Referee Background Screening

Referee Background Screening

As indicated in the Rules Governing Referee Conduct, in order to complete the coach registration process a coach must have a current background screening on file with the National Office. Each successful background screening is good for a two (2) year period. Any failed screenings, also known as Red Lights, will receive notification that they do not meet the criteria, immediately go into suspension mode, and have 5 days to request a hearing. If a hearing is not requested, then the membership is cancelled.

Click Here to Start Your Background Screening Now


Go to, and click on “Start Your Background Screening Now” and complete the steps below:

Step 1:; click on “Start Your Background Screening Now”
Step 2: Enter Self-Registration Number: 35384896
Step 3: Enter Your Information as Requested
Step 4: Provide Legal Authorization and Certification

It is important when entering your name, that you use your full legal name as written on your current ID (state driver’s license, passport or state ID with name and DOB). Please also verify that your social security number was typed correctly. Using nicknames or failing to type a correct social security number may delay or invalidate your background check. In addition, you may incur additional fees if this information is incorrect or not complete.

NCSI will contact you directly if there are any questions, problems or issues related to your specific information. An email address is required when completing the background check as our contact with you will largely be electronic. Please be sure to add to your list of acceptable domains in your email program to receive notifications from us. If you have any questions or problems submitting your information, please email or call the NCSI at (440) 542-9833 or toll free (866) 833-7100.
Once you have submitted your information you will receive a confirmation page with a 16-digit Applicant ID Number. The background check generally takes 10 business days to complete and you may check your status on our website under the "Check Your Background Screening Status" link at

Background Screening Frequently Asked Questions

In 2011, the USA Water Polo National Office determined through benchmarking with other youth sports and National Governing Bodies that a background screening program for USA Water Polo referee members would be a service that we could provide to our membership. As noted in our Statement of Ethics, public trust is critical to the success of our organization and we feel strongly that a formalized background screening process for the referees who are in contact with our athlete members will substantially further that goal.

To implement and maintain a background screening program for the purpose of determining eligibility for referee membership in USA Water Polo. This screening is not intended to serve as a pre-employment background screening program.

Program Guidelines
The program is designed to:
1) Protect the confidentiality of information pertaining to existing and prospective USA Water Polo referee members.
2) Review referee members and prospective referee members pursuant to the Screening Criteria below.
3) Provide those screened with an opportunity to challenge incorrect information found in the screening process before a result is forwarded to USA Water Polo.
4) Forward information to our outside legal counsel for additional investigation and any action in those instances where the screening results produce disqualifiers. Except in rare situations, there would be no disclosure to a team, Zone, or national personnel at this stage.
4) Screen members based on name, date of birth, address history and social security number.
5) Remove the involvement of volunteers and staff in compliance, data collection and record retention.
6) Be compliant with the applicable provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Members Required to be Screened
The following USA Water Polo members are required to undergo regular background screening at least every two years:
1) All coach members and prospective coach members
2) All referee nenbers and prospective referee members
3) All club administrators
4) All National Teams Managers and Coordinators.
5) All USA Water Polo HQ staff. Requirement includes pre- employment and regular staff screening.

Please note: Screening requirements apply to members or prospective members under the age of 18. Background screening applicants must arrange to have a parent or legal guardian available during the online application process since their signature, in addition to the member, will be required for certain notices and authorizations.

Screening Criteria for Membership Eligibility

Any of the following shall constitute violations of USA Water Polo's Background Screening Criteria - as per the Code of Conduct:

1. Found guilty of, imposition of a deferred sentence for, or any plea of guilty or no contest (nolo contendere) at any time, past or present, or the existence of any pending charges, for:
(a) all sex offenses (examples include, but are not limited to: child molestation, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sodomy, prostitution, solicitation, sexual misconduct and indecent exposure);
(b) all felony offenses involving violence, (examples include, but are not limited to: murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault, kidnapping, robbery and aggravated burglary);
(c) all felony offenses not involving violence of sexual misconduct (examples include, but are not limited to: possession, distribution or intent to distribute illegal drugs or substances, theft, embezzlement, fraud and child endangerment);
(d) all misdemeanor violent offenses. (examples include, but are not limited to: simple assault, battery, domestic violence and hit & run driving);
(e) any crimes against children; or
(f) more than one misdemeanor drug or alcohol offense (examples include: driving under the influence, simple drug possession, drunk and disorderly conduct, public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia.) or

2. Found guilty of, imposition of a deferred sentence for, or any plea of guilty or no contest (nolo contendere) at any time within the past seven (7) years, or the existence of any pending charges, for any misdemeanor drug and alcohol offenses (examples include: driving under the influence, simple drug possession, drunk and disorderly conduct, public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia.).

