Steps for Appealing a Membership Denial

Appeal Procedure

Steps for Appealing a Membership Denial

Appeal Procedure

Step 1: Options for Appealing a Membership Denial

Please read the following information carefully, as it provides details regarding your options, depending on the factors that led to the denial of your membership.

Automatic Disqualifiers

Individuals denied a membership due to an Automatic Disqualifier may dispute the accuracy of the information on which the disqualification is based (for example, if you believe that your background check results reflect a conviction for a crime you were not convicted of) but may not seek an exemption from the disqualifier if it is accurate.

Section 1: Individuals denied membership under Section 1 of the Automatic Disqualifiers may dispute the accuracy of their background check results with Sterling Volunteers. You will receive contact information and instructions from Sterling Volunteers during the background check process.

Section 2: Individuals denied membership under Section 2 of the Automatic Disqualifiers may only appeal their denial to the Summer League Swimming Background Screen Panel, and only on the basis that they are not, in fact, subject to a sanction by the U.S. Center for SafeSport, another national governing body, or Summer League Swimming. If, in advance of the hearing, the individual provides sufficient evidence that he or she is not subject to such a sanction, Summer League Swimming may remove the disqualifier and approve membership without a hearing.

Potential Disqualifiers

Section 1: Individuals denied membership under Section 1 of the Potential Disqualifiers may dispute the accuracy of their background check results with Sterling Volunteers (for example, if you believe that your background check results reflect a conviction for a crime you were not convicted of, you may contact Sterling Volunteers about the issue). You will receive contact information and instructions from Sterling Volunteers during the background check process. (Please note: Individuals denied membership due to Section 1 of the Potential Disqualifiers may not dispute the accuracy of their background check results with the Summer League Swimming Background Screen Panel. They must go through Sterling Volunteers.)

Individuals denied membership under Section 1 of the Potential Disqualifiers may also seek reconsideration of their denial from the Summer League Swimming Background Screen Panel on the basis that, despite the Potential Disqualifier(s), he or she does not pose a risk to the sport of swimming and its athletes.

Section 2: Individuals denied membership under Section 2 of the Potential Disqualifiers may appeal their denial to the Summer League Swimming Background Screen Panel on the basis that (1) the information is inaccurate and they are not, in fact, subject to that criteria (i.e. Summer League Swimming’s information was incorrect); and/or (2) despite the Potential Disqualifier(s), he or she does not pose a risk to the sport of swimming and its athletes. If the individual is appealing under reason (1), then if, in advance of the hearing, the individual provides sufficient evidence that he or she is not subject to the relevant disqualifying criteria, Summer League Swimming may remove the disqualifier and approve membership without a hearing.

Step 2: Process for Appealing a Membership Denial
  1. If you believe that the information in your background screen results from Sterling Volunteers is inaccurate, you may dispute the validity of the information by contacting Sterling Volunteers.
  1. If you want to appeal your denial to Summer League Swimming you must complete an Online Appeal Request Form
Step 3: Required Materials for an Appeal to Summer League Swimming

Summer League Swimming will reply to all appeal requests via email. Once an appeal request has been reviewed for eligibility, a denied applicant has 14 days to submit the following materials for their appeal:

  1. Any documentation regarding the final disposition of the criminal matter(s) giving rise for the denial;
  2. Any documentation regarding the basis of the criminal charge(s);
  3. A statement from you with your explanation of the basis for the criminal charge(s) and why you do not pose a risk to the sport of swimming and its athletes;
  4. A fee of $100 that may be refunded in the event of a successful appeal. This fee is payable via an online link that will be provided to you.

All materials requested must be postmarked or received within the designated 14-day timeframe. If you fail to submit the $100 fee after 14 days and one courtesy reminder, you have lost your chance to appeal. If you submit the $100 fee but fail to submit some or all of the other items even after a courtesy reminder, your appeal will still be processed. Please understand that failure to submit all items may decrease your chances of a successful appeal.

For all other appeal matters, the Background Screen Panel meets monthly. Once you submit the $100 fee, you will receive a hearing by telephone at the next available Panel meeting following adequate time for the Panel to review your case. The staff liaison will notify you by email of the date and time block for your hearing, at which time you will be contacted by the Panel at the phone number provided. The hearing will last approximately 15 minutes, but the Panel may extend or reduce that time as needed. If a change in date or time is necessary, you will receive an email notifying you of that change prior to the scheduled hearing.

It is your obligation to be available during the appointed time. The Panel will still consider your appeal if you are unable to be reached, but this may reduce your chances of a successful appeal. Notify the staff liaison immediately if you are given a date and time for your hearing that you are unavailable for.

Step 4: The Appeal Hearing

There will be three Panel members on the call to hear your appeal. One of those members is the Chairperson who will direct the hearing.

The Chairperson will swear you in, and then the Chairperson and the other two Panel members will ask you questions about the incident or incidents giving rise to your background screen denial.

If you are appealing a denial based on potential disqualifying factor(s), the Panel will be interested in determining whether or not you pose a risk to the sport of swimming and/or its athletes.

If you are appealing a denial based on automatic disqualifying factor(s), the purpose of your appeal would be only on the basis that you are not, in fact, subject to a sanction by the U.S. Center for SafeSport, another national governing body, or Summer League Swimming. An individual may not argue that, although he or she has an Automatic Disqualifier on his or her record, he or she should nevertheless be allowed to become a member (i.e., that he or she does not pose a risk to the sport of swimming or its athletes).

Following the Panel’s questions, you will be given the opportunity to add anything that you would like the Panel to know and consider. Once the hearing concludes, the call will end.

Step 5: Communication of Appeal Outcome

You will receive an email from Summer League Swimming notifying you of the Panel’s decision whether or not to overturn your background screen denial. Typically, this email will be sent within seven days but may take longer depending on a variety of factors. The Panel’s decision is final and binding.