Executive Director's Report

NCYS is The Go-To Resource for the Youth Sports Industry!

Presented at the NCYS Annual Meeting

September 10 - 13, 2012 | Renaissance Hotel - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | S.P.O.R.T.S. 2012

"You are positive, inspired, passionate and zealous to the degree in which you eliminate negative
motions from your life. Engage in mountaintop thinking, stretch forward in deliberation,
and then act as if it were impossible to fail." - by Sally S. Johnson

Perseverance, patience, optimism, pride, integrity, honesty, determination and relentless vision. Those are some of the adjectives that describe NCYS' map of success as we moved forward through the past few challenging economic years. The NCYS stands proud to be respected as the "go-to" resource for the youth sports industry!

The National Council of Youth Sports mission is to represent the youth sports industry by advancing the values of participation, and educating and developing leaders. High ethical standards and truthful behavior are paramount to the NCYS vision as we aspire to enhance the youth sports experience in America and we strive to be the united voice for youth sports.

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them," Henry David Thoreau. And that's exactly what the NCYS Board of Directors does as it develops Strategic Plan. We use this living document everyday as our guiding light providing vision and relevance, definition and direction to the ever rapidly changing youth sports environment. Clearly, the surest way not to fail is to determine to succeed.

Seven new partnerships have been formed with the NCYS adding appropriate, useful and meaningful resources for our members in the youth sports industry. Each new program and service is exciting adding value and ease for our members. And each one is pertinent, makes-sense, is purposeful and beneficial reinforcing the NCYS commitment as the 'go to' resource for the youth sports industry.

The State of the Industry is steadfast. We have every reason to be optimistic and know that through responsible leadership we will continue to provide a safe and enjoyable place for our children and future generations to participate in healthy, active lifestyles tomorrow.

In this report I will highlight our key areas and flagship programs that have gained NCYS its valued reputation as the proven leader of the amateur youth sports industry. Further information is always available by calling NCYS Headquarters at 772-781-1452 or by visiting our website at www.ncys.org.

MEMBERSHIP

The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) members and those they serve are the reason that the NCYS exists. Established in 1979 by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, the organization was originally named the National Council of Youth Sports Directors (NCYSD).

In 1988 we had 14 members. In 1998 the NCYS had 74 members. Today, September 2012, we boast over 200 member organizations/corporations who represent more than 60,000,000 registered participants/ 44,000,000 actual boys and girls in organized youth sports programs.

The National Council of Youth Sports is well-known for its advocacy in promoting healthy lifestyles and safe environments for stronger neighborhoods and communities. Credibility, integrity and vigilant visibility have remained at the core of everything we do for our members and our industry. NCYS is committed to the highest standards of quality and dependability with a passion to create a better, more wholesome society.

NCYS is the portal to the amateur youth sports industry. Our reach is broad and deep into the grassroots of America's heartland. That wide-ranging scope brings much responsibility and lots of opportunity for us, our colleagues and our partners. NCYS is the largest known organization in America representing youth-serving industry. No other sport organization in America reaches more grassroots participants than the combined membership of the NCYS.

The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) comprises the "who's who" in the amateur youth sports industry. Our members are the gatekeepers, the key decision-makers, the power of influence and behavior, and the advocates for valued amateur youth sports participation. These are highly respected national organizations, local associations, park & rec departments, sports commissions, CVBs, insurance agencies, corporate vendors, suppliers, and service providers. A complete list of NCYS members can be found on our website www.ncys.org.

The NCYS is an untiring leader committed to being the united voice for amateur youth sports and advancing the youth sports experience in America. NCYS is unique and we pride ourselves on living up to our Strategic Plan as well as being respected by our members, the media, the government, corporate America and the leaders in and around our industry.

This youth sports industry is diversified representing athletes in all sports, all demographics and of all diversities in sport, in skill, in performance, in rules, and lots more! But philosophically we are united as one with a common purpose - to enhance the youth sports experience in America for the betterment of youth, of sport and of society for today and for generations to come!

The dedication of individuals involved in youth sports - the volunteers, the coaches, the officials, the local and national administrators, the staff on every level, the parents, and the awe-inspiring athletes-are amazingly inspirational. There is extreme pride for those who provide everyday allegiance to children through safe, supervised and organized amateur athletic activities.

Please be an active part of the NCYS recruitment team and ask others to join the team of 'who's who' in the youth sports industry. Everyone is welcome! Together we are a powerhouse of positive influence!

THE NCYS STRATEGIC PLAN

The NCYS Board of Directors meets on a regular basis to revisit the priorities and structure of its Strategic Plan for the long-term success of the organization. The plan is a living document. It reflects a way of thinking and is an ongoing process. In the upcoming months, the Board will be once again reviewing its Strategic Plan to be certain the NCYS is current and forward-thinking.

The current Strategic Plan focuses on four key priority areas:

  • Priority 1: Funding. The goal is to obtain sustainable and diversified financial base to fund activities for long-term growth and expansion.

