USA Rugby is committed to the safety of athletes and participants involved in sport. USA Rugby requires background checks in order to:
- foster a safe environment at all competition and training environments sanctioned and/or overseen by USA Rugby;
- create a safe living, training, and competition environment for athletes and other individuals associated with USA Rugby; and
- protect persons at risk, including, but not limited to, minors and vulnerable adults.
This policy sets forth USA Rugby’s background check standards and outlines the guidelines for the use of background checks to determine eligibility for USA Rugby membership and for participation in USA Rugby programs and services.
For purposes of this policy, the term adult shall mean any person eighteen (18) years of age or older.
No person may participate in a role requiring a background check, as defined by this policy, or have contact with athletes if they do not pass the applicable background check.
A background check shall be conducted prior to the commencement of a new role for all applicable individuals and shall be completed no less than every two (2) years thereafter, with supplemental background checks in the off-years.
Background checks may be conducted more frequently as part of routine background check updates and/or if a permissible purpose (as defined by state law) has been determined.
This policy applies to:
- Any person enrolled in an annual membership category of Match Official, Volunteer/Admin or Coach with USA Rugby;
- All USA Rugby Staff;
- All adult athletes selected to participate in any Delegation Events to which the USOPC sends athletes;
- All individuals that USA Rugby formally authorizes, approves or appoints to serve in a position of authority over, or have regular contact with, athletes. This shall include, but is not limited to, staff, officials, coaches, board members, coordinators, local affiliated administrator/directors, trainers, independent contractors, volunteers, training partners, guides and medical personnel, and other individuals authorized or nominated by USA Rugby to work with athletes or other participants while at a USA Rugby Training Site or competition event to which the USA Rugby sends athletes;
- All adult athletes, assistants and/or personal care assistants training at Olympic and Paralympic Training Centers
- Other adults that may have contact with athletes, as determined by the Chief Operating Officer.
- Individuals affiliated with the media, who are authorized or credentialed by USA Rugby to access a Training Site or attend a competition ran by USA Rugby are required to undergo a criminal background check if they have unsupervised one-on-one interactions with athletes.
- Contracts with third-party vendors/contractors that are in a position of authority over, or in regular contact with, athletes must include the background check requirements set forth in this policy if they have unsupervised one-on-one interactions with athletes. The contracts shall also specify that certification must be provided by the vendor/contractor upon request by USA Rugby, to establish that the mandated background checks were conducted.
- When partnering with community organizations (i.e., YMCA, Boys and Girls Club) for events, USA Rugby 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 USA Rugby, to establish that the mandated background checks were conducted.
The following search requirements will be used for any Background Check called for in this policy (Background screening for employees and other staff may involve higher or different standards or procedures, including those as required by law):
- Social Security Number validation;
- Name and address history records;
- Two independent Multi-Jurisdictional Criminal Database searches covering 50 states plus DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico;
- 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;
- 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;
- National Sex Offender Registry database search of all available states, plus DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico;
- Multiple National Watch Lists;
- SafeSport Disciplinary Records;
- Comprehensive International Records search for persons who have lived outside of the United States for six consecutive months in any one country, during the past seven years;
- Motor Vehicle Records of at least a 3-year history in the state of licensure; (if driving is required for position).
All supplemental off-year background check screens will be conducted using at least the following search components:
- Multi-Jurisdictional criminal database covering 50 states plus DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico
- Sex Offender Registry database searches of all available states, plus DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico; and
- SafeSport Disciplinary Records
Any results that meet the criteria set below will be reported to the Chief Operating Officer as an "adverse finding":
- Any felony
- Any misdemeanor involving:
- All sexual crimes, 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;
- Any drug related offenses;
- Harm to a minor or 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;
- Violence against a person, force, or threat of force (including crimes involving deadly weapons and domestic violence);
- Stalking, harassment, blackmail, violation of a protection order, and/or threats;
- Destruction of property, including arson, vandalism, and criminal mischief;
- Animal abuse, cruelty, or neglect.
- Any pending charges that would result in a felony or misdemeanor as stated above.
Note: Any person’s participation in a USOPC event or competition will be subject to appropriate USOPC Background Checks and potentially to a USOPC Secondary Review of previously completed USA Rugby Background Checks.
