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24. NCJLA Club Policies

NCJLA Drone Policy

The FAA rules concerning the operation of drones are as follows:

“Small unmanned aircraft (drones) may not operate over any persons not directly participating in the operation, not under a covered structure, and not inside a covered stationary vehicle.”

Click here for more information: https://www.faa.gov/uas/media/Part_107_Summary.pdf

Therefore, it is illegal to fly a drone in an unsafe manner (directly over the playing area) at an athletic event (game/scrimmage) being played outside, or inside of a gymnasium.

Proper procedure:

  1. If asked, the officials are to deny permission for the individual to fly a drone over the field of play at a game or scrimmage.

  2. If the officials notice a drone being flown over the game or scrimmage, they are to stop the event and confer with the home team head coach and sideline manager.

  3. The sideline manager and home team coach are responsible for ensuring the drone is grounded before play resumes.

  4. If it is unknown who is responsible for flying the drone, the sideline manager may call the local police department to report the unsafe act / incident and to ask for the police to respond to the site.

The event shall not resume until the drone is no longer being flown over the field where the event is being held.

Clubs are encouraged to inform their membership of the FAA rules regarding drones. For questions or concerns please contact the NCJLA Executive Director at execdirector@ncjla.org.

NCJLA Expansion Policy
Information Coming Soon


NCJLA Safe Sport Policy

US Lacrosse and the NCJLA expect its members to create a safe environment to protect athletes, coaches, and participants. Part of that safe environment is one that is free from potentially harassing and inappropriate behavior from adults toward minors or between minors. The following club recommendations and the NCJLA Athlete Coach Interaction Policy outline the best practices provided by US Lacrosse and the Safe Sport Act of 2017. NCJLA clubs should be aware that when lacrosse becomes an Olympic sport clubs will be required to follow all of the provisions of the Safe Sport Act of 2017.

Mandated Reporting

Reporting and responding to abuse at the local level should occur at two levels of concern. 1) When child sexual abuse is suspected it should be reported to law enforcement. 2) When violations of conduct or behavior practices are not believed to be sexual abuse, but inappropriate or higher risk such as being alone with an athlete are suspected, they should be reported to the club Athlete Safety Coach or club designee. The NCJLA clubs are required to inform the NCJLA of any coach or club representative that has been removed from contact with minors either temporary or permanent by the club via the Athlete Safety Reporting Form.

Recommended Club Policies

Appoint an Athlete Safety Coach and Committee:

It is recommended that an Athlete Safety Coach be appointed by the leader or board of directors for the NCJLA Club in any matters related to this standard. It is also recommended that the club create a small standing Committee for Athlete Safety under the leadership of the Athlete Safety Coach and include the senior leader or administrator for the NCJLA Club. Minimum requirements for this position/committee include:

  1. Determine local and state reporting requirements for sexual and physical abuse of minors. Develop written policies to require that all members know what they are and how to follow them. Suspected sexual abuse must be reported to law enforcement, not investigated, then reported. The NCJLA recommends that clubs consider adding their policy to the Coaches, Athlete and Parent Code of Conduct that is signed annually.
  2. Develop a reporting process that allows for suspected activities that are not believed to be sexual abuse, but inappropriate or higher risk such as being alone with an athlete, to be reported to the Athlete Safety Coach, the NCJLA, and US Lacrosse Council of Counselors. Clubs are encouraged to use the NCJLA Athlete Safety Reporting Form in their club policy.
  3. Develop a response plan for action when an allegation is made. It should include at an absolute minimum: separation of the parties involved, protection for the minor, confidentiality as possible, reporting to authorities as required locally, reporting to the NCJLA via the Athlete Safety Reporting Form and notification of the US Lacrosse Council of Counselors.
  4. Publicize the reporting process of the club and the NCJLA to all youth athletes and their parents.

Required NCJLA Club Policy

All NCJLA clubs are required at a minimum to adhere to and educate their membership regarding the NCJLA Athlete Coach Interaction Policy and to require current USL Coach Membership.

NCJLA Athlete Coach Interaction Policy


One-to-One Interactions. There may be situations that are appropriate one-on-one interactions with athletes or participants. For example, an individual meeting may be necessary to address an athlete’s concerns, training program, or competition schedule.Under these circumstances, coaches, staff members and/or volunteers are to observe the following guidelines:

  • Any individual meeting should occur when others are present and where interactions can be easily observed.
  • Where possible, an individual meeting should take place in a publicly visible and open area, such as the corner of a gym or the sideline.
  • If an individual meeting is to take place in an office, the door should remain unlocked and open.
  • If a closed-door meeting is necessary, the coach, staff member and/or volunteer must inform another coach, staff member and/or volunteer and ensure the door remains unlocked.

Individual Training Sessions.
An individual training session with an athlete or participant may also be desired or necessary. However, such session(s) are subject to the following:

  • Under these circumstances, written permission of a minor athlete’s parents or guardians is required in advance of the individual training session(s).
  • US Lacrosse encourages parents and guardians to attend the training session(s).

