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New Jersey Youth Soccer

Background Screening Policy

Pursuant to U.S. Soccer Policy 212-3, NJYS's Background Screening Policy is in place to set forth requirements pertaining to appropriate background screening. This Background Screening Policy does not apply to individuals under 18 years of age.

Any individual aged 18 or older who is a coach, assistant coach, team manager, assistant team manager, team trainer, team official, NJYS employee, NJYS board member, NJYS committee member, NJYS independent contractor, Club or League President, Club or League Delegate, Club or League Official, Club or League Representative, Club or League Administrator, Club or League Volunteer, or Referee, or any other individual aged 18 or older seeking affiliation with NJYS or NJYS affiliated member organizations, who has regular contact with or authority over an amateur athlete who is a minor, shall be known collectively as "Adult Applicant" for the purposes of this Background Screening Policy. Any athlete, referee, coach, or otherwise, who is under the lesser of (1) the age of 18; or (2) the age of majority in the applicable state, and who is participating in NJYS sanctioned activities and competitions, will be known as "Minor Participant" for the purposes of this Background Screening Policy.

I. APPLICATION PROCESS

Adult Applicants required by NJYS to apply for Risk Management (RM) annually will do so by using the Online Risk Management system or by submitting the appropriate paper certification to the NJYS State Office by the earlier of 1) prior to regular contact with a Minor Participant; or 2) within the first 45 days of the Adult Applicant taking on the role giving them regular access to Minor Participants. Paper applications are available by contacting the NJYS State Office.

A nation-wide criminal history background check is performed on every Risk Management Adult Applicant submitted every year. Each Risk Management Application is subject to a processing fee. Every Adult Applicant will provide his or her Social Security Number, which will be kept confidential. Those Adult Applicants who do not have a Social Security Number may be required to have an additional background check with an additional processing fee.

II. RISK MANAGEMENT DISQUALIFICATION CRITERIA

Any Adult Applicant who has been disqualified or declared by another sport organization to be temporarily or permanently ineligible is required to self-disclose this information at the time of application. Failure to disclose is a basis for discipline/disqualification. Additionally, any Adult Applicant who appears within the U.S. Center for SafeSport's disciplinary records as temporarily or permanently ineligible shall be recognized by NJYS in accordance with U.S. Soccer policies.

NJYS and the Risk Management (RM) Committee will make all initial decisions pertaining to an individual's eligibility to participate with the NJYS. The RM Committee has the authority to immediately disqualify an individual based on the results of any criminal history background check(s). The RM Committee also has the authority to obtain more information on questionable or serious offenses and convictions based on the results of any criminal history background check(s).

NJYS reserves the right to modify or change the make-up of the RM Committee with or without notice and for any reason it deems appropriate and/or sees fit.

Upon reviewing the results of any background check conducted, the RM offenses and/or convictions listed below, in whole or in part, may cause the Risk Management Adult Applicant to be immediately disqualified from participation with the NJYS, all NJYS related activities and events, all NJYS affiliated league activities and events, and all US Youth Soccer related activities and events. NJYS reserves the right to contact the applicant regarding their criminal history in an attempt to gather more information. Information provided by the applicant is taken into consideration by the RM Committee in determining the eligibility of the applicant to participate with NJYS.

NJYS reserves the right to disqualify an individual when presented with evidence of inappropriate communication, contact, or contact with children or other individuals even if not charged, convicted, or tried in a court of law. NJYS also reserves the right to disqualify an individual if that individual's behavior and/or conduct are considered detrimental to NJYS, the NJYS membership, or NJYS member leagues.

The RM Committee analyzes RM offenses and/or convictions acquired from criminal history background check(s) with a general incident date ten (10) years prior to the application date. The RM Committee also reserves the right to review incidents that date back further than ten (10) years and disqualify the individual, if that individual's criminal history indicates a possible serious threat to the well-being and safety of children.

The RM Committee also reserves the right to perform criminal history background check(s) at random time periods on any Adult Applicant who has previously applied for Risk Management and who may or may not have a criminal history.

III. DISQUALIFICATION PROCEDURE

NJYS will send written (e.g. electronic) notification to every Adult Applicant who has been disqualified by the RM Committee with instructions on how to appeal the decision made by the NJYS RM Committee. The disqualified individual has ten (10) calendar days from the receipt of the notice of disqualification to submit an appeal in writing to the NJYS State Office.

