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Coaches Section

National Youth Sports Coaches Association Certification Program

The CIBL requires that all volunteers who want to coach youth sports must complete the National Youth Sports Coaches Association (NYSCA) Certification course. This is done in an effort to properly prepare the coach for the responsibility they are about to undertake, as well as, to protect the child, the coach, and the CIBL. This program costs the coach $20 a year, but the benefits far outweigh the expense.

Program Description

The NYSCA is designed to "sensitize" volunteer coaches to their responsibilities when working with children in sports and hold them accountable to a strict code of conduct, as defined by the NYSCA Coaches' Code of Ethics Pledge. More than one million coaches have been certified worldwide through more than 2,200 NYSCA chapters that exist among parks and recreation departments, Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCAs/YWCAs, church recreation programs, PALs, Optimist Clubs, and military youth activities. The clinics feature information on the psychology of coaching children, maximizing athletic performance, first aid, nutrition, safety, organizing fun and interesting practices, how to teach fundamentals of the sport, plus many other important areas. Coaches who complete the program receive a variety of benefits.


Stage 1: Introduction to Coaching Youth Sports

Benefits include:

  • YOUTH SPORTS JOURNAL (initial copy at clinic, three additional issues seasonally)
  • $1,000,000 Excess Liability Insurance
  • Membership Card
  • Coaches message board (via the Internet at
  • 5% discount on books and videos for coaches from

Stage 2: Continuing Education Program

Benefits include:

  • Continuing Education through YOUTH SPORTS JOURNAL (Four Seasonal Issues)
  • $2,000,000 Excess Liability Insurance
  • $250,000 Excess Accident/Medical Insurance ($50 deductible) for injuries sustained while performing coaching duties
  • Membership Card and member
  • Decal Club USA Partnership Discounts at: Sea World, Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, Water Country USA, Sesame Place, Sleep Inns, Comfort Inns, Quality Inns, Clarion, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inns, Alamo Rent a Car, plus more
  • 5% discount on books and videos for coaches from

Coaches' Code of Conduct

I will place the emotional and physical well-being of my players ahead of a personal desire to win.

Expected Behavior:

  • Using appropriate language in appropriate tones when interacting with players, league officials, game officials, parents, and spectators.
  • Including all players in team activities without regard to race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, body type, national origin, ancestry, disability, ability, or any other legally protected classification.
  • Treating all players, league officials, game officials, parents, and spectators with dignity and respect.
  • Playing all players according to the equal participation rules established by the league and the spirit of those rules.
  • Encouraging youth to participate in other sports and activities to promote all aspects of their development.
  • Allowing reasonable absences from practice.

I will treat each player as an individual, remembering the large range of emotional and physical development for the same age group.

Expected Behavior:

  • Recognizing the differences of each child and treating each player as an individual, while demonstrating concern for their individual needs and well-being.
  • Encouraging all players, regardless of skill level, to be included as a member of the team and to remain involved in sports.
  • Recognizing that some physical tasks, drills, and demands are not appropriate for all youth.
  • Recognizing that youth may vary greatly in physical, social, and emotional maturation and considering these factors when setting up competitions and when interacting with youth.

I will do my best to provide a safe playing situation for my players.

Expected Behavior:

  • Maintaining a high level of awareness of potentially unsafe conditions.
  • Protecting players from sexual molestation, assault, and physical or emotional abuse.
  • Correcting or avoiding unsafe practice or playing conditions.
  • Using appropriate safety equipment necessary to protect all players.
  • Seeing that the players are provided with adequate adult supervision while under the coach's care.

I will promise to review and practice the basic first aid principles needed to treat the injuries of my players.

Expected Behavior:

  • Keeping basic first aid supplies available in all practice and game situations.
  • Recognizing and administering proper first aid to an injured player.
  • Demonstrating concern for an injured player, notifying the youth’s parents, and cooperating with medical authorities.
  • Protecting the players' well-being by removing them from activity when injured and not returning them to activity if they are compromised by injury.

I will do my best to organize practices that are fun and challenging for all my players.

Expected Behavior:

  • Establishing practice plans that are interesting, varied, productive, and aimed at improving all players' skills and individual abilities.
  • Devoting appropriate time to the individual improvement of each player.
  • Conducting practices of reasonable length and intensity appropriate for the age and conditioning of the players.

I will lead by example in demonstrating fair play and sportsmanship to all my players.

Expected Behavior:

  • Adopting the position, teaching, and demonstrating that it is our basic moral code to treat others as we would like to be treated.
  • Abiding by and supporting the rules of the game as well as the spirit of the rules.
  • Providing an environment conducive to fair and equitable competition.
  • Using the influential position of youth coach as an opportunity to promote, teach and expect sportsmanship and fair play.

I will provide a sports environment for my team that is free of drugs, tobacco, and alcohol, and I will refrain from their use at all youth sports events.

