FAQ- Frequently Asked Questions


  • Who/What is USA Athletes International?
  • How was I chosen for this trip?
  • Is this for real?!


These are just a few of the questions we get from people like you that have been recommended to be a part of a USAAI sport/education tour. Below are a list of the common questions we get from three main populations of USAAI Members, parents, athletes and coaches. Take a moment to look through these questions and if your question is not answered here...give us a call at 1-800-413-6418. We are here to serve you!

Parents

Who is USA Athletes International?
To find out more about who USA Athletes (USAAI) is as an organization, please visit our About Us page.

Why haven't I heard of you?
It is very possible that you have never heard of USA Athletes International. It may seem strange to you, but it is normal for us. In fact, it is the way we chose to operate. USAAI does not advertise. Because we select our athletes based on the recommendations of coaches, athletes and athletics professionals, we take the initiative to contact those players. We do not extend an open invitation to just anyone who wants to go. USAAI athletes are a select group of elite athletes that represent their team, schools, country and USAAI while they are overseas, and we choose to invite only those we feel will do this with the class, integrity and character of a true athlete.

Will my child play? I don’t want to spend this money and not have them participate.
YES! All athletes are guaranteed as equal amount of playing time as is possible on our 8-13 day long trips. USAAI speaks with each coach about the importance of ensuring as much playing time as possible for each individual athlete. We want your child to have a great experience both on the field/court and off. Does this mean that every athlete will play the exact amount of time each? Well, we cannot guarantee that, but we strive to make sure that each athlete is left with the feeling, ‘That was the coolest thing I have ever done!’

How did you get my son/daughter's name?
USAAI invites high school and college athletes to participate in our program based solely on recommendations from coaches, athletes and athletics professionals. We ask them to make their recommendations based not only on athletic ability, but also on depth of character, leadership ability, and scholastic efforts. In the simplest of terms, someone somewhere has recommended your son/daughter to us as an outstanding athlete. What USAAI does is provide them with the opportunity to travel with us overseas, taking in a new culture and extending those qualities into international competition as they represent their school, USAAI and the United States.

USAAI also has athletes that choose to travel in multiple years. Once an athlete has traveled with the organization, they no longer require a recommendation.

How will this affect my son/daughter's college eligibility?
USAAI works in conjunction with the NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA and other sanctioning bodies to ensure that any guidelines relating to our program and eligibility are met. We also advise all participating athletes to check with their member institutions to make sure they are in compliance with any conference- or school-specific regulations. For more information regarding NCAA eligibility and foreign tours, you can read the NCAA Regulations Governing Foreign Tours for Divisions I, II and III in their manuals at www.ncaa.org under Legislation & Governance

What is included in the cost of this trip?

  • Round Trip Airfare from the Team's Gateway City Airport
  • International Airport and Hotel Taxes
  • Service Fees
  • International Hotel Accommodations
  • Meals as Outlined in the Itinerary
  • Tours as Outlined in the Itinerary
  • Uniforms and USA Athletes Apparel
  • International & USA Sport Sanctioning and Approvals
  • An Experienced and Knowledgeable Tour Manager and Coaching Staff

What is NOT included in the cost of this trip?

  • Connecting Airline Ticket to Gateway City
  • Passport Fees
  • Fuel Surcharges
  • Visa Fees (if applicable)
  • Individual Medical Insurance (Primary)
  • Customary Tipping (Bus drivers, etc.)
  • Laundry
  • Travel Insurance (Recommended)
  • Personal Items: Souvenirs, Telephone Calls and Internet, Snacks, Drinks, etc.

Will there be chaperones?
There are a number of facilitators involved in each trip. We work in cooperation with partners in our various countries to ensure that each tour goes as smoothly as possible. These partners provide our teams with tour leaders that pick up the teams at the airport and remain with them until they re-board the plane to return home. Often times a member of the USAAI staff from the U.S. will also be present on the trip. In these cases the staff member meets the athletes at the gateway airport and accompanies them over on the international flight.

In addition to the touring staff, coaches also take an active role in the group's day-to-day activities. They tour, sightsee and eat with the players as well as stay in the same hotels.

We provide our athletes with the opportunity for supporters to travel with them if they choose. These supporters are typically family members or family friends. Though they do not play an active role in the group's leadership, they do provide additional support.

How can I contact my son/daughter while they are on the road?
USAAI does its best to provide our accommodation details as they become available. In the event that the information you need is not yet posted, please contact the USAAI office.

If you have travelers that have departed within the past several days and you have not heard from them yet, please DON'T PANIC! There are a variety of very normal reasons that they have not gotten in touch yet. A couple of the most common tend to be:

Schedule - Our athletes start their tour from the minute they are picked up at the airport. Activities are scheduled throughout the arrival day, and sometimes the groups do not check into their hotel until evening.

Jet Lag/Time Difference - Touring on arrival day is one way we help athletes cope with any jet lag they may experience. The more we can make it like a regular day (without any naps or down time), the easier it is to adjust. It does, however, make for an extremely long first day. It's very normal for our groups to choose to go straight to bed as soon as we check into our first hotel to try and recuperate, and for some it takes an extra day to adjust.