Criminal offenses include "Attempted Crimes" in the above classifications

Any person applying for a referee membership in USA Water Polo who does not pass the background screening will not be eligible to become a referee member of USA Water Polo.

Frequency of Screening
Persons subject to screening, as noted above, will be required to be screened every two years. Expiration for all screening tests shall be 24 months from the last day of the month in which the screen was conducted (i.e. a screening successfully completed on 1/15/16 will expire on 1/31/18.) NCSI will recheck an Individual’s Records twelve months after the submission date, The recheck search performed uses one commercial data provider to search a database and available state sex offender registries. After 24 months, when it is time to update screening records, it is highly recommended that members submit an application for re-screening within the first 15 days of the month that their previous screening is scheduled to expire.

Screening Provider
After conducting an extended search, USA Water Polo selected National Council for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) as its national provider. NCSI is dedicated and committed to the community, their clients and the people they serve.

The cost for the background screen required by USA Water Polo is $20 plus $1.25 service fee. This fee will be paid to NCSI by the applicant at the time that he/she goes online to initiate a background screen. NCSI accepts MasterCard, Visa, and American Express for online transactions. There may be additional fees for International applicants.

1) An individual subject to screening must go online to connect through a link on the USA Water Polo web site to initiate and pay for a USA Water Polo Background Screen.

2) The applicant will promptly receive a screening report that provides address history and criminal information, if any. Until NCSI reviews this search report against the USA Water Polo screening criteria, the applicant's "Screening Status" on the NCSI Web site will reflect "Pending". NCSI's determination regarding membership eligibility will be emailed after the screening has been completed.

3) If the applicant passes screening, the result will be updated to "Approved" on the NCSI Web site and will be communicated electronically to the USA Water Polo membership database. The expiration date for the screening is reflected on the USA Water Polo website in the same manner as coaches' safety certifications.

4) If the background screen returns a finding that the applicant is not eligible to become a USA Water Polo coach member, there is a process for review of the accuracy of the information through NCSI.

5) If the final background screen returns a finding that the applicant is not eligible to become a USA Water Polo coach member, then the membership will not be granted and the membership database will display no information regarding the applicant.

NOTE: If a member does not have a SSN, s/he should put all zeros in the SSN field. Additional documentation and/or fees may be required.

Review Process
In the event that a background screening returns information that the applicant believes is not accurate, he or she will have the opportunity to dispute that information with NCSI. To protect the applicant, that opportunity will precede any communication of information by NCSI to USA Water Polo. Applicants who have failed a background check may elect to file a written waiver request with USA Water Polo. There is no charge for filing such an appeal. The appeal will be heard by a special three person panel that USAWP's Chief Executive Officer has appointed to hear such appeals. If the panel concludes that, in its judgment, the referee should continue to be eligible to participate as a Referee Member, the referee will be be contacted by the Office. If the panel concludes that, in its judgment, the referee should not continue to be eligible to participate as a Referee Member, the referee may appeal the panel's decision to the American Arbitration Association, the same as any other party who wishes to appeal from the results of a USA Water Polo grievance hearing.

The purpose of this waiver procedure is to provide for some flexibility into the background checking process.

In addition, an applicant who does not pass a background check may initiate a grievance under Article 14 of USA Water Polo's Bylaws, at no additional charge, should the applicant choose to challenge a negative finding on membership eligibility.

Information Management and Exchange
This program places the responsibility for information management and retention on the screening provider. Except in those few instances where a member's background screen returns information indicating a disqualifying event, USA Water Polo will not be privy to or store the information returned in a member's background screen, and only then that the applicant did not pass the background screen.