Expected Behavior:

  • Being alcohol and drug free at all team activities or in the presence of players.
  • Refraining from the use of any type of tobacco products at all team activities or in the presence of your players.
  • Refraining from providing any type of alcohol, drug, or tobacco products to any of your players.
  • Encouraging parents to refrain from the public use of tobacco products or alcohol at team activities.

I will be knowledgeable in the rules of each sport that I coach, and I will teach these rules to my players.

Expected Behavior:

  • Becoming knowledgeable, understanding, and supportive of all applicable game rules, league rules, regulations, and policies.
  • Teaching and requiring compliance of these rules among players.

I will use those coaching techniques appropriate for each of the skills that I teach.

Expected behavior:

  • Teaching techniques that reduce the risk of injury to both the coach's own players and their opponents.
  • Discouraging illegal contact or intentional dangerous play and administering swift and equitable discipline to players involved in such activity.

I will remember that I am a youth sports coach, and that the game is for children and not adults.

Expected Behavior:

  • Maintaining a positive, helpful, and supportive attitude.
  • Exercising your authority/influence to control the behavior of the fans and spectators.
  • Exhibiting gracious acceptance of defeat or victory.
  • Accepting and adhering to all league rules and policies related to the participation of adults and youth.
  • Fulfilling the expected role of a youth coach to adopt a "children first" philosophy.
  • Allowing and encouraging the players to listen, learn, and play hard within the rules.
  • Placing the emphasis on fun and participation.

The CIBL, along with the NYSCA, is dedicated to raising the standard of service to youth in sports through the enforcement of this Code of Conduct among its membership.

This Code of Conduct defines the expectations for adults serving as coaches in youth sports. It provides guidance for responding with resolve to protect all children from the psychological, emotional, physical, or social abuses that can be perpetrated against them by youth sport coaches.

The CIBL and the NYSCA firmly believe that for the sports experience to be positive, safe, and a learning experience for youth, volunteer coaches must be trained and held accountable for their behavior when working with and around children. Every NYSCA member coach is required to sign and adhere to a Coaches' Code of Ethics Pledge. The Code of Conduct has been developed to help explain how each of the "canons" of the Code of Ethics should be manifested in the actions and behaviors of an NYSCA Certified Coach.

It is the duty of the CIBL, as a NYSCA Chapter, to be responsible for certifying the coaches to respond to complaints lodged against an NYSCA member coach that has allegedly violated the Code of Ethics.

This is accomplished by initiating the “Complaint Against a Coach Procedure” which is outlined on the following page. The purpose of this procedure is to hear the complaints and to determine what, if any, action should be taken towards correcting the member coach's behavior. In order to provide the CIBL the flexibility to take appropriate action when an NYSCA member coach is found to have violated the Coaches' Code of Ethics, a range of possible review committee actions has been developed to accompany the Code of Conduct.

Possible actions include:

  1. Warning to and/or Apology from the coach
  2. Probation
  3. One Game Suspension
  4. Multiple Game Suspension
  5. Season Suspension
  6. Permanent Revocation of Certification

The specific response of the review committee may include terms and conditions supplementing one or more of the listed sanctions. When reviewing a complaint and deciding what action is the most appropriate in a given situation, the committee must take into consideration various extenuating circumstances.

Factors that might suggest a more lenient sanction include:

  • First Offense
  • Remorse
  • Apparent Desire to Reform
  • Other Good Coaching Attributes
  • Dedication to Youth Sports

Factors that might suggest a harsher sanction include:

  • Child Endangerment
  • Violation of Law
  • Prior Complaints/Review Action
  • Lack of Remorse
  • Number of Ethics Canons Violated
  • Number of Expected Behaviors Violated
  • Breach of Duties as a Role Model
  • Extraordinarily Poor Judgment Around Children

Complaint Against a Coach Procedures

When the CIBL receives a complaint about a member coach, the CIBL will:

  1. Gather information and eyewitness accounts of the event(s) that took place from everyone involved to determine if a violation of the letter or intent of the Coaches' Code of Ethics Pledge has occurred. This may include the site supervisor, game officials, and other coaches, parents, and children.
  2. Require the member coach to attend a meeting to address the complaint and to offer his/her side of the incident.
  3. The League Administrator/Chapter Director has the authority to determine the severity of the situation and whether or not the affected coach has violated the expected behaviors outlined under each of the canons of the Code of Ethics Pledge that comprise the NYSCA Code of Conduct.
  4. The League Administrator/Chapter Director, after approval has the authority to enforce the appropriate range of disciplinary actions outlined in the NYSCA Coaches' Code of Conduct. The League Administrator/Chapter Director will report to the NYSCA in brief, the nature of the complaint, the findings of the investigation, and the sanction applied to the member coach. This information will be logged in the member’s file.
  5. If the League Administrator/Chapter Director decides to revoke a coach’s certification, NYSCA Headquarters will notify the coach of the revocation and their right to appeal to the National Executive Board. The League Supervisor/Chapter Director will be sent copy of the correspondence. This information will also be logged in the member’s file.