Dorset FA

Safeguarding In Open-Age Adult Football

Safeguarding advice for open-age clubs with 16 and 17-year-old players

Dorset FA is aware that many 16 and 17-year-old players look to play in open-age adult football.

This is a fantastic opportunity for young players to progress and be challenged both technically and physically, however club officials, managers and players must also recognise that these young players are still legally children.

It is a mandatory requirement that all team officials who work with players under the age of 18 must hold an in-date FA DBS Check.

Clubs with under-18s in open-age adult teams (including disability teams) are required to:

Identify which teams have or are likely to have 16/17-year-old players
o If they are registered with your team then safeguards must be in place, even if they have not played yet. 
Identify the coach/manager for each team (including any assistant coaches/managers)
o Someone must be identified in this role; they do not have to have any coaching qualifications to be named as the coach/manager;
o List them on The FA’s Whole Game System alongside the registered team. This can be done by the club secretary, assistant secretary or if you have youth teams by the club welfare officer.
o If the coach/manager changes you must update this information.
Support coaches/managers to complete an FA DBS Check
o Read The FA DBS Check – FAQs:
o If your club does not have a Welfare Officer, please contact Dorset FA on to apply for your FA DBS Check. 
Adopt and adhere to The FA’s Safeguarding Children Policy
o Read and use The FA’s Safeguarding Children Policy Club Template: 
Provide 16/17-year-old players with safeguarding information
o Distribute The FA’s guidance ‘Know your rights’: to all 16/17-year-old players, host this information on your club website, consider making it part of a ‘welcome pack’ for new players aged 16/17 years old.

Helpful Resources

Understanding your Rights in Football
Club Safeguarding Children Policy for Clubs with 16/17-year olds
Club Safeguarding Children Policy for Adult Leagues
DBS FAQs for Open-Age Adult Football