Last revised December 31, 2019
The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, including USA Volleyball and Its Regional Volleyball Associations are committed to the safety of athletes and participants involved in sport. The USOPC requires NGBs, PSOs, and HPMOs, in this case, USA Volleyball (hereinafter “USAV”) and its Regional Volleyball Associations (hereafter “RVA”) to conduct background checks.
All provisions of this policy are mandatory in substance and must be followed as applicable. The USOPC has set forth the minimum standards and basic requirements that USAV and RVA are required to follow. In addition, the USOPC has authorized USAV and RVA to adopt background check standards that are more demanding than the USOPC policy.
This policy applies to the following USAV and RVA groups and individuals that are 18 years of age or older (all individuals falling under this policy shall have a successful USAV background check on record prior to participation in the role unless another timeframe is indicated below):
A. USAV and RVA employees and individuals that USAV or RVA authorize, approve or appoint to (a) serve in a position of authority over or (b) have regular contact with athletes. 1 This shall include, but is not limited to, USAV and RVA staff, officials, coaches, club directors, board members, coordinators, club administrators, chaperones, team representatives, tournament directors, trainers, independent contractors, volunteers, 2 medical personnel, and other individuals authorized or nominated by USAV or RVA to work with athletes or other sport participants while at USAV sanctioned events or while at a USAV Training Site.3
B. Assistants, or personal care assistants who are funded, have a contractual obligation with, or are credentialed by USAV or RVA, or otherwise have regular contact with USAV or RVA athletes.
C. All athletes and alternates, training partners, and guides 18 years of age or older who are selected by USAV to participate in national or international team or Delegation Events. Individuals referenced in this subsection shall have 45 days after reaching the age of majority (18 years of age) to come into compliance with this background check policy.
D. All athletes and alternates, training partners,4 and guides 18 years of age or older that are selected by USAV or RVAs to train at any Olympic & Paralympic Training Center, USOPC High Performance Training Center, or USAV Training Site.
E. Other individuals who have regular contact with athletes as determined by USAV or RVA in their discretion.
II. Background Check Search Components.
A. Full Background Checks. All full background check screens will include at least the following search components:
1. Social Security Number validation;5
2. Name and address history records;
3. Two independent Multi-Jurisdictional Criminal Database searches covering 50 states plus DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico;
4. Federal District Courts search for each name used and district where the individual currently lives or has lived during the past seven years, going back the length of time records are available and reportable;
5. County Criminal Records for each name used and county where the individual currently lives or has lived during the past seven years, going back the length of time records are available and reportable for each county searched;
6. National Sex Offender Registry database search of all available states, plus DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico;
7. Multiple National Watch Lists;
8. SafeSport Disciplinary Records;6
9. Comprehensive International Records search for U.S. citizens who have lived outside of the United States for six consecutive months in any one country, during the past seven years;7
10. Motor Vehicle Records of at least a 3-year history in the state of licensure; (if driving is required for position);
B. Supplemental Background Checks. All supplemental off-year background check screens will be conducted using at least the following search components:
1. Multi-Jurisdictional criminal database covering 50 states plus DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico;
2. Sex Offender Registry database searches of all available states, plus DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico; and,
3. SafeSport Disciplinary Records.
A. Full background checks will be completed prior to the commencement of a new role or competition for all applicable individuals.
B. At minimum, full background checks will be conducted on all applicable individuals every two years using at least the background check search components referenced in Section II.A.
C. A supplemental, partial, background check will be conducted in the off-years using at least the background check search components referenced in Section III.B.
IV. USAV Training Sites.
USAV shall require criminal background checks in compliance with the background search components in Section II.A., for those individuals USAV formally authorizes, approves or appoints (a) to serve in a position of authority over athletes, or (b) to have regular contact with athletes. USAV currently does not have any “training sites” as defined by the USOPC.
Individuals affiliated with the media, who are authorized or credentialed by USAV or RVA to attend a USAV sanctioned event, or authorized or credentialed by USAV to access a Training Site are required to undergo a criminal background check if they have unsupervised one-on-one interactions with the athletes.
VI. Third-Party Vendors/Contractors.
Contracts with third-party vendors/contractors that are (a) in a position of authority over or (b) in regular contact with athletes must include the background check requirements set forth in this policy.
VII. Partner Programs.
When partnering with community organizations for events, USAV or RVA shall ensure that the partnership agreement includes language regarding background check requirements. The agreements shall also specify that certification must be provided by the community organization upon request by USAV or RVA to establish that the mandated background checks were conducted.
VIII. Background Check Report Review.
A. USAV/RVA Background Checks. Any USAV/RVA background check that results in a report of a disposition or resolution of a criminal proceedings, other than an adjudication of not guilty,8 for any of the below criminal offenses, will be subject to USAV/RVA policies and procedures to determine the individual’s level of access and involvement:
1. Any felony;9
2. Any misdemeanor involving:
a. Any drug related offenses;
b. Harm to a minor and vulnerable person, including, but not limited to, offenses such as child abandonment, child endangerment/neglect/abuse, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and DUI with a minor;
c. Violence against a person (including crimes involving firearms and domestic violence);
d. Stalking, harassment, blackmail, violation of a protection order and/or threats;
e. Destruction of property, including arson, vandalism, and criminal mischief; and,
f. Animal abuse or neglect.
