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Background Screening

Background Screening

U.S. Ski & Snowboard uses a background screening process in support of its commitment to athlete safety. This process is also required by the USOPC.

Any member of U.S. Ski & Snowboard who is appointed to a position of authority over or who has regular contact with athletes must clear criminal background screening every two years. This includes the following:

  • U.S. Ski & Snowboard employees
  • Individuals providing services to U.S. Ski & Snowboard
  • U.S. Ski & Snowboard members holding a U.S. Ski & Snowboard coaching license
  • U.S. Ski & Snowboard members holding a U.S. Ski & Snowboard officials license
  • U.S. Ski & Snowboard members holding a U.S. Ski & Snowboard club volunteer membership
  • U.S. Ski & Snowboard adult athletes holding a U.S. Ski & Snowboard athlete membership (excluding some alpine masters) 
  • U.S. Ski & Snowboard members at U.S. Ski & Snowboard clubs whom the club formally designates to be in a position of authority over or in regular contact with athletes including club board members, staff and administrators. (Academic faculty and staff, such as teachers, who are not directly involved in sport programs with athletes are exempt).
  • U.S. Ski & Snowboard Governance Board members

The background screening registration process is simple and generally takes about ten minutes. You must have a current U.S. Ski & Snowboard coach, judge/official, club volunteer or adult athlete membership application to register for the screening.

Once your screening and all other requirements are complete and U.S. Ski & Snowboard receives a ‘green light’ (meets the screening criteria) from NCSI, your membership will be finalized, and a membership card will be activated.  All members have an affirmative duty to disclose their criminal history.  Failing to disclose or intentionally misrepresenting an arrest, plea, or conviction is grounds for revocation or restriction of membership, regardless of when the offense is discovered. 

Members turning 18 years of age must complete the background screening registration process shortly after their birthday.  There is a 45 day grace period to receive a ‘green light’ after a member’s birthday.  If the background screening is not completed by that date, the member will be placed on hold pending the member meeting the screening criteria. 

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: When an athlete changes from current to pending because U.S. Ski & Snowboard did not receive a green-light screening determination within 45 days of the athlete’s 18th birthday, their points become pending too. The athlete will not appear on any points list that comes out while they are pending. If allowed to start in an event through a mistake on site, the result will be marked Not Permitted to Start (NPS) and they will not get any point credit for that result. That result credit will not be given back after the completion of requirements.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard appreciates the cooperation and understanding of its members in supporting the commitment to athlete safety.

Member Lookup

Parents, club administrators, and race workers can help to provide a safe environment for our young athletes by ensuring that all those who have regular contact with or are in a position of authority over athletes are background screened.

Please use the Member Lookup tool in the Resources Section to see if those individuals in a position of authority or in regular contact with athletes have completed background screening and are active members. Those individuals may include coaches, officials, club volunteer members and adult athlete members of your club.

If your individual is not listed, it is for one of the following reasons.  

  • The individual is not a current member
  • The individual member's background screening has expired or is incomplete
  • He/she has failed a background screening
  • There is no data available for the individual in question
  • The individual may be ineligible due to being sanctioned or banned from participating from Olympic and Paralympic sport

These conditions may warrant further inquiry with your club or member in question.    

Member Lookup

NOTE: Ineligible members will be tracked and referenced on the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Central Disciplinary Database, a third party website. The Center’s database tracks those who have been sanctioned or banned from participating from Olympic and Paralympic sport.

Background Screening Criterion Offenses

A reportable record or disclosure that contains a disposition or resolution of a criminal proceeding, other than an adjudication of not guilty,[1] or the existence of pending charges, for any of the below criminal offenses will be flagged as a Red Light Review, meaning it does not meet the initial screening criteria and the individual will be subject to the USOPC’s policies and procedures as well as U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s policies to determine the individual’s level of access and involvement with regard to athlete interactions, USOPC facilities and Delegation Events (as defined below):

1. Sex Offenses:  all sex offenses, regardless of time since the offense.  Examples include 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. [2]

2.  Felony Offense[3]: 

a.  all felony violence offenses, regardless of the amount of time since the offense.  Examples include murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault, kidnapping, robbery, aggravated burglary, etc. 

b.  all felony offenses other than violence or sex.  Examples include drug offenses, theft, embezzlement, fraud, child endangerment, etc. 

3. Misdemeanors:

   a.  All misdemeanor violence offenses within the past 7 years.  Examples include violence against a person, force, or threat of force (including crimes involving deadly weapons and domestic violence), simple assault, battery, domestic violence, hit & run, etc.

   b. Any drug-related offenses.  Examples include driving under the influence, simple drug possession, drunk and disorderly, public intoxication, possession of drug paraphernalia, etc.

   c. Harm to a minor.  Examples include offenses such as child abandonment, child endangerment/neglect/abuse, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and DUI with a minor.

   e. Stalking, harassment, blackmail, violation of a protection order, and/or threats.

   f. Destruction of property, including arson, vandalism, and criminal mischief.

   g. Animal abuse, cruelty, or neglect.

[1] For purposes of these procedures, a “disposition or resolution of a criminal proceeding, other than an adjudication of not guilty” shall include, but is not limited to: an adjudication of guilt or admission to a criminal violation, a plea to the charge or a lesser included offense, a plea of no contest, any plea analogous to an Alford or Kennedy plea, the disposition of the proceeding through a diversionary program, deferred adjudication, deferred prosecution, disposition of supervision, conditional dismissal, juvenile delinquency adjudication, or similar arrangement, or the existence of an ongoing criminal investigation, a warrant for arrest, or any pending charges.

