TOPSoccer Frequently Asked Questions
How are TOPSoccer players covered by insurance?
They are covered in the same way as any other registered player, although it is good practice to check with your insurance carrier before beginning a program. Because the children have special medical needs, however, a TOPSoccer program’s requirements for disclosure of medical history must be more detailed. This is to help coaches and program administrators in finding the appropriate level of activity in which that child may safely participate. In addition, it is recommended that parents of a player sign an informed consent agreement to participate.
Is special training required to coach or volunteer?
No, however it is helpful to have some experience in working with people with disabilities. This is one reason training of coaches and volunteers is a very high priority with TOPSoccer.
If a child has a disability, must he play in the TOPSoccer program?
No. In fact, in Arkansas today we have many players with disabilities playing on rec and even classic teams. These players will not be affected by TOPSoccer, and in fact, one of the goals of the TOPSoccer program is to help special needs athletes who are capable of playing in a higher level of competition transition smoothly onto a recreational or classic team.
What does the American Disabilities Act (ADA) act have to do with soccer?
The ADA itself has nothing to do with the game of soccer. However, when clubs or state associations are building fields or facilities, they must be accessible to individuals with disabilities. If you as a club or state association are using public facilities for your current program and are not including those with disabilities, then you could be in violation of the ADA and are discriminating against people with disabilities.
Arkansas has a good Special Olympics program that offers soccer. Why do we need TOPSoccer?
Special Olympics is a great organization, however most Special Olympics coaches are not soccer-trained and they are responsible for coaching their athletes in all sports. We want TOPSoccer to work hand-in-hand with Special Olympics, helping Special Olympics develop that avenue for kids to play. TOPSoccer, though, provides opportunities for children with a broader range of disabilities to participate through an organization with resources devoted to soccer.