In the Uvalde (Texas) Independent School District, campus entry restrictions have been tightened after a 22 year old man was found impersonating a college softball coach. (Full story here). The suspect was arrested after having posed as an assistant coach for the non-existent Laredo Community College softball program. His cover story was that he had been hired to help start a softball program and was scouting for players. Because he “looked the part” he was given access to players and obtained their contact information. He later used this information to contact the players at all hours of the day. He was charged with five counts of impersonating a public servant. As a result of his conduct, additional restrictions have been placed on athletic recruiters seeking access to school campuses.
This same concern should apply to youth sports clubs in general, with respect to strangers entering your field complex for any reason. Certainly, in the select soccer environment, scouts do come to some games. Sports photographers often show up at public parks and offer their services. Still other people may appear offering coaching or training services to youth players and their parents. A good risk management program seeks to control access to youth participants even in public settings. Field monitors should be alert to people who appear out of place or seek personal information about players. Centralizing recruiting contacts can provide a means to confirm the legitimacy of a contact. To the extent the club can control access to the venue, strict entry/contact requirements should apply.
Placek Consulting can assist you in creating a field monitoring or vendor management plan.