EPIC: Volunteer Training
All volunteers working directly with EPIC players need to be trained before the season begins. The training will be delivered in the form of a clinic, a workshop or online training. Having trained volunteers reduces risks both for the players and the volunteers and helps to ensure a positive experience for everyone.
Both types of EPIC programs – those that are part of an AYSO Region and those that are EPIC Leagues – are part of AYSO, therefore subject to its training requirements. Training is offered at the Region, Area and Section levels at various times and locations.
Contact your EPIC S/A/R representatives or look on AYSOU (Etrainu) for local training availability.
AYSO designates training and certification as necessary components of Safe Haven, its risk management program developed in response to the Child Protection Act of 1993 and the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997. Training is related to the duties of the job the volunteer has agreed to do, e.g., coach. Certification is verification that the volunteer has been trained in child specific standards and understands the Safe Haven guidelines pertaining to their job.
EPIC coaches should take EPIC Volunteer Training and age-specific AYSO coaching courses. AYSO coaches have the most exposure to players, therefore the highest level of risk. The fact that parents are required to attend practices and games for EPIC players does not eliminate the need for the coach to be properly trained and certified. EPIC coaches should take at a minimum the U-6 Coaching Course and use the EPIC Coach Manual. Taking more coaching courses is recommended and many EPIC players expect the coach to have more advanced knowledge to keep teaching new skills as they progress and develop as players.
The training of EPIC referees is handled differently because it is assumed that official referees used in EPIC games are experienced, therefore previously trained and certified. In games for which there is no official referee, an EPIC coach should assume the officiating duties, and that training is covered in the EPIC Volunteer Training.
AYSO Buddies should not be allowed to assist players on the field without training that is appropriate for their role. It is strongly recommended that all Buddies take EPIC Volunteer Training in addition to a one-hour EPIC Buddy Training, as well as AYSO’s Safe Haven.