Rules/Officiating Resources

SafeSport & Race Officals

US Sailing takes seriously our responsibility to help raise awareness about misconduct in sport, promote open dialogue, and provide resources to our members, member organizations, athletes, coaches, parents, and volunteers. Our partnership with the U.S. Center for SafeSport reinforces our commitment to an environment free from misconduct and abuse. US Sailing has a policy of zero tolerance for abuse and misconduct, both afloat and ashore in any part of our programs.

SafeSport training is a free online course that provides education on:
  • Sexual Misconduct Awareness
  • Emotional and Physical Misconduct
  • Mandatory Reporting (Understanding Your Responsibilities)

Following initial Core training, members take annual Refresher training that will include new topics.

SafeSport training is required for all US Sailing race officials

From the US Sailing Covered Participant List, approved May 13, 2019:

"Certified Race Officials shall complete SafeSport training as a prerequisite for certification and shall complete SafeSport training annually thereafter."

By being more aware of various types of misconduct and how to recognize them, each of us can help prevent abuse and misconduct. Once you complete the online course, your SafeSport training will be logged on your membership record in the US Sailing database and will appear on your SOARS Annual Report. We hope you will also help promote awareness of athlete safety  in your role as a race official.

SafeSport training is required to maintain your certification

Beginning in 2019, race officials are required to take the 30-minute Refresher training no later than the one-year anniversary date of their previous training to remain in compliance. If you do not complete the annual refresher, your race official certifications will be invalid until you do so.

(Initial SafeSport "Core" Training taken before April 15, 2019, is good for two years. Training completed on or after April 15, 2019, is good for one year.)

SafeSport: Register and Take the Training

SafeSport: How to Register

Please visit the main SafeSport page for more information about the SafeSport program and the SafeSport Handbook.

If you have difficulty with the SafeSport dashboard, please contact:

SafeSport Technical Support Help Desk
(720) 676-6417


Background Checks for Race Officials

The US Sailing Board of Directors on November 14, 2019, approved a background check policy for race officials whose purpose is to further ensure a safe environment for all participants in our sport and protect persons at risk, including minors and vulnerable adults.

Under new requirements in federal law and United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) policy, national governing bodies such as US Sailing must administer background checks to any individual the NGB authorizes, approves, or appoints to (a) serve in a position of authority over athletes or (b) have regular contact with athletes. Certified race officials and candidates for certification will now be subject to background checks.

The full policy, an FAQ document and several other documents from US Sailing's background check provider, Hire Image, can be accessed by the red buttons below. Here are some key points:

  • Background checks will follow national standards and include searches of multiple criminal databases, multiple sex offender registries and national watch lists, and federal district courts and county criminal records covering jurisdictions where an individual has resided during the past seven years (subject to applicable state laws on reporting).
  • US Sailing will decline certification to individuals with any disposition other than “not guilty” to a felony offense involving violence against a person, a felony or misdemeanor offense involving harm to a minor, a felony or misdemeanor sexual offense, or registration on a sex offender list.
  • Other serious criminal offenses may result in denial of certification.
  • Hire Image complies with stringent industry standards for data security. Personally identifiable information is redacted in reports provided to US Sailing, and report information is made available to two staff members of US Sailing.
  • Completed background checks will appear in SOARS as “ITBC” and are effective for 24 months.
  • US Sailing will cover the $25 fee for background checks for certified race officials and candidates.

Race Official Background Checks FAQ

Race Official Background Checks Policy

Hire Image Data Security

Hire Image Background Check Search Components

(Please note that items 9-13 under "Individual/Position Specific Searches" in the Search Components document do not apply to race officials.)

All certified race officials will receive an email from Hire Image at the appropriate time requesting that they initiate the background check process. We must complete the process before the end of March, 2020, to comply with USOPC policy requirements.

First time candidates for a race official certification must complete the background check process before submitting an application.

When an official's background check is due for renewal at the end of the 24-month period, he or she will receive an email from Hire Image with directions for initiating a new check.