  • Priority 2: Quality Member Services. The goal is to expand quality services and increase the numbers and diversity of membership.

  • Priority 3: Marketing & Communication. The goal is to have an internal focus to our members and constituents. Enhance our brand through an increase in our reach and frequency of messaging on the key issues of the amateur youth sports industry.

  • Priority 4: Public Relations. The goal is an external focus. Communicate key issues on a consistent basis to the media and governmental agencies.

Strategic planning may be a tool for effectively plotting the direction of a company; however, strategic planning itself cannot foretell exactly how the market will evolve and what issues will surface in the coming days in order to plan your organizational strategy. Therefore, strategic innovation and tinkering with the 'strategic plan' have to be a cornerstone strategy for an organization to survive the turbulent business climate.

A respectful thank you to NCYS Board of Directors who leads the youth sports industry with vision, dedication, strategic thinking, and a responsible commitment. Each one of the board members is outrageously busy with their own jobs but they always make themselves available to assist with NCYS. These are remarkable, unselfish individuals who lead with a true passion, an open mind and great vision to be certain NCYS best serves the needs of our youth sports, youth-serving industry.

NCYS MEMBER SURVEYS

The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) conducts internal member aheads in order to better understand how our members view, utilize, and benefit from the NCYS resources and services.

The results of the most recent study reveal the significance of NCYS and the meaningful role the NCYS plays in leading the amateur youth sports industry and enhancing the youth sports experience. The NCYS Board of Directors use the results of this research to help in future shaping the NCYS Strategic Plan ensuring the resources and services we provide continue to be relevant, reliable and purposeful for the members we serve.

We learned that a whopping 75% of our members rely on NCYS to stay current on amateur youth sports industry trends, quickly followed by access & networking connections, being part of a credible industry group, advocacy/government relations/public policy and educational opportunities. Our members trust the NCYS for its reliable resources and information.

The NCYS Study "Report on Trends and Participation in Organized Youth Sports" is the #1 service used by our members. The National Center for Safety Initiatives and the NCYS Recommended Guidelines for background screening followed as well as other noteworthy safety, physical activity, and health & wellness programs.

MARKET RESEARCH

NCYS Studies Assist in Strategic Planning

NCYS Report on Trends and Participation in Organized Youth Sports

There is absolutely not a week that goes by without numerous inquiries for our research. NCYS is well known for producing credible market research and the "NCYS Report on Trends and Participation in Organized Youth Sports" study remains a much sought after document. No other entity produces such a publication by and for the organized amateur youth sports industry.

This study reveals a ten year comparison providing important data and trends in the marketplace. The NCYS Report on Trends and Participation in Organized Youth Sports, our latest edition serves as a useful tool for effective future planning and forecasting. The results of this trends study serves as a valuable resource for our members, market researchers, corporations, event destinations, marketing firms and PR agencies and to all those interested in trends and participation in organized amateur youth sports.

From our research, we learned the important role NCYS plays on behalf of the amateur youth sports industry. Technology practices, field & facility usage, and general trends in age & gender participation have provided invaluable insight into the youth sports industry. In addition, NCYS has utilized this information to further its advocacy work in the area of government relations & public policy issues such as: protecting the land for recreation facilities, child safety protection (PROTECT Act), and physical education, obesity & fitness issues.

We surveyed the NCYS membership in 1997, in 2000 and again in 2008 to present a broad measure of the scope of youth sports in the United States. An astounding 98%-100% of the members responded to these surveys. NCYS is currently seeking a sponsor in order to produce the next edition of the "NCYS Report on Trends and Participation in Organized Youth Sports."

The member organizations of NCYS who participate in these studies represent a wide range of local and national groups that conduct organized youth sports programs. The NCYS is appreciative to its members for taking the time to participate in this much sought after study.

Partnerships

NCYS has focused its efforts on methodically seeking new sponsorships and partnerships that are meaningful to the NCYS and its members. Through difficult economic times, perseverance and hard work is paying off. The NCYS has added seven awesome new partners! Additionally, there are an abundance of corporations, marketing firms, PR agencies and the like who never heard of NCYS before who now have us on their radar screen and are impressed with who we are and what we do!

New partnerships, particularly within our amateur youth sports industry, have been formed and we are being told regularly by others that their opinion of NCYS is a "respectful organization," "influential," "we like what you do and stand for" "NCYS is an impressive group," and NCYS is the type of organization we want to do business with.

In addition to the partnerships mentioned previously in this report, collaboration and alliances have expanded to other organizations/groups such as: the First Lady's Let's Move initiative, the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (and its affiliates groups); the CDC Heads-Up and Heat Related Illness programs; Growing Champions for Life; Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA); National Physical Activity Plan; the National Foundation on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition; National Sports Marketing Network; participation in the USOC Olympic family meetings and working groups; relationships with several disability groups; and so much more!

NCYS partnership opportunities are available to those desiring to achieve superior brand recognition by aligning themselves with responsible, ethical, credible, and reliable quality youth sports programming in America.

