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USTA SAFE PLAY

USTA BACKGROUND SCREENING POLICY

Background
 
The United States Tennis Association Incorporated (National), USTA National Tennis Center Incorporated, and the USTA Player Development Incorporated (collectively, "USTA") has developed a comprehensive program to ensure a safe environment for the individuals participating in its programs. The USTA has required background checks for a number of years and has recently expanded its program to include an educational component to provide a more comprehensive approach to safety. Effective Aug. 1, 2013, this expanded program includes USTA Junior Team Tennis coaches/managers and co-managers who are registered on TennisLink, and local/area USTA Junior Team Tennis coordinators who are registered on TennisLink; and effective Jan. 1, 2014, this expanded program includes Officials seeking USTA certification, USTA Player Development event coaches, massage therapists, athletic trainers, SmashZone volunteers, and USTA Youth Tennis Workshop Coaches(each an "Applicant", collectively, "Applicants"). 
  
The following three components must be fulfilled to be eligible to serve in the above-referenced capacities:

ONLINE TRAINING

The USTA has adopted the online training module produced by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). For information on how to access the video, please visit Access the Training located here. Depending on your knowledge and skillset, the training will take you 90-120 minutes to complete. If you are unable to complete the training at one time, you can return and continue using the account you created. USTA Junior Team Tennis and USTA Certified Officials have the option to take the condensed training located here.

Junior Team Tennis Applicants
Effective Jan. 1, 2014, all individuals seeking to be cleared for USTA Junior Team Tennis are required to participate in the online training module.

All Other Applicants
Effective Jan. 1, 2014, all Officials seeking USTA certification, USTA Player Development event coaches, massage therapists, athletic trainers, SmashZone volunteers, and USTA Youth Tennis Workshop Coaches are required to participate in the online training module.

POLICY REVIEW

Junior Team Tennis Applicants

Beginning Aug. 1, 2013, if you are a USTA Junior Team Tennis coach/manager, co-manager or local/area coordinator, you are required to review the Youth Protection Policies and Procedures for USTA Junior Team Tennis.
 
All Other Applicants
Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, all Officials seeking USTA certification, USTA Player Development event coaches, massage therapists, athletic trainers, SmashZone volunteers and USTA Youth Tennis Workshop Coaches are required to review the USTA’s definitions of prohibited conduct and its procedures for reporting and responding. The USTA also encourages all individuals hosting a USTA program or event to read the USTA Safety, Security, and Sensitivity Handbook. A link to the Handbook can be found here.
 
BACKGROUND SCREENING
Once the Applicant has successfully completed the online training and policy review outlined above, he/she can begin to complete their background screen application. The USTA has retained the services of an independent third-party, the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI), to conduct background screenings of all Applicants.
 
Junior Team Tennis Applicants

Beginning August 1, 2013, if you are a USTA Junior Team Tennis coach/manager, co-manager, or local/area coordinator – please begin your background screen through NCSI here. In your application, you will be required to certify and affirm that you have successfully completed the online training and policy review outlined above.

 
All Other Applicants
If you are an Official seeking USTA certification , USTA Player Development event coach, massage therapist, athletic trainer, SmashZone volunteer or USTA Youth Tennis Workshop Coach – please begin your background screen through NCSI here. In the application, you will be required to certify and affirm that you have successfully completed the online training and policy review outlined above.
  
Who must complete the Safe Play screening and how often?
 
All Other Applicants
If you are an Official seeking USTA certification , USTA Player Development event coach, massage therapist, athletic trainer, SmashZone volunteer or USTA Youth Tennis Workshop Coach – please begin your background screen through NCSI here. In the application, you will be required to certify and affirm that you have successfully completed the online training and policy review outlined above.  
 
Junior Team Tennis Applicants
For those individuals who are seeking a position as a USTA Junior Team Tennis coach/manager, co-manager, or local/area coordinator that individual’s background screen will expire exactly two years from the date the background screen was initiated ("Rolling Date Screening"; collectively the Odd Year Screening and the Rolling Date Screening is the "Biennial Screening"). 
 
