January 2014

the  integrity and high ethical standards our industry demands. It's hard to believe but true that there are a few who have taken photographs of youngsters only to enhance them in an unethical, immoral and illegal way. 

At the forefront of this issue is the need to assure a kid safe environment in which our children can be fostered in good sportsmanship and learn the tremendous upsides from team fellowship and athletics. Providing a clean, safe and fun environment is important for the sport to continue to grow and thrive. Parents ,ust have the highest degree of confidence that their children are not only receiving good care and proper instruction, but are also safe from negative and improper conduct form all those who interact with them. These basic principles are crucial to maintaining a positive image and good reputation in the community but also for a safer, more wholesome society.

The objective is to create a pipeline for teams and leagues to reference assuring them that their youth sports photographer has undergone a NCSI criminal background check and had done his or her due diligence in providing the organization with the best possible peace of mind with professionalism and solid moral principles.

The NCYS appreciates those photographers who uphold an honorable reputation and thank those who have been recognized by the Photographers For Kid Safety network. The dedicated professional, ethical, and responsible commitment to keeping kids safe will have a positive impact today and for generations to come.

Yours truly for the kids,

Sally S. Johnson, CSA, IOM

Executive Director

In recent years, safety issues, photographers access to young athletes, manipulation of digital imagery, and the increase in publicized legal cases have alerted us with increased concern. The Photographers for Kid Safety program was founded by photography industry leaders, the National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) and the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) --a complete background screening program to promote safety and protect children. The Photographers for Kid Safety initiative has helped bring the issue of protecting the safety of our athletes from potentially unqualified photographers onto the national stage.  

For over 17 years I have proudly served as the national executive director for the National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS). The NCYS membership represents more than 60,000,000 boys and girls registered in organized youth sports programs. 

The purpose of the Photographers for Kid Safety program is to be certain that those photographing our young athletes - professional photographers, parents with cameras, sideline amateurs, and spectators with cameras - exhibit impeccable character and a positive commitment to his/her profession within the photo industry and amateur youth sports Kid Safe community. The goal is to hold photographers to a high standard of integrity, a dedication to solid business ethics, and a pledge to protect all youth ensuring a safe and secure environment for athletes both on and off the playing field.   

The NCYS is well-known for advocacy in promoting safe environments and healthy lifestyles for stronger neighborhoods and communities. We are an untiring advocate for youth issues, for the protection of children, and for eradicating criminal behavior in our organizations as well as society in order to make a positive difference for children of all backgrounds, genders, abilities, cultures and economic diversities.   

As the Photographers for Kid Safety program progresses, a marketing suggestion might be to add a category to the NCYS STRIVE Award (Sports Teach Respect Initiative Values and Excellence). The STRIVE Award has credible national recognition and a built-in audience. The Sports Photographer of the Year award would bring media attention, drive value, promotion and positive branding to the Photographers for Kid Safety program through our vast NCYS network. 

​Photographers that are for Kid Safety are important for the safety and protection of the children, families, communities as well as society as a whole. The National Council of Youth Sports fully supports the advancement of the Photographers for Kid Safety program and we look forward to the program continuing to build momentum, escalate interest and expand its reach.
media, the government, corporate America and the leaders in and around the industry. The NCYS members are the gatekeepers, the decision-makers, the power of influence and  behavior, and the advocates for valued amateur youth sports participation. NCYS is the largest known organization in America representing youth-serving industry. No other sport organization in America reaches more grassroots participants than the combined membership of the NCYS. Our reason to exist is to enhance the youth sports experience in America! 

Check out our website at
www.ncys.org and view all the good work NCYS does for the youth sports industry its membership serves. Together we are a powerhouse of positive influence! Thanks again for doing your part to eradicate criminal behavior from our youth-serving programs and unite as a community to keep kids safe.
NCYS invites you to join our team of "who's who" and receive regular communications, program opportunities and invaluable networking within the youth sports industry.  Click here: www.ncys.org/joinonline to conveniently join the National Council of Youth Sports online.
The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) was founded in 1979.  Our membership represents more than 60,000,000 registered participants/44,000,000 actual boys and girls participating in organized youth sports programs nationwide.  NCYS is the portal to the amateur youth sports industry. Our reach is broad and deep into the grassroots of America's heartland. Our programs are 100% local community-based with a passion to create a better, more wholesome society in America.  We are well-known for our advocacy in promoting healthy lifestyles and safe environments for stronger neighborhoods and communities. 

NCYS members are organizations such as Pop Warner Football, Little League Baseball, U.S. Youth Soccer, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), USA Gymnastics, USA Softball, U.S. Lacrosse, USA Field Hockey, U.S. Bowling Congress, USA Hockey, YMCA, and many U.S. Olympic Committee NGBs (national governing bodies)to name a few.  A complete list of NCYS members can be found on our website
www.ncys.org.  ​

​Credibility, integrity and vigilant visibility have remained at the core of everything we do for our members and our industry. NCYS is unique and we pride ourselves on living up to our strategic Plan as well as being respected by our members, the

The Sports Photographers Invitation to Join the National Council of Youth Sports!


The NCYS represents the youth sports industry by advancing the values of participation and educating and developing leaders.

 "A unified voice for youth sports."


To enhance the youth sports experience in America. 


* Develop and share among members and others education, information, and leadership skills.

* Encourage members to promote the active participation by all youth in fun and healthy physical activities according to their interests and abilities.

* Promote universal recognition that organized youth sports can develop positive attributes including healthier lifestyles, self-esteem, fair play and good citizenship.  
The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) is proud to be working with Frank Hadfield, founder of the Sports Photographers Association of America, SPAA. Frank is well noted in the sports photography industry and comes to us as a representative of a network of committed professional photographers and SPAA,  now a chapter of The Photo Marketing Association International, PMAI. All involved are determined to help make our Kids Safe.
The NCYS strongly encourages all those affiliated with the youth sports industry to be certain that the photographer they hire has submitted to a NCSI criminal background screening and has agreed to operate their business by a strict code of ethical behavior.

Welcome Sports Photographers

Thank you for your commitment to keeping Kids Safe!

The advancements in photography from film to digital imagery has created a wealth of opportunities for the youth sports photographers to better serve the photographic needs and wants of their most valued customers, the youth sports participants.  

On the one hand, these technological advances allow for a more effective and efficient operation.  On the other hand, the ease of manipulating digital photography and the wide use of the internet has opened the door for disturbing illegal activity.  

This is a problem the National Council of Youth Sports is addressing head-on.  In order to eradicate this problem before it gets out of hand, we have implemented a process to help ensure a safe and secure environment for athletes with criminal background screening services provided by the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI). 

While the vast majority of photographers in the sports photography industry conduct their businesses ethically and professionally, there are some who have compromised