Understanding guidelines, requirements for coaches of youth sports

LAS VEGAS - Bail was set at $100,000 for a North Las Vegas youth soccer coach arrested for lewdness.

Agustin Ramirez-Rodriguez, 54, is charged with two counts of lewdness involving a 15-year-old girl he was coaching, police said.

The incident allegedly occurred at a park in the 1900 block of E. Tonopah Avenue. Ramirez-Rodriguez was coaching several different teams.

Police said they were contacted May 16 about the inappropriate touching of the coach.

Rodriguez- Ramirez was an independent coach who headed up multiple teams, and his arrest has raised concern about requirements instructors have to obtain to coach children.

When it comes to coaching youth sports in the valley, most organizations require background checks.  But some parents 8 News NOW spoke with says stricter requirements need to be in place for those wanting to coach youth sports.

Brooklyn Cox is only 3 1/2 years old, and soon, she'll graduate to playing soccer.

Katie Boer, 8 News NOW Reporter: "Want to play soccer someday?
Brooklyn: "Yea."
Boer: "Do you like kicking a soccer ball?"
Brooklyn: "Uh huh."

Brooklyn's mom Brittany plans to enroll her in youth sports when she gets older, but she says she's a little leery after hearing about the recent allegations of lewdness against a youth soccer coach.

"It's actually really scary to hear that," Cox said.  "It's pretty terrifying actually."

Cox, along with other parents say background checks should be the very minimum required for coaches when they're dealing with kids.

"The background check should be absolutely something that's required," said Michael Stanberry, parent.  "That's the first thing that we should do; do as much as we can to find out who these people are that are watching our children."

"Maybe fingerprints if that's an option," Cox said.  "But yeah, definitely background checks for sure."

To coach in North Las Vegas potential coaches have to pass a background check before they can do anything.

In Clark County, any coach or volunteer sports instructor is required to pass a background check and fingerprinting.  The same rule applies for the City of Las Vegas as well, but the city also requires a hair drug screening. 

In Henderson, volunteer coaches are required to go through a background check, but they also must earn and maintain a certification through the National Youth Sports Coaches Association for City-sponsored Sports Leagues.

Other private leagues like the Desert Gymcats follow strict USA Gymnastics guidelines like not stretching players or being with gymnasts alone.

The Nevada Youth Football League requires a sit-down interview and a police background check, and that's for people who even want to be a water boy or a team mom.

The Little League International, which is the first youth sports organization to require some level of background checks, says it has strict regulations for background checks on anybody involved with kids in the organization in Nevada.  They also have to follow state regulations and can't be a sex offender.

Competitive league coaches may use City of Las Vegas facilities, but since they're not city employees of volunteers, it's only up to the competitive leagues to screen their coaches.

 


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