-1 Certified USTA Official

PatrickB

Rookie
I took up USTA officiating several years ago, not long after I tore my ACL on court, as a way of staying involved with on-court tennis until my knee healed, and continued it after returning to play through last year, roving and refereeing sectional events and working chairs and lines at ITA (collegiate) events. I did it because it was both enjoyable and challenging, because I was decent at it, because I enjoyed the fellow officials I worked with, and because there was a shortage of local officials and I was able to help out.

Late last year, the USTA informed all certified officials that a new *benefit* we would gain as a USTA official was being required to having a criminal background check done on us before we could work as an official. (I'm not kidding - they told us requiring us to have a criminal background check done was a "benefit".) I thought this was a bit silly and a bit of a waste of our dues money--it's the USTA covering it's rear end in case someone sues them for certifying a Bad Person(TM) as an official--but agreed to do so.

Then I started the process. The USTA hired the private company NCIS to conduct the background checks, and as part of the process you're asked to sign a legal waiver, and unlike most people, I generally read what I'm asked to sign. What the waiver said to this layman is that you waive *all* legal rights to hold NCIS or the USTA responsible for *any* reason related to the background check process, right after giving them a huge amount of sensitive private information. So, they asked me to give them very valuable and sensitive information and affirm that even if they screwed up with it, I wouldn't hold them responsible.

Needless to say, I wasn't willing to sign such an onerous waiver without actually asking some questions, so I did. The NCIS general counsel refused to tell me what the intent of the waiver was, said it spoke for itself, and if I had any concerns about it that I should talk to a lawyer; this didn't really surprise me, as his job is to cover his company's rear end, not to help me.

So I asked the USTA, since they're the ones requiring this background check of their officials, and their job is (supposedly) to serve dues-paying members like me. Unfortunately, the answer was the same. To paraphrase, "the document says what it says", "you should trust NCIS", and "I can't provide you legal advise on this".

So, I can't sign the legal waiver needed to get the background check done, so I can't get a criminal background check done by NCIS, and as a result USTA won't renew my certification as a sectional USTA/ITA official.

It's nice to know that the USTA has such a wealth of high-quality certified officials that it can discard some of the ones it has so casually. Next time you wonder why it's so hard to find a good official when your opponent is cheating at a tournament, playoff, or sectional, well, here's one more reason.

But at least personally, now I'll have more time to actually *play* tennis now as opposed to overruling bad calls, calling foot faults, and giving code violations to hot-headed Boy's 16s, out-of-control ITA players, and 40 year old habitual racquet tossers. :)
 

floydcouncil

Professional
Do you have anything in your past that you want to hide? If not, sign the stupid waiver and get on with it.

If you want a job in the US, a criminal background check is standard.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
Do you have anything in your past that you want to hide? If not, sign the stupid waiver and get on with it.

If you want a job in the US, a criminal background check is standard.
you obviously have not understood the OP's point. He is not objecting to the background check. he is objecting to waving his rights to have them accountable if they do something bad during the process, like leaking his info to the wild, or whatever else it might be.

I actually applaud him for taking a stand. Maybe more people should do it. In various aspects of life.
 

PatrickB

Rookie
Do you have anything in your past that you want to hide? If not, sign the stupid waiver and get on with it.
There's nothing I want to hide, no, except to make sure that the people I give my sensitive information to (e.g. SSN, past addresses for the last 10 years, and a wide range of other things that would make identity theft trivial were it disclosed) actually have some incentive to treat that information properly.

If you want a job in the US, a criminal background check is standard.
I have a good job in the U.S. and have had a number of other real jobs in the past, some both government contracting work and teaching positions. If there were criminal background checks involved in those hiring processes, they did not require signing an onerous waiver to apply for the jobs, and especially not for the almost-volunteer work that USTA officiating is.
 
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goober

Legend
I agree with OP. I am not waiving all my rights to hold them accountable for screw ups/leaks of my private data for a basic "nothing" job which is helping the USTA more than it is actually paying any bills.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
The system worked as it should.

