Questions and Answers Regarding SafeSport and Membership Initiatives for 2014

By USA Archery | June 14, 2013, 12 a.m. (ET)


USA Archery CEO Denise Parker recently issued a blog post regarding changes to club/individual membership and sanctioning requirements to be implemented in 2014. Since then, USA Archery has received questions from the membership. In an effort to address many of the same questions being received we have summarized some of them below and have added updates when available.

We would like to acknowledge that while change can be challenging, these initiatives focus on key issues of athlete safety and liability – some of which are being mandated by the USOC and some of which are USA Archery’s own initiatives to ensure the safety of our clubs and participants. Thank you for your patience and willingness to work with us as we implement these new initiatives.

Individual Membership FAQ

(Click here for complete membership benefit chart)

How long will a USA Archery Recreational Membership be good for, and can it be renewed? Recreational memberships will be good for one year and can be renewed.

Can Recreational Memberships be upgraded to Youth, Adult or Family? Yes, you may upgrade a Recreational Membership to a Youth, Adult or Family.

How long will a USA Archery Temporary Membership be good for, and how can it be purchased? A temporary membership will be valid for one USA Archery sanctioned event. Individuals will be able to purchase a temporary membership for any USA Archery club or state sanctioned event both online or by submitting a USA Archery membership form. Individuals will be able to print their membership card and take to the event for proof of membership. Event organizers can also provide membership forms or accept membership forms onsite, and forward to USA Archery if they choose to offer that option to attendees. Individuals can purchase as many temporary memberships as they want in a given year.  Temporary memberships may not be upgraded.

Can individuals purchase Recreational or Temporary memberships online? Yes, individuals may purchase both Recreational and Temporary memberships online at  Each member can print a membership card to verify his or her membership.

How will clubs be able to verify membership for participants? All members can currently print out a membership card via their online account. If members choose their affiliated club during the registration process, the club administrator will be able to view this online by logging into their membership services account.

Do Recreational members have to purchase a temporary membership to participate in local and state events? Yes. Recreational members would either have to upgrade their membership to a Youth, Adult or Family membership or buy a temporary membership to participate in a club or state sanctioned event.  

Can an NFAA member shoot in a USA Archery sanctioned tournament? Yes, NFAA membership WILL BE recognized for participation purposes only at all USA Archery sanctioned competitions (with the exception of selection to international teams, and any tournament which requires JOAD club membership, i.e. JOAD National Indoor Championships and Easton JOAD Nationals), so long as the individual has obtained a temporary membership for that event (either paper version or online). Upon verification of active NFAA membership, the $15 temporary membership fee is waived. This can be done online through USA Archery’s membership management system. Individuals can print out this temporary membership card for the specific event and present it to the organizers for verification.

How do I verify membership for those registered to attend my event? USAA members can show proof of membership via a membership card, which can be printed from their online account access or they can request a copy be sent to them from the office. As is common practice with many events, please be sure to ask members to bring proof of membership on your event registration form. However, we are working with our membership system provider to see what other ways we make this process smoother for our member clubs.

Will there be rebates to State Associations for Temporary and Recreational Memberships? Yes. A $5 rebate will be given to current State Associations for these memberships, similar to what is given for adult, youth and family memberships.

What type of membership is required to participate in the JOAD or Adult Archery Achievement Award program? Youth, Adult or a Family membership will be required for participation in the JOAD or Adult Archery Achievement Award program. For a summary of what benefits are associated with each membership level, please see the membership benefit chart.

Can a National Field Archery Association (NFAA) member participate in the USA Archery Achievement Award program? No, NFAA membership is currently not recognized for participation in the JOAD or Adult Achievement Award program, HOWEVER, we are still in discussion with NFAA on some possibilities

Club Membership FAQ

(Click here for complete club membership benefit chart)

What are the USA Archery Club Terms and Conditions? The Club Terms and Conditions is a new policy effective January 1st for all USA Archery clubs.  Current clubs will accept the new terms and conditions upon renewal in 2014.

In 2014 USA Archery will require Recreational Memberships for all participants in club activities. When is this requirement in effect? New participants will only be required to obtain a USA Archery membership after they attend a maximum of three USA Archery club activities (defined as any activity within a 24-hour period that is planned and hosted by the member club for members or direct membership recruitment) OR when a participant becomes an official member of that club. However, prior to becoming USA Archery members, the club needs to obtain a Release of Liability Form from these individuals. These forms can be stored with the club and accessed by USA Archery as needed or requested. 

Third party archery events, such as Park and Recreation, Boy/Girl Scouts, 4-H etc., are typically not considered club activities, and should carry with them insurance from the 3rd party group, or separate insurance can be purchased from various insurance brokers. The main consideration when determining when this requirement is necessary is when defining WHICH entity is hosting the event… the JOAD club or the 3rd party. Depending on which entity is hosting the event, determines which insurance is in effect. If a USA Archery club is hosting the event, then participants will be allowed a maximum of 3 club activities, but then would have to join the organization. If the third party is hosting the event, separate insurance is needed.