Partnerships/sponsorships are one of the best ways to create brand awareness, goodwill, advertise one's services, as well as reaffirm the company's reputation as a responsible corporate citizen in the business world. Cross-marketing company brands with others and all sharing in the partnership to support youth sports can provide added value without breaking the bank!

Positive business relationships have taken hold. While we are still finding some corporations still in a financial holding pattern, as we emerge out of this financial downturn it will be NCYS' strength, identity, credibility, professional image, and visibility that will earn us a seat at the table.

Safety & Health

The NCYS Helps Keep Youth Sports Safe

An Untiring Advocate for the Protection of Children

The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) - long known for tackling the big issues in youth sports - is an untiring advocate for the protection of children, eradicating criminal behavior, and providing a safe environment in order to make a positive difference for children of all backgrounds, genders, and economic diversities. In the spirit of keeping children safe by preventing, recognizing, and responding to situations both on and off the playing field, we hope all those who serve children will take on a responsible call to action to protect the children in youth-serving organizations and keep them safe.

Injury Prevention

aHead of the Game

The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) is proud to be a partner with Chartis Insurance for the "aHead of the Game" program. aHead of the Game is an initiative to reduce the risks of concussions and other head injuries in youth sports.

Emergency room visits for concussions in kids ages 8-13 doubled from 1997 to 2007, and concussions skyrocketed 200 percent among kids ages 14 to 19 over the same span, according to a recent study by The American Academy of Pediatrics.

aHead of the Game is providing critical and responsible information for coaches, parents and athletes to help identify, manage and reduce the risk of a concussion and brain injuries. Through greater awareness and education, together we want to help coaches, parents and young athletes learn signs and symptoms of concussions, seek proper treatment and follow appropriate return to play protocols to avoid the significant dangers of multiple concussions.

The NCYS is best-known for its advocacy in promoting healthy lifestyles and safe environments for children that advance stronger neighborhoods and communities. Education and advocacy are at the core of the NCYS. Furthering the awareness to minimize potential serious injuries to our youth athletes is supreme to our mission.

Chartis has created a very well-done aHead of the Game website along with lots of free educational materials and a quarterly newsletter. The NCYS is helping to spread the aHead of the Game message to every amateur youth sports program nationwide. NCYS appreciates the Chartis commitment.

Health & Wellness

ChildObesity 180 ~ Healthy Kids Out of School

The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) announced at the November 2011 Partnership for a Healthier America's Building a Healthier Future Summit its partnership with leading out-of-school-time organizations to unify principles for nutrition and physical activity.

Recognizing this opportunity for action, leaders from nine ChildObesity180-affiliated organizations identified and agreed upon three sustainable, actionable Healthy Kids Out of School principles that are sufficiently flexible for adaptation to local environments and cultures. They are:

  • Drink Right: Choose water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Move More: Boost movement and physical activity in all programs.
  • Snack Smart: Fuel up on fruits and vegetables.

The Healthy Kids Out of School initiative is a collaboration between the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, the National Council of La Raza, the National Council of Youth Sports, the National Urban League, Pop Warner, US Youth Soccer, the YMCA of the USA, and 4-H.

Background Screening

At the urging of several member organizations, in 2002, the NCYS criminal background screening initiative first began with the youth sports industry taking its concerns to Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. NCYS was named in the PROTECT Act of 2003 to work with the FBI on a pilot program featuring fingerprint checks as its focus. The NCYS and its member organizations determined that fingerprint checks were not the answer. They were not rapid, reliable or affordable, and only identified those with a criminal record history.

NCYS sought an alternative rapid, reliable and affordable solution through the use of commercial name-based background check vendors. Quickly, NCYS determined that the credibility of various individual vendors, who promised a low-cost, on-line solution, was also questionable. Their results were only accurate if they were comprehensive and kept up-to-date, an issue that continues to plague the industry.

At this time, many youth sports organizations did not have policies and procedures for comprehensive background screening. The possibility of child predators in their midst was often a taboo subject for discussion and one that was considered best dealt with at the local level. For those organizations that did support screening, another issue was that often the person(s) volunteers(s) responsible for the background checks at the local level were not properly trained, and they were left with the daunting task of screening and judging their peers, neighbors, and friends without any policies or standards to follow.

In April 2004, after unsatisfactory experiences with the FBI and private commercial vendors, the NCYS held a summit of youth sports leaders, insurance industry representatives, and legal experts, to address the need for national guidelines regarding background screening that would take into account the individual variances among organizations, and need for a rapid, reliable, and affordable solution that would be easy to understand and adopt at the local level. An overwhelming group consensus of these leaders identified the void in the industry and asked the NCYS to respond with an action plan to address the need. Participants expressed a common concern that the children in youth sports programs might be unnecessarily exposed to harm because there was no consistent model in place to protect them from the dangerous behaviors of predators and criminals.