Prohibited One-to-One Interactions with Athletes or Participants

  • Except as set forth above, minor athletes and participants will not be left unattended or unsupervised during team activities.
  • Team coaches, staff members and/or volunteers are prohibited from being alone with an individual athlete or participant in any room, vehicle or building.

Physical Contact with Athletes. Appropriate physical contact between athletes and coaches, staff members, contractors or volunteers is a productive and inevitable part of sport. Athletes are more likely to acquire advanced physical skills and enjoy their sport participation through appropriate physical contact. However, rules for physical contact must be set to reduce the potential for misconduct in sport. The following principles and guidelines in regards to physical contact with minors should be maintained:

Common Criteria for Appropriate Physical Contact. Physical contact with athletes—for safety, consolation and celebration—has multiple criteria in common which make them both safe and appropriate. These include:

  • the physical contact takes place in public.
  • there is no potential for sexual intimacies during the physical contact.(iii) the physical contact is for the benefit of the athlete, not to meet an emotional or other need of an adult.

Safety During Appropriate Physical Contact. The safety of the athletes is paramount and in many instances we make the athletic space safer through appropriate physical contact. Examples include:

  • the physical contact takes place in public,
  • positioning an athlete’s body so that they more quickly acquire an athletics kill, get a better sense of where their body is in space, or improve their balance and coordination,
  • making athletes aware that they might be in harm’s way because of other athletes practicing around them or because of equipment in use,
  • for injury evaluation or treatment by a coach, athletic trainer, or other qualified medical personnel.

Celebrations. Sports are physical by definition and we recognize participants often express their joy of participation, competition, achievement and victory through physical acts. These public expressions of celebration are encouraged, which include:

  • Greeting gestures such as high-fives, fist bumps, and brief hugs.
  • Congratulatory gestures—such as celebratory hugs, “jump arounds” and pats on the back for any form of athletic or personal accomplishment.

Consolation. It may be appropriate to console an emotionally distressed athlete (e.g., an athlete who has been injured or has just lost a competition). Appropriate consolation includes:

  • Publicly embracing a crying athlete.
  • Putting an arm around an athlete while verbally engaging them in an effort to calm them down (“side hugs”).
  • Lifting a fallen athlete off the playing surface and “dusting them off” to encourage them to continue competition.

Prohibited Physical Contact. Prohibited forms of physical contact, which shall be reported immediately include, without limitation:

  • Asking or having an athlete sit in the lap of a coach, administrator, staff member or volunteer.
  • Lingering or repeated embraces of athletes that go beyond the criteria set forth for physical contact.
  • Slapping, hitting, punching, kicking or any other physical contact meant to discipline, punish or achieve compliance from an athlete.
  • “Cuddling” or maintaining prolonged physical contact during any aspect of training, travel or overnight stay.
  • Playful, yet inappropriate contact that is not a part of regular training, (e.g.,tickling or “horseplay” wrestling).
  • Continued physical contact that makes an athlete obviously uncomfortable, whether expressed or not.
  • Any contact that is contrary to a previously expressed personal desire for decreased or no physical contact, where such decreased contact is feasible in a competitive training environment.

Electronic Communications & Social Media. With an emphasis on athlete safety, all electronic communications between a coach and athlete must be professional in nature and for the purpose of communicating information about team activities.

  • As with any communication, the content of any electronic communication should be readily available to share with the athlete’s family.
  • If the athlete is under the age of 18, any email, electronic text, social media or similar communication must copy or include the athlete’s parents or guardians.
  • Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogs & Similar Sites. Coaches should not have athletes of the club, team or organization join a personal social media page.
    • Athlete members and parents can “friend” the official club, team or organization’s page, and coaches can communicate to athlete members though the site.
    • All posts, messages, text, or media of any kind between coach and athlete must be professional in nature and for the purpose of communicating information about team activities or for team-oriented motivational purposes.
  • Twitter, Instant Messaging, and Similar Media.
    • Coaches and athletes may “follow” each other. Coaches should not “re-tweet”athlete message posts.
    • All posts between coach and athlete must be for the purpose of communicating information about team activities. 
  • E-mail & Similar Electronic Communications.
    • Athletes and coaches may use email to communicate. All email content between coach and athlete must be professional in nature and for the purpose of communicating information about team activities.
    • Where the coach is a staff member and/or volunteer, email from a coach to any athlete should come from the team’s website email center (the coach’s return email address will contain, for example, “@TEAM.com”)
  • Texting & Similar Electronic Communications.
    • Texting is allowed between coaches and athletes.
    • All texts between coach and athlete must be professional and for the purpose of communicating information about team activities.
  • Electronic Imagery
    • From time to time, digital photos, videos of practice or competition, and other publicly obtainable images of the athlete – individually or in groups – may be taken.
    • These photos and/or videos may be submitted to local, state or national publications, used in team, club or organization’s videos, posted on team or team-associated websites, or offered to the team’s families seasonally on disc or other electronic form.
    • Such practices are appropriate as long as the athlete or athletes are in public view and such imagery is both appropriate and in the best interest of the athlete and the team, club or organization.
    • Imagery must not be inappropriate, contrary to any rules as outlined in a team,club or organization’s handbook.
    • The parents or guardians of an athlete may request in writing that their child not be contacted by any form of electronic communication by coaches (photography or videography).
    • Misconduct with Electronic Communications.
      • Social media and electronic communications can also be used to commit misconduct (e.g., emotional, sexual, bullying, harassment, and hazing).
      • Such communications by coaches, staff, volunteers, administrators, officials, parents or athletes will not be tolerated.

