There are many reasons to play sports, including a wide range of physical, emotional and social benefits. But abuse, on any level and in any form, can not be part of the equation. The paramount principal that guides USA Lacrosse is that any and all forms of physical and sexual abuse or misconduct are strictly prohibited. National background checks and online abuse prevention training are two tools used by USA Lacrosse to help make our sport safer for all.
The USA Lacrosse Abuse Prevention Policy is the foundation for rules, policies and responsibilities for athlete safety and well-being, and the prevention of abuse. The policy encompasses the requirements of the Protecting Young Victims and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 and the National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) Recommended Guidelines, Best Practices and Background Screening in Youth-Serving Organizations.
What We CaN All Do Together
- All new and renewing adult coach memberships require a mandatory national background screening.
- Provide online abuse prevention training for adult coaches and officials, free of charge.
- Establish policy that requires mandatory reporting of any suspected child abuse or neglect.
Online Abuse Prevention Training
The online abuse prevention training is provided through Abuse Prevention Systems. While the training is free, it does require a login through USA Lacrosse's My Account member login.
USA Lacrosse policy requires that all staff members, volunteers, and members of USA Lacrosse must report any suspicions or allegations of abuse or neglect (including child sexual abuse) to law enforcement and child protective services and notify the USA Lacrosse Abuse Prevention Program. For issues with any of the following, please file a report with USA Lacrosse: sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, grooming, emotional misconduct, bullying, hazing, physical misconduct, and retaliation.
Any suspicion must be reported to state and local child protective services and law enforcement agencies. To assist in understanding where to report in a specific location, check www.childwelfare.gov or call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678.
usa lacrosse resource documents
- Abuse Prevention Response & Appeal Process
- Response Process for USA Lacrosse National Teams Staff & Athletes
- When USA Lacrosse Receives an Abuse Prevention Report
For questions related to creating a safer sport, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
FAQs on Background Screening
Why does USA Lacrosse require background screening for adult 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. USA Lacrosse believes that every youth athlete deserves a safe and fun experience, 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.
Are background screenings also offered for other membership categories?
Yes. USA Lacrosse is now offering adult official members the voluntary option of a background screening.
What does it cost?
There is no cost to member coaches or officals for the background screening service, which can normally range anywhere from $20-$75 depending on an individual's state of residence.
Who does the background screening?
Background screenings for USA Lacrosse members are completed by the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI), one of the nation’s leading providers of background screening services and the exclusive background screening partner for USA Lacrosse. NCSI was created in partnership with the National Council of Youth Sports, which represents more than 60 million participants and is recognized as one of the most influential sports advocacy organizations in the country. NCSI currently works with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and more than 50 national governing bodies in providing background screenings. For more information, please visit www.ncsisafe.com.
I have already completed a background screening through my employer or another organization; why is USA Lacrosse requiring that I complete another screening?
Clubs, schools, civic organizations, or employers complete background screenings that vary in type, resulting in differing degrees of thoroughness. NCSI's background screening utilizes consistent standards with similar levels of thoroughness for all coach and official members, ensuring that screening is uniform regardless of current occupation or state of residence.
How does a coach or official complete the 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 15 calendar days to initiate the background screening upon joining or renewing membership. The following items will be needed:
1. Government issued photo ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.);
2. List of addresses lived over the past five years;
3. Your social security number.
NCSI uses strict identity verification methods in order to ensure that background screens are thorough and for the correct individual. The SSN required is only used for identity verification, and is not utilized in any other manner (ie: credit reports). USA Lacrosse does not have access to any personal information that is provided to NCSI for the background screening, and NCSI employs multiple safeguards and security measures to protect personal information that is provided. For more information on NCSI and its security measures, please visit www.nscisafe.com. A typical screening takes 2-3 business days, although some can take up to 10 days. USA Lacrosse strongly recommends that you complete your background screening as early as possible before the start of your season.
What happens if I am found to have disqualifying criterion on my background screening?
You will be issued a “Red Light” by NCSI and USA Lacrosse. Your membership and associated benefits will immediately be suspended and not considered an active membership. Through NCSI you will be given the opportunity to dispute erroneous findings prior to the time of the issuance of the red light. If you do not dispute NCSI’s findings, you will receive notification of your membership suspension by e-mail from NCSI on behalf of USA Lacrosse. This e-mail will also provide information on the required USA Lacrosse Membership Appeals process. Through USA Lacrosse you may submit an appeal per the instruction furnished to you. Based on the outcome of the appeal, your USAL membership may be reinstated or your membership could be revoked permanently. Each “Red Light” determination is handled on a case-by-case basis.
If further questions regarding your membership or background screenings, please contact the USA Lacrosse Member Experience team at 410-235-6882 x102, or the USA Lacrosse Abuse Prevention manager at 410-235-6882 x225.
FAQs on Online Abuse Prevention Training
Why is USA Lacrosse providing online abuse prevention training for adult coach members and what will it cost me?
USA Lacrosse believes that all youth athletes deserve a safe and fun lacrosse experience, and that education and awareness are important tools for helping to prevent abuse and misconduct against youth. Federal legislation also requires that we provide training to our adult members who regularly interact with youth. USA Lacrosse is providing the online training for free to all adult coach members who take the training through their USA Lacrosse membership, a savings of $20 for an individual member.
As a coach member, am I required to take this training?
Effective August 1, 2019, the training became a requirement of the join/renew process for all USA Lacrosse adult coach memberships. Understanding the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, USA Lacrosse has currently relaxed this requirement, however, we remain committed to the value of abuse prevention training and strongly encourage active adult coaches to complete this training. Access the training through the My Account login.
What can I expect from the online abuse prevention training?
The abuse prevention training consists of nine (9) separate videos that cover various topics, including facts and misconceptions, methods to reduce risk, peer-to-peer training, and reporting procedures for suspected abuse. The total time needed is about 90 minutes, however, if you are not able to complete the training in one sitting, you can save your place and return at a later time. Choose the "X" within the course to save your work and resume later.
I'm experiencing technical difficulties while trying to complete the course. Who can I contact?
Please email email@example.com with any technical issues or questions.
Will completion of the online abuse prevention training be reflected on my USA Lacrosse membership account?
Yes. Completion of the course will be reflected on your USAL membership account, usually within 24-48 hours. If your current club or league affiliation has a Program Leader (PL) portal, completion status will also be reflected there for your Program Leader to see. Please note that you will be required to complete Abuse Prevention Systems or provide proof of completion for the other abuse prevention trainings that USA Lacrosse accepts (see below) on an annual basis.
Does USA Lacrosse accept other abuse prevention training courses?
Yes. If you have completed the online SafeSport Trained course or one of the Refresher Courses through the U.S. Center for SafeSport for a different sports organization or with USA Lacrosse, that will be accepted. USA Lacrosse will also accept a completion certificate for Abuse Prevention Systems, the current training provider, if it was completed under another organization. Please note that completion certificates must be from within the last 6 months in order to be accepted. Completion certificates can be e-mailed to the Membership Experience team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow up to 3-5 business days for your completion to be reflected on your USA Lacrosse membership account.