Canada Soccer Safe Sport Roster

The Canada Soccer Safe Sport Roster is a progressive package of programs, policies, and procedures designed to ensure that all organizations that offer soccer programming in Canada create safe, fun, and welcoming experiences for all participants.

Canada Soccer, as the governing body for sport, provides periodic updates to the requirements of member organization clubs in support of its Safe Sport Roster. For amateur soccer organizations in Canada, the expansion of the Canada Soccer Youth Club Licensing Program as a requirement of membership has been implemented as a direct result of the unanimous adoption of the Canada Soccer Safe Sport Roster at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Members.

Ahead of the start of the 2023 soccer season, all member organizations that offer soccer programing in a Canada Soccer Member Association Province and Territory will be required to meet the minimum standards of the Quality Soccer Provider level of the Canada Soccer Youth Club Licensing Program is support of the guiding principles of the Safe Sport Roster.

Canada Soccer Code of Conduct and Ethics

All who participate in sanctioned soccer from grassroots through professional and National Teams play shall abide by the Canada Soccer Code of Conduct and Ethics. Any violation of the code should be reported to discipline@canadasoccer.com

Canada Soccer Disciplinary Code

The Canada Soccer Disciplinary Code specifies the organization, procedures, and functions of the Judicial Bodies of Canada Soccer. The Code defines disciplinary measures or sanctions that may be imposed upon those found to have breached the Canada Soccer Code of Conduct and Ethics, Canada Soccer Rules & Regulations, relevant anti-doping policies and regulations, or Canada Soccer competition regulations.  

Whistleblower Policy

Canada Soccer’s Whistleblower Hotline (1-800-661-9675, whistleblower@canadasoccer.com) is an independent, third-party operated mechanism put in place in 2017 to supplement the Code of Conduct and Ethics. 

Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program

Launched in July 2017 with the granting of Canada Soccer Professional Club Licences to Canada’s five professional clubs at the time, the Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program expanded to include amateur football in 2018 with the addition of the Canada Soccer National Youth Club Licence, Member Association Levels 2 & 1, and Quality Soccer Provider designations.

Developed in consultation with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, the youth component of the Club Licensing Program established standards to ensure a quality experience for every amateur athlete who registers with Canada Soccer. Two of the fundamental principles that underpin the program are devoted to Safe Sport:

  • Physical, mental and emotional safety of all participants; and,
  • Accessible, inclusive, and welcoming environments for all participants.

In support of the principles of the Safe Sport Roster, Canada Soccer’s Youth Club Licensing Program includes a collection of resources including a comprehensive Guide to Safety and Guide to Accessibility and Inclusion. As well, the Canada Soccer Grassroots Standards were designed to create the best possible learning and development environment for all young players in Canada.

National Soccer Registry

Canada Soccer’s National Soccer Registry project is designed to provide a unified system to track the attraction, retention, progression, and transition of players, coaches, referees, administrators, and volunteers in the game from grassroots through high performance in support of the Safe Sport Roster

Coach Education, Certification, and Registration

Canada Soccer has updated its Rules and Regulations to include Regulations for the Registration and Control of Coaches in support of the Safe Sport Roster. In addition, as part of the requirements of the system-wide adoption of the Youth Club Licensing Program coaches will be required to complete the following:

  • The appropriate Canada Soccer Coach Education Program workshops for the age and stage of their athletes;
  • The following Coaching Association of Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program workshops:
    • “Make Ethical Decisions” to further safeguard athletes by ensuring that coaches are fully equipped to handle ethical situations with knowledge and confidence;
    • “Making Head Way” gives coaches a greater understanding of how to prevent head injuries along with the knowledge and skills to manage them properly; and,
    • “Emergency Action Plan” that prepares coaches to respond calmly, quickly, and effectively if a sport participant is seriously injured during practice or competition;
  • Respect in Sport online training to educate coaches to recognize, understand, and respond to issues of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination.

In addition, member organizations will be required to ensure that all team staff adopt the requirements of the Responsible Coaching Movement:

  • The “Rule of 2” which requires that all one-on-one interactions between a coach and an athlete take place within earshot and in view of another trusted adult, except for medical emergencies; and,
  • Background screening, which can include criminal record checks, interviews, job postings and reference checks.

Canada Soccer Medical Committee

The Canada Soccer Medical Committee is responsible for providing guidance on injury prevention and treatment. Recent advances have included Canada Soccer’s implementation of gold standard concussion protocols to prevent head injuries and to manage them effectively when they do occur.

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