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Grand Rapids Area Soccer Club (GRASC)

Grand Rapids Area Soccer Club

Overview

Player safety is our top priority and each season we are doing everything possible to protect our youth players. We work to make sure our risk management and background screening requirements are implemented, and we are continually evaluating and revising our process to be at the forefront of player safety. 

Adults must complete and pass the following requirements:

BACKGROUND CHECK

Each year, all registered GRASC adults must pass a background check to work and interact with players. Registered adults include head coaches, assistant coaches, team managers, club administrators, referees, and really, any adult who interacts with a youth player in conjunction with our Association.

These adult participants must meet certain minimum standards, and if an adult does not meet these standards, the person is disqualified and cannot participate in any capacity.

SAFESPORT TRAINING
All registered adults must also complete SafeSport training, which aims to educate adults on emotional, physical, and sexual misconduct in sport. This training complies with the Federal law, and also teaches adults their duties of mandatory reporting. All adults must complete a 90-minute training at the beginning of their first year, and then are required to complete a 30-minute refresher course annually. All registered MYSA members receive the training free of charge through a link that is provided after completion of a background check

Other adults including parents are welcome and encouraged to also complete the free trainings on the SafeSport website: https://uscenterforsafesport.org/training-and-education/training-and-education-services/ 

CONCUSSION TRAINING
We require registered adults to complete concussion training every three years. While there are various online concussion trainings available, we endorse CDC’s HEADS UP training. Parents are also encouraged to complete the free trainings on the website as concussion consequences don’t stay on the field.

QUESTIONS?

If you have any questions about any of our Risk Management policies or requirements, please contact Sean, our President at [email protected]

Background Checks

All adults must pass a background check

CLICK HERE to start a background check.
Click here for referee specific background check.
Background check registration is open for 2023.

Minnesota State Law, MYSA, and GRASC Policy requires that all adult participants including member club officials, coaches, team managers, and administrator who are at least 18 years old must have an approved annual background check before they participate in any GRASC activity.

Merely completing a background check is not sufficient to meet the requirement to participate, the background check must be approved before any activity starts. 

Annual Background Checks

Background checks are valid on a calendar year basis (January 1 through December 31).

All adults must complete a background check on or after November 1, 2022 in order to be eligible for participation in the spring 2023 or fall 2023 season. Adults must pass the background check before participating in any activities. 

Background Standards

An applicant will be eligible if the background check reveals:

1. "No Records Found" (i.e. no convictions of a criminal nature)
2. Traffic offenses only (i.e. speeding ticket | except as provided below)
3. Petty Misdemeanors only  (i.e. littering)

An applicant may be eligible if the background check reveals:
1. A Misdemeanor conviction or pending case related to financial crimes
2. A Misdemeanor conviction or pending case of Driving Under the Influence, Driving While Intoxicated or a similar offense
3. A Misdemeanor conviction or pending case of a non-serious nature, which for purposes herein shall specifically exclude crimes involving violence, crimes involving the use of weapons, crimes committed against a minor and crimes of a sexual nature

In these cases, GRASC will investigate the offenses outlined above and render a determination as to the applicant's eligibility. If an applicant is deemed ineligible, the applicant may appeal to GRASC. 

An applicant will be ineligible (unable to participate in any GRASC activities) if the background check reveals:
1. Any conviction or similar disposition (i.e. no contest or plea agreement, including a plea to a lesser offense) of a Gross Misdemeanor or Felony
2. Any pending case involving charges for a Gross Misdemeanor or Felony

Questions?

If you have technical difficulties completing your background check, use the reference guide or call the technical support hotline at 855-703-2578.

SafeSport

SafeSport Training

ALL ADULTS MUST COMPLETE THE SAFESPORT TRAINING
SafeSport training is mandatory for every adult participant within GRASC, including coaches, managers and administrators. The training covers three topics: mandatory reporting, sexual misconduct awareness education, and emotional and physical misconduct.

All registered GRASC members receive the training free of charge through a link that is provided after completion of a background check. Adults should complete this training before beginning any sanctioned activity with their club. 

SafeSport Training Cycle: 
Year 1: SafeSport Trained Core training
Year 2: Refresher 1
Year 3: Refresher 2
Year 4: Refresher 3
Year 5: Restart process with the SafeSport Trained Core training

SafeSport Training for Parents

The U.S. Center for SafeSport also offers training and resources for parents of athletes. Parents are encouraged to use these resources to familiarize themselves with SafeSport’s philosophy and policies.

Parent SafeSport Training

Parents can also check out US Soccer's Safe Soccer Framework here

History

In 2018, Congress passed The Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 (the SafeSport Act). The legislation is aimed at preventing and reporting child abuse in youth sports by expanding the categories of “mandatory reporters” and requiring organizations to provide enhanced training. GRASC requires all of its adult members to complete the training and follow the reporting guidelines of SafeSport.

