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Bill of Rights for Young Athletes

The Bill of rights for young athletes was developed in the 1980's by Dr. Vern Seefeldt, professor emeritus at the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, and Dr. Rainier Martens, in response to growing concerns regarding the abuse of young athletes.

This bill has been used by a number of national organizations as a guidelines for coaches and parents. Feel free to use this bill as a guide for the coaches and parents in your organization. However, please recognize the authors and the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports as its source.

  1. Right to participate in sports
  2. Right to participate at a level commensurate with each child's maturity and ability
  3. Right to have qualified adult leadership.
  4. Right to play as a child and not as an adult
  5. Right of children to share in the leadership and decision-making of their sport participation
  6. Right to participate in safe and healthy environments
  7. Right to proper preparation for participation in sports
  8. Right to an equal opportunity to strive for success
  9. Right to be treated with dignity
  10. Right to have fun in sports

Reprinted with permission from Guidelines for Children's Sports, R. Martens and V. Seefeldt (Eds.)., Washington, D.C. American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 1979.

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