[2] Any covered individual that has been convicted of, received an imposition of a deferred sentence for, or any plea of guilty or no contest for any sexual crime, criminal offense of a sexual nature, and/or is a sex offender registrant must be reported to the U.S. Center for SafeSport.
[3] For purposes of these procedures, the term “felony” shall refer to any criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for more than one year.

A “Delegation Event” is defined by the USOPC as an Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American, Parapan American, Youth Olympic Games, and other international sporting events as designated by the USOPC.

If NCSI sources criminal history information as outlined above and attributable to the applicant, NCSI will send that information to the applicant. Pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the applicant will be provided with an opportunity to correct potential errors in their record or to provide additional information. NCSI will research issues that are raised and revise the report if any inaccuracies are found. The applicant will be notified accordingly.

Background Check Disqualification Criteria (Red-Light) and Appeals Process

An applicant will be subject to review (Red-Light) by the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Review Panel (defined below) if a background search reveals that such applicant has received a disposition or resolution of a criminal proceeding, other than an adjudication of not guilty (as defined above) or the existence of any pending charges for any crime involving:

(1) Any felony (defined as any criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for more than one year) including:  

a. Violence against a person in the previous ten (10) years;

b. Violent crimes involving weapons (including armed robbery and aggravated assault with a weapon) in the previous ten (10) years; and

c. Animal abuse or animal neglect.

(2) Any felony or misdemeanor involving:

a. All sexual crimes and criminal offenses of a sexual nature, including, but not limited to:  rape, child molestation, sexual battery, possession or distribution of child pornography, and any sex offender registrant;

b. Drug offenses including distribution, intent to distribute, manufacturing, trafficking or sale within the previous seven (7) years;

c.  Felony DUI (serious bodily harm or death) in the previous ten (10) years; and

d.  Physical harm to a minor or vulnerable person (developmentally or physically disabled person).

(3) Crimes involving vehicular bodily harm;

(4) Other misdemeanors for:

   a. Violence against a person (including crimes involving firearms);

   b. Prostitution, indecent exposure, and public indecency;

   c. DUI with a minor in the vehicle;

   d. Stalking, harassment, blackmail, violation of a protection order and threats;

   d. Destruction of property, including arson, vandalism, and criminal mischief;

   f. Animal abuse or neglect.

Notwithstanding the above, any charge for a sex offense or involving harm to a minor that results in a disposition favorable to the applicant; including but not limited to pardons, dismissals after a deferred adjudication and restoration of rights will result in a Red Light finding.

Appeal Process

Applicants with such status will receive a letter that provides two options;  (1) challenge the accuracy of the reported information directly with NCSI, or (2) acknowledge the accuracy of the report and wait for review from the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Background Review Panel.  

If the applicant receives notice from U.S. Ski & Snowboard that they do not meet membership criteria after review by the Review Panel, then, within fifteen (15) business days from the date of the letter, the applicant may notify U.S. Ski & Snowboard that they would like to appeal the decision. 

To initiate an appeal, the applicant must:

  1. Email with the subject line “Background Check Appeal.”
  2. Provide full name and contact information and a description of the role the applicant is seeking with U.S. Ski & Snowboard.
  3. Provide a reasonable description of the Red Light determination and any information that might be useful for the review, including references from others.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard will schedule a hearing as soon as practical.  An applicant may participate via telephone conference call and has the right to be represented by legal counsel.  A decision will typically be issued within three (3) business days.

If the applicant disagrees with the decision of the Background Review Panel, the applicant may file an appeal with U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Judicial Committee by following the process here.


Notice and Secondary Review of Background Determinations by USOPC

U.S. Ski & Snowboard is required to notify the USOPC of any decision reached by the Background Review Panel or the Judicial Committee which has the effect of allowing an individual to reside, train or compete at an Olympic Training Center or participate in an Olympic, Paralympic, Youth Olympic Games, or other international sporting events as designated by the USOPC, if the applicant’s background check screening received a Red-Light for any of the offenses listed above in the disqualification criteria.

Composition of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Review Panel:

The Review Panel will consist of four designated staff members with access to the screening results as well as two independent athlete representatives. The panel will include Legal Counsel for U.S. Ski & Snowboard, three other individuals from membership, club development, and human resources.  The Ethics Committee has oversight of the process.

The applicant shall be responsible for providing relevant evidence to the Review Panel for consideration. Criterion used to evaluate Red Light determinations and/or appeals that do not fall in the category of offenses listed above may include, but not be limited to:

  • Age of the individual at the time the offense occurred
  • Amount of time that has lapsed since the offense occurred
  • Severity of the offense; misdemeanor or felony
  • Criminal history; pattern of offenses
  • Status of the case; resolution of a matter may be pending
  • Evaluation of whether an individual may pose a threat to athlete welfare
  • Consistent policy application; similar judgments for similar offenses
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Current Background Screening Status.
Did you know?
  • Every U.S. Ski & Snowboard employee, plus all coaches, officials, judges, volunteer members and athletes 18 and over (excluding some alpine masters and short term members) complete background screening before issuance of membership or employment by U.S. Ski & Snowboard.
  • Parents, you can verify the membership and background screening of any club coach, judge, official or volunteer member through the Member Lookup tool or by calling U.S. Ski & Snowboard Member Services during normal hours of operation: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. MT at 435.647.2666 to ensure that the coaches, officials and volunteer members working with your child have undergone background screening.
  • Club leaders, the USOC provides online SafeSport training for your coaches, judges, officials and volunteer members.
Frequently Asked Questions
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The background screening program is similar to programs in place in schools, recreational programs, youth organizations and other workplaces where staff and volunteers work with youth. More than 75% of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s athlete members are under the age of 18. Background screening of the organization's employees, member coaches, judges/officials, volunteers and adult athletes is one step to help maintain a safe environment.