTION #2 – CYSAs participate in NAYS Online CEU Training opportunities, including Concussion Prevention, Bullying Prevention, Protecting Athletes from Abuse, NYSCA and NYSAA. CYSAs must login to the CYSA Area for details and to access these online trainings.

  • OPTION #3 - CYSAs attend educational sessions at national, state or local levels that are related to the field of youth sports. Upon completion of these educational sessions, CYSAs must login to the CYSA Area to submit documentation and the associated CEU processing fee. The CEU processing fee is $10 for each documented hour of continuing education/professional development related to the field.

Q: What is the NAYS Youth Sports Congress?

A: The Youth Sports Congress is a four-day comprehensive educational training discussing the hottest topics in the field of youth sports in conjunction with the Athletic Business Conference & Expo. It is the #1 way in which CYSAs earn the 10 hours of continuing education (CEUs) required to maintain their credential. The Congress is the preferred venue for all professionals involved in youth sports. Delegates have the opportunity to gain knowledge, share experiences and network with other CYSAs. Speakers address their experiences, challenges and research affecting youth sports. Attendees also have access to all of the Athletic Business Conference events, including the keynote sessions, welcome reception and, of course, the Expo.


Have a question about the CYSA designation or the Academy for Youth Sports Administrators? Please email academy@nays.org at any time.