From the JVA Office: An Athlete Safety Program for Junior Volleyball Clubs


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Our young athletes deserve to be safe. You are practicing good risk management by In having policies and procedures in place to protect your members. The JVA prioritizes the safety of junior volleyball athletes by providing the proper resources and specific guidelines regarding this issue. Let's take a more in depth look at the JVA Athlete Safety Program which includes: Background Screening, Abuse Prevention Training (APS), and Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies and Procedures.

A claim of harassment or abuse can impact you and your business in a number of ways:

  • It will have legal implications that can carry over to your coaches and your administration
  • Your eligibility for insurance can be impacted
  • Financial losses can be significant
  • The reputation of your organization depends on providing a safe atmosphere for your members and staff
  • You could lose the trust you have built between parents, athletes and your organization. 

The JVA has put the Athlete Safety Program in place for all JVA member clubs

Background Screening

Our “SE Safety” background screening product is the gold standard in background screening & abuse awareness training to help keep kids safe.

  • Only NCYS approved screening vendor
  • Used by over 50 National Governing Bodies
  • We take care of ensuring compliance with Fair Credit Reporting Act, FACTA, “The Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Law of 2017.”
  • Abuse Awareness/Prevention training integrations with: Abuse Preventions Systems and SafeSport
  • Safe Sport Act Compliance

Every JVA member and all adults listed on rosters at JVA insured events must complete the JVA Background Screen and APS training unless they hold a current USAV screen* and Safe Sport Certification*.  A club will not allow any individual who refuses to consent to a background screen or complete the APS training to participate in any club activities. A club will immediately remove from any involvement with the club, an individual who receives a negative (red light) screening report.

JVA Background Screening Procedures
All individuals, 18 years of age or older, involved in any capacity with a JVA member club must be screened: Club directors, club administrators, tournament directors, team reps, coaches, chaperones, and trainers who register, affiliate and/or participate with a junior volleyball club or team. Tournament Directors are required to insure that any official 18 or older who intends to work a junior sanctioned event will also be screened (with the exception of a junior player).

A background screen will not be required for those individuals who are classified only as junior players. Clubs that register junior players as coaches will insure that those coaches are screened upon reaching the age of 18 years old.  JVA does recognize and accept USAV screens.

JVA has secured the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) to process our member background screens.  

*USAV Screening and Safe Sport Training are accepted as they match the criteria of NCSI screening and APS training.

It is imperative that applicants use their full legal name (as stated on a valid driver’s license, passport or non-driver state ID) and correct date of birth.

NCSI Background Screening includes the following checks:

  • SSN Validation
  • National Criminal Database Searches
  • OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) Database Search
  • SOR (Sex Offender Registry)
  • Real Time County Records Search for the longest county of residence in the last 5 years.

JVA/NCSI Criteria for Pass or Fail:

  • Convicted or pending conviction of any violent felony without reference to when it occurred or non-violent felony within the last ten (10) years.  (Felony is defined as any crime punishable by confinement greater than one year.)
  • Convicted or pending charge of any lesser crime involving force or threat of force against a person
  • Convicted or pending charge of any lesser crime of a sexual nature or classified as a sex offense including but not limited to “victimless” crimes of a sexual nature such as prostitution, pornography, indecent exposure; and crimes in which sexual relations is an element
  • Convicted or pending charge of a lesser crime involving controlled substances (not paraphernalia) or alcohol within the prior ten years
  • Convicted or pending charge of a lesser crime involving cruelty to animals within the last ten (10) years
  • Any Sex Offender Registrant
  • Convicted or pending charge of a lesser crime involving harm to a minor
  • Criminal offenses include “Attempted Crimes” in the above classification.

Once an application is completed, in about ten days, the applicant is notified when a determination is made letting them know their background screen has been completed.  Determination of the NCSI screening and verification of completion of the APS Training are housed in our database.

NCSI Determinations:

  • Pending – A registrant will appear as pending once they have submitted their online registration.
  • Green Light - The registrant has no convictions, SOR registrations or pending charges that does not meet your organization’s criteria.
  • Red Light – Records - NCSI found and verified a record of a conviction, SOR registrations or pending charges that does not meet your organization’s criteria.
  • Red Light (I) – Incomplete Information –  A Red Light (I) – Incomplete Information is issued if the information requested (usually a copy of an ID or a phone call) is not received by NCSI within a set timeframe, following 3 previous email requests to the registrant.  If a Red Light (I) – Incomplete Information is issued, a registrant will have 6 months from the date of their registration to provide the requested information.  After 6 months the registration will be considered expired and the registrant must re-register for a new background screen. 

If the determination is not a “green light”, the following process occurs:

  • Applicant is notified with a Pre-Adverse Action Letter, record that was sourced in the applicant name and DOB and FCRA Guidelines
  • Applicant is given 5 business days to respond
  • Red Light is issued – JVA is notified via email
  • JVA determines whether or not you would like the applicant to continue with organization
  • If not NCSI will send Final Adverse Action letter on JVA’s behalf
    The Final Adverse Action Letter from NCSI to the applicant will include a copy of the Record and a summary of the individual’s FCRA rights as part of the investigation.  The applicant may appeal the accuracy of the information in the report, directly to NCSI as directed in the FCRA document. 

Anyone that fails a background screen cannot reapply for another screen until the following season.

