USA Water Ski & Wake Sports



(Updated Feb. 16, 2022)

General Screening Information

Q: Who is required to complete the background screening?

A: USA Water Ski & Wake Sports requires criminal background screening (‘background screening’ or ‘background check’) for individuals involved with its programs as part of a greater effort to promote a safe environment for members. Background screening must be completed for all certified instructors/coaches, participants and staff of national/international teams, show ski team show directors and assistant directors, USA-WSWS judges that are 18 and older who are appointed or assigned to work National Championship and/or IWWF sanctioned World or Confederation Championship events in their respective sports discipline, junior development coaches and leadership, and any volunteer, third-party vendor or contractor who are (a) in position of authority over or (b) in regular contact with athletes. In addition, background screening must also be completed for all staff members, USA-WSWS and Sport Discipline Board Members, and other members/individuals designated by USA-WSWS in its sole discretion.

Q: Is the information supplied to NCSI secure?

A: The National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) is the authorized search organization that performs background screening for USA-WSWS. Yes, your information is secure. NCSI is aligned with industry best practices regarding data security, including high level encryption to protect information submitted online. Internal security measures ensure that your personal information is only viewed as needed to process your screen by qualified personnel who are trained in handling confidential data. Please note, the secure server NCSI uses will contact you from Please ensure you have this email address as an accepted domain so you do not miss communication from NCSI. View NCSI’s full privacy policy.

Q: What if I don't want to provide my personally identifiable information?

A: The background screening application requires the submission of full legal name, address, date of birth and social security number. All of the required fields are marked with an asterisk. NCSI is unable to complete the background screening if any of the required information is not provided. NCSI and Integrass Sports have policies and processes in place designed to protect customers’ and users’ best interests. Access to data is only given to those with a true need for such access. Both organizations are PCI-compliant and do not share any personal information with third-parties. Please note: providing inaccurate personal data during registration may delay the background screening process.

Q: Why is a social security number (SSN) required for a background check?

A: NCSI uses the SSN in its entirety as an identifier, but also as a means to develop a comprehensive address history to provide a complete background screening report, including all areas lived with the required 7-year scope that is mandated by the USOPC policy for Responsible Sport Organizations. The use of the SSN has been a key component of the USA-WSWS background screening program. For criminal screens, the SSN serves many purposes throughout the entire background check process, such as:

  • Used to verify the applicant’s name and DOB are accurate; this is critical because false name and/or DOB information would render the criminal check worthless
  • Provides access to the applicant’s address history; this is also critical as it allows for greater visibility regarding key jurisdictions for the search
  • Could serve as an additional identifier when retrieving court records; per federal requirements, NCSI cannot report criminal histories unless there are two positive identifiers in the record (Name-Address-DOB-SSN)

Q: Is USA-WSWS and/or NCSI completing a credit check when processing the background check information?

A: No, USA-WSWS and/or NCSI are NOT processing a credit check on anyone going through the background screening process.

The search does not include any credit or financial information being sourced. The FCRA acknowledgement does mention credit as being one of the possible components within a background check, but that language is compliant for background checks adhering to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  NCSI does NOT conduct any type of credit check for the USA-WSWS screening process, and the social security number is used solely for the NCSI address trace and identity verification process.

Q: Does USA-WSWS have cyber insurance if there is a data breach and members’ personal identifiable information (e.g. social security number, name, address, email, etc.) is stolen?

A: Yes. USA-WSWS has a media/cyber liability policy that covers members for identity theft/credit monitoring services should your information be stolen as a result of a data breach or hacking incident construed as USA-WSWS negligence. Liability follows the point at which the hackers gain entry and then steal the personal information. If the breach happens via Integrass’ or NCSI’s systems, then they are responsible/liable and their policy would respond with notification cost coverage as well as credit monitoring services for the people whose information was compromised. It is common practice for cyber liability policies to include some form of identity theft and credit monitoring services. The intent of the policy is to defend USA-WSWS from Third Party claims in the event of a data breach where USA-WSWS would be deemed legally obligated to pay. Payment of any third-party claims would be subject to USA-WSWS policy aggregate of $2M.

Q: Can I use the results from a different criminal background screening agency?

A: No, NCSI is the only background check accepted by USA-WSWS, and as a matter of policy, we cannot accept screening results from another agency. Each organization that conducts background screening uses a unique set of criteria and number of years that are being searched, as well as diverse rescreen policies. To ensure consistency, NCSI is the exclusive background- screening provider for USA-WSWS.