B. Automatic Disqualifiers for Participation in USAV Sanctioned Events and/or Activities. Any USAV/RVA background check that results in a report of a disposition or resolution of a criminal proceedings, other than an adjudication of not guilty,10 for any of the below criminal offenses, will be subject to USAV/RVA policies and procedures to determine the individual’s level of access and involvement:
1. All sex offenses (felonies and misdemeanors), criminal offenses of a sexual nature to include but not limited to; rape, child molestation, sexual battery, lewd conduct, possession and distribution of child pornography, possession and distribution of obscene material, prostitution, indecent exposure, public indecency, and any sex offender registrant;11
2. Murder and Homicide regardless of time limit;
3. Felony Violence and Felony Drug offenses in the past 10 years;
4. Any misdemeanor violence offenses in the past 7 years
5. Any multiple misdemeanor drug and/or alcohol offenses within the past 7 years;
6. Any other crimes against children in the past 7 years
The time frames associated with the categories of crime listed above are calculated based on the date of the offense. Individuals that are disqualified must wait one season before reapplying for affiliation with USAV/RVA.
C. Secondary Review of USAV Determinations. USAVRVA must comply with the USOPC Background Check Policy and Procedures as it relates to situations under which a secondary review of USAV/RVA determinations will be conducted by the USOPC.
D. Additional Background Checks. USAV and RVA retain the right to require additional background checks at any time.
IX. Background Check Disputes and Appeals.
A. Disputes of Findings. Disqualified individuals may dispute the findings of the background check directly with USAV/RVA’s approved background check organization.
B. Appeals of Disqualifications. All disqualified individuals have the right to request an appeal of their disqualification by filing a written request for review with the USAV In-House Counsel within thirty (30) days from the date of notification of the disqualification. Each written request for review shall be accompanied by a $100.00 non-refundable filing fee made payable to “USA Volleyball.” An email from the individual requesting said review will constitute a timely request, however, no review by USAV shall occur until all other requirements have been met.
1. USAV Review Panel. Any individual’s request will be reviewed by a USAV Background Check Review Panel, which will consist of:
a. USAV In-House Counsel
b. USAV Manager, SafeSport
c. USAV Chief of Membership Services
2. Considerations. USAV Review Panel has the discretion to deny membership to any individual if it finds, in good faith, that an individual’s conviction(s) or pending disposition(s) may have a negative effect on USAV or RVA. In rendering its finding, the Review Panel will consider the following:
a. The legitimate interests of USAV in providing a safe environment for athletes and other individuals who may participate in USAV programs and events;
b. Any information produced by the individual, or produced on behalf of the individual, concerning the incident(s) that resulted in the disqualification; and,
c. Any other information, which in the determination of USAV, would bear on whether or not the individual should be denied or granted membership.
A determination will be made based on a majority vote of USAV Review Panel. USAV Review Panel will communicate its findings to the individual in writing within five (5) business days following the review. USAV Review Panel shall serve as the final decision authority.
X. Authorized Background Check Organization.
USAV and RVA use the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) as their background check vendor. NCSI is a full-service screening organization that works in accordance with the Recommended Guidelines© established by the National Council of Youth Sports (“NCYS”).
1 Non-U.S. Citizen athletes, coaches, and personnel staying less than 14 days will be exempt from process if other safeguards to minimize risk can be put in place.
2 This policy may not apply to volunteers and others who only have incidental and observable contact with athletes at events.
3 The term “USAV Training Site” refers to any facility/location that is owned, managed, or operated by USAV and used by USAV or its athletes for competitions and/or training, recovery, or coaching purposes. USAV does not have any Training Sites as defined.
4 Non-U.S. Citizen training partners staying less than 14 days are exempt from this process.
5 Social Security number is required for verification purposes. Background checks based on name, date of birth, address history and Social Security number are standard throughout the background screening industry. These are key identifiers used to search national and country criminal databases. No background check will be submitted or completed without a social security number.
6 Until the process is automated, this component will not be enforced.
7 International record checks vary from country to country. NCSI will provide comparable search components depending on the laws of that specific country
8 A “disposition or resolution of a criminal proceeding, other than an adjudication of not guilty” shall include, but is not limited to: an adjudication of guilt or admission to a criminal violation, a plea to the charge or a lesser included offense, a plea of no contest, any plea analogous to an Alford or Kennedy plea, the disposition of the proceeding through a diversionary program, deferred adjudication, deferred prosecution, disposition of supervision, conditional dismissal, juvenile delinquency adjudication, or similar arrangement, or the existence of an ongoing criminal investigation, a warrant for arrest, or any pending charges.
9 For purposes of these procedures, the term “felony” shall refer to any criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for than one year.
10 A “disposition or resolution of a criminal proceeding, other than an adjudication of not guilty” shall include, but is not limited to: an adjudication of guilt or admission to a criminal violation, a plea to the charge or a lesser included offense, a plea of no contest, any plea analogous to an Alford or Kennedy plea, the disposition of the proceeding through a diversionary program, deferred adjudication, deferred prosecution, disposition of supervision, conditional dismissal, juvenile delinquency adjudication, or similar arrangement, or the existence of an ongoing criminal investigation, a warrant for arrest, or any pending charges.
11 Any participant that has been convicted of, received an imposition of a deferred sentence for, or any plea of guilty or no contest for any sexual crime, criminal offense of a sexual nature, and/or is a sex offender registrant must be reported.
A little over a year ago, SSCI and NCSI were acquired by SportsEngine, an NBC Sports Group company. As SSCI and NCSI advance together as a national leader in background screening services for parks and recreation, local government, church associations, national governing bodies and youth sports organizations, we are proud to announce our plans to unify under the brand name of NCSI moving forward.
Please know that this change does not affect anyone’s roles and responsibilities at SSCI, nor does it change our mission of providing industry-leading background screening services. It is a change in name only.
We are bringing both background screening companies together under a single name to help avoid confusion in the marketplace as we continue to grow. SSCI will continue to serve our customers seamlessly as NCSI and we remain committed to provide the most comprehensive background check available today. As NCSI, the company will continue to operate as its own LLC, separate from SportsEngine but will remain part of the SportsEngine family of companies.