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16 and 17 Year Olds in Open Age Football

Keeping 16 and 17 year olds safe in open age football

Learn requirements and find guidance on 16 and 17 year olds in open age football...


16/17 year olds in Open age Football

Following communication from The FA, all County FAs are now sharing requirements and best practice of safeguarding across grassroots affiliated football which encompasses 16/17-year-olds playing in open-age football.

The communication confirms that everyone working (i.e. coaching/managing) with under 18s, whether in youth or open-age adult football, are subject to The FA’s Safeguarding Policy and Procedures, underpinned by legislation. Having undertaken an audit on the FA Whole Game System, some clubs have been highlighted as having 16/17-year-old players.

Where 16- and 17-year-olds will be playing in the team, the coaching/management team require an FA DBS. If the club also have a youth section, the Club Welfare Officer may be able to assist with the DBS. If this is not possible, please contact Helen or Wayne, who will be able to offer support.

Listed below are areas that these clubs will now need to consider, with the intention to implement. We recognise this will be a change in practice for some clubs and would, therefore, like to take this opportunity to share that our Designated Safeguarding Officer Helen Hever and colleague, Emily Reece, are here to support and assist clubs in this process.

  • DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) Checks - Coaches/Managers and Assistants, First Aiders and Club Welfare Officers
  • Adopting a Safeguarding Children Policy
  • Appointing a Club Welfare Officer
  • Sharing "Know your Rights" with 16/17 year old players
Click below for further information, guidance and templates

Player Welfare in Open-Age Football

This course is for coaches, club welfare officers and committee members within open age football (teams with players aged 16+), and will look at player welfare while covering a range of topics including:

  • Understanding more about player welfare and why it is important
  • The physical and digital environments at your club and how these can affect player welfare
  • How positive culture and behaviour can support player welfare
  • Safeguarding for adults and Under-18s
  • The impact of mental health and mental illness on players and the support available
  • Other welfare issues that can arise in clubs, leagues, and counties
  • How to report concerns to support player welfare
16 and 17 year olds in Open-Age football welfare course