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Community Standards

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Purpose & Benefits of Youth Sports

Participation in youth sports, whether it be school related or with a local organization, can clearly be a constructive force in the lives of student athletes. It is important that parents and coaches recognize that youth sports present a unique opportunity for introducing and reinforcing positive life lessons that will prepare our children for the future.

Adults who emphasize good sportsmanship help young athletes take pride in their accomplishments and in their improving skills, so that the kids see themselves as winners, even if the scoreboard doesn't show the numbers going in their favor. The best coaches and parents encourage their kids to play fair, to have fun, and to concentrate on helping the team while polishing their own skills.


By participating in sports, the young athlete will:

• Develop skills needed to socialize with their peers as well as adults.
• Develop independence and confidence.
• Develop a sense of achievement, which helps develop a positive self-image.
• Develop leadership skills and qualities.
• Learn how to cooperate and compete.
• Develop agility, coordination, endurance, flexibility, speed and strength.
• Develop the ability to make decisions and accept responsibilities.
• Learn to understand and express emotions, imagination, and appreciation for what the body can do.
• Develop an interest in continuing sports participation as an adult.
• To ensure a high standard for child safety and positive youth development within youth sports leagues, the Board of County Commissioners approved the Raising Community Standards in Youth Sports initiative in March 2006.

To ensure a high standard for child safety and positive youth development within youth sports leagues, the Board of County Commissioners approved the Raising Community Standards in Youth Sports initiative in March 2006.


Article 1: Two youth sports league administrators in each league must be certified in the National Youth Sports Administrators Association (NYSAA) Program.

Article 2: Teams in each league must have the head coach and one assistant coach, if more than one coach is assigned to a team; participate in a positive youth sports development training program. The NAYS training is preferred but leagues may conduct a comparable training program which must be approved by the Sports Coordinator.

Article 3: Any adult who has care, custody or control of youth participants in any youth sports program or activity is required to successfully complete a background check through St. Mary's County Department of Recreation and Parks. Recreation & Parks policy is that the background checks are valid for one year.

Article 4: It is expected that all parents and spectators demonstrate positive behavior during all youth sporting events. If negative and inappropriate behavior occurs it is recommended that those involved are asked to leave the spectator area immediately by league representatives. Parents must sign a Parents Code of Conduct prior to their child participating and a copy should be kept on file with the league for the entire season.

Article 5: Smoking is limited to beyond 150 feet of the playing field. Coaches and administrators should refrain from the use of any tobacco products at all team activities and in the presence of your players.

Article 6: Two youth sports league administrators in each league must be certified by the CDC’s Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports program. A youth sports program must also make the information on concussions available to coaches, young athletes, and parents.

Need More Information?

Contact our Sports Program Coordinator for further details regarding how St. Mary's County has established Community Standards in our Sports programs.

Darrick Sesker
301-475-4200 *1803

Concussion Awareness
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Concussions can occur in any sport or recreation activity. A concussion can have long term impacts on young athletes such as their health, memory, learning and even their survival. This has lead to a new effort to improve prevention, recognition and response to sports-related concussion.

To help ensure the health and safety of young athletes, Recreation & Parks has begun an awareness campaign to offer information about concussions to coaches, parents, and athletes involved in youth sports.

The following are a list of symptoms that may suggest a concussion has occurred.

• Headache
• Confusion
• Difficulty remembering or paying attention
• Balance problems or dizziness
• Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
• Feeling irritable, more emotional, or “down”
• Nausea or vomiting
• Bothered by light or noise
• Double or blurry vision
• Slowed reaction time
• Sleep problems
• Loss of consciousness

What Should You Do If You Think a Concussion Has Occurred?

Seek medical attention right away

A health care professional will be able to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe to return to play.

Do not return to play until medically cleared
Concussions take time to heal. Don't return to play until a health care professional says it's OK. Children who return to play too soon while their brain is still healing risk a greater chance of having a second concussion. Second or later concussions can be very serious. They can cause permanent brain damage, affecting the injured student-athlete for a lifetime.

Inform all coaches about any recent concussions
Coaches should know if an athlete has had a recent concussion. The coach may not know about a concussion in another sport or activity if he or she is not informed by the parent, guardian or athlete.

Coaches Fact Sheet
Parent Fact Sheet
Athlete Fact Sheet

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