From the Chairman
Junior Shooting Sports Coaches
Newly implemented risk management mandates for The American Legion Junior Shooting Sports National Tournament
The Americanism Division wishes to make you aware that as a result of Public Law 115-126, Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017, The American Legion now mandates that anyone 18 years of age or older who is coaching, volunteering or otherwise participating in the Junior Shooting Sports program must annually pass a criminal background check and sexual abuse awareness training. Detailed information and guidance is provided in “The American Legion Risk Management Guidebook for the Junior Shooting Sports National Tournament” located at https://www.legion.org/publications/249993/jssp-risk-management-guide .
The American Legion national organization mandates that criminal background checks for national youth programs must be conducted by an exclusive commercial vendor engaged by the national organization. The use of a single provider for background checks ensures screening consistency and enhanced confidentiality. The mandated exclusive provider is “Protect Youth Sports.” The cost of a criminal background check with Protect Youth Sports is $20 for The American Legion Junior Shooting Sports National Tournament, which is two rounds of postal matches administered by the national organization. This amount is the cost for those who are needing a background check that reside in the United States or a United States territory. For those living outside the United States or its territories, the cost will be dependent on the country in which they reside. Cost could vary from $75 to $150. That Protect Youth Sports fee also includes the mandated sexual abuse awareness training. The national organization does not fund or collect any costs associated with the background checks or training. A link to Protect Youth Sports is provided the during the registration process for a club to participate in The American Legion Junior Shooting Sports National Tournament. Please note – sexual abuse awareness training that is current and successfully passed through the U. S. Center for SafeSport may be accepted in lieu of the abuse awareness training offered through Protect Youth Sports.
Proof that each “designated individual” as defined in the risk management guidebook has successfully passed a criminal background check through Protect Youth Sports and a certificate of completion for sexual abuse awareness training, through either Protect Youth Sports or the U.S. Center for SafeSport, must accompany the affiliation form when it is presented to the affiliating American Legion post for verification and signatures. Affiliating American Legion posts are unable to sign the affiliation form without verifying those two documents for each designated individual.
Any questions may be directed to The American Legion Junior Shooting Sports program manager at American Legion National Headquarters by sending an email to Americanism@legion.org or calling (317) 630-1203.