4 Tips to Manage Youth Football Background Checks

Tim Gusweiler

Running a youth football program is tough. You've got to schedule games with other teams, register players, reserve facilities, order equipment and uniforms - the list can seem endless.

But keeping your players safe during the season is one of your first responsibilities. Below we have four quick tips to manage background checks for coaches and volunteers next season. Whether you run a high school football program, a youth tackle program, or a flag football league, you can use these tips to manage your background screenings next year.

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    Tip #1 - Research Your State and Governing Body Requirements for Background Checks

    First make sure your football program is complying with sate requirements. Requirements can be different depending on your state and age group of the players.

    You can check your state’s website to see requirements for youth sports volunteers. A few states with strict background check policies for youth sports include:


    New Jersey



    If you're not sure what the requirements are in your state, just try Googling "background checks policy for youth sports in {insert your state here}.

    You also could be required to run background checks on all of your coaches depending on if your football supported by a specific governing body like USA FootballPop Warner, or NFL Flag. Be sure to check with your governing body each year to see what their requirements are for coaches.

    Tip #2 - Require Coaches Complete a Background Check Once per Year

    Regardless of your state and governing body, you should require that coaches submit to a background check oncer pear year. Having a simple background check policy in place help keep your football program organized and insures that all coaches know the background screening requirements in advance. Posting your volunteer policies on your website is a simple way to make sure everyone is aware of the requirements.

    Requiring each coach to complete their background check a few months before your season gets the program off and running.

    A good option is to give your football coaches a three month window from May through July to complete their background check. If your first practices start in July or August, the May-July window allows coaches plenty of time to confirm whether or not they want to coach and gives you several months to remind coaches that they need to complete their background check before practice starts.

    Tip #3 - Manage Youth Football Background Checks Using an Online System

    Until recently, processing background checks could require a lot of paperwork and a long waiting period. But companies like Checkr and GoodHire have simplified the process so that background screenings can be managed online.

    Now, you can easily invite coaches via email to complete their background checks online. It just takes a few minutes, and your board will have easy access to results.

    Online background check systems can save your organization and your coaches a ton of time.

    By using an online system, you can get your background check results quickly (often in just a day or two) so you can confirm each coach quickly even if they don't volunteer to coach until just before the season starts.

    Tip #4 - Pay for the Background Checks out of Your Football Program's Budget

    Coaches are giving up a lot of time to help coach your football program. It's important to remove any barriers and extra costs associated with coaching. Instead of making coaches pay for their own background check out of pocket, you should over the fees for each volunteer.

    Simple background checks can often cost $10-20, so just be sure to budget a few hundred dollars per year to pay for the background check for each coach.

    Additional Resources

    How to Get Ready for Youth Football Season

    4 Fun Youth Football Defensive Drills

    A Youth Football Registration Form Template for Next Season

    How to Register More Youth Football Players

    How to Build a Youth Sports Website


    Jersey Watch is a simple way for football programs to manage a website, register players, post schedules, and communicate throughout the year. Learn more or try it out on our website.

    Looking to get started trying background checks for the first time? Learn more about our background checks feature for youth sports.