The USTA needs to cover their asses by doing this background check (as you point out) and does not want to be held accountable for anything that might happen as a result of this background check. Most people just see the waiver as a formality and sign it. Probably nothing will happen.

The few that do read it and refuse to sign, the USTA can't be bothered with. They just need bodies (warm bodies preferably, but I'm sure they take what they can get).

I have to wonder how the waiver would hold up in court if something did happen (say due to negligence on their part).
 

PatrickB

Rookie
The system worked as it should.

The USTA does not want to be held accountable for anything that might happen as a result of this background check. Most people just see the waiver as a formality and sign it. Probably nothing will happen.

The few that do read it and refuse to sign, the USTA can't be bothered with. It just needs bodies.

I have to wonder how the waiver would hold up in court if something did happen (say due to negligence on their part).
My guess is that the waiver isn't worth anything if you could show negligence on the part of NCIS. That's actually my real question, but I'm not a lawyer and am not willing to hire one to work as a USTA official. That's why I asked the USTA (to whom I pay dues and is requiring the check) what this meant and if they could tell me what rights I retained despite the waiver.

Unfortunatley, they refused to answer.
 

JoelDali

Talk Tennis Guru
A USTA official with no background check is a timebomb. I don't want cereal rapists judging the accuracy of my balls.

These people need to be checked and tested.

Blood and fecal tests to start, rectal next.

If you complain, you're out.

I applaud the USTA.

If more people took the time to check people's backgrounds we'd have a safer, more compassionate standard of life.

This nation is going to hell with all the lawless criminals officiating tennis.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
Unfortunatley, they refused to answer.
Ya, of course not. And you seem to understand why.

The clause is pretty standard fare though and I can certainly see their side as well.

Any idea if the introduction of the background check was the result of some person or event? Or just the USTA being proactively cautious?
 
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goober

Legend
A USTA official with no background check is a timebomb. I don't want cereal rapists judging the accuracy of my balls.

These people need to be checked and tested.

Blood and fecal tests to start, rectal next.

If you complain, you're out.

I applaud the USTA.

If more people took the time to check people's backgrounds we'd have a safer, more compassionate standard of life.

This nation is going to hell with all the lawless criminals officiating tennis.
what's a cereal rapist or do I want to know?

Yes we can't have felons making line calls. They could be bought off by the other team for all I know or my mixed partner may remind him of the woman who ID'ed and put him in the slammer.
 

PatrickB

Rookie
Ya, of course not. And you seem to understand why.

The clause is pretty standard fare though and I can certainly see their side as well.
Well, I can see why NCIS refused to answer because the waiver is covering their rear end. The USTA doesn't actually receive any of my personal information however - just a list of people who passed the background check - so I don't actually understand why *they* refused to answer, especially since they're the ones requiring the check of their dues-paying officials in the first place.

EDIT: Hmmm, maybe I do. If NCIS mis-handled the information and USTA required that I disclose it to them, then I guess someone could in theory hold USTA liable, too. Well, regardless, I'm not willing to hire a lawyer so that I can be a USTA official. More time for family, playing tennis, and a real job isn't really a bad thing, though I did enjoy the officiating.
 
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JoelDali

Talk Tennis Guru
ok, that is just sick. Although I wonder how they technically do that.
On the other hand no human is hurt so maybe it's OK.... :)
Believe it or not they do exist and they're disgusting.

They have no business in the USTA.

 

OrangePower

Legend
There's nothing I want to hide, no, except to make sure that the people I give my sensitive information to (e.g. SSN, past addresses for the last 10 years, and a wide range of other things that would make identity theft trivial were it disclosed) actually have some incentive to treat that information properly.

I have a good job in the U.S. and have had a number of other real jobs in the past, some both government contracting work and teaching positions. If there were criminal background checks involved in those hiring processes, they did not require signing an onerous waiver to apply for the jobs, and especially not for the almost-volunteer work that USTA officiating is.
This is an interesting thread since a close friend of mine recently applied for a new job and had to go through a background check.

There was a waiver involved, but the language was (paraphrasing): "I hereby hold Blah Corp harmless from any Liability and Other Bad Stuff arising out of any lawful use of the results."

