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Athlete Protection

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's Athlete Protection & Safety Program is that any and all forms of physical and sexual abuse or misconduct are strictly prohibited.

The USA Lacrosse Athlete Protection & Safety Policy is the foundation for rules 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

  1. Utilize and mandate national background screening. 
  2. Provide and mandate free online abuse prevention training available through USA Lacrosse's My Account member login.
  3. Establish policy that requires mandatory reporting of any suspected child abuse or neglect. 

Reporting Abuse

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.

File a Report

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.

Submitting an Appeal

In circumstances where an individual’s membership is suspended, USAL has a standard operating procedure for the appeals process. Individuals can click the link below to submit the required information for an appeal.

Submit an appeal

usa lacrosse resource documents

  1. Athlete Protection and Safety Policy
  2. Appeals SOP
  3. Reporting Misconduct SOP
  4. Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy
  5. Athletic Training Consent Form
  6. Individual Training Consent Form
  7. Transportation Consent Form

For questions related to creating a safer sport, please contact athleteprotection@usalacrosse.com.

FAQs on Background Screening

Why does USA Lacrosse require background screening for adult coaches?

Ensuring a safe and healthy environment for all athletes is of utmost importance to USA Lacrosse. Background screening is a proactive, preventative tool that is imperative to restricting access within youth serving organizations from those with ulterior motives. 

Are background screenings also offered for other membership categories?

Yes. USA Lacrosse offers 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 are completed exclusively by the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI), one of the nation’s leading providers of background screening services. 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. 

Do I need to complete a background screening with USA Lacrosse if I already completed screening through my employer or another organization?

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 do I 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 process 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 are the possible outcomes of the background screening?

Background screenings completed by NCSI will yield two possible outcomes:

Green Light "meets the criminal history and, if applicable, driving privilege criteria" utilized, where registrant has no record or has an arrest/conviction for a non-criterion offense.
     -- or --
Red Light "does NOT meet the initial screening criteria: utilized, where registrant has a pending charge and/or conviction of a criterion offense.

What should I do if my background screening yields a Red Light determination?

If your background screening yield a Red Light determination, your USA Lacrosse membership and all associated benefits will immediately be suspended. 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.

For any 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 & Safety manager at 410-235-6882 x225. For more information about the appeals process, please review the USA Lacrosse Appeals document.

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?

Education and awareness are imperative to prevent abuse and misconduct throughout athletics. Federal legislation also requires that training be provided to all adult participants who regularly interact with youth.  

USA Lacrosse is providing the online training for free to all adult coach members through their USA Lacrosse membership.

As a coach member, am I required to take this training?

Effective July 1, 2022, the training is a requirement of the join/renew process for all USA Lacrosse adult coach memberships. Access the training through the My Account login and the E-Learning portal.

What can I expect from the online abuse prevention training?

The online abuse prevention training, provided through Abuse Prevention Systems, consists of eight modules that cover important topics such as facts and misconceptions, abuser characteristics, the grooming process, methods to reduce risk, peer-to-peer training, impact on children, and reporting protocol. It is a roughly 90-minute course with knowledge checks at the completion of each section and a final questionnaire at the completion of the course.

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 membership@usalacrosse.com. Please allow up to 3-5 business days for your completion to be reflected on your USA Lacrosse membership account.