On July 17, the USA Fencing Board of Directors, at an Emergency Meeting, adopted the USA Fencing Safe Sport Policy. The document builds on existing policy, defines areas of misconduct, expands background screen requirements, outlines best practices policies and includes information on how to report Safe Sport issues. The insurance company that covers USA Fencing, including its divisions and many of the clubs, communicated a requirement for the 8/1/13 renewal that USA Fencing must have adopted and implemented a Safe Sport policy, based on the USOC guidelines as well as other policies that address misconduct in sport. This policy includes background checks for referees, armorers and members of the bout committee, in addition to coaches, division and national officers and others who may be involved with any minors participating in the sport.
Currently, the background screen process is managed through the Professional Membership type. Officials can select the following membership types to comply with the new policy:
- Professional (includes the right to compete) – $105
- Supporting ($25) and add-on + Professional ($35) – $60
- Supporting Parent ($10) and add-on +Professional ($35) – $45
- Non-competitive ($5) and add-on +Professional ($35) – $40
- The +Professional can be added to Life, Life Installment, or multi-year memberships for $35.
Once the individual has completed the membership process, the background screen can be completed by logging in to your USA Fencing account and clicking on the background link in the profile (located in the background and international) section.
The $35 charge is the average cost of having the background check, which currently can run from $20 to $85 depending on the county in which the referee resides.
If the referee has not selected any of the professional members categories noted above when they are hired, the National office will add the +Professional status to their current membership type and take the $35 out of any reimbursement due to the referee for the first event for which they have been hired.
The background screen is good for two years. The Board will determine whether the referees will need to add the +Professional every season.
The National Office will be presenting options to the Board of Directors for managing the process in the future.
Thank you for your cooperation with this process and we apologize that the rapid implementation caused by the last minute insurance company requirement may have caught you unaware of what was about to occur.
If you need assistance with the membership or background screen process, please contact the National Office at 719.866.4511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.