This seems reasonable: You can't hold them liable for any negative side effect as long as they are using the info as intended. But it still holds them responsible for safeguarding the info and making sure it's not stolen.

If the waiver the OP was asked to sign was broader than this, then the OP did the right thing by refusing to sign.
 

PatrickB

Rookie
This is an interesting thread since a close friend of mine recently applied for a new job and had to go through a background check.

There was a waiver involved, but the language was (paraphrasing): "I hereby hold Blah Corp harmless from any Liability and Other Bad Stuff arising out of any lawful use of the results."

This seems reasonable: You can't hold them liable for any negative side effect as long as they are using the info as intended. But it still holds them responsible for safeguarding the info and making sure it's not stolen.

If the waiver the OP was asked to sign was broader than this, then the OP did the right thing by refusing to sign.
Here's the relevant section of the waiver, which doesn't mention just lawful use of the results:

I do for myself, my heirs, executors and administrators, hereby remise, release, and forever discharge and agree to indemnify National Center for Safety Initiatives, LLC and UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION, each of their parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, employees, volunteers and agents and hold them harmless from and against any and all causes of action, including but not limited to: suits, liabilities, costs, debts, and sums of money, claims, and demands whatsoever, at law or in equity, and any and all related attorney's fees, court costs, and other expenses resulting from the screening of my background in connection with my application for a Position.
 

PBODY99

Legend
Why not a FBI check

The State police and FBI do criminal history checks for school districts and others , which the USTA is trying to do with a private company I find strange. .
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
In California, the clause would not be enforceable. Courts in this state have said 'so what!' Negligence on the part of the people with the information cannot be hidden behind such a clause. I give, for example, the banks who lose into the 'wild, e.g. affliates' all those consumer accounts data, etc.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
The bottom line is that you have to sign a waiver to blow your nose in this country anymore. I wish it were not this way, but it is. You can't even download a flippin' song from flippin' Itunes without signing away your rights.

I have reached the point that I don't even read them unless (1) it is an unusual situation, and (2) I have options.

Some years ago, I was using a particular HVAC company to service my heating and AC. One day, they showed up with a waiver as part of their standard annual contract. Basically, the waiver said that if they blew up my house or otherwise destroyed it, they were not liable.

To have some fun with them, I went through the waiver and lined out all offensive language, taking care to initial it. I sent the contract in with my payment. They returned my payment and refused to do business with me if I didn't sign the waiver as written (obviously).

I found a new company that did not require a waiver.

As for the USTA waiver, I would sign it if I wanted to be an official and not worry about it. Chances are good that nothing will happen, and the worst thing that could happen (identity theft) is bad but not nearly as bad as some idiot technician blowing up your house.
 

Larrysümmers

Hall of Fame
The bottom line is that you have to sign a waiver to blow your nose in this country anymore. I wish it were not this way, but it is. You can't even download a flippin' song from flippin' Itunes without signing away your rights.

I have reached the point that I don't even read them unless (1) it is an unusual situation, and (2) I have options.

Some years ago, I was using a particular HVAC company to service my heating and AC. One day, they showed up with a waiver as part of their standard annual contract. Basically, the waiver said that if they blew up my house or otherwise destroyed it, they were not liable.

To have some fun with them, I went through the waiver and lined out all offensive language, taking care to initial it. I sent the contract in with my payment. They returned my payment and refused to do business with me if I didn't sign the waiver as written (obviously).

I found a new company that did not require a waiver.

As for the USTA waiver, I would sign it if I wanted to be an official and not worry about it. Chances are good that nothing will happen, and the worst thing that could happen (identity theft) is bad but not nearly as bad as some idiot technician blowing up your house.
wait, like what? lol
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
The waiver does not provide them legal immunity. It will be up to a judge to decide, if you bring a suit.

Background checks are standard these days.

Workers like maintenance people, cable/satellite guys, courier guys etc. knock on our door. I am happy that their employers require background checks. I don't want a cable guy with a criminal background in my home with my wife and child alone.
 

