It is the intent of this policy to establish certain guidelines wherein the Agawam Soccer Association (hereinafter referred to as “ASA”) affiliated booster clubs can seek to protect our children by investigating the background of volunteers who will be coaching children involved in the soccer programs approved by the ASA.
A. ASA shall ensure that all participants 18 years of age or younger shall have at least one (1) approved coach or assistant coach (hereinafter collectively referred to as “Coach”) present at each athletic activity, including, but not limited to, practices, tournaments and games. A Coach becomes approved once the process described in this policy is completed.
B. Any person who has been found guilty, pled guilty; or pled no contest, regardless of adjudication, or has a pending charge pertaining to, any of the disqualifying offenses listed in this policy will be immediately disqualified from coaching (either as a head coach or an assistant coach) in any soccer program approved by the ASA. The ASA also reserves the right to disqualify a person for any crime that would be considered a potential risk to children and/or vulnerable populations. A Coach who willfully fails to comply with this background screening policy shall be automatically disqualified.
C. This policy will apply to all youth soccer coaches, both head and assistant, participating in sanctioned ASA recreational and town travel soccer leagues. If there is any doubt as to which coaches should be screened, the general rule is anyone who would potentially have unsupervised access to children on the team. Each Coach will have his or her background checked every 24 months for as long as he or she continues coaching.
D. All coaches will be required to wear an approved coaches badge at all times. This coaches badge will be issued by either ASA (in-Town Rec league) or issued from the sanctioning town travel league upon passing the required background check. Coaches shall be identified at all practices and games. If Coaches did not have their credentials in their possession and visibly present at all times during game, tournaments, etc, they will be unable to be on the player’s side of the field during games, tournaments, etc.
1. The ASA will require each coach to register as a volunteer on the Agawam Soccer Association website www.agawamsoccer.org. As part of this registration process, the volunteer will be required to accept the Coach’s Code of Ethics. Coaches will be approved by the Agawam Soccer Association Board of Directors.
2. Upon completion of the Volunteer registration, coaches and assistant coaches will be required to apply for a background check through either the US Club Soccer or MassYouth Soccer Association websites, the governing body overseeing the leagues, or other background screening process as directed by ASA. Background checks can take 10-14 days to complete.
3. The third-party contractor conducting the checks will cross-reference the screening results with the disqualifying crimes listed in this policy. A ‘Clear/Approved’ or ‘Failed/Not Approved’ response will be communicated to the background Screener for ASA as well as applicant based on the cross-reference. A ‘Clear/Approved’ determination is for any Coach that has zero disqualifying crime matches, a ‘Failed/Not Approved’ determination will be issued for any Coach that has one or more disqualifying crime matches. All information pertaining to the background check will remain with the third-party contractor, subject to the applicable laws requiring disclosure. The ASA will not be informed of the results of any background check; rather, the ASA will only be issued a ‘Clear/Approved’ or ‘Fail/Not Approved’ determination grade for each Coach.
4. If the third-party contractor reports any ‘Fail/Not Approved’ determinations to the ASA, the Organization shall notify the Coach by certified mail, first class mail, or by telephone that he or she is disqualified from coaching in ASA soccer programs. The Coach will be responsible for any disputes directly with the third-party contractor.
To help ensure confidentiality, the ASA should not be notified of a Coach’s criminal history. Any criminal background reports maintained by the third-party contractor for a period as required by applicable law.
Volunteers, Coaches and Assistant Coaches play just as important a role in this screening program as does the ASA. It is important for the integrity of the background screening program that ASA Board members verify that (1) only those persons who are screened and who are not disqualified can coach or assist in the coaching of the young people in the soccer programs approved by the ASA, and (2) that such persons are active with only the team or teams identified on the coach’s identification pass.
If a Coach’s background check includes a charge set forth on the list of disqualifiers below, the ASA shall immediately disqualify a person from volunteering as a Coach or volunteer. There shall be no appeal of a decision to disqualify a Coach, if the Coach’s relevant criminal history is accurate; all decisions are final.
If a Coach wishes to dispute the content of the profile report, the Coach shall contact the third-party responsible for conducting the background check. The Coach is responsible for providing any or all documentation to support his or her claim for the appeal process and the ASA will not represent the coach appealing the report.
If a Coach (1) has been convicted of, (2) has a charge pending against him or her in which it is alleged that he or she has committed any of the following crimes, or (3) has a record of a conviction of an equivalent offense in another state, the Coach will be disqualified from volunteering for a coaching or assistant coaching position with any team in any soccer program approved by the ASA. To maintain the integrity of this process and to protect the young people within the Organization, it is the Coach’s responsibility to notify a member of the ASA’s Executive Committee (President or Vice President), Vice President of Travel, Vice President of In-Town or Registrar/CORI Submitter immediately (within 48 hours) upon being charged with an allegation of any of the following crimes. Failure to do so will result in immediate disqualification of coaching privileges.
All Sex Offenses
Examples include, but are not limited to: child molestation, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sodomy, prostitution, solicitation, indecent exposure, etc.
All Felony Violence Offenses
Examples include, but are not limited to: murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault, kidnapping, robbery, aggravated burglary, etc.
All Felony offenses other than violence or sex within the past ten (10) years.
Examples include, but are not limited to: drug offenses, theft, embezzlement, fraud, child endangerment, etc.
All Misdemeanor Violence offenses within the past seven (7) years.
Examples include, but are not limited to: simple assault, battery, domestic violence, hit and run, etc.
Two Misdemeanor Alcohol offenses within the past five (5) years or multiple offenses in the past ten (10) years.
Examples include, but are not limited to: driving under the influence, drunk and disorderly, public intoxication, etc.
All Misdemeanor Drug offenses within the past five (5) years or multiple offenses in the past ten (10) years.
Examples include, but are not limited to: simple drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, etc.
Any other misdemeanor within the past five (5) years that would be considered a potential danger to children or is directly related to the functions of that coach.
Examples include, but are not limited to: contributing to the delinquency of a minor, providing alcohol to a minor, etc.
WHY THESE CRIMES?
Based upon a review of the resources available as well as the resources of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners, ASA has adopted this set of Recommended Guidelines for Volunteer Background Screening in park and recreation settings. These guidelines were produced because of this research and review.