Safe Play Appeal Policy

 1. Appeals Based on Accuracy of Background Screen Results

If a Participant receives a red light finding based on records in which the Participant determines are inaccurate, the Participant may challenge the accuracy of the report directly with the background screen vendor.  The Participant will receive information from the background screen vendor regarding that process.    


2.  Appeals to the USTA Based on an Accurate Red Light Finding

Participants who receive an accurate red light determination have thirty (30) days from the date of determination to request an appeal.  If the Criminal Charge or Disposition involves sexual misconduct or child abuse, the appeal request must be made to the Center.  The Center will provide the Participant with instructions on how to initiate an appeal pursuant to the Code.  All other appeals for red light determinations not related to sexual misconduct or child abuse shall be made to the USTA’s Safe Play Review Panel.


The USTA Safe Play Review Panel shall be populated by up to five individuals from the USTA Safe Play Background Check Review Pool (“Review Pool”) and adhere to the 20% athlete representation requirement when an athlete is the subject of the review.  The Review Pool will consist of: 

  • USTA Chief Legal Officer & General Counsel

  • Director, Strategic Initiatives

  • Deputy Chief Legal Officer & Associate General Counsel

  • Senior Counsel

  • Senior Director, Security

  • General Manager, Player Development or his or her designee (USTA Player Development matters)

  • Chief Executive of Community Tennis or his or her designee

  • Athlete Representative designated by the Athletes’ Advisory Council (when the Participant is an athlete)


The USTA will not consider an appeal for a conviction that results in the Participant being currently registered on any state, federal, territorial or tribal sex offender registry for any form of Sexual Misconduct. 


To initiate an appeal for all other red light findings, the Participant must do all of the following:

a.    Provide an email with the subject line “Background Screen Appeal” to

b.    Within that email, provide his or her full name, contact email, phone number and a brief description of the position sought.

c.     Provide a reasonable description of the grounds for disqualification and any information that might be useful for the Review Panel to know, including references and the Participant’s influence on tennis.


In making a final determination, the Review Panel will evaluate the circumstances surrounding the disqualifying matter, the dates in which the matter occurred and the overall impact of the matter on the relevant USTA program, event or tournament position sought. The Review Panel may take up to 14 business days to process the appeal once it is received. Notice will be provided to the Participant with the Review Panel’s decision.


Should the Review Panel grant the appeal, the Participant will be required to complete a new background screen and submit a subsequent appeal (as applicable) in two (2) years from the date of the original determination by NCSI.


If the Participant disagrees with the finding of the Review Panel, he or she may appeal the decision by filing a demand for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) within thirty (30) days of the Review Panel’s decision.  A decision rendered by the AAA shall be final and binding on all parties. 


In the event a similar appeal has already been conducted by another NGB and that appeal resulted in disqualification of the Participant, the USTA shall, to the extent it is able, uphold the same determination. 


Questions may be directed to Please note that only logistical questions and questions about the process will be answered.  Questions concerning whether or not an appeal will be successful will not be answered until the Review Panel has made its decision. 


Absent good cause shown, appeals not emailed within 30 days are barred. Individuals with a red light determination who do not appeal or do not prevail on appeal will be not be permitted to apply to the Safe Play Program for a period of two (2) years.