TNT34

Rookie
Thanks for posting the actual text. I routinely object to broadly-written disclaimers, and find that in a normal two-party context it is easy to get them revised. But when the other side won't even talk to you about it (assuming you're communicating properly), the better course is probably to just walk away.

In this case, I don't think you would have been giving away too much if you'd signed the waiver. The limitation on NCSI's liability extends only to damage "resulting from the screening of [your] background in connection with [your] application for a Position." To the extent that screening does not reasonably include the improper release of your confidential information, etc., the waiver would not protect NCSI from liability for damage caused by those improper acts. That's just my "patent lawyer" reading of the clause though; others may have a different view.

Cheers,

T.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
The bottom line is that you have to sign a waiver to blow your nose in this country anymore. I wish it were not this way, but it is. You can't even download a flippin' song from flippin' Itunes without signing away your rights.
Not an honest comparison, because iTunes did not exist "in the good old days."
 

dizzlmcwizzl

Hall of Fame
what's a cereal rapist or do I want to know?

Yes we can't have felons making line calls. They could be bought off by the other team for all I know or my mixed partner may remind him of the woman who ID'ed and put him in the slammer.
nice! 10 chars ...
 

Angle Queen

Professional
I'm a bit torn here. In many respects, I agree with the OP. I read all the contracts I'm asked to sign. The ones on the internet...they're another matter. I once refused to sign the title/transfer papers on my first house when the lawyer insisted I sign in black ink. This was back in the days when photocopying was still de rigueur and long before computers, photoshopping and electronic signatures ruled the day. Blue ink = original. Black ink = origin unknown. Lesson learned from signing site plan approvals as a very young 21YO female newbie in a Good Ole Boy Public Works Department.

But back to the point. Most waivers are basically worthless if true negligence is involved. So, I usually end up signing such crap. But were I in a position to be indifferent, I'd stick up for plain language contracts. And I still haven't figured out why USTA is even bothering. It's line calls, for goodness sakes.

Good on you, I say.
 

wrxinsc

Professional
The waiver does not provide them legal immunity. It will be up to a judge to decide, if you bring a suit.

Background checks are standard these days.

Workers like maintenance people, cable/satellite guys, courier guys etc. knock on our door. I am happy that their employers require background checks. I don't want a cable guy with a criminal background in my home with my wife and child alone.
^ This.

FACTA and your state laws will protect you if an organization along the chain of custody mishandles your personal information. The requirements to protect your personal information are very strict for 'employers' and the like all across the country.

The state could pursue them criminally and you can civilly if they mess up bad enough to matter to you.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
I'm a bit torn here. In many respects, I agree with the OP. I read all the contracts I'm asked to sign. The ones on the internet...they're another matter. I once refused to sign the title/transfer papers on my first house when the lawyer insisted I sign in black ink. This was back in the days when photocopying was still de rigueur and long before computers, photoshopping and electronic signatures ruled the day. Blue ink = original. Black ink = origin unknown. Lesson learned from signing site plan approvals as a very young 21YO female newbie in a Good Ole Boy Public Works Department.

But back to the point. Most waivers are basically worthless if true negligence is involved. So, I usually end up signing such crap. But were I in a position to be indifferent, I'd stick up for plain language contracts. And I still haven't figured out why USTA is even bothering. It's line calls, for goodness sakes.

Good on you, I say.
I think it is more than line calls. First, officials come into contact with minors. We can't have predators in a position of authority over childen, right?

Second, officials includes line officials but it also includes tournament directors and organizers, so you wouldn' want any thieves either.

Third, officials have to resolve disputes in heated circumstances, so we can't have anyone with a history of violence when angered.

I kind of wonder what took Usta so long to get with the program and stop letting every Tom, Dick and Harry off the street become an official.

Cindy -- who once heard another official in a child's summer swim league comment on the "hot body" of one of the teen female swimmers
 

andfor

Legend
I think it is more than line calls. First, officials come into contact with minors. We can't have predators in a position of authority over children, right?

Second, officials includes line officials but it also includes tournament directors and organizers, so you wouldn' want any thieves either.