The NCYS concluded that it was necessary to find an appropriate solution to protect the children in our organizations, that would also protect the volunteers, administrators, and organizations themselves from the possible loss of personal or organization assets because of costly litigation. This conclusion was based on the growing expectations of parents, the courts, and the insurance industry that youth-serving organizations must develop the appropriate guidelines for screening as a first-line of defense in the protection of the children under their care.

The problem was defined as "known incidents of, and potential for, abuse, harm and molestation of youth by coaches, mentors or other adults (chaperones, trainers, etc.) with access to youth sports participants." The matter of convicted criminals, including but not limited to sexual predators, is believed to continue to be a threat to youth programs in this country. NCYS contended that this issue must be managed as a top strategic priority by every youth-serving organization and warned that the consequence of not addressing this issue would be dire. NCYS maintained that "doing nothing" would result in continued long-term emotional scarring to the victims and would ultimately threaten the integrity of youth programs in America, perhaps leading to their elimination in some quarters.

In order to protect children from abuse or injury, the NCYS focuses on core principles to derive a solution. Those principles include: 1) Youth-serving organizations should screen their employees, contractors, and volunteer forces; 2) Screening should utilize advancements in technology that make criminal history information available to these organizations; 3) The system must provide for reliable, rapid, comprehensive, up-to-date checks at a very reasonable cost so that the organizations can make informed screening decisions; 4) In order to be effective, it is important that organizations have access to criminal background information that has been recently updated, and is dependable, complete, and accessed from multiple state databases.

To help determine guidelines, NCYS built upon its previous work in Washington, D.C. and adopted a list of disqualifying criteria for volunteers which is used in the PROTECT Act by the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Then, in response to member requests, as a first step, the NCYS created the "NCYS Recommended Guidelines for Volunteer Background Screening in Nonprofit Youth-Serving Organizations" to assist the youth serving industry with best practices, policies and procedures in 2005. The guidelines quickly evolved into the industry standard.

To further these goals, NCYS co-founded the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) in order to provide the very best background screening service solely dedicated to the unique needs of youth serving organizations. NCSI was formed in partnership with the National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) with the goal of significantly increasing the level of safety for our youth and minimizing the organization's liability risks.

National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI)

At the request of our members, the NCYS co-founded the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) in 2004. NCSI is more than just a background screening company. Through NCSI's exclusive NCSI 360™ approach, you can find help and expertise on every aspect of the risk management process. NCSI helps organizations meet and exceed due diligence by navigating them through the complex maze of ethical, legal and financial challenges. NCSI is the only company licensed to implement the NCYS Recommended Guidelines©

NCSI, without exception, is the industry leader on complete and comprehensive criminal background screening programs for youth serving organizations and is the only national risk management and screening organization specifically dedicated to the protection of children and vulnerable populations. NCSI is also the only licensed company authorized to apply the "NCYS Recommended Guidelines for Background Check Screening in Nonprofit Youth-Serving Organizations" and the "NCYS Recommended Guidelines - The Gold Standard of Best Practices for Background Screening and Managing Risk in Nonprofit Youth-Serving Organizations"© to its background screening.

NCSI focuses its efforts, systems, and expertise directly into seven identified risk factors, using multiple vendors to ensure client organizations will meet and exceed their due diligence. In addition, NCSI is the only organization that serves as a resource for NCYS members who are eligible to access NCSI 360; a comprehensive package of services specifically designed for them.

NCSI recognizes that there is no "one size fits all" and designed its programs for youth serving organizations to be customizable and scalable based on individual risk profile, governance structure and resources. The foundation of the criminal background screening usually begins with the disqualifying criteria provided by NCYS from the PROTECT Act and can be adapted based on the circumstances and requirements of individual organizations working with NCSI.

NCSI has become the choice of many of the most renowned and reputable organizations in the world, providing a fully managed "Turn Key" program which handles ALL aspects of the screening process from start to finish. This program is designed to save time and money, while addressing the legal issues associated with the many liabilities involved in background screening.

While background screening is a critical element to any hiring, certification and/or volunteer process, it is not the "magic bullet" as it relates to safety in youth organizations. It is important to know that criminal background checks, through any source, have some limitations. Screening is simply a tool that gives us important information about an individual that may be used as part of an overall process. In addition to background screening, it is important to have comprehensive risk management policies in place, something NCSI is fully equipped to help organizations implement.

NCSI's effective background screening programs have saved thousands of people from harm and millions of dollars in losses to organizations. NCYS appreciates all those who take responsible action to protect our youth sports/youth serving industry. Thank you for using NCYS and NCSI as valuable resources and partners in youth sports.

NCYS Child Safety Packet & Recommended Guidelines

In today's legal compliance environment and litigious climate, having appropriate documented policies and practices in place is an essential part of managing risk and creating a zero tolerance/opportunity culture in your organization.