NJYS will send written notification to every Adult Applicant who is asked to provide more information pertaining to offenses and/or convictions found as a result of criminal history background check(s). NJYS may request additional information if it becomes aware of information about an individual that could have a negative impact on NJYS. If the Adult Applicant fails to respond to NJYS within 10 calendar days of the receipt of the written notification for more information, then the individual will be considered disqualified from participation with the NJYS. A reversal of the disqualification will not be considered until the requested information is received from the applicant.

If an Adult Applicant has any pending charge in matters stated in this policy, the Risk Management Committee may disqualify the individual after a preliminary review. The individual will receive a letter of disqualification which will stand until a determination has been made by the appropriate legal court system and/or the NJYS RM committee determines that the matter has been resolved. After this determination is made, the individual has the right to appeal his/her disqualification within 30 calendar days. The individual forfeits all rights to appeal if a written request of appeal is not received by NJYS within the allotted time period.

IV. APPEAL PROCESS

Any Adult Applicant who has been disqualified from participation with NJYS has the right to appeal the initial decision made by the RM Committee. Once the written notification of the disqualification is received by the individual, that individual must submit a written notice of appeal to the NJYS Executive Committee addressed to the NJYS State Office. The written notice of appeal must be received by the NJYS State Office within ten (10) calendar days from the receipt of the disqualification letter. In the event an Adult Applicant fails to appeal within the 10 calendar day period, the Adult Applicant may re-apply for risk management after one (1) full year from the initial application date. To re-apply, the Adult Applicant must submit a letter to the NJYS Executive Committee seeking consideration of their request.

The appeal hearing date will be established and scheduled at the discretion of the NJYS Executive Committee. Should the need arise for the Adult Applicant to reschedule the appeal hearing after it has been established and scheduled, a new appeal hearing date will be established and scheduled at the discretion of the NJYS Executive Committee. Nevertheless, the appeal shall be heard by the NJYS Executive Committee within 60 calendar days of the initially scheduled appeal hearing date.

A disqualified Adult Applicant may send materials to the NJYS State Office to be reviewed by the NJYS Executive Committee before his or her hearing date. All materials must be received 5 (five) business days before his or her hearing date. All NJYS Executive Committee present at the meeting may vote. A vote will be taken by the NJYS Executive Committee in a private session and the decision will be relayed in written form to the individual no later than 10 business days from the date of the meeting. The NJYS Executive Committee may rule in the following ways:

  • Reinstate the Adult Applicant*
  • Amend the initial decision reached by the NJYS Risk Management Committee*
  • Uphold the initial decision reached by the NJYS Risk Management Committee*

*The NJYS Executive Committee determines the terms of reinstatements and the terms of disqualifications.

Recognizing that State Associations can differ greatly, U.S. Soccer has allowed each State Association to establish its own criteria for prevention of abuse based upon applicable laws in each state, each State Association's insurance program, and what each State Association believes is best for its membership. The USSF Appeals Committee does not review risk management decisions by Organization Members. USSF Policy 601-10 sets out the procedures for recognition of risk management actions and does not provide for an appeal of this type of disqualification to the USSF Appeals Committee.

This section only applies to individuals disqualified as described in DISQUALIFICATION PROCEDURE (a)

  1. Normal appeals process applies as described above. The determination by the legal court system will not necessarily imply that the same decision will be reached by the Executive Committee. Determinations by the court of 'Not Guilty', 'Dismissed', (or similar) will not automatically reinstate the individual for full participation within NJYS; an appeal hearing will still take place unless overruled by the NJYS Executive Committee.

The NJYS Board of Directors reserves the right to update, modify, or change this policy at any time without notice. NJYS anticipates further policy development from U.S. Youth Soccer and/or U.S. Soccer in the future which may govern changes to the NJYS Background Screening Policy.

Contact Us

New Jersey Youth Soccer

569 Abbington Dr, Suite 5
East Windsor, New Jersey 08520

Phone: 609-490-0725
Email: [email protected]

New Jersey Youth Soccer

569 Abbington Dr, Suite 5
East Windsor, New Jersey 08520

Phone: 609-490-0725
Email: [email protected]
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