Third, officials have to resolve disputes in heated circumstances, so we can't have anyone with a history of violence when angered.

I kind of wonder what took Usta so long to get with the program and stop letting every Tom, Dick and Harry off the street become an official.

Cindy -- who once heard another official in a child's summer swim league comment on the "hot body" of one of the teen female swimmers
You're spot on here Cindy. Churches, youth sports, schools and many youth group organizations have been having volunteers and employees who come in contact with children submit to background check for years.

No big deal. Submit to the check.
 

Larrysümmers

Hall of Fame
i dont think that it is the fact that there is a check. i think it is more of "well we leaked your info, but we are not liable for damages." i think that is what he is boycotting. i am not familliar with background checks like this, i am not sure how they could really leak this info. but still, i guess it is the idea of them not being liable if that would happen.
 
D

Deleted member 72105

Guest
I was reading that clause you copied/pasted and I think you would be waiving your rights if something occurs as a result of the background check itself. Not the information that is collected.

If they pull a county record and find out that you are a 'cereal rapist' as someone else put it (and by the way there are very few female cereal mascots as I searched in order to insert a witty comment about my preference for a specific cereal) and then they call your place of work and say 'hey, that cereal rapist that works for you ... can you confirm that he's been working in your daycare for the last 15 years?" ... what happens now is that you would get fired. You would then attempt to sue them.

I'm guessing that it would have to happen during the act of the background check. They're still liable for the data and records they pull after the fact. If they collect your SSN, address, etc ... and the put the info on a billboard for the world to see then I don't think you lose any rights to go after them.

In a fairly long winded way, I agree with TNT and his interpretation of the language. Since we pay money into the USTA, and you enjoy refereeing ... tell them to do thier jobs and put you in touch with their general counsel and have them explain what this piece of paper says. I wouldn't let this go if you enjoyed what you were doing.
 

doubleshack

New User
I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. But I'm with esgee48, depending on what happened, it would not be enforceable. If their website was hacked and your information stolen, imho, you'd be able to go after them. There is a common saying, you can't waive you're right to sue. And while I doubt that is entirely accurate, if they screw up, they are liable.

By the way, this is free advice, so you know how much its worth ;)
 

OrangePower

Legend
I still agree with the decision the OP made not to sign.

As many have pointed out, chances are that (1) no personal info is going to be leaked, and (2) if info was negligently leaked and led to identity theft and the like, the OP would *most likely* still be able to sue for damages and win.

BUT: As a layman reading what the OP was asked to sign, I would be maybe 90% comfortable with it. In order to be 100% sure of the interpretation, I would need 'on the record' advice from a legal professional, not just the opinions of people on this board, however well intentioned.

Why should the OP have to make the choice between feeling like he's taking a chance (however small), or else having to pay out of pocket for legal advice? All he is trying to do is volunteer his time for the benefit of the USTA. So shouldn't the USTA, who has legal staff on board, at least try help him with a legal assessment of what he is signing? Or ask the vendor to prepare an alternate version written in more layman-friendly terms?

The point is, if you're asking someone for their help (as a volunteer), then at least make it easy for them to say "yes", rather than putting obstacles in their way.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
One more thing to consider is the value of the rights you are giving up.

Imagine the worst. Assume there is no waiver required, but your personal information is misappropriated by someone who works for the background check company and used for identity theft. It takes you all kinds of time to get things straightened out. You hire a lawyer for $1000 for advice, and you subscribe to a credit protection company for a year, just for good measure. You spend $3000, all due to the negligence of this company.

Guess what? Your losses are relatively small, so no lawyer will take the case. The company is headquartered in some foreign country. The company, having been sued senseless by every person whose identity was stolen, declares bankruptcy and reforms with a snazzy new name.

Are you really going to spend your time and money filing suit? Are you going to win? Are you going to collect if you win?

That right to bring a difficult lawsuit is what you are waiving. Your legal rights in such a situation may not be as valuable as you think.
 

dlk

Hall of Fame
One more thing to consider is the value of the rights you are giving up.