With the rise of heightened attention to the issue of predators in youth sports it is more important than ever that we are all doing our due diligence to protect and preserve the integrity of our organizations by reviewing your organization's best practices, policies and procedures. The "NCYS Recommended Guidelines" have become the national template for promoting safety while protecting children and athletes. We encourage your thoughtful consideration to protect your staff, volunteers, organization and most importantly the children by reviewing your organization's best practices, policies and procedures.

NCYS has developed a new NCYS Child Safety Packet as a valuable resource and essential tools for those who participate in the amateur youth sports/youth serving industry. NCYS, through this gold standard of best practices national template, seeks to establish the minimum industry standard that a youth-serving organization should incorporate when establishing its own policy to protect the interests of youth participants within the organization.

Contents of the NCYS Child Safety Packet include:

  • NCYS Recommended Guidelines©
  • NCYS Codes of Conduct Template©
  • NCYS-NCSI Member Benefit Discount
  • NCSI Introductory Presentation
  • NCSI Prevention & Response Training
  • D2L Additional Resources for Youth Serving Orgs
  • NCYS Membership Application

The NCYS Recommended Guidelines, 2nd edition, The Gold Standard of Best Practices for Background Screening and Managing Risk In Nonprofit Youth-Serving Organizations© were created to assist those who are responsible for the children in youth programs to no longer have to reinvent the wheel of minimum standards for policies, procedures, and best practices. The NCYS Recommended Guidelines have become the national template for promoting safety while protecting children and athletes.

In order to assist all organizations to better serve the interests of those who participate in athletic activities, we established the NCYS Codes of Conduct Template©. The template offers general principles to guide the conduct, and the judicious appraisal of conduct, of all the organization's participants (including employees and agents) in situations that have ethical implications. The NCYS Codes of Conduct Template© is provided as a guide to affirm the will of all of participants to safeguard the best interests of the sport by acting ethically at all times.

The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) encourages all those in the amateur youth sports/youth serving industry(s) to protect your staff, volunteers, organization and most importantly the children by reviewing your organization's best practices, policies and procedures.

The NCYS appreciates responsible actions to protect our youth sports/youth serving industry and encourages participation and the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of all athletic activities. We are here to assist you and we are thankful for all you do each day to make your programs the very best and safest they can be.

KidSafe Photographer

The advancements in photography from film to digital imagery has created a wealth of opportunities for the youth sports photographers to better serve the photographic needs and wants of their most valued customers, the youth sports participants. Yes, these technological advances allow for a more effective and efficient operation. However, the ease of manipulating digital photography combined with the internet has opened the door for disturbing illegal activity.

While the vast majority of photographers in the sports photography industry conduct their businesses ethically and professionally, there are some who have compromised the integrity and high ethical standards our industry demands by taking photographs of youngsters only to enhance them in an unethical, immoral and illegal way.

The NCYS strongly encourages all those affiliated with the youth sports industry to be certain all youth sports photographers - professional photographers, parents with cameras, or sideline amateurs - have been recognized by the KidSafe Photographer program, have submitted to a National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) criminal background screening and have agreed to operate their business by a strict code of ethical behavior making a commitment to keeping kids safe.

Training & Education

Why NCYS is Involved in Education

Providing Youth Sports Coaches and Parents with Quality Resources

The National Council of Youth Sports has excellent resources to enhance the personal and professional development of amateur youth sport leaders while staying current with the trends and meeting continuing education needs. If you're like most sports enthusiasts, you have a desire to learn, gain experience, and self-improve. The NCYS has teamed up with providers to offer high-quality, online education courses and resources for our members.

NATA Sports Safety for Youth Coaches

After years of searching for a complete, comprehensive, affordable, relevant, user-friendly, coaches education course, the NCYS has teamed up with the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) to deliver the Sports Safety for Youth Coaches Course. NCYS is helping to market the courses and build brand awareness both online and in-person at member organization's meetings, conferences, and conventions.

The course offers coaches of youth athletes a comprehensive sports safety guide from the healthcare professionals who work with athletes every day - athletic trainers. Youth coaches learn essential tools in the prevention and care of common illnesses and injuries, emergency planning, risk management and more.

The NATA Sports Safety for Youth Coaches course includes:

Legal Issues - Introduction

  • Module 1: Risk Management
  • Module 2: Pre-participation Exam
  • Module 3: Emergency Planning
  • Training and Conditioning - Introduction

  • Module 4: Growth and Development of the Young Athlete
  • Module 5: Physical Training and Conditioning
  • Module 6: Healthy Nutrition for Athletes
  • Module 7: Substance Abuse
  • Recognition of Illnesses and Injuries - Introduction

  • Module 8: Emergency Situations
  • Module 9: Common Illnesses
  • Module 10: Common Sports Injuries
  • Module 11: Age-Specific Injuries
  • Safe Playing Conditions - Introduction

  • Module 12: Athletic Protective Equipment
  • Module 13: Environmental Conditions
  • Concussion

    Certified Sports Administrator (CSA)

    The NCYS continues its partnership with internationally renowned The George Washington University (GWU) School of Business to develop a customized, flexible and affordable educational program that provides management-related courses to NCYS youth sports executives to address the existing market.