Screening Criteria

Q: Findings

A. The search guidelines have been developed by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and adopted by USA-WSWS. A reportable record or disclosure that contains a disposition or resolution of a criminal proceeding, other than an adjudication of not guilty, for any of the below criminal offenses will be flagged as a Red-Light, meaning it does not meet the initial screening criteria and the individual will be subject to the Company’s policies and procedures to determine eligibility:

1. Any felony (any crime punishable by confinement of greater than one year)

2. Any misdemeanor involving:

a. All sexual crimes, criminal offenses of a sexual nature to include but not limited to; rape, child molestation, sexual battery, lewd conduct, possession and distribution of child pornography, possession and distribution of obscene material, prostitution, indecent exposure, public indecency, and any sex offender registrant;

b. Any drug related offenses;

c. Harm to a minor, including, but not limited to, offenses such as child abandonment, child endangerment/neglect/ abuse, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and DUI with a minor;

d. Violence against a person (including crimes involving firearms and domestic violence);

e. Stalking, harassment, blackmail, violation of a protection order, and/or threats;

f. Destruction of property, including arson, vandalism, and criminal mischief; and

g. Animal abuse, cruelty, or neglect

The above criteria are contained within the guidelines developed by the USOPC and have been adopted by USA-WSWS.

Q: How does NCSI go about researching information?

A: Individuals will undergo background screening that includes:

• 2 multi-jurisdictional databases;

• 2 Sex offender registries of all available states;

• social security number validation;

• Name and address verification;

• Federal terrorist database search; and

• Local level searches - County Criminal Records search for name used and county where the individual currently lives or has lived during the past 7 years;

• Federal District Courts searches - for name used and district where the individual currently lives or has lived during the past 7 years

• International Search – US Citizens who have lived outside of the United States for six consecutive months in any one country, during the past seven years

Q: How does NCSI determine the counties and federal district courts that need to be searched?

A: Applicants are asked to provide name and county history during the NCSI registration process. In addition, a name/address history search is used to verify the applicant’s information and reports name and address history associated with an individual. NCSI will utilize the applicant’s submitted information and sourced information to search all names and counties reported in accordance with USA-WSWS policy.

Registration for Screening

Q: What information is required for the criminal background screening registration?

A: The screening will need the following information:

• Social security number (Required for the verification purposes. Background check will not be submitted or completed without this information).

• Your legal first and last name as it appears on your driver’s license, passport, etc.

• Date of birth

• 7-year address history including city, state, zip and county

• Contact information

• Gender

• A government issued ID is often requested by NCSI and may be uploaded at the time of registration.

Q: Do I need to have an active email address?

A: Yes. An active email address is required in order to complete your background screening. NCSI’s primary form of communication with you is via email. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you provide an email address and that you check it frequently following your initial application. If further verification is needed from NCSI, you will get an email from their secure server, so please add and to your accepted email domain list to receive notifications from NCSI.

Q: NCSI is requesting additional identification? Why?

A: It is common for NCSI to request a copy of your ID during the screening process, which may be uploaded at the time of registration. This is used to verify the registration information and to ensure the background screening is as accurate as possible. Please make sure is an accepted domain for this communication. It is important that you register with NCSI using the legal name that appears on your government issued ID. Reminder: the process generally takes 3-5 Business Days. You may contact the NCSI Support Team at or 866-996-7412 to check on the status of your requests.

Q: I tried to complete my background screening and the system “timed out”. What do I need to do?

A: The USA-WSWS registration system is set to time-out after 30 minutes without activity. Please have all information ready in advance to avoid a time out event. In the event of a time out, the information you entered is not stored or transmitted, so you will need to start the process over from the beginning.

Q: Can I send in a paper application?

A: For security reasons, NCSI does not accept paper applications.

Q: Can a non-citizen of the United States without a social security number complete the background screening requirement?

A: Yes, a non-citizen without a social security number may submit their background check screening using the same submission instructions. A replacement number (US Visa number, or ITIN) in the SSN field must be used to complete the application and NCSI will take steps to verify the data provided. 

Based on the NCSI evaluation and per USOPC policy, an international screening may be necessary.  Please note, international searches take longer, and there are additional processing fees required.

Q: My background screening certification has expired what do I do?

A: The process to re-certify your background screening is the same as when you originally applied. USA-WSWS recommends that you begin the re-screening 4-6 weeks prior to your background screening expiration date.

Costs and Payment

Q: What is the cost of the domestic criminal background screening?

A: The cost of the background screening is $30.00.

Q: Why aren’t the fees for the criminal background screening included in my membership dues?

A: USA-WSWS identified NCSI to perform the necessary functions of background screening as well as identify and uphold the required criteria, analyze the results, issue a Green Light/Cleared or Red Light/Flagged finding, store all records, maintain the confidentiality and privacy of our members, communicate with the individuals, and send results to USA-WSWS. The fees go directly to NCSI; therefore, the fees are separate from any membership fees.

Q: Who receives the revenue from the criminal background screening?

A: Background screening fees go directly to NCSI to cover provider and processing costs. USA-WSWS works closely with NCSI to maintain an affordable price for this important service. USA-WSWS DOES NOT receive any revenue from any fees associated with the background check screening process.

Q: Is an international search required?

A: Yes, an international search is required for U.S. citizens who have lived outside of the United States for six consecutive months in any one country, during the past seven years.

Q: What is the cost for an international search?

A: The cost for an international search is $75 for Canada and $150 for any other country.

Q: How do I obtain a receipt from my criminal background check screening?