Imagine the worst. Assume there is no waiver required, but your personal information is misappropriated by someone who works for the background check company and used for identity theft. It takes you all kinds of time to get things straightened out. You hire a lawyer for $1000 for advice, and you subscribe to a credit protection company for a year, just for good measure. You spend $3000, all due to the negligence of this company.

Guess what? Your losses are relatively small, so no lawyer will take the case. The company is headquartered in some foreign country. The company, having been sued senseless by every person whose identity was stolen, declares bankruptcy and reforms with a snazzy new name.

Are you really going to spend your time and money filing suit? Are you going to win? Are you going to collect if you win?

That right to bring a difficult lawsuit is what you are waiving. Your legal rights in such a situation may not be as valuable as you think.
Good Point. That's how I would view it. We need Borg Number One to comment.
 

SweetH2O

Rookie
...declares bankruptcy and reforms with a snazzy new name.
Which reminds me... the name of the company is NCIS? Lame. Did they used to be called CSI? Are they going to change their name every few years when a different investigative TV show becomes the hotter name?
 

HookEmJeff

Semi-Pro
I still agree with the decision the OP made not to sign.

As many have pointed out, chances are that (1) no personal info is going to be leaked, and (2) if info was negligently leaked and led to identity theft and the like, the OP would *most likely* still be able to sue for damages and win.

BUT: As a layman reading what the OP was asked to sign, I would be maybe 90% comfortable with it. In order to be 100% sure of the interpretation, I would need 'on the record' advice from a legal professional, not just the opinions of people on this board, however well intentioned.

Why should the OP have to make the choice between feeling like he's taking a chance (however small), or else having to pay out of pocket for legal advice? All he is trying to do is volunteer his time for the benefit of the USTA. So shouldn't the USTA, who has legal staff on board, at least try help him with a legal assessment of what he is signing? Or ask the vendor to prepare an alternate version written in more layman-friendly terms?

The point is, if you're asking someone for their help (as a volunteer), then at least make it easy for them to say "yes", rather than putting obstacles in their way.
Officials, technically, are not volunteers. They are paid for their time.

And as several have mentioned in here, they work with minors and many young players...often times in what would be call, heated environments.

I know the USTA also requests these background checks of all coaches that come into contact with minors in their programs. Like Junior Team Tennis.


Jeff
 

OrangePower

Legend
^^^^

I understand, and agree that background checks are appropriate. That's not the issue. The issue is that the company performing the background check requires an overly broad release waiver. The OP has already said that had they been willing to make a small change to the waiver, or even take the time to explain to him what the legalese really meant, he would have had no problem undergoing a background check.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
^^^^

I understand, and agree that background checks are appropriate. That's not the issue. The issue is that the company performing the background check requires an overly broad release waiver. The OP has already said that had they been willing to make a small change to the waiver, or even take the time to explain to him what the legalese really meant, he would have had no problem undergoing a background check.
FWIW, it's never a good idea to rely on your potential adversary's legal advice. If you want to understand a legal document, you will need to consult your own attorney. USTA and this company did the right thing by telling OP he will have to interpret the document independently. Had they done otherwise, the next lawsuit would have been OP suing them for saying the wrong thing about the waiver.

I think OP should just sign the waiver if he enjoys officiating and would otherwise like to continue. Life is too short to give up things you like to do without an awfully good reason.

Cindy -- who is about to become a volunteer in an animal rescue facility and who cannot wait to see the length of the disclaimer she will be asked to sign
 

max

Legend
I agree with the OP.

Due to the high volume of lawyers and lawyering in the US, we face more and more unnecessary waiving of rights, and other restrictions that are frivolous, and based on a doomsday, sky's falling mentality.

If you want to affirm the value of legal contracts, BOTH parties must consent. We really don't want situations in which one party coerces the other.
 

andfor

Legend
i dont think that it is the fact that there is a check. i think it is more of "well we leaked your info, but we are not liable for damages." i think that is what he is boycotting. i am not familiar with background checks like this, i am not sure how they could really leak this info. but still, i guess it is the idea of them not being liable if that would happen.
As far as I'm concerned and I believe the USTA's position and any other organization that requires a background check is, "if you don't like it you don't have to nor will you work or volunteer here". The liability question is likely unsupported by most legitimate lawyers (that's funny).