The background check provider (NCSI) will report if the search revealed an adverse finding that suggests the individual may be unsuitable to participate in USA Rugby activities. While this will be reported to USA Rugby for consideration, as outlined below, it will also be reported to the individual on whom the background check was performed.
In the event a Designee feels a mistake has been made in the criminal background report, it is the Designee’s responsibility to contact the professional reporting agency (as provided for in the Fair Credit Reporting Act letter the Designee receives with its background check report) to resolve any issues. USA Rugby is not responsible for errors or omissions that may be reported on background checks.
(USA Rugby staff members may be subject to additional procedures and requirements for criminal background checks under USA Rugby’s personnel policies.)
In the event of an adverse finding, the Chief Operating Officer or their designee, shall make a preliminary ruling on the disqualification or conditional status of membership or participation in USA Rugby activities.
(Should the finding involve the Chief Operating Officer or if the Chief Operating Officer is conflicted, in keeping with the Conflict of Interest Policy, the Discipline & Grievance Committee or a designee of the Chief Operating Officer who is not conflicted shall act in their place.)
The Chief Operating Officer, or their designee may, at their discretion, clear an adverse finding and permit an individual to participate in certain circumstances including, but not limited to:
- Annulment or other legal diversion of initial charges
- Inapplicability of adverse finding to USA Rugby background screening policy.
An individual who has been subject to disqualification, probationary status, or restrictions on membership following the Offense Preliminary Consideration may appeal the decision made by the Chief Operating Officer, or their designee, to the Disciplinary & Grievance Committee for a Background Check Review.
In order to submit a Background Check Review, an individual must submit a document outlining either:
- The inapplicability of the background check policy to the specific circumstances resulting in the adverse finding; or
- An acceptance of the applicability of the background check policy to the specific circumstances resulting in the adverse finding, but an explanation of additional information or circumstances for the committee’s consideration relative to an exemption for limited or full participation in the role being pursued.
The Disciplinary & Grievance will consider the information provided by the individual seeking a Background Check Review and reach a decision regarding the ability of an individual to participate, potentially including, but not limited to, the following possible outcomes:
- Disqualification for membership;
- Probationary status for membership;
- Restrictions on membership, including, but not limited to:
- Prohibition from driving vehicles (including privately owned) while conducting any membership role; and
- Prohibition from being a signing officer for USA Rugby or a member non-profit organization and/or having financial oversight, including cash handling;
- Full membership with no restrictions.
If an individual subject to disqualification, probationary status, or restrictions under this policy is permitted to participate in USA Rugby activities following an appeal under this section, the individual’s access and involvement is subject to any limitations the Disciplinary & Grievance Committee, in their sole discretion, deems necessary. Any limitations placed on an individual’s access and involvement permitted through a Background Check Review are final for the remainder of the current season.
An individual is only permitted to seek a Background Check Review once per rugby season (approximately August – July).
Each USA Rugby Designee and prospective USA Rugby Designee has the affirmative duty to disclose his or her relevant (as noted herein) criminal history that has not been annulled. Failing to disclose or intentionally misrepresenting an arrest, charge, plea or conviction history is grounds for USA Rugby Designee status revocation or restriction, regardless of when the offense is discovered.
USA Rugby Designees need not disclose arrests in which charges were not filed, charges were dismissed or the USA Rugby Designee was acquitted; however, USA Rugby Designees are required to disclose offenses resulting in deferred sentences, deferred adjudications or other similar dispositions which have not been annulled. Again, procedures for USA Rugby employed and other staff may vary depending on special concerns relating to employment and applicable legal requirements.
Any USA Rugby Designee or prospective USA Rugby Designee who has been banned by another sport organization, as temporarily or permanently ineligible, must self-disclose this information immediately to the USA Rugby SafeSport Liaison Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (720) 263-2433-8037. A failure to disclose is a basis for disqualification.
In addition to reviews above, the results of a pre-appointment review of a candidate for a governance position may be considered by the Nominating Committee at their discretion. The Nominating Committee may not reduce, limit or constrain any of the requirements in this policy.
The CEO (or, the Board in a situation where the CEO is involved or conflicted) may require background check requirements beyond those mandated in this policy at his or her discretion and in conformance with state or federal law.
The CEO may not reduce, limit or constrain any of the requirements in this policy.