Other areas of concern; Prohibition of verbal, physical and psychological abuse

  • Verbal Abuse – The most commonly occurring type of abuse in sports includes name calling, hurtful comments regarding performance, swearing at players or game officials and comments meant to demean a person’s integrity. Examples:
    • Coach to player: “Fatty, lose some weight so you can actually get down the court.” or “I hope you aren’t proud of yourself. You shouldn’t be.”
    • Coach to team: “You all suck. I thought you were better than that, but I guess I was wrong.”
    • Any and all expletives
    • Coach to official: “Are you kidding me? You have no idea what you are doing, you are going to make us lose the freaking game!”
  • Psychological or Emotional Abuse – Includes having unrealistic goals or expectations of athletes, keeping athletes from participating in games or practices because of assumed limits or underdeveloped skills or issuing threats. Examples:
    • A coach putting the success of a team on the shoulders of one “superstar.”
    • Before putting a non-starter in the game a coach says, “I guess we will have to let you play, you’re the only one left.”
    • Coach to team: “If we lose any games this season, none of you will be invited back next year.” 
  • Physical Abuse – When coaches use any type of hurtful touch causing physical pain or the use of excessive exercise, denial of fluids and/or imparting unreasonable requests as a form of punishment or a way of creating team discipline. Examples:
    • Slapping, grabbing, spitting, shoving, hitting or throwing equipment or players.
    • A team lost and the coach demands that his or her players run around the track until they vomit or pass out.
    • Team returns late at night after an away contest and goes right to the gym for a punishment practice.
    • Team loses by a certain amount of points and after the game the coach makes them or a specific player(s) do that number of sprints.
  • Bullying – Though bullying can be considered a form of verbal, physical or psychological abuse, bullying is the deliberate, repeated and sometimes health- endangering mistreatment of one person (the target) by a perpetrator (the bully), whose destructive actions are fueled by the bully's need to control the target. Examples:
    • Bullying is usually an ongoing physical or verbal mistreatment, where a game of usurping control is perpetuated in an attempt to win while the other loses.
    • Bullying coaches or players may often target more passive players. As a result, the assaulted person appears to be upset while the bully says things like, "What's the big deal?" or "She asked for it."
    • Bullying is also when coaches or players deliberately exclude a player from team activities.
  • Hazing - Any activity expected by existing team members or coaches themselves of someone joining a team or to maintain full status on a team that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person's willingness to participate. Examples:
    • Instances in which coaches or other players know about or are participants in any harmful or degrading initiation rituals involving new players.
    • These rituals include walking in cooked spaghetti, running through a line of players who mildly assault the player, performing lewd acts or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

Professional Integrity. The development of any of the above disrespectful relationships between coaches and athletes or athletes with other team-members, compromises the professional integrity of the program and the educational mission of athletics. Coaches exercise power over athletes, whether in giving them praise or criticism, evaluating them, making recommendations that further their athletic goals or conferring any other benefits on them. In the same way, some athletes may exert power over other athletes as a function of the bullying individual’s standing with the coaching staff, school, sponsoring organization, playing time, media attention or skill level. The use of derogatory language and intentionally hurtful statements from coach to athlete or among athletes is wrong because coaches and sponsoring schools have a professional responsibility for the players. Such situations greatly increase the chances that an athlete may be personally exploited.

Consequences for Violation. Should a coach or leader with in an NCJLA Club be suspected of or found to have violated this policy the following actions will be taken by the league independent of what the local authorities or club mandates:

  • Once informed the NCJLA will suspend the coaches certification and inform the officials organizations that the coach is not to be allowed on the team bench side until cleared by local authorities and/or the NCJLA Club President.
  • The NCJLA will inform the US Lacrosse Coaches Council of the coach membership suspension via email to member services.
  • For instances of a coach behaving in an “at risk” manner the NCJLA will suspend the coach’s certification for a period of time up to suspension from the remainder of the season. The NCJLA Board of Directors will consult with the local authorities and the club president.

Resources for Clubs

The NCJLA requires US Lacrosse Membership for all coaches, officials, and players. US Lacrosse as the national governing body for lacrosse provides a wealth of educational materials and resources to its members. NCJLA clubs should review the Safe Sport Act of 2017 and the US Lacrosse Contents of Standard for Athlete Safety and Protection document. Both resources outline best practices and requirements for Olympic sports. In the interest of providing the best environment for the players of Northern California the NCJLA has adopted the Athlete Coach Interaction Policy. The remaining recommendations from US Lacrosse are for each club to evaluate and determine its appropriateness for their membership.

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