FAQ

Q.  I applied during the 2020 season, but the season was shortened due to COVID-19.  Is there an extension to my card?
A.  Yes!  Due to the limited 2020 season, all ACA cards with an expiration date of 7/31/20 will be valid until 12/31/2020.  All cards purchased after 6/19/2020 will expire on 7/31/2021.

Q.  With what organization are you associated?
A.  We have an agreement with US Amateur Basketball and are running their background checks nationwide.  If you are not with US Amateur Basketball, please check with your organization as to what is necessary for you as a coach.

Q. My card was declined but my bank has pulled the money out.
A. More than likely your bank has put a hold on the funds and they will be released after 8:00 p.m.

Q. My card was declined so I tried it again and again and now my bank shows the money has been pulled out each time.
A. More than likely your bank has put a hold on the funds and they will be released after 8:00 p.m. and returned to your account.   If you applied after 8:00 p.m. one day, your funds will not be returned to your account until 8:00 p.m. the next day.

Q. How long does the membership last?
A. Membership expires on July 31st of each year.

Q. Do I have to apply every year?
A. Yes.  Backgrounds must be completed each year.

Q. How long does it take to get my virtual badge?

A. Your virtual badge is  ready after your background is complete.   First apply on our website and submit payment.  You will then be directed to create a log in for your background check.  Submit all information for your background.  Backgrounds take 1-4 days to receive( some in 30 minutes).  Once  approved, you will be emailed (check spam) to get your virtual badge.  The only time delays are how quickly you apply, submit your background information and how long it takes to run your background check. You must complete your virtual badge.

Q. What type of offenses am I screened for in my background that would cause me to be ineligible to coach?
A.  Once you apply and consent to a background check, you are screened for a criminal background check monthly.  We do not deny most misdemeanors. Misdemeanors of violence (assault, battery, domestic violence) will be considered but may require a letter of appeal.    If you have a felony on your background check, you are ineligible until you complete an appeal and the appeal is approved.

Q.  Who has to have a background check?
A.  With US Amateur, anyone who coaches, assists at practices and games or game activities on a regular basis. You are permitted 4 coach and bench personnel per team.   Our background screening does not guarantee that incidents of abuse or inappropriate behavior by the coach or other bench personnel will not occur, but it does screen individuals to prohibit those that have already demonstrated their inability to be positive role model.

Q. How do I know if a coach is approved?
A.  Ask to see their Virtual Badge. If they are approved in good standing they will have an active Virtual Badge.  

Q. What if I am denied?
A. In most cases you can appeal the decision. First, we will notify you by USPS that a discrepancy has appeared on your background check that may make you ineligible to coach.  You have 10 days to notify us if you believe that the violation is not yours.  A letter of denial will be mailed after the 10 days has expired.  You are not approved to coach during that time. If the charges are yours and you do not want to wait the 10 days, you may begin the appeal process as soon as you receive your first letter, or upon submission of your application if you know of charges against you. If you have a felony in your background, you will be required to file an appeal.  Please follow all directions on the appeal link to allow us to review your case as quickly as possible.  We have a committee that reviews each appeal.  Our goal is the safety of our children.

Offenses that are not approvable are sex offenses and domestic violence.

Q. Can I turn my application in at my first tournament?
A. No. There is no paper application.

Q. When do I have to submit my application in order to be eligible to coach?
A. Applications submitted after Monday may not be approved to coach that weekend. Backgrounds can take up to 72 hours and in certain cases, they take even longer.  We cannot approve you to coach until we receive a clear background check.

Q. Why must I provide my social security number for my background check?
A.  Actually, your background check can be run using your date of birth, but it may not be as accurate. Your social security number along with your date of birth provide the most accurate background screen.  Screening based on name, date of birth, social security number and address is standard throughout the background screening industry. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal statute that outlines the basic laws for background screening.

Q. How safe is it to complete my application online?
A.  Very safe.  Of course, we cannot guarantee absolute safety of any data online, however, we take every precaution available.  Our forms (Formsite) use secure connections the same level as banks and other financial institutions and no sensitive data is collected through Formsite.  Your entries are also encrypted using the encryption standard adopted by the U.S. Government. Sterling Volunteers collects sensitive data.  You enter the data on their secure site. The Sterling Volunteers platform is extremely secure. Sterling Volunteers complies with all national and local regulations with respect to the storage and transmission of sensitive data and is hosted in ISO 27001-audited data centers. The Sterling Volunteers platform is audited regularly throughout the year with external vendors. These audits include a network perimeter security assessment, an application penetration test and a physical security assessment.

Virtual Badge 

Q. What do I need to know before I start my Virtual Badge?
A.  Coaches will use THEIR phone to show the badge, therefore, create the badge on the phone the coach will use.  You are allowed one (1) badge per coach, per phone, per email.  So you cannot put several coaches on 1 phone.  The coach must use the email used with the background (not spouse’s or friend’s).  The badge is tied to the phone number where the badge is created.  If there is an emergency during the tournament, we can contact the coach through his virtual badge.

Q.  I created my log in, what badge do I choose?   
A.  Always choose Coach, unless you have received an email instructing you otherwise.  Pre-approved coach  is a special category that results in you re-doing your badge.  Choose Coach.

Q. What do I need to know about my photo?
A.  You must be easily identifiable.  This is about safety for our youth.
1.  The photo should be CLEAR.
2.   It should be light enough to see your face.
3.  NOTHING should be on your head or on your face.  No hats, sunglasses, masks, etc.
Please retake your photo  if any of these conditions are not met.  This isn’t a passport, but please treat it as such.  We are doing our best to keep the tournaments safe, please do yours.

Q.  My badge was rejected.  It says they cannot find a background for me.  I did my background and was approved.  
A.  All information must  MUST match exactly to your background.  First name, last name, and email address must be entered the same on the background with Sterling as on the Virtual badge or it will be rejected.  If you use your full first name on the background but want to use a nickname or middle name on the badge, it will be rejected.  If you accidentally  used a different email or entered the email incorrectly, it will be rejected.  Correct the error and re-do the Virtual Badge.

Q.  How do I change my name on Virtual Badge?
A. Change your name by going in the menu on the top left and clicking on ‘Account Information’.

Q. How do I change my email on Virtual Badge?
A.  Change your email by going in the menu on the top left and clicking on ‘Account Information’.

Q. What if I do not have my virtual badge before I go to a tournament?
A. Your Virtual Badge is immediate as long as you have followed the process.  Almost always choose the Coach option.  We will notify you if you should choose pre-approved Coach.  Create your badge using the same name and email as was used for your background.  All tournament directors have access to a list of approved coaches.  If your background check is not complete, you may not coach that weekend.

Q. What is the process to get a virtual badge?
A. Apply on our website and pay the non-refundable fee.  You will be directed to complete your background check.  Once your background is approved, you will be directed to get your virtual badge.  Choose the Coach option and enter your name and email exactly as it was entered for your background.  The only delay is getting your approved background returned.  Everything else depends on you completing each step.

Q. When does my name appear on the list of members?
A. Allow 4 business days, however it seldom takes that long.  We have to allow 72 hours to receive a background returned to us.  As soon as we receive an approval on the background, your name is added to the list of coaches, often within the same day of application.

Q.  I coach more than one team, do I need a virtual badge for each team?
A.  No.  You will be assigned to the one team that you list.  Remember, there is a limit of 4 coaches per team.