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For the Soccer Association for Youth, USA 


The SAY Volunteer Screening program consists of distinct procedures. They are designed to work in conjunction with one another to ensure a safe, healthy soccer experience for players and volunteers alike.



Every SAYArea and SAY District must implement the SAY Soccer TIMES TWO POLICY.  No Exceptions. All SAYAreas must establish and implement a policy to ensure that no less than two adults are present at any team function. Failure to implement the Times Two policy will adversely impact a SAYArea’s liability insurance coverage. Team functions include, but are not limited to, games, practices, picnics, etc. While the focus of this policy is the child, it also provides protection for the volunteers as well in the event of misunderstandings. Under no circumstances should the activity take place if only one adult is present. It is recommended that SAYAreas and SAY Districts review their policy on car-pooling. SAY recommends that volunteers not provide transportation for non-family members. In the past this was more of an insurance issue, but now has greater implications in regards to the intent of the Times Two policy. As stated in the above policy, there are NO exceptions to following the Times Two policy .




In choosing option 1or 2 below a volunteer is any individual that may have unsupervised access to children participating in a SAY sanctioned activity, for the purpose of assisting in that activity. (This does not include parents observing their children during such activities.) While coaches best fit this description, other volunteers (such as team parent, officials, board members, etc.) could be covered under this program as well. The minimum acceptable standard is for all coaches and assistant coaches to fill out a SAY Volunteer application annually.




Option 1:
SAY National Screening

- Direct your coaches to the background check link on the SAY National site
- SAVA works with SAY National to review, screen, and consultation
- The SAYArea/ district will be  billed monthly by national for and screens performed

Option 2: 
SAYArea Volunteer Administrator (SAVA)

SAYArea Volunteer Administrator (SAVA) requires all volunteers to complete the official SAY Volunteer Application. The SAVA then chooses pathway based on personal history Yes or No Response defined below. 

The SAY Volunteer Application is an official SAY document, to be used solely for the purpose of gathering information on ANY volunteer. (This is already detailed in who should be screened section.)

Information identified as required must be provided by the volunteer in order for the application to be considered. The SAY Area must keep each completed application on file for at least two (2) years. At the end of each season the SAY Area is required to submit a statement, in writing, confirming that all coaches had completed the SAY Volunteer Application. This statement must be sent to the  Attention of the SAY National Office at 11490 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati OH 45246 . This statement must be received by SAY in order for the SAY Area to qualify for voting rights at the SAY Annual General Meeting.  Note:  SAY does not require that the Volunteer Application sent to the National Office.

To view the volunteer application CLICK HERE

When using option 2 any SAY Volunteer Application with a YES response to the personal history question, will require the applicant to submit to a criminal background check, which could include fingerprinting, prior to their being considered for any volunteer position within SAY. (Note – many SAY Areas and Districts background check all of their coaches and volunteers regardless of the answer in the personal history section.) In regards to a YES response to the personal history question, the following actions must be taken.

Although SAY Soccer strongly recommends using our preferred Volunteer Screening Providor Reference Services (RSI) detailed in option 1 or 2, the SAVA in option 3 can choose a SAY National approved volunteer screening alternative.  Contact SAY Soccer’s National Office at 800-233-7291 for approval of your chosen alternative.

The form must include the applicant’s social security number in order to perform a background check.


Once your background check has completed, it is very important that this information remain protected, not only for SAY and the SAY Area, but for the protection of the applicant as well. When reviewing the results of the background check, you will refer to the list of Disqualifying Offenses. This list does not include EVERY offense that could disqualify an applicant. The SAY National Office will NOT be receiving the background check or making decisions based on its findings but the SAY National Office can provide consulting services on decision making, should you need guidance.


NOTE:  This is proprietary information. SAY is very sensitive to the fact that people may have made mistakes in their past that may not necessarily be a reflection of who they are today. If there are sufficient mitigating circumstances, the SAY National Office may offer consulting regarding the final decision, regarding the acceptance of the volunteer, with the SAYArea. As a way of example of mitigating circumstances, let’s look at the following scenario; the applicant, at the age of 19, was convicted of a "misdemeanor assault.” The applicant is now 35, has a family, and has no other police history or violations since the assault conviction. 

OUR general guidance regarding selections made using criminal record is listed below. 


OPTION A  –  Blanket Acceptance 
The SAY member can simply accept the applicant and leave it at that. No one is to be informed of any criminal history concerning the applicant who is to be treated the same as any other volunteer applicant.

This can be a risky proposition. If the applicant does something and the criminal history is made known, you may be open to legal action. 

OPTION B – Conditional Acceptance 
The SAY member can accept the applicant on the condition that either he/she, or the board with the applicant’s written permission, with the applicant’s signature, identify to the team’s parents the criminal history of the applicant. This option may also require further consideration based on the laws of the state in which the SAYArea operates.

Essentially it is the applicant’s choice. While this is a difficult thing for anyone to do, if the desire to volunteer is strong enough, the applicant will agree. If the applicant does not agree, they cannot volunteer. Also, parents must be afforded the opportunity to NOT have their child placed with the applicant.

OPTION C – Disqualification 
The SAYArea can choose to simply not accept the application, denying the applicant the right to volunteer within the SAYArea/District. 

If this is the case an official PRE ADVERSE ACTION letter must be mailed to the applicant along with a complete copy of the background check and Summary of Rights under the FCRA. (Reference Services will teach you how to complete Adverse Action letters in their system.)The applicant has 7 working days to contact the background check company to correct any information the applicant feel should not be included on their background check. If the applicant does not contact the BACKGROUND CHECK COMPANY, A post adverse letter MUST BE SENT TO CLOSE at the end of the 7 days. The Summary of Rights and a copy of the background check must again be provided.

This is the simplest path to take, but never the less can be difficult It is strongly suggested that the reason for being denied NOT be stated. Notice of denial should simply say "thanks, but no thanks.” 


The screening process and choices necessary in the selection of volunteers is very important. Screening is considered the best way to protect the children and must remain the primary motivating factor in the selection of volunteers.

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