Note: A USA Archery member Level 2 Certified Instructor/Coach will carry general liability coverage even if the event is not related to a club, but this coverage is only for them, it does not extend to the participants. This coverage is tied to USA Archery membership, so certified instructors/coaches who are members of different organizations will need to check with their specific organization.

If you need to provide proof of insurance, complete the Certificate of Insurance Request Form, and you will be provided with confirmation that your event is covered and a Certificate of Insurance.

My club runs a one night a week, three-week introduction program that non-members attend to try archery. Will Recreational memberships be required for participants in this activity? If the event the club is running is a club activity (defined as any activity within a 24-hour period that is planned and hosted by the member club for members or direct membership recruitment), archers may attend a maximum of three of these activities before becoming a member of USA Archery. Therefore in this case, no, membership would not be required so long as it met the standard of being a club activity. If the program went beyond 3 weeks (6 week or 8 week programs), then yes, they would have to become a member.

Why are recreational memberships important for clubs? A club insurance policy provides general liability protection for your member club’s activities (see definition above). Liability protection extends to the premises during that club activity. In addition to the general liability insurance, USA Archery individual members have sport accident injury insurance for any personal injuries that might be sustained during the activity. Additionally, it is important all club participants agree to the USA Archery membership terms and conditions and accept the Code of Conduct, which includes the SafeSport policy.

If instructors from our club operate a "try archery" booth, 4-H or similar experience would this be considered a club activity and would Recreational membership be required? If the club organizes the event, specifically for club recruitment, as a club activity (defined as any activity within a 24-hour period that is planned and hosted by the member club for members or direct membership recruitment), and expects that this event be covered under USA Archery’s insurance, then this is acceptable to not require membership for this single event, but all participants must sign a USA Archery Release of Liability Form. However, if the event is organized and operated by a third party, i.e. 4-H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc, then the third party must provide the insurance for the event.

Note: A USA Archery member Level 2 Certified Instructor/Coach will carry general liability coverage even if the event is not related to a club, but this coverage is only for them, it coverage does not extend to the participants. This coverage is tied to USA Archery membership, so certified instructors/coaches who are members of different organizations will need to check with their specific organization.

Do I need to use the USA Archery Release of Liability Form or can I create my own? Yes, if you want USA Archery insurance coverage, you must use the approved USA Archery Release of Liability form. This does not preclude you from having them sign additional forms as necessary.

Instructor Certification and Background Screens FAQ

(Click here for SafeSport certification requirements chart)

Does USAA have a reciprocity agreement with NFAA for instructor certification? Yes, USAA or NFAA membership is recognized for Level 2 through Level 5 instructor and coach certification requirements. However, please note that insurance coverage is tied to the individual’s member organization. In order to find the specifics of what insurance coverage is offered, please check with your specific member organization. For membership and Safe Sport requirements per certification level, please see the certification requirements chart.

In 2014, will every JOAD or Adult club be required to have at least one Level 2 Instructor? Yes, beginning in 2014 every USA Archery Club must have at least one current Level 2 Instructor.  Clubs will have until December 31st, 2014 to be in compliance with this policy.

How do I find a Level 2 Certification course in my area? (1) Find courses on under the “Find It” logo (2) Search Level 3 or higher coaches in your area to inquire about trainings, which can also be found in the “Find It” area of the website or (3) Contact USA Archery to help setup training in your area:

Level 1 Instructors and/or volunteers assist my club and are teaching archers.  Are they required to become Level 2 instructors? No. A Range Pass will be required for any Level 1 instructor, club employee, volunteer, coach, judge or member who has routine access to minors within a USA Archery or Club event or activity to be compliant with our Code of Conduct Policy. To obtain a range pass a person must pass a Background Screen, complete SafeSport training and obtain a USA Archery membership (temporary membership excluded) in order to be covered under USA Archery’s insurance policy. There is no fee for the Range Pass, but there will be the fee related to the background screen and membership requirement. This Range Pass designation will show up on the member’s membership card and can be printed off and presented to the club administrator as verification of requirements.

Event Sanctions FAQ

How do I sanction an event? Event sanctioning may now be done online by club administrators, and is a simple process to complete. For more information, visit A calendar of all sanctioned tournaments is now also available online at State Association leaders may submit a sanction request by completing the sanction application form.

What types of events have to be sanctioned and what is the benefit of sanctioning? A sanction from USA Archery is required for any archery competition that is held outside of general club activities. It is important to note that this is not a new policy, but simply the enforcement of an existing policy. “Outside of general club activities” is defined as a club or organization holding competitions within the United States with open registration, where individuals are allowed to participate that are not current members of the member club. Included with the sanctioning of the event is insurance coverage through USA Archery’s insurance program, participants are eligible for national records and the competition is posted to the USA Archery calendar of events. In addition, if you want scores from your event to be recognized as World Records, you must also sanction that event as a Star FITA through USA Archery.

