Athlete Protection


USA Ultimate is committed to fostering a safe and healthy environment for all of its members. We have aligned our programs with the Safe Sport Movement, led by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

The following rules, policies, education and tools are intended to serve our members and community as we work together to maintain this safe environment.

USA Ultimate + Safe Sport

Reporting Prohibited Conduct

Prohibited conduct can be reported by any individual to:

719-219-8322 x125 or |  Tom Manewitz, Manager - Competition & National Team Progams (College) 

All reports of prohibited conduct are taken seriously and may be immediately referred to law enforcement, the USA Ultimate Judiciary Committee, or appropriate full time staff at USA Ultimate. Reportees will be asked to submit a conduct complaint form.

Due to new Federal law, any complaint alleging sexual abuse will have to be reported to the authorities.


Prohibited Conduct

In accordance with Safe Sport and the USA Ultimate Conduct Policy, all USA Ultimate employees, volunteers, athletes, members, coaches and chaperones are prohibited from engaging in the following conduct with athletes at any time:




Bullying is the use of coercion or constant cruelty to obtain control over another person.




Hazing is conduct which is intimidating, humiliating, offensive or physically harmful, often in order to join or remain a part of a group or team.


Harassment, including Sexual Harassment


Harassment includes any pattern of physical or non-physical behaviors that are intended to cause fear, humiliation or annoyance; offend or degrade; create a hostile environment; or reflect discriminatory bias in an attempt to establish dominance, superiority or power over an individual participant or group bases on gender, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual expression or mental or physical disability.


Emotional Misconduct


Emotional misconduct involves a pattern of deliberate, non-contact behavior that has the potential to cause emotional or psychological harm to a participant. These behaviors may include verbal acts, physical acts or acts that deny attention or support


Physical Misconduct


Physical misconduct is actual or threatening physical contact that intentionally causes or has the potential to cause the participant to sustain bodily harm or personal injury.


Sexual Misconduct, including Child Sexual Abuse



This includes and prohibits romantic or sexual relationships, regardless of age, between individuals with a position of power or supervisory role over athletes, (e.g., coach, tournament director, etc.). This does not include pre-existing relationships between two spouses or life partners. For factors that may be relevant to determining whether an imbalance of power exists, consult the USOC's Athlete Protection Policy.

Sexual misconduct of a minor occurs when any physical contact occurs for the purpose of causing sexual arousal or gratification of either the minor or the adult.

All forms of misconduct are intolerable and in direct conflict with the values and mission of USA Ultimate.


USA Ultimate members, participants and parents shall familiarize themselves with each form of misconduct and shall refrain from engaging in misconduct. Ignorance is not an excuse. Any USA Ultimate participant, chaperone, parent or volunteer found to have engaged in this conduct is subject to appropriate disciplinary action including, but not limited to, suspension, permanent suspension and/or referral to law enforcement authorities.

USA Ultimate will work with the USOC, The National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI), our members and experts in the field to continually provide additional and up-to-date resources for preventing, indentifying, stopping and responding to all forms of prohibited conduct.

In accordance with USA Ultimate Bylaws Section 10.12, if a member is suspended or banned, the name of the member, date of the decision, duration of the suspension or ban, jurisdiction in which the individual is located, bylaw, rules or policy violated, or other information deemed relevant by the Judicial Committee in its sole discretion is published on the USA Ultimate website for the duration of the suspension or ban.  


  • SafeSport

  • Background Screening

  • Concussion Safety

  • Health & Safety

  • Codes of Conduct

  • SafeSport

    USA Ultimate is committed to creating and maintaining an ultimate community free from all forms of emotional, physical and sexual misconduct.

    SafeSport is the Olympic community's initiative to recognize, reduce and respond to miscounduct in sport.

    Mandatory Reporting

    Based on the "Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and SafeSPort Authorization Act of 2017," USA Ultimate's and USA Ultimate members' mandatory reporting responsibilities are as follows:

    Any SafeSport trained member of USA Ultimate, including all USA Ultimate staff, must report suspected abuse of a minor to law enforcement. Abuse includes, without limitation:

    1. Physical abuse

    2. Mental abuse

    3. Sexual abuse


    Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 

    This Act, signed into law on Feb. 14, 2018, was designed to prevent the abuse of minors and amateur athletes by requiring the prompt reporting of abuse to law enforcement authorities, training of adults and the creation of policies by organization

    SafeSport: What We Do

    SafeSport’s website includes a multitude of resources, including resources for athletes and parents

    "Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in Youth Sport – New Federal Legislation Takes Extraordinary Step"

    A document published on the Abuse Prevention website that helps to breakdown the new legislation and provide an overview and analysis of it.

