Why is US Lacrosse requiring background screenings for coaches?

Recent federal legislation requires that more be done to protect youth athletes, and background screening is a standard tool utilized among Olympic national governing bodies. US Lacrosse believes that every youth athlete deserves a safe and fun experience, on and off the field, and background screenings for coaches is a valuable strategy that can help make the sport safer by keeping abusive behavior out of lacrosse. Unfortunately, the reality is that people who seek to abuse others or commit sexual offenses will often seek out groups, including youth serving organizations, that are not diligent in their preventative efforts. 

What does it cost?

US Lacrosse now requires background screenings for all members in the adult coach membership category upon joining as a new coach or renewing their membership. There is no cost to the member for the background screening service, which can normally range anywhere from $20-$75 depending on a coach’s state of residence. 

I've already completed a background screening through my employer or another organization; why is US Lacrosse requiring that I complete another screening?

Clubs, schools, civic organizations, or employers complete background screenings that vary in type and thoroughness. US Lacrosse's background screening utilizes consistent standards with similar levels of thoroughness for all coaches, regardless of their current occupation or state of residence.

How does a coach who is joining/renewing membership complete the required national background screening?

Adult coach members will receive an e-mail after completing the join/renew process for membership. This e-mail contains a link to complete the free national background screening through NCSI. This link is unique to each coach member, and should not be shared and given to any other individual. Coach members will have 10 calendar days to initiate the background screening upon joining or renewing membership. The following items will be needed:government issued photo ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.); list of addresses lived over the past five years; and your social security number. A typical screening takes 2-3 business days, although some can take up to 10 days.

What if a coach is not joining or renewing membership. Can they still choose to complete a national background screening?

Adult coach members who are not joining or renewing their membership but would still like to complete a national background screening can do so by using the My Account feature on uslacrosse.org. Before you begin, make sure you have the following things on-hand: government issued photo ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.); list of addresses lived over the past five years; and your social security number. Then follow these steps:
   • Login to My Account on www.USLacrosse.org   
   • Under Quick Links, click Background Check
   • Under Background Screening Information, click Coach Members Only; Start Background Check

Again, a typical screening takes 2-3 business days, although some can take up to 10 days.

Who does the background screening?

The National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI), one of the nation’s leading providers of background screening services, serves as the exclusive background screening partner for US Lacrosse. Recognized as an industry leader, NCSI currently works with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and more than 50 national governing bodies in providing background screenings. NCSI’s clients oversee millions of amateur athletes in the United States.

Is my personal information secure?

The personal data necessary to run the screening is entered through the NCSI website, and no information is provided to US Lacrosse. Please visit NCSI at www.ncsisafe.com to learn about the high security measures they take to protect all personal information.

Are background checks required by other youth organizations?

All national governing bodies in the Olympic movement require national background checks. Future recognition of US Lacrosse as a national governing body by the USOC requires this same compliance. Additionally, most schools, places of worship, and youth-serving organizations require some type of screening, though many are not national. New federal requirements (Public Law No. 115-126, US Safe Sport Act) also mandate training for coaches about being mandatory reporters, and US Lacrosse is working to develop these resources. 

What happens if I am found to have disqualifying criterion on my background screening?

You will be issued a “Red Light” by NCSI and US Lacrosse. Your membership will immediately be suspended and coaching certification (if applicable) will not be granted. You will receive information about the appeals process through NCSI and US Lacrosse. Through NCSI you will be given the opportunity to dispute erroneous findings prior to the time of the issuance of the red light. Through US Lacrosse you may submit an appeal per the instruction furnished to you in correspondence from the USL's Membership Services Department. Based on the outcome of the appeal, your USL membership may be reinstated and certification granted, or your membership could be revoked permanently. Each "Red Light" determination is handled on a case-by-case basis.

If further questions, please contact the US Lacrosse Call Center at 410-235-6882.