    We know that the rapidly changing sports market is requiring more sophisticated marketing and greater fiscal responsibility from sports organizations. The courses are ideal for youth sports administrators, leaders, managers, volunteers, coaches, parents who do not have the time, resources, or opportunity to earn an advanced management degree.

    Courses offered are: Marketing Sports Organizations; Sponsorship & Negotiations; Risk Management; Event Management; Funding Sports Organizations; and Management & Leadership of Sports Organizations. They are conveniently offered online through the NCYS website. Completion of all six courses earns one the prestigious CSA designation along with a signed and sealed Certificate from NCYS and GWU.

    Sports Parenting and Coaching Tips

    Through a continuing relationship with PlaySportsTV (PSTV) the NCYS continues to host a video on 20 Tips for Coaches and Parents on our website home page. Additionally, the inside designated webpage now presents Sports Parenting and Coaching Tips as thirteen (13) individual videos.

    NCYS members are eligible to have the "Sports Parenting Tip of the Month" added to their respective websites free of charge. This educational tool is a customized video player that an organization can add to its web page as an embedded image that automatically updates a new sport parenting/coaching tip monthly.

    NCYS provides the Sports Parenting and Coaching Tip of the Month as a benefit and service to its members making it simple and easy to pay it forward with sports parenting tips for the parents, the coaches, the athletics and families within their network.

    Public Policy

    Get Involved and Make a Difference!

    NCYS Advocacy: A Unified Voice for Youth Sports

    The NCYS strongly supports legislation that empowers Americans to be active, healthy and fit making youth sports and family fitness more affordable.

    Last July, the Congressional Caucus on Youth Sports Legislative Agenda was announced on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. The NCYS executive director was an invited speaker at the media event. The Legislative package entitled "F.A.N.S. for Youth Sports" will strengthen four main pillars of youth involvement in sports: Fitness, Access, Nutrition, and Sports. The agenda is a compilation of legislation that augments the mission of the Congressional Caucus on Youth Sports. Each of these legislative measures included in the Agenda supports one of the four F.A.N.S. pillars. Together, these proposals will provide suitable spaces, requisite resources, invaluable instruction, and paramount protection to create an environment friendly to youth sports activities.

    Speak out on important issues and contribute to legislation affecting fields and facilities, advocate for the protection and safety of our children, fight obesity, promote physical activity & fitness, and influence other important youth sports industry public policy. Get involved and make a difference!

    Meetings & Events

    By Participating Your Voice Just Got Louder!

    Live, Learn, and Give New Meaning to Social Networking

    NCYS S.T.R.I.V.E. Award Program

    The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) and Chartis are proud to present the 2012 S.T.R.I.V.E. Award for Organization of the Year. This award recognizes organizations that embrace a "kids first" approach, evidenced by their implementation of recognized best practices and policies that protect kids and promote safety within their organization.

    This award praises organizations' commitment to kids' safety and health, demonstrating to young people that it is possible for Sports to Teach Respect, Initiative, Values and Excellence without compromising safety. Criteria for selection includes demonstrating a heartfelt passion and a commitment and a contagious spirit for helping kids succeed in youth sports activities while maintaining a commitment to established safety procedures.

    Youth sports play a vital role in the development of well-rounded youngsters by helping to teach children the importance of good sportsmanship, important safety practices, the rewards of hard work and practice, and the sweet taste of victory. The NCYS STRIVE Award recognizes the best of the best!

    The top "Five for STRIVE" finalists' profiles were placed on the STRIVE Organization of the Year webpage and promoted via social media. The general public voted for their favorite finalist via the STRIVE website beginning in the summer of 2012. The organization that collected the most votes will won the award. An astounding 10,000 online votes were cast!

    The 2012 winners have been selected and the blockbuster award ceremony event will be held Tuesday, September 11th at the ASA Softball Complex in Oklahoma City!

    NCYS CEO Summit and Legislative Fly-In

    Believe it or not you are in government relations! Government relations programs can be informational, reactive, proactive, or a mix. The NCYS is prepared to put forth legislation, respond to legislation that has already been introduced, and mobilize grassroots volunteers when a bill is approaching final action, or commenting on published regulations.

    We are prepared to provide input to lawmakers, especially those on the public policy committees or legislative subcommittees that work on fine-tuning bills. We are also prepared to be proactive government relations partners with other groups by initiating legislation and providing input for laws and regulations as they are written.

    Periodically, the NCYS brings together the amateur sports industry leadership for a CEO Summit and Legislative Fly-In at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC to:

    • provide focused discussions of timely subjects,
    • be an effective advocate in the legislative process on issues effecting amateur youth sports,
    • visit with U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives to influence Congressional legislation.

    The success generated by a collaborative industry approach goes a long way in establishing critical long-term communications opportunities to promote amateur sports and business issues in Washington.

    S.P.O.R.T.S. - The Relationship Conference!

