Revised National Standards for Youth Sports released

Revised National Standards for Youth Sports released


The National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) is pleased to announce the release of the most recent edition of the National Standards for Youth Sports, which have served as the blueprint for conducting top-quality youth sports programs for 30 years.

The Standards can be downloaded at no cost on the NAYS website.

The Standards were first unveiled in 1987 when NAYS convened recreation leaders and other top experts involved in all different areas of youth sports in Washington, D.C., to take an in-depth look at the state of organized youth sports.

Since that historic gathering, the Standards have served as the premier resource for how thousands of recreation professionals have conducted their youth sports programs to best meet the needs of all their participants.

In recent years, however, the youth sports landscape has undergone significant changes. In response to these new challenges, NAYS turned to its trusted network of Certified Youth Sports Administrators (CYSA) to tap into their expertise and examine how the Standards could be improved.

Tory Miller, from the City of Raleigh (N.C.) Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department; and Rance Gaede, from the City of Tamarac (Fla.); both who serve on the CYSA Leadership Team, led the effort to re-exam the Standards and mold them into a new document that can be used by any organization providing sports programs for children.

“As recreation professionals, we all want what’s best for today’s youth sports participants,” said Miller. “It was a privilege to be involved with so many dedicated and passionate professionals who contributed so much and made these Standards not only something we can be proud of but – most importantly – that can help make a real difference in the quality of youth sports in our communities.”

In late 2016, after a comprehensive review and analysis by members of the CYSA Leadership Team, this new edition was presented at the NAYS Youth Sports Congress in Orlando, Fla., to provide CYSAs from around the country and on U.S. military bases worldwide with an opportunity to provide input and address a variety of topics that currently affect the delivery of youth sports programs. This new edition reflects the consensus of this group to restructure the existing document into four Core Areas, each having specific and implementable standards. The standards within each Core Area now provide a concise framework by which youth sports programs should be designed and executed.

“Certified Youth Sports Administrators play the most important role in determining the quality of youth sports programs worldwide,” said John Engh, executive director of NAYS. “Their input and insight was so valuable in improving these new National Standards which will help ensure that all children have opportunities to participate in safe and rewarding programs.”

In addition to the four Core Areas and the specific Standards within each, the document also features three additional sections that provide information for professional youth sports administrators, volunteers and parents to explain what the Standards specifically mean to each group.

While the Standards focus specifically on recreational youth sports programs, they are applicable in a variety of sports settings to help ensure safe, positive and child-centered experiences.

National Standards for Youth Sports CYSA Volunteers Safety

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