Power of the Permit: Improving Youth Sports Safety One Municipality at a Time


If you are involved in a private youth sports program which plays on publicly-owned fields, diamonds, rinks, or courts, or are in local government, you have probably been hearing a lot lately about what is being dubbed the "power of the permit": the authority municipalities and towns around the country are using to condition use of their athletic facilities by private programs on compliance with state concussion safety laws from which they would otherwise be exempt, or, in an increasing number of instances, to fill gaps in their state's law.

A growing number of municipalities are using the power of the permit to require private sports programs to comply with state-mandated concussion safety laws, or impose additional conditions beyond those required by state law, but, as MomsTEAM Institute Executive Director explains, it isn't an isolated or new phenomenon. It's been a growing trend for years.

How to Improve Youth Sports Safety: Focus On Protecting The Whole Child

As a woman and mother fighting to keep kids safe playing sports for the past twenty-five years, MomsTEAM Founder, Brooke de Lench, knows that, just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes the involvement of every youth sports stakeholder to protect children at play from abuse, not just physical abuse, but emotional, psychological and sexual, and from sports injuries, many of which are preventable.


Every year our city baseball league creates teams for the elite players. We have the 10 year old all-stars, the 11s, and this year for the 12s, we have two teams. For the 12 year old players, one team runs a 70 foot baseline from home to first. This team is the "A" team for all practical purposes. Then there the other team, the "B" team runs a 60 foot baseline.

Reforming Youth Sports: Community, Grass-Roots Parent Activism Needed

Because parents come and go and because change at the national level is unlikely, reforming youth sports is most likely to occur at the grass roots, community level. It is there that concerned parents can make youth sports as much about having fun as about winning, make sports safer, and give every child a chance to play.
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