Safeguarding in Open Age Football [Masthead]

Safeguarding 16-17-year-olds in Open-Age (Adult) Football

Helping open-age (adult) clubs to understand their safeguarding responsibilities

As the season is well underway, we would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the responsibilities that we have to safeguard 16/17 year old’s in the open-age (adult) game.

To embrace their safeguarding responsibilities, every open-age adult club is required to ensure the safeguarding of any under-18s involved with them. The following guide of requirements aims to support adult clubs with open-age teams who have 16/17 year old players, or are likely to sign 16/17 year old players:

1. Identify which teams have or are likely to have 16/17 year old players:
- If they are registered with your team then safeguards must be in place, even if they have not played yet.

2. Identify the coaches/managers (including any assistant coaches/managers) and medics for each team:
- Someone must be identified in this role. They do not have to have any coaching qualifications to be named as the coach/team manager.
- List them on The FA’s Whole Game System alongside the registered team. This can be done by the Club Secretary, Assistant Secretary or if you have youth teams by the Club Welfare Officer (Youth Teams).
- If the coach/manager changes you must update this information.

3. Support coaches/managers (including assistant coaches/managers) and medics working with 16/17 year old to complete an FA DBS Check:
- Read The FA DBS Check - FAQs
- If your club uses ‘Matchday’ you might want to consider using the PayPal funding (£100) to pay for the coaches’ FA DBS checks.
- Check if your league offers any financial support for FA DBS checks.

4. Adopt and adhere to The FA’s Safeguarding Children Policy:
- Read and use The FA’s Safeguarding Children Policy template.

5. Provide 16/17 year old players with safeguarding information:
- Distribute The FA’s guidance ‘Know Your Rights’ to all 16/17 year old players. Host this information on your club website and consider making it part of a ‘welcome pack’ for new players aged 16/17 years old.

Many clubs will already be meeting these requirements, particularly those who also offer youth football where similar requirements have been enforced for some time.

We are here to help and are committed to creating safe and enjoyable football for all. Supporting all of our open-age (adult) clubs and leagues to ensure these requirements are met is important to us and we can help you with any questions you may have in terms of safeguarding.

For further information and assistance please contact our Safeguarding team:

T: 01903 768578

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