Which reminds me... the name of the company is NCIS? Lame. Did they used to be called CSI? Are they going to change their name every few years when a different investigative TV show becomes the hotter name?
It's NCSI. Here's the background check company website. They are far from fly-by-night and it appears they take many measures to protect the safety of the data they touch. http://www.ncsisafe.com/Default.aspx

I applaud the USTA for requiring background checks and hope they enforce this policy widely.

If they OP really wants to work as a referee, I respectively suggest he buys LifeLock. http://www.lifelock.com/
 
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andfor

Legend
I agree with the OP.

Due to the high volume of lawyers and lawyering in the US, we face more and more unnecessary waiving of rights, and other restrictions that are frivolous, and based on a doomsday, sky's falling mentality.

If you want to affirm the value of legal contracts, BOTH parties must consent. We really don't want situations in which one party coerces the other.
And I agree, really I do, just not on this issue. But if I felt strongly enough about my position I would negotiate. Go ahead and have an attorney red-line the background check waiver and see what the background check company and the USTA say in negotiation. Be forewarned, they will laugh and likely say their position on this waiver is non-negotiable.
 

PatrickB

Rookie
In a fairly long winded way, I agree with TNT and his interpretation of the language. Since we pay money into the USTA, and you enjoy refereeing ... tell them to do thier jobs and put you in touch with their general counsel and have them explain what this piece of paper says. I wouldn't let this go if you enjoyed what you were doing.
I did up exchanging email with the USTA senior counsel. He explicitly refused to provide any legal guidance as to what the waiver actually means and what rights I would retain and waive if I signed the waiver.
 

PatrickB

Rookie
Just a final note, as I think that pretty much everything that needs to be said has been said.

1. Thanks for the advice and suggestions, everyone. I do appreciate the feedback, though I'm not going to return to officiating this year. Maybe in the future.

2. Yes, NCIS isn't a fly-by-night operation, and it is widely used by a number of sports operations nationwide, particularly those that work with minors. The USTA wanting to be careful with people it puts in positions of authority over minors makes a lot of sense.

3. I did enjoy officiating, though it was time away from my family, actually playing tennis, and other things I also enjoy, so it was also a bit of a sacrifice. It was something I was happy to do despite it's minor hassles (renewal training every year, an eye test every two years, filling out work records in a terrible online app every time I worked, and other miscellaneous things) and was reasonably good at, but not something I really wanted to devote huge amounts of time to.

In many ways, the hassle of the background check and the USTA's poor attitude toward helping me and my questions on what the waiver meant was just the last straw. It made me decide that being a USTA official had just one hassle too many given all of the other things I enjoy doing.
 

Sherlock

Rookie
Officials, technically, are not volunteers. They are paid for their time.

And as several have mentioned in here, they work with minors and many young players...often times in what would be call, heated environments.

I know the USTA also requests these background checks of all coaches that come into contact with minors in their programs. Like Junior Team Tennis.


Jeff
Actually, technically USTA officials are "paid volunteers". I know because as a graduate student getting funding through my program I am not allowed to take on any paid position during the school year. However, because this is technically considered a volunteer position, I was able to do it during the school year. I guess that means volunteers can be compensated for their work, not sure what the exact rules on this are though.
 

goober

Legend
If they OP really wants to work as a referee, I respectively suggest he buys LifeLock. http://www.lifelock.com/
Is that the same lifelock that had it's CEO identity stolen 13 times and had to pay $12 million in fines for deceptive advertising?:)

Bottomline- if you really want to work as a USTA official, sign the dang waiver. OP sounds like he already had one foot out the door and this simply gave him a little push.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I did up exchanging email with the USTA senior counsel. He explicitly refused to provide any legal guidance as to what the waiver actually means and what rights I would retain and waive if I signed the waiver.
I have been in the situation before with some service provider. I was told that giving me legal advice is like teaching me how to sue them, and they have no requirements to do so. You need to consult your own lawyer.
 
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