    How do you describe S.P.O.R.T.S. - The Relationship Conference? How about this... a place to develop new strategies, make lifelong connections, secure sports events for your destination, refreshing, fun, work, play, personal, progressive, motivating, real. S.P.O.R.T.S. is where all youth sports leaders, sports event planners of all types/all sizes, as well as destination host organizations, industry suppliers, corporate vendors, and service providers are invited to attend a really, really different industry event.

    The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) is a partner in S.P.O.R.T.S. with SportsEvents Magazine. S.P.O.R.T.S. is known for its one-of-a-kind town hall meetings. This is an open forum with a unique frank discussion format for industry leaders, grass roots organizers, amateur youth sports leaders, sports events planners, destination marketers and everyone in between to talk, question, and share. S.P.O.R.T.S. gives new meaning to social networking!

    This year's S.P.O.R.T.S. is being held September 10-13, 2012 at the Renaissance Hotel in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We ask leaders to pay it forward spreading the word to other colleagues who might benefit from this extraordinary opportunity.

    This event is a terrific opportunity to connect with other sports industry colleagues with one-on-one personal meetings and learn more about sites, destinations, event management and related industry issues. S.P.O.R.T.S. 2012 is designed to form lasting, meaningful relationships and do what it takes to earn each others business. As of this writing more than 1,100 pre-scheduled appointments have been made! Now that's what I call opening up the lines of new business opportunities!

    S.P.O.R.T.S. brings us out from behind our computers to unwind face-to-face and to do some real good business together. Clearly the strength of our industry lies in the collaboration and interacting with our peers. S.P.O.R.T.S. provides us the setting to be forward thinking and share our experiences and knowledge for the betterment of our common goals.

    These high energy educational training conferences are moving across the country and gaining momentum! S.P.O.R.T.S. 2012 is the sixth such meeting following prior locations in Birmingham Alabama, Palm Beach County Florida, Orlando Florida, Branson, Missouri, and Orange Beach, Alabama.

    Special thanks to SportsEvents Magazine for generously sponsoring the National Council of Youth Sports board meeting. The National Council of Youth Sports is a proud partner of S.P.O.R.T.S. and we appreciate SportsEvents Magazine's Publisher Talty O'Connor and his staff's dedicated commitment to the amateur youth sports industry.

    MOTEL 6 "NCYS Official Lodging Partner"

    The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) is proud to be working with Motel 6 to offer affordable lodging to its members for sports and leisure travel. The partnership offers NCYS members a discount on Motel 6 and Studio 6 room reservations.

    Youth sports organizations can find clean, comfortable rooms and great service at the lowest price of any national hotel chain as they travel for sporting events and leisure. Motel 6 offers a low price and a great value without sacrificing comfort.

    Motel 6 is ideal for the budget-minded sports traveler. The partnership is a natural fit for the NCYS members who serve more than 60-million young athlete participants. We encourage our members to contact Motel 6 to learn how their organization and its members can benefit from a customized partnership.

    Team-Up!

    NCYS Helps Our Members Grow

    Helping Leaders Make their Organizations the Best they Can Be

    LeagueAthletics.com

    For more than a decade, LeagueAthletics.com has been providing youth sports organizations with high quality web sites, online registration, communications, and member management services and solutions to thousands of sports programs across the United States and around the world.

    The NCYS joined with other national partners like the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) and US Lacrosse, to assist our members and their constituents with a complete online sports management solution by LeagueAthletics.com.

    With League Athletics services, a club can easily move from traditional paper registrations to a simpler, more organized online experience, making the process much easier for the club members and reducing administrative work for volunteers.

    Sports programs love LeagueAthletics.com's product, and most importantly, their service. It is the most cost-effective way to communicate league information to parents, volunteers and players, and the kids love it too.

    LeagueAthletic.com offers a no obligation, 30-day free trial. They also have free first-class technical support available to all LeagueAthletics.com customers no matter the size of the organization. We encourage teams, leagues, and youth sports organizations to get their team or league online today!

    SmartGivingCards.com/Sports

    The purpose of this program is to assist youth sports organizations with responsible and respectable fundraising solutions that provide for funds from the grass-tops national organizations to the grassroots local teams and leagues. The program is sponsored by Locker81 Fundraising Solutions and owned by NFL great, Heisman trophy winner, successful businessman Tim Brown who has a sincere desire to give back to youth sports in a meaningful way.

    There are two products that will provide organizations with residual income thus reducing - and eventually eliminating - the need to start over with a new fundraiser every year:

    • Smart Giving VISA Debit Card (Prepaid)
    • Smart Giving VISA Payroll Card

    The Smart Giving Card program provide fundraising relief and is a great way for youth sports organizations to responsibly raise money while the teams, leagues, coaches, parents, volunteers, staff members, friends and family use the VISA debit card for their normal day-to-day purchases. "Everyday Spending Becomes Everyday Funding" when the Smart Giving VISA Debit Card is used at retail stores, and for gasoline, groceries, entertainment, sporting goods equipment, online shopping, etc. as well as for team expenditures including registrations, insurance, uniforms, equipment, and team travel.