Click here to view the Safe Sport Authorization Act

SafeSport Reporting

Click here to report a concern

In addition to requiring training, the SafeSport Act also expands the definition of mandatory reporter to include any “adult who is authorized, by a national governing body, a member of the national governing body…to interact with a minor or amateur athlete at an amateur sports organization facility or at any event sanctioned by a national governing body, a member of a national governing body, or such an amateur sports organization.” GRASC urges all adults to understand their reporting obligations outlined below.

Under the SafeSport Act, the reporting obligation is triggered when a mandatory reporter becomes aware of “facts that give reason to suspect” a child has suffered an incident of child abuse. Mandatory reporters should refrain from judging or evaluating the credibility of such allegations, and instead immediately report these incidents to law enforcement and to SafeSport. Failure to promptly (within 24 hours of becoming aware) report suspected child abuse to law enforcement may constitute a violation of federal law, state law and U.S. Soccer’s SafeSport Policy. Click on the “report a concern” if you have suspicions that must be reported.

Concussions

Concussion Training

We require registered adults to complete concussion training every three years. While there are various online concussion trainings available, we endorse CDC’s HEADS UP training.

Parents are also encouraged to complete the free trainings on the website as concussion consequences don’t stay on the field.

Heading Rules

Per rule XX, we have heading restrictions based on age groups.

U11 and younger: prohibit ALL headers including in trainings and games

12U-14U: limit to 30 minutes per week in training. No more than 15-20 headers per player, per week in training. All headers in games are permitted.

15U and older: no restrictions

Additional Resources

HEADS UP
Developed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:
Coaches | Parents | Athletes

Get aHEAD Safely in Soccer
free online training developed by United Soccer Coaches 

Other Related Resources:

Goal Safety

The home team is responsible for scheduling referees through a registered referee assignor, marking fields, placing corner flags, anchoring goals, securing nets, and providing a ball that is acceptable for play.

Permanent or portable goals need to be anchored according to the manufacturer or the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. The use of sandbags alone is not allowed. Goals should be anchored at all times, not just during games and practices. Portable goals need to be secured, or removed and stored if not anchored, during off game/practice times. Inspections should be done at both regular times and spot checks on an irregular basis to make sure the anchoring system has not been tampered with.

“Home built” goals are not recommended. They do not conform to safety standards and may contain design or construction flaws that are not obvious. In addition, they present liability issues both to the party that manufactured them and to the club that uses the goals.

Safety also includes such things as looking for sharp edges, protruding bolts or hooks, tampering, wear and tear, torn nets, etc., on a regular basis. The goals should be looked at with an eye towards player safety.

Weather Policy

Weather Policy

All clubs, team officials, and referees are responsible for understanding and executing our weather policy.

In the days leading up to the games, team leaders should be aware of potential weather issues that may affect not only the game, but also the logistics of teams traveling to their games. We strongly encourage teams to communicate about potential cancellations or reschedules as soon as possible.

At game time, we strongly encourage dialogue between team officials and referees regarding weather issues. Ultimately, the referee is responsible for making decisions regarding weather suspensions, delays, cancellations or etc. 

Storms and Lightning

If a severe storm approaches the playing area the game may be suspended while shelter is sought. In the event the game is suspended, ALL participants MUST clear the field immediately and move into their cars or other permanent shelter.

If there is visible lightning or audible thunder, the game must be suspended and all participants are expected to seek shelter. Games cannot be resumed until 30 minutes passes without the presence of lightning or thunder. 

In the event of National Weather Service warning (i.e. tornado warning) games must be suspended immediately and everyone must seek shelter.

Heat

The following precautions must followed when there is a possibility of dangerous high heat index:

Heat IndexGuidelines
Up to 89°No adjustments necessary
90° - 99°Two-minute water breaks per half with running time. Each half shortened by five minutes.
100° - 104°Two-minute water breaks per half with running time. Each half shortened by ten minutes.
105°+Suspend Play


Cold

The following precautions must followed when there is a possibility of dangerous cold conditions:

Cold IndexGuidelines
46° and higherNo adjustments necessary
45° and lowerAdditional clothing is allowed as long as it's deemed safe by the referee
40° and lowerShorten games five minutes per half.
35° and lowerSuspend games

Helpful Links

SafeSport

Training center aiming to educate adults on emotional, physical,  sexual misconduct, and mandatory reporting.

Visit SafeSport

CDC's HEADS UP
Information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to help you recognize, respond, and minimize the risk of concussions
Visit CDC HEADS UP

Contact Us

Grand Rapids Area Soccer Club (GRASC)

PO Box 115 
Grand Rapids, Minnesota 55744

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 218-259-3129
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