A: Email NCSI at for additional support obtaining a receipt for international fees paid.  Your registration confirmation should also serve as a receipt for the background screening.

Status and Results

Q: How do I check the status of my background screening?

A: You can check the status of your background screening by contacting the NCSI support team at or 866-996-7412.

Q: Why is my background screening taking longer than another member that registered for screening at the same time?

A: NCSI performs multiple search components as part of the background screening, and each registrant is unique. Once NCSI has processed all research required, it is completed right away. Other delays may result when NCSI requests additional information from you. Please regularly check your email for communication from

Q: How will I be notified if NCSI needs additional information or payment from me?

A: NCSI will send a notice to you via email with relevant instructions. This notice will come to you in the days following your initial application. It is very important that you check your email and respond promptly to this request, since your background screening will be on hold until you respond. Please add and to your accepted email domain list to receive notifications from NCSI.

Q: Who do I contact if I have questions about my criminal background screening?

A: Email NCSI at or call 866-996-7412.

Q: What information is provided to USA-WSWS from my criminal background screening?

A: USA-WSWS can be made aware of the content provided on a background screening report. Limited staff members of USA-WSWS may have access to the screening report.

Q: When will I be notified of criminal background screening results?

A: Screening can take up to 7-10 business days to complete. Once complete, your screening status will be displayed on your USA-WSWS Membership Profile.

Q: Can I request a copy of my criminal background screening results?

A: Yes, simply email support@ncsisafe.comNCSI will need to validate your identity before delivering a consumer copy via secure email.

Q: When does the criminal background screening expire?

A: The background screening must be resubmitted every two years.

Appeal Policy and Process

Q: Can I appeal a failed/flagged determination?

Members of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports (USA-WSWS) who are required to undergo Background Screening pursuant to USA-WSWS Safe Sport Policy, and who do not meet the screening criteria, may appeal the screening failure following the procedures set forth below. This policy and process apply only to background screening, and does not apply to Motor Vehicle Record Reviews (for which there is no appeal except to challenge the accuracy of the reported information directly with NSCI).

Q: What are the criteria for initiating an appeal?

Appeals may be initiated in two ways:

● Challenging the accuracy of the reported information; or,

● Acknowledging the accuracy of the reported information and requesting that the screening disqualification be limited or modified.

Any challenge to the accuracy of the reported information should be addressed directly to NSCI (the screening agency) at The USA-WSWS Review Panel has no authority to amend or modify the screening criteria or the reported information.

A member receiving a screening failure may initiate an appeal of the resulting disqualification by the USA-WSWS Review Panel. Any appeal must be made within thirty (30) days after notice of the background screening disqualification.

Q: What are the criteria for USA-WSWS when considering an appeal?

The criteria for considering any appeal include:

  • The age of the individual at the time the offense occurred.
  • The amount of time that has lapsed since the offense occurred.
  • The nature and severity of the offense, e.g., felony, misdemeanor, SafeSport violation.
  • Overall criminal history, e.g., pattern of offenses.
  • Status of any ongoing disqualifying matter, e.g., resolution of a matter which may be pending.
  • Evaluation of whether an individual may pose a threat to athlete welfare or sport integrity.
  • Consideration of the role sought by the member, and how that role relates to potential issues of athlete safety or sport integrity, e.g. coach or event judge.
  • Consistent policy application, including similar judgments on appeal for similar offenses.

As a general policy, the presumption is that the background screening disqualification will be upheld unless the member establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the member will not pose any issues of athlete safety or sport integrity if the appeal is granted.

Q: How do I initiate an appeal?

To initiate an appeal, the member must:

  • Email USA-WSWS ( with the subject line “Background Check Appeal”.
  • Provide the full name, contact information, and a description of the role/position/rating the applicant is seeking with USA-WSWS.
  • Provide a reasonable explanation of the disqualifying information, along with any information that might be useful for the appeal, including references from others.

Q: What is the process after an appeal is initiated?

The appeal will be decided by USA-WSWS’ Review Panel, consistent with the Background Screening Appeal Policy and all applicable policies of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. The Review Panel will consist of three members, USA-WSWS’ Executive Director, USA-WSWS’ President, and a member of the USA-WSWS Athletes Advisory Council (AAC). In the event of a conflict of interest, the Chair of the USA-WSWS Ethics Committee will appoint a substitute Review Panel member (for the Executive Director or President), and the Chair of the AAC will appoint a substitute Review Panel member (for the AAC representative). The USA-WSWS Ethics Committee shall have oversight of the process.

The Review Panel will schedule a hearing as soon as practical. The appealing party may participate by conference or video call and may be represented by legal counsel. The Review Panel will make every effort to render a decision within three (3) business days. Any decision to amend or modify the screening disqualification must be by a unanimous decision of the Review Panel. USA-WSWS shall immediately notify the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee of any decision to amend or modify the screening disqualification.

The decision of the Review Panel shall be final. Any further appeal shall be to the American Arbitration Association pursuant to the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s arbitration and appeals procedures.