    This universal VISA card can be used anywhere, anytime. One simply uses a VISA debit card for their regular spending and concurrently generates fundraising dollars for their organization.

    Communications

    NCYS is something to shout about!

    Website, Social Media, Electronic & Paper Press

    www.NCYS.org

    The NCYS website is our "face" to the youth sports industry we represent, and our website drives new business to us everyday serving as our most valued area of communication, visibility, brand marketing, and source of expansion.

    We regularly receive compliments on how organized, easy to navigate, uncluttered/clean appearance the NCYS website. Feedback is that www.ncys.org is informative, comprehensive, and defining giving the reader a good understanding of who we are and what we stand for.

    NCYS is pleased that individuals, corporations, organizations, pr agencies, coaches, parents, administrators, media, marketing firms, etc. etc, etc. utilize NCYS the go-to organization for resources and services. www.ncys.org serves as a valuable source and clearinghouse.

    The website is current, exciting and full of new resources for the entire youth sports industry and beyond. Please visit the National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) new website www.ncys.org and see all the awesome resources available to you!

    Social Media

    Social media participation has become an essential tool in networking with professional contacts, making new contacts, recruiting employees, and keeping in touch with the world. The Internet has opened up communication across world boundaries. What a perfect way to use the social media components to expand your network, enhance your career, add friends, make connections, recruit employees, find people with scarce skills, develop candidate pools of passive potential employees, and enlarge your world view. Used wisely, social media can add significant inputs/outputs to professional development, networking opportunities and personal branding.

    NCYS has a Facebook group, a LinkedIn page, and a Twitter account. We added YouTube and it holds people on our website longer which is good for search engines!

    LinkedIn is our most popular social networking media with over 500 members and more than 1,200 connections. The visibility and new contacts has been staggering. We use both LinkedIn and Facebook as an additional effective marketing tool for spreading the word on new partnerships, programs, opportunities directly to those who have similar interests and wanted to be an active part of the youth sports industry. We look forward to those in our new social media community joining the National Council of Youth Sports.

    NCYS has found co-branding webinars and webcasts with our members as a great way to help our members spread their message throughout the world. It also allows other members to see what other organizations are doing and how they might be able to duplicate some of the concepts into their own programming.

    Electronic and Paper Press

    We are pleased to share with you that the Associated Press, Reuters, USA Today, New York Times, Fortune, and ESPN are among those who have utilized NCYS for references, resources, and interviews.

    Championship Thinking in Sports radio talk show has afforded us the opportunity to share the good works of NCYS through Internet broadcast interviews.

    And watch for the exciting announcement coming soon... NCYS is hitting the big screen!

    In Closing

    This report is an attempt to highlight some of the activity among our top programs and projects. Obviously membership recruitment and retainment, marketing, administrative responsibilities, securing funding, responding to market research inquiries, public relations, building brand identity-credibility-visibility awareness, and staying current with advocacy issues; in addition to responding to our sponsors, creating partnerships, providing member services, developing leadership and solid organizational structure, promoting the programs, website maintenance, etc., etc., etc. are all just a part of the daily activity.

    We are most appreciative and offer a huge thank to our corporate partners for their confidence in us as well as their generosity. Without them, we absolutely would not exist. The people who comprise the sports industry are really unique. I am forever inspired by their dedication, determination, and untiring loyalty. It is this combined commitment of unwavering support that keeps my enthusiasm and passion at its peak motivating me to drive youth sports forward in an optimistic and constructive way.

    It is when we share our knowledge that we discover the most. Everyday is a learning experience. Please continue to exchange good ideas, make new contacts, meet new people, and stay connected. It's easy to get lost behind our computers, PDAs, Blackberry's and Smartphones. Don't forget to pick up the phone, attend meetings in person and reach out. It is when we come together that we are stronger in our service and the most effective in our common mission.

    It is such an honor to be able to share with you, the youth sports industry leaders, a piece of the excitement and joy that I live with and cherish each and every day. One of the joys of my job it to bring people within the industry together, to share successes and help build a pipeline with a flow of relevant information from the grass tops to the grass roots and from the grass roots to the grass tops.

    Thank you for all that you do each and every day to make a child's life more fun and more complete. And thank you for this extraordinary opportunity, honor, and extreme privilege to serve the National Council of Youth Sports.

    Yours truly for the kids,

    Sally S. Johnson, CSA, IOM
    Executive Director
    National Council of Youth Sports

    Click Here for the 2012 Executive Director's Report [PDF]
    Click Here for the 2011 Executive Director's Report [PDF]
    Click Here for the 2010 Executive Director's Report [PDF]
    Click Here for the 2009 Executive Director's Report [PDF]
    Click Here for the 2008 Executive Director's Report [PDF]
    Click Here for the 2007 Executive Director's Report [PDF]
    Click Here for the 2006 Executive Director's Report [PDF]