Once an Applicant has successfully completed the Biennial Screening, the Applicant will be considered in good standing until the expiration of the Biennial Screening, as applicable; provided, however, if within the biennial period the USTA becomes aware of any potential change in status (e.g., criminal activity), USTA shall have the right to conduct additional background screening at any time. Additionally, it shall be the continuing obligation of all Applicants to inform the USTA if there has been any change in their status (e.g., criminal activity). If an Applicant does not pass the Biennial Screening (as determined by NCSI), the Applicant will not be certified by the USTA (where USTA provides certifications) and the USTA will not contract with or permit the Applicant to provide services. 
 
Cost of Background Check
For those individuals not serving in a capacity for USTA Junior Team Tennis, the USTA has agreed to pay the fee of the Biennial Screening for all Applicants who are members of the USTA in good standing. All Applicants that are USTA Members in good standing will be prompted to enter their valid USTA Membership number during the Biennial Screening process. Applicants who are not USTA Members in good standing will be responsible for the fees associated with the Biennial Screening ($20 base fee plus transaction fee will be prompted during Biennial Screening process; provided however, additional fees may apply based on Applicants place of residence and/or should additional information be required by the National Center for Safety Initiatives to complete the Biennial Screening at which time the Applicant will be notified and required to pay any difference).  For those individuals serving in any capacity for USTA Junior Team Tennis, the fee for the Biennial Screening will be included in the fee set forth in TennisLink. 
 
Please be advised that the USTA does not financially benefit from the cost of the Biennial Screening.
 
Background Screen Submission
The National Center for Safety Initiatives provides a secure website for Applicants to submit their personal information for screening. The National Center for Safety Initiatives system provides the highest level of security and is designed to ensure adherence with federal rules and regulations regarding background screening. In order to protect the confidentiality of sensitive information in the Biennial Screening, the Biennial Screening process must be completed online.
 
Offenses Screened For
The offenses listed below are a sampling of what is being screened for when a background check is performed and the USTA reserves the right to consider additional crimes should it determine in its sole discretion that such addition would be in the best interest of its participants. Reportable convictions for, disclosure of convictions for, and pending dispositions for any of the criminal offenses listed below, or registrations will prompt a determination that an Applicant does not meet the criteria to be certified by the USTA as an official, or to serve as a USTA coach, athletic trainer, massage therapist, USTA Youth Tennis Workshop coach, or USTA SmashZone volunteer or to serve as a USTA Junior Team Tennis coach/manager, co-manager, or local/area coordinator.
 
Reportable convictions for, disclosures of convictions for, and pending dispositions for any of the following criminal offenses, or registrations will prompt a determination that an applicant does not meet the criteria for participation:
 
1.    Any felony including an element of violence regardless of the amount of time since the offense, and any non-violent felony within the past fifteen (15) years (felony defined as any crime punishable by confinement greater than one year).
a.    Defined on the basis of exposure for the offense for which the defendant was convicted, pled guilty, pled nolo contendere or which is pending a disposition. If pled down, then the crime for which the defendant ultimately was convicted.
b.    Defined as all crimes punishable by greater than one year in jail or prison, regardless of how characterized by jurisdiction. If range, alternate sentencing, or indeterminate sentencing, outer range greater than one year.
2.    Any lesser crime involving force or threat of force against a person regardless of the amount of time since the offense.
3.    Any lesser crime, regardless of the amount of time since the offense, of a sexual nature or classified as a sex offense including but not limited to "victimless" crimes of a sexual nature such as prostitution, pornography, indecent exposure, and crimes in which sexual relations is an element.
4.    Any lesser crime within the past ten (10) years involving controlled substances (not paraphernalia or alcohol).
5.    Any lesser crime within the past fifteen (15) years involving cruelty to animals.
6.    Any sex offender registrant.
7.    Any lesser crime within the past ten (10) years involving harm to a minor not included in numbers 1 – 6 above.
 
Criminal offenses include "Attempted Crimes" in the above classification.
 
**Please be advised that this background screening policy is subject to change without notice at the sole discretion of the USTA.**
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