Revised National Standards for Youth Sports Released
County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation’s Manuel Escobar plays instrumental role
Manuel Escobar, East Regional Operations Manager for the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation, was one of the key recreation professionals who contributed valuable guidance and insight in the revising of the National Standards for Youth Sports, which were recently released by the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS).
Since 1987 the Standards have served as the nation’s most important youth sports resource for how programs must be conducted to best meet the needs of children. In recent years, the youth sports landscape has undergone significant changes, so NAYS turned to its trusted network of Certified Youth Sports Administrators (CYSA) to tap into their expertise and examine how the Standards could be improved.
Escobar has been a longtime CYSA and serves as the Region 1 Leader of NAYS’ Certified Youth Sports Administrator (CYSA) Leadership Team. This elite group consists of CYSAs from around the world dedicated to operating youth sports programs with integrity and professionalism while helping guide policy and standards in youth sports programming and administration.
“I believe that the National Standard for Youth Sports should be utilized by every parks and recreation department in the country. They are the gold standard that Parks and Recreation Professionals should use every day in their youth sports programs. This tool provides guidelines to ensure a fun and safe learning environment for children, parents, coaches and staff in our programs” said Escobar.
In late 2016, after a comprehensive review and analysis of the Standards by Escobar and other CYSA Leadership Team members, the new edition was presented at the NAYS Youth Sports Congress in Orlando, Fla., to provide CYSAs from around the country and on U.S. military bases worldwide an opportunity to provide input.
“Manuel has played an instrumental role throughout on the CYSA Leadership Team and in this process,” said Lisa Licata, Sr. Director of Professional Administrators for NAYS. “His experiences overseeing youth programming in LA County were so valuable as we examined how we could enhance the Standards to benefit communities and participants nationwide.”
This new edition reflects the consensus of this group to restructure the existing document into four Core Areas, each having specific and implementable standards. The standards within each Core Area now provide a more concise framework by which youth sports programs should be designed and executed.
In addition to the four Core Areas and the specific Standards within each, the document also features three additional sections that provide information for professional youth sports administrators, volunteers and parents to explain what the Standards specifically mean to each group.
While the Standards focus specifically on recreational youth sports programs, they are applicable in a variety of sports settings to help ensure safe, positive and child-centered experiences.
The Standards can be downloaded at no cost from the NAYS website: www.nays.org. NAYS also encourages all recreation professionals, as well as anyone involved in recreational youth sports, to show their support of the Standards by adding their name to the Signatures of Support page on the NAYS website.