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What is a Certified Youth Sports Organization (CYSO)?

A Certified Youth Sports Organization has demonstrated that it adheres to best practices and has established reasonable operating procedures, which protect participants, volunteers, administrators and those who provide access to facilities.

Youth Sports Organizations that verify that standards have been met will receive the Certified Youth Sports Organization (CYSO) designation and be allowed to use a logo designed for that purpose by the Bernalillo County Youth Sports Commission. The CYSO designation will show that a Youth Sports Organization meets minimum requirements to conduct youth sports activities, including the following:

Registration: Formal organization and publicly available contact information.

Risk Management: Lawful protection and liability limitation for all participants, volunteers and employees.

Health and Safety: Policies and training to protect the health and safety of participants.

Education: Programs and training that support personal and community physical and behavioral health

The Certified Youth Sports Organization designation will automatically meet the minimum requirements for County facility use, although access and scheduling will be determined by Bernalillo County Parks & Recreation staff based on availability.


A CYSO will meet the following basic requirements:


A CYSO must be registered with Bernalillo County. Registration includes the following:

Names and contact information for the Youth Sports Organization’s leadership.

Description of services and demographics.

501c3 and other Secretary of State of New Mexico organizing documents.

Duly adopted bylaws and written standard operating procedures.


A CYSO must have documented risk management protocols including the following:

APPLICATIONS: A CYSO must have a registration or application process for all volunteers and paid personnel.

BACKGROUND CHECKS: A CYSO will ensure that mandatory background checks are conducted for all staff, coaches, game officials and other individual in position of authority or those with repeated direct contact with youth participants.

a. Background checks must be renewed at least every other year.
b. National background checks must be performed by a third party.
c. Youth Sports Organizations must provide a unique and individualized identification card that proves the background check has been passed. This card must be visible at all events where the adult participant interacts with the youth.

DISQUALIFICATION OF APPLICANTS: A CYSO shall disqualify an applicant who is found to have been convicted of the below offenses. Regardless of the time-frame they must be disqualified from working with the Youth Sports Organization in any capacity. Additionally, pending convictions or arrests for the following must be considered disqualified:

a. Rape
b. Any crime of sexual nature
c. Possession or dissemination of pornography
d. Homicide or attempted murder
e. Child neglect
f. Any crime against children

INSURANCE: A CYSO must provide appropriate liability insurance, facilities and second party medical insurance as required by industry standard.

CODE OF ETHICS: A CYSO must adopt a code of ethics that all staff, coaches, volunteers, game officials and parents read and sign each year.

EVIDENCE: A CYSO must provide written evidence that these protocols are being followed.


A CYSO will maintain documented health and safety protocols that include the following:

1. Mandatory concussion training for participants and game officials (e.g. free group training through NYSCA, CDC and USA Football)
2. Mandatory first aid training for coaches and assistant coaches that also includes the following:

  • Sudden cardiac arrest
  • CPR
  • Heat related illness
  • Anti-Bullying

3. As requested by the Youth Sports Commission, the CYSO must provide evidence that health and safety protocols are
being followed.


A CYSO will provide introductory training for all coaches, administrators and board members that includes the following:

1. Age-appropriate skills and physical development
2. Nutrition & physical fitness
3. Sport specific health education (e.g., cutting weight in wrestling …)
4. Appropriate communication methods with players
5. Parent and spectator management
6. Communication with officials
7. Code of ethics

Implementation and Administration

The certification process will be developed and administered by the Youth Sports Commission subject to Parks & Recreation review and approval, as follows:

A. The Youth Sports Commission will develop a list of standards and the process for determining how youth sports Youth Sports Organizations meet CYSO certification requirements.
B. The Youth Sports Commission will develop a list of resources to help Youth Sports Organizations meet the certification requirements. These resources will be listed on a webpage hosted by Bernalillo County, and where appropriate, links to these resources will be provided.
C. The Youth Sports Commission will be responsible for any personnel needed to implement and maintain the certification process. Expenses of administering the certification process will not exceed fees collected from applicants for the CYSO designation.
D. The Youth Sports Commission will develop a logo for recipients of the CYSO designation.
E. Implementation of the CYSO certification program will begin on January 1, 2017. Parks & Recreation will develop policies for use of County Parks & Recreation facilities that give preference to Youth Sports Organizations that have the CYSO designation as part of Park & Recreation's policy on Facility Use, Vendor Permitting and Fees.

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