Become a USABA Sports Club
What is a USABA Sports Club?
USABA Sports Clubs are non-profit organizations, state and local government agencies, athletic clubs, sports teams or any groups of USABA members who are interested in providing sports opportunities for people who are blind and visually impaired in their community. These opportunities can be sport clinics, support for local athletes, regular sports practices or participation in regional and national USABA events and competitions. Any group that is interested in regular recreation or competition is eligible to become a member of USABA’s Sports Club program and enjoy the benefits that come along with being part of Team USABA. We encourage groups that are not affiliated with an existing non-profit organization or agency to incorporate as a 501(c)(3) in order to achieve non-profit status; however, this is not a requirement for sports club membership.
USABA Sports Club Benefits
- Access to liability insurance for Sports Club events. In order to hold an event or practice at a third-party venue, liability insurance is a necessity for any Sports Club. Becoming a USABA Sports Club gives Sports Clubs, small and large, access to use USABA’s liability insurance. This benefit alone will provide you the chance to grow your Sports Club.
- Club/Event information for your Sports Club shared on USABA website and social media. Let us help you spread the word about your Sports Club through several different digital platforms. We are always looking to promote and highlight our athletes to our online community. Online exposure will bring a positive impact to your Sports Club’s participation, fundraising and overall growth.
- Access to membership platform for club registration and tracking of memberships and safety requirements (Platform to be launched in 2022).
- Eligibility to apply for USABA support, which can include equipment grants, funding support and other programmatic assistance.
- Placement of your Sports Club’s listing and web link on the USABA Sports Club section of our website.
- Opportunities to collaborate with other USABA Sports Clubs nationwide through our USABA Sports Club distribution list.
- Access to USABA technical support.
- Opportunity to host Olympic/Paralympic Day Programs.
- Eligible to collaborate with USABA on securing programmatic funding through local sport and non-profit networks.
- Eligible through host USABA sanctioned events and clinics
- Receive exclusive USABA Sports Club email newsletter, which will include educational and training resources
- Eligible for designated USABA Board of Director and Committee roles
- USABA Sports Club membership is open to community-based programs serving people who are blind and visually impaired, as well as any federal, state and private agencies.
- The annual Sports Club membership fee is $200.00.
- The head of, or representative from, each Sports Club must maintain their annual individual USABA membership or become a lifetime member.
- All participants including coaches, volunteers, and athletes must complete the USABA Sports Club Event Waiver https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/28HTTN6 . Note: agreeing to the Event Waiver does not provide participants with USABA membership and its associated benefits.
- The head of, or representative from, each Sports Club must pass the U.S. Center for Safe Sport Certification program. SafeSport certification is required for staff members, volunteers and guides/pilots who have direct supervision over athletes at an event insured under a USABA secondary insurance certificate.
- All staff members and coaches must submit an approved Background Check https://www.ncsisafe.com/Members/SelfRegBatchCode.aspx?srb=57781791
- Potential Sports Club members must complete and submit the attached application.
- Along with your completed application, submit a roster of coaches, volunteers, athletes and others involved with your Sports Club events. Include the full name, phone number, email address and date of birth of each individual.
- All eligible Sports Clubs in good standing are eligible for liability insurance for events and competitions at no cost. All certificate of insurance requests can be sent to Marybai Huking (firstname.lastname@example.org). For USABA-insured events, all event participants must complete the Event Waiver. Before a certificate is issued, the Sports Club must send a participation list to Marybai Huking (email@example.com) to verify current membership for event attendees. All participants must complete their USABA Event Waiver before the start of the event to comply with this policy. It is the responsibility of the sports club to strictly enforce this policy. By allowing individuals to participate in USABA-insured Sports Club events without agreeing to the waiver, Sports Clubs will be in direct violation of the insurance certificate policy and will not receive insurance certificates for future events.
- It is the duty and responsibility of the individual Sports Club to properly screen, train, supervise and confirm current and favorable background checks for all staff members, volunteers and guides/pilots who have direct supervision over athletes at an event insured under a USABA secondary insurance certificate.
- Sports Club must agree to comply with the provisions of the USABA Sports Club guidelines found in this handbook and on the USABA Athlete Safety Policy.
USABA Sports Club Application Process
What do we need to do to become a USABA Sports Club?
- Have Sports Club leader sign up for USABA membership at https://www.usaba.org/join/
- Have your Sports Club leader or representative and all key staff complete the SafeSport training course at https://www.ncsisafe.com/Members/SelfRegBatchCode.aspx?srb=57781791
- Complete background checks and SafeSport certification for any Sports Club staff that will have direct supervision over athletes. It is the duty and responsibility of the individual Sports Club to properly screen, train, supervise and confirm current and favorable background checks for all staff members, volunteers and guides/pilots who have direct supervision over athletes at an event insured under a USABA secondary insurance certificate.
- Complete and submit the Sports Club Application, Staff & Athlete Roster.
- Read and sign the Statement of Understanding.
- Send all application documents to firstname.lastname@example.org
- $200 annual fee, which can be paid online here (put Sports Club payment in comments). Checks can be mailed to the address below and made to: USABA,1 Olympic Plaza, Colorado Springs, CO 80909
Recommendations for Success
How do I make my USABA Sports Club successful?
In addition to the Sports Club affiliation guidelines found on our website, the following are recommendations that will help your USABA Sports Club grow:
- Communicate with state and public schools, adapted physical education teachers, special education teachers, athletic directors, state physical education directors, state rehabilitation agencies, civic groups (local Lions Clubs) and interested volunteers to assist you in identifying and contacting individuals who are blind and visually impaired.
- List your organization in state and local resource guides (i.e., Chamber of Commerce, state directory for non-profit organizations and directory of agencies serving people with visual impairments).
- Plan, implement and promote regular programming for people who are blind and visually impaired.
- Work with USABA to identify local resources and potential partners to help you expand your programs and recruit new athletes, coaches and volunteers for your activities and events.
Why Should We Become a USABA Sports Club?
To encourage participation of athletes who are blind or visually impaired. As a USABA Sports Club, you will have the opportunity to conduct nationally-recognized sporting events and encourage individuals to participate in life-enriching activities, including local, national and international athletic competitions.
To provide a direct link to local athletes who are blind or visually impaired and USABA members. As a USABA Sports Club, you will receive important, up-to-date information that you can distribute to interested individuals regarding local, national and international programs and events.
To become a part of the movement to provide life-enriching athletic opportunities to every person in the United States with a visual impairment. Help USABA achieve our mission of reaching every person with a visual impairment in the United States to educate them about sport and recreation. Help us raise awareness about sports for individuals with visual impairments from the grassroots to the Paralympic level.
To connect with a national organization of clubs and athletes with interests similar to your own. USABA recognizes that the strength of our organization lies in its members. USABA Sports Clubs are part of a nationwide organization that can come together to share ideas, collaborate on projects, and compete against one another on the field of play, which strengthens our overall ability to provide outstanding sports and recreational opportunities across the country. USABA Sports Clubs can share information with us at any time for placement on our website, on social media platforms and in newsletters.
USABA Sport Club Handbook & Application
Staff & Athlete Roster Sheet