Athlete Abuse Prevention (APS)

The JVA approved Athlete Abuse Prevention Training System is an online training program that is required of all JVA adult organization members.  The APS training covers the following topics:

  • Facts vs. Misconceptions
  • Abuser Characteristics
  • The Offender’s Grooming Process
  • Common “Grooming Behaviors”
  • Peer Sexual Abuse
  • Indicators and Impact of Abuse
  • Reporting Requirements

Penalty for non-compliance
A Junior Club that is found to have not requested background screenings for one or more of their adult (18yrs. or over) members or to have not enforced a resulting disqualification will be recommended for suspension of JVA / AVCA member benefits for all club teams and members. The minimum penalty shall be suspension of all members of the offending club/entity until background screening and enforcement requirements are met. Additional measures may include financial penalties and/or extended suspensions against disqualified individuals and the junior club.

Both the screening and the APS training are processed at the same time via our website and payment online via SportEngine.  The cost of the screening and APS is $25. Payment is made online upon completing the screening application. All screens and APS training will be good for two calendar years. 

*USAV Screening and Safe Sport Training are accepted as they match the criteria of NCSI screening and APS training.

Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies and Procedures

The MAAP policies must be put into place by all JVA member clubs.  The information provided is from the U.S. Center for SafeSport and required as a youth sport organization under the Federal Law, “Protecting Youth Victims from Sexual Abuse and SafeSport Authorization Act of 2007.  These procedures are required of all National Governing Bodies (NGBs as well as Local Athlete Organizations (LAO). 

Every club must provide the information and training to their adult members: coaches, staff, board members and adult volunteers.  In addition, it is strongly recommended that the information is shared with your athletes and parents or guardians and that all members have free 24/7 access to the policies. 

The policies cover five main areas:

1).  One-on-One Interactions, including meetings with athletes and individual training sessions. 

  • One-on-one interactions (meetings and trainings) are allowed if they are observable and at a distance that can easily be interrupted by another adult.
  • Parents, guardians, caretakers must be allowed to observe the training session
  • One-on-one interactions may only occur if another adult is present
  • If a one-on-one meeting takes place in an office, the door to the office must remain unlocked and open.  If possible, it is best to use a space that has windows and curtains and blinds remain open during the meeting.

2).  Locker Rooms and Changing Areas 

  • An unrelated adult is never permitted to be alone with a minor athlete in a locker room or changing area when at a facility.
  • The use of any device’s (including cell phones) recording capabilities, including voice recording, still cameras and video cameras in locker rooms, changing areas, or similar spaces at a facility is prohibited. *
  • Under no circumstances shall an unrelated adult at a facility expose his/ or her breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals to a minor athlete.

3). Social Media & Electronic Communications  

  • All communications must be open and transparent. 
  • Parents or legal guardians may request that their minor athletes not be contacted via any form of electronic communication by the organization or the organization’s adult members. 
  • All electronic communication originating from adults to minor athletes must be professional in nature
  • If an adult must communicate with a minor athlete, another adult or the minor’s parent or legal guardian must be copied.
  • If a minor athlete communicates to an adult 1st, the adult must respond to the athlete with a copy to another adult or the minor athlete’s parent or guardian.
  • When an adult communicates to the entire team, another adult must be copied.
  • Minor athletes may “friend” the organization’s official page.  Adult member of the organization may not “friend” a minor athlete’s page.

4). Massages and Rubdowns/Athletic Training Modalities

  • Any massage or rubdown/athletic training modality performed at a facility or competition venue must be conducted in an open and interruptible location.
  • Any massage or rubdown/athletic training modality of a minor athlete must be done with at least one other adult present and may never be done with only the minor athlete and the person performing the massage or rubdown/athletic training procedure in the room.

5). Local Travel – Transportation

Adults who are not also acting as a legal guardian shall not ride in a vehicle with an unrelated minor athlete, absent emergency circumstances, AND must have a least one other minor athlete or another adult at all times, unless agreed to, IN WRITING, by the minor athlete’s parent or legal guardian in advance of any local travel. 

Team Competition
Travel: When only one applicable adult and one minor athlete travel to a competition, the minor athlete must have his/her parent or legal guardian’s written permission, in advance, for each competition to travel along with said adult.

Hotel Rooms
Applicable adults shall not share a hotel room or other sleeping arrangements with a minor (unless the adult and minor are related).  A parent or legal guardian may consent, in advance, in writing to said arrangement.

Meetings
Meetings while on a team travel shall be conducted consistent with the club’s policy on one-on-one interactions.

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Do's and Don'ts

Do’s

  • ALWAYS report any incident to SafeSport, the police, or governing body
  • ALWAYS have two adults present when speaking to a minor
  • ALWAYS include partner or guardian on ALL communication with minor
  • ALWAYS provide leadership, mentorship, and compassion

Don'ts

  • NEVER attempt to hide, ignore, or not report an incident
  • NEVER communicate via text, social media, telephone, etc. with a minor without their parent or guardian on the communication
  • NEVER have one on one communication without another adult present.
  • NEVER provide special treatment such as gifts, food, rides, money, etc to one athlete and not the entire team.

Reporting

Youth Association adults are now mandatory reporters.  The Safe Sport Act expands the list of individuals required to report child sexual abuse. Now, it is likely any adult who is authorized to interact with youth athletes will be required to report suspicions of abuse to the appropriate law enforcement agencies within 24 hours

All staff and volunteers working with youth at your organization are considered mandatory reporters. Further, there is an additional requirement to report suspicions to the US Center for Safe Sport if your organization is governed by a “National Governing Body” or “Paralympic Sports Organization”. 

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JVA Webinar: "Best Practices in Risk Management" which covers JVA's Safety Policy

View the PowerPoint for this webinar HERE.

If you have questions related to JVA's Safety Policies, please contact members@jvavolleyball.org

Related reading on the Safe Sport Act - Click HERE.

To begin the JVA Background Screen application and APS training, CLICK HERE


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