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Background check policy

Since January 1, 2001, all American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) Regions, Areas, and Sections are required to comply with the AYSO policy on criminal background checks. AYSO acts as the criminal background requesting entity unless specific arrangements have been approved in writing by the AYSO National Executive Director.

Any person wishing to volunteer in AYSO must complete an AYSO Volunteer Application Form in AYSO’s official member registration system each year, submit an Esigned copy to the Region and consent to a criminal background check. The application form includes a Criminal Background Check Release. All requested information must be provided by the applicant, including Social Security number, driver license number (or other government issued photo I.D. if the applicant does not drive) and date of birth.

The Region must send the original copy of any handwritten/signed Volunteer Applications to the Safe Haven Department at the AYSO National Office in a timely fashion such that the most sensitive criminal background checks can be completed prior to the start of any playing season.

Criminal background checks are performed on an ongoing basis throughout the year. The responses on the AYSO Volunteer Application Form must coincide with background check results. Failure to answer honestly may be grounds for disqualification.

Each Region must designate at least one person as the Child and Volunteer Protection Advocate (CVPA) who must act as the liaison between the Region and AYSO for purposes of enacting this policy. Regions may appoint more than one CVPA as needed to expedite the screening process at the Region level.

To ensure compliance with all applicable laws, the AYSO Safe Haven staff members at the AYSO National Office are the only people authorized to initiate, review or have access to criminal background reports (unless sanctioned in writing by the National Executive Director). In all cases, the results of any criminal background check must be kept strictly confidential. These reports must be kept in a locked, secure location.

The Notice of Duty to Review Criminal Record process is initiated by the Safe Haven Department of AYSO. When a negative determination is made, a copy of the criminal conviction report received by the Safe Haven Department must be sent to that volunteer applicant in an envelope marked “Confidential – to be opened by addressee only,” along with the Notice of Duty to Review Criminal Record cover letter.

If a conviction is disclosed or discovered, the AYSO Safe Haven Department must make a decision on whether or not the applicant may be used based on the following guidelines and partial Table of Convictions and advise the Region of its decision. As used in this policy, the term conviction refers to a conviction entered after a trial, after a guilty plea or after a plea of no contest/nolo contendere.

Any application form that does not contain honest answers or that misrepresents the number, type or gravity of any such conviction(s) will not be approved irrespective of the nature of the offense or the time that has transpired since the conviction.

Any individual on probation or required to complete a court ordered rehabilitation or other such program following a conviction for a crime appearing on the Table of Convictions will not be considered to serve as a volunteer until all terms and conditions established by the court have been satisfied and proof of completion submitted to AYSO.

Any person convicted of a crime against or otherwise involving a minor at any time in the past will not be approved to be a volunteer.

Most felony convictions will result in a negative determination. Evidence of multiple convictions, either felony or misdemeanor, are likely to also result in a negative determination. Where a conviction is remote in time or where the applicant’s conduct since the conviction(s) indicates rehabilitation or lack of risk to the membership and the program, some leeway may be provided, but only with the concurrence of the RC and CVPA.

Persons convicted of a crime of violence or other serious crime against a person within the prior 20 years will be disqualified from any volunteer position.

Persons convicted of sex offenses will be disqualified from volunteering in AYSO.

Persons convicted of a theft related crime or fraud within the prior 15 years will be disqualified from any position involving the handling of funds, property or personal identification information.

Persons convicted of a serious substance abuse crime within the past 10 years will be disqualified from any coaching position, referee assignment or any position that leads children’s activities.

Persons convicted of less serious crimes of violence, substance abuse or one of the listed miscellaneous crimes within the past 5 years will be disqualified from any coaching position or any position that leads children’s activities.

In certain limited instances, AYSO will disqualify volunteers who have been arrested for a crime, even if the arrest later results in no charges being filed. While AYSO casts no judgment about any of the allegations and/or accusations in these instances, AYSO’s overriding and compelling interest is to provide a safe, fair and fun environment for children.

DUI: Persons convicted of driving while under the influence or other traffic/conduct related crimes within the preceding 3 years will be disqualified from holding the position of team coach or assistant coach. Persons convicted of driving under the influence within the preceding 3 years may be accepted for other volunteer positions with the understanding that they are prohibited from driving any child or AYSO volunteer other than immediate family members to or from an AYSO activity.

If any discretion is exercised in the application of this policy, it must be exercised in a uniform manner, so that substantially similar convictions and circumstances result in substantially similar treatment of potential volunteers. The CVPA or Regional Commissioner (RC) will be immediately notified when a negative determination is made, or if there are issues related to an application. The specific results leading to a negative determination must remain confidential unless the applicant is willing to reveal the results to the RC or CVPA.

Because of the serious implications to the entire AYSO organization, all Regions, Areas and Sections must comply with the decisions made by the Safe Haven Department of the National Office under this policy. Individuals disqualified or restricted by Safe Haven are not entitled to due process at the Region, Area or Section level. Their right of review is conducted in conjunction with their Notice of Duty to Review Criminal Background.

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Region 1603

P.O. Box 1853 
Crestview, Florida 32536

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 850-783-0650
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