    "The SafeSport Act: How Does It Affect Me?"

    An article published on the SportsEngine website that looks at the requirements of SafeSport and who is affected by those requirements.

    USA Ultimate PowerPoint

    A PowerPoint created by USA Ultimate that looks at how SafeSport affects the ultimate community.

    SafeSport Minor Athlete Abuse Protection

    • This document from SafeSport provides very good guidance and best practices in looking after minor athletes.
  • NCSI Background Screening

    How to obtain a new NCSI background check:

    Step 1: Log into your USA Ultimate Account.

    Step 2: Click on the button that reads "RUN BACKGROUND CHECK" to be routed to the appropriate area of the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) website

    Note that it takes NCSI up to 2 weeks to process background checks, and they may reach out for identity verification via the email address provided.  Thus, be sure to keep an eye on your spam folder as well as your inbox.  NCSI will be unable to complete a check without receiving the verification.  Upon completion, the applicant will receive an email confirmation from NCSI, and the applicant's online USAU account should automatically update to reflect the completion status.


    $21.50 for two years, payable directly to NCSI during the application process (Some additional fees may apply for a limited number of specific states or counties, based on the charges that those local municipalities charge for data access, and that additional amount will be payable through the NCSI website.)


    The National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) has long been trusted by our nation’s premiere sport governing bodies, the National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) and thousands of other grass roots sports programs. These organizations trust NCSI because of [the] history of pioneering national standards and advancing the quality of background screenings in the youth and amatuer sports community. NCSI's experience and expertise in working with Governing Bodies and their grassroots constituents [meet] the increasing needs of today’s amateur sports organizations. (NCSI,


    Chaperones: USA Ultimate requires NCSI Green-Light chaperones for any team with a player under the age of 18 participating in USA Ultimate sanctioned and championships events

    Coaches: As of April 2012, all coaches of teams at USA Ultimate competition are required to be Green-Light screened by NCSI.

    Content of the Background Check:

    Convictions for any of the following crimes will prompt a determination that an applicant ‘does not meet’ the criteria to serve a youth-serving organization:

    R1. Any felony (any crime punishable by confinement greater than one year)

    a. Defined on the basis of exposure for the offense for which the defendant was convicted, pled guilty, pled nolo contendere or which is pending a disposition. If pled down, then the crime for which the defendant ultimately was convicted.

    b. Defined as all crimes punishable by greater than one year in jail or prison, regardless of how characterized by jurisdiction. If range, alternate sentencing, or indeterminate sentencing, outer range greater than one year.

    R2. Any lesser crime involving force or threat of force against a person.

    R3. Any lesser crime of a sexual nature or classified as a sex offense including but not limited to "victimless" crimes of a sexual nature such as prostitution, pornography, indecent exposure; and crimes in which sexual relations is an element.

    R4. Any lesser crime involving controlled substances (not paraphernalia or alcohol).

    R5. Any lesser crime involving cruelty to animals.

    R6. Any sex offender registrant.

    R7. Any lesser crime involving harm to a minor

  •  Concussion Safety Resources

    Nationally, concussion awareness and safety programs, laws and requirements have received a great deal of attention over the past few years.


    USA Ultimate recommends the CDC "Heads Up Safety" program, a free one-hour online training:

    USA Ultimate's participant waiver includes important information from the CDC regarding concussion safety.

    Coaching Requirements

    Coaches at USA Ultimate events are required to have completed a concussion awareness and safety recognition program (like the CDC program above or other local or state-recommended course). Coaches should not submit records of course completion to USA Ultimate, but should maintain records on-site while coaching.

    Removal & Return to Play

    All guidelines identified by the CDC must be strictly followed in the event of a suspected concussion:

    1. Remove athlete from play.

    2. Ensure athlete is evaluated by an health care professional trained in concussion diagnosis and management.

    Do not try to judge the seriousness of the injury yourself.

    3. If a minor, inform athlete's parents or guardians about the known or possible concussion and give them the fact sheet on concussion.

    4. Allow athlete to return to play only with permission from an appropriate health care professional.

  •  Health and Safety

    USA Ultimate has two established committees on Health and Safety: the Medical Advisory Board and the Health and Performance Committee. These volunteer committees are comprised of experienced professionals from various health and safety fields who hail from both inside and outside the ultimate community.

    USA Ultimate has established Health, Safety, and Liability Requirements for USA Ultimate Sanctioned and Championship Events.

  •  USA Ultimate Codes of Conduct

    USA Ultimate has created or adapted the following codes of conduct for our various member roles:

    USA Ultimate Conduct Policy
    USA Ultimate Coaching Ethics Code
    USA Ultimate Spirit of Coaching