Do I have to require USA Archery membership at sanctioned tournaments? A USA Archery membership is required for participation in all USA Archery sanctioned tournaments.  If a club or state association holds a sanctioned tournament and does not require USA Archery membership (NFAA members need to acquire a Temporary Membership for NFAA members) for participants, that event will not receive liability insurance coverage, or any of the other benefits that come with hosting a USA Archery sanctioned event.  If a club is hosting an event or competition that is not a USA Archery sanctioned event and they would like participants, who are not members of USA Archery to receive coverage, they will need to purchase insurance for that event outside of USA Archery.  

What is covered under the General Liability insurance for an event? Liability protection extends to the premises or facilities only while club members are participating in sponsored functions. If your member club owns the premises or facilities, or if they are contractually responsible for the property on a 24-hour basis according to the terms of their lease, then they will need to purchase a separate insurance policy.  This separate policy will provide liability coverage to their facility on a 24-hour basis.  The above statements are not meant to be a complete statement of all the provisions USA Archery’s insurance policy includes.  Please refer to the coach and club insurance benefit information for more detail.

Can you please explain options for insurance coverage for Non-Member Events and Buildings? These types of policies must be done through an insurance broker or company. We suggest you contact a broker to discuss options given your specific situation.

SafeSport FAQ

What is SafeSport? Athletes will perform better, soar higher, and get more from sport if they feel safe. SafeSport seeks to create a healthy, supportive environment for all participants. Through education, resources, and training, SafeSport will help members of the sport community recognize, reduce, and respond to misconduct in sport. Read our comprehensive FAQ on SafeSport and 2014 changes.

Why do I need SafeSport? SafeSport is a required course for Level 1 instructors and volunteers who routine access to minors within a USA Archery or Club event or activity and all Level 2 and higher instructors/coaches.  Please review USA Archery’s SafeSport Code of Conduct policy for more information. 

When do I need to complete my SafeSport training? As of January 1, 2014, USA Archery will require all Level 1 instructors and volunteers who routine access to minors within a USA Archery or Club event or activity and all Level 2 and higher instructors/coaches to complete SafeSport training prior to becoming a certified instructor.  Current Instructors and Coaches will have one year from the effective date of policy (January 1, 2014) to complete SafeSport Training. Any Instructor or Coach not in compliance with this policy will be have their certification suspended until SafeSport training has been completed and verified by USA Archery.

How do I get SafeSport Training? Visit the SafeSport website to begin your training. To register for your training, please click here or scroll to the bottom of the SafeSport homepage and click on Register. Please be sure to indicate your organization is USA Archery.

How do clubs with both Adult Archery Program and JOAD members deal with adults shooting in class or next to JOAD archers? Must youth archers obtain a Range Pass to shoot near or participate in activities with other youth archers? Currently competitors or participating club members, whether adult or minor, in USAA club activities or events, are not required to have Safe Sport training or complete a background screen (Range Pass). If individuals are acting in a role of an employee, volunteer, instructor, coach, judge or administrator who has routine access to minors within their affiliation with the USAA club or event, they need to obtain a Range Pass.

How much does it cost to take the SafeSport training and where do I go to register? SafeSport training is free for clubs, coaches, parents and athletes.  To take the course: please visit and click on the appropriate training to begin. 

How long is the SafeSport Training? SafeSport training takes 90 minute to complete.

Who is required to take the SafeSport Training? SafeSport training will be required for Level 2 through Level 5 instructors and coaches and those Level 1 Instructors, employees, judges, or administrator and volunteers who will have routine access to minors. A Range Pass can be acquired from USA Archery to show proof of meeting the necessary requirements.

How will USAA record my completion of the SafeSport course? When you register for the SafeSport course you are asked to indicate which sport you are taking the course for. USAA has access to SafeSport records by sport category and can verify your training.  Also, at end of your SafeSport training each participant will receive a certificate of completion.  Please print this certificate and keep it in your records.

Will USA Archery be enacting a "no touch" policy? USA Archery has a specific Safe Sport Code of Conduct Policy that it has passed. The USOC SafeSport program provides a sample physical contact with athlete policy, which is located under Resources in the SafeSport Handbook and we suggest all clubs reference this handbook for creating their own club policies.

How will claims of abuse or misconduct be processed by USAA and what does that mean for the coach? Any USA Archery member can submit a complaint, under oath, regarding a violation of the Code of Conduct per USA Archery’s bylaws. The complaint is then forwarded to USA Archery’s Board of Justice for review. This panel will review the evidence in the case and has the ability to have a hearing panel hear and review the case.

If they believe that a violation of the Code of Conduct has occurred they will have the ability to deny membership and/or certification and program access to that individual. Under USOC requirements, coaches then will be able to appeal the decision within the American Arbitration Association arbitration system if desired. All civil matters will be passed on as appropriate to local authorities or will be handled in civil court. USA Archery will only hear matters as it relates to clubs or individuals ability to be a part of and participate in USA Archery programs and events.