Limited Access to Phone/Internet - Phone and Internet access/capability varies depending on the location of the group. Many hotels charge outrageous connection fees, even if the user has a calling card! Some athletes opt to wait until they have access to something much more affordable to make their calls. Internet can typically be accessed by purchasing time, whether it is at the hotel or an Internet café.

What if my son/daughter gets hurt?
Before the trip: If an athlete gets injured after they have registered for the team and will be unable to compete, they should notify USAAI right away so we can secure enough players for each position. We still encourage the injured athlete to take their trip, even if they will not be able to participate in competition. They have earned the right to take this trip and be a part of a USA-representing team. Playing or not, they can still have a great time!

USAAI cannot refund trip money if an athlete becomes injured and chooses not to travel. For this reason, we strongly recommend that athletes purchase travel insurance. (Please see "What if we have to cancel?")

During the trip: In the event that an athlete is injured while on tour, requiring assistance beyond what the USAAI staff is able to provide, the group's tour leader(s) will ensure that the athlete is take to a facility where the appropriate care can be provided. The cost of the services rendered does fall to the athlete. We recommend that athletes contact their primary health insurance provider to learn about how their coverage operates internationally.

Do you provide insurance?
USAAI does not offer its own brand of insurance, however we strongly recommend that athletes purchase some form of travel insurance on their own. All registered travelers receive a brochure for Allianz Global Assistance (formerly Access America). Although travel insurance can be purchased through any provider, we offer this particular program because of their wide range of coverage plans and competitive rates. There are a number of airlines that also offer this program for their travelers.

Travelers should contact Allianz Global Assistance (formerly Access America) directly to get more details and pick the plan that best suits their own needs. Please contact the USAAI office for more information about Allianz Global Assistance or visit www.allianztravelinsurance.com.

When are payments due?

One question that we hear frequently is, “When are payments due?” The exact payment dates are based off the date that the traveler registers and the date of trip departure. Following is the timeline as detailed within the travel contract:

* 14-21 days after the effective date (the day you register) - $300.
* 30 days after the effective date – an additional $300.
* 105 days prior to trip departure – an additional $1250- account must total $1850 in deposits at this time.
* 60 days prior to trip departure – remaining amount of the package price listed in your invitation.
* 2 weeks prior to departure – fuel surcharge due (if implemented by airlines).

REGISTRATIONS AFTER JANUARY 31st HAVE THE FOLLOWING DEADLINES!

* 5-10 days after the effective date (the day you register) - $600.
* 105 days prior to trip departure – an additional $1250- account must total $1850 in deposits at this time.
* 60 days prior to trip departure – remaining amount of the package price listed in your invitation.
* 2 weeks prior to departure – fuel surcharge due (if implemented by airlines).

You do NOT have to wait until these dates to submit payments. Send in donations you receive when you receive them. Your Program Coordinator is here to help you make your trip of a lifetime a reality. For more information, or dates specific to your situation, contact your Program Coordinator. Don’t delay; call today! 913-397-9024.

What is the fuel surcharge? How much might it be and when would this charge be due?

Since 2008, all airlines have instituted an additional fuel surcharge on the top of the “base” fare that USA Athletes International, INC. (USAAI) package prices are based on. This charge is completely out of the control of USAAI and is instituted by the airline at the time of ticketing (this is typically 40-60 days prior to trip departure). These charges are pointed out both in the invitation packet (page 5 “The Details”) and in the travel contract.

Since these charges are posted to your account after the final payment deadline, and cannot be budgeted for accurately during your fund raising efforts, these charges are due prior to your trip travel date.

As a non-profit organization it is impossible for USAAI to absorb these costs and they must be passed on to the traveler as indicated in the invitation and the travel contract. While we CANNOT tell you how much these charges will be until after the trip has ticketed, we do want to provide some historical perspective on what these changes may be. Historical surcharge range below:

DESTINATION || Fuel Surcharge range (2011-2014 travel seasons)
Islands (Aruba, Curacao & Barbados) || $40-$100
Europe || $400-$516
Australia || $400-$680

For additional explanation or information please feel free to contact your program coordinator.

What if we have to cancel?
USAAI takes care of all trip details in advance to make sure that everything from accommodations to attire are the best that they can be. Therefore, when a traveler cancels, they become subject to a cancellation costs that are based on the timeliness of their cancellation and the filing of cancellation paperwork. Cancellation forms must be requested from the USAAI office. The cancellation is put into effect on the date the cancellation form is received, NOT by postmark date or the date that USAAI was first notified of the cancellation.

Prior to Departure || Cancellation Policy

  • 121+ Days || $600.00 deposit If paid- Player forfeits $600 deposits. If unpaid, Player pays $600 or any unpaid portion thereof.
  • 120 – 90 Days || 50% of the total trip cost due
  • 89 – 65 Days || 75% of the total trip cost due
  • 64 – 35 Days || 100% of total trip cost
  • 34 – 15 Days || No Refund total trip cost due Plus $425.00 roommate private accommodation surcharge
  • 14 Days or Less || No Refund total trip cost due Plus $425.00 roommate private
    accommodation surcharge

To prevent a loss of personal funds, we strongly recommend that our travelers purchase some form of travel insurance. (Please see "Do you provide insurance?".)

What if USAAI cancels a tour?
In the event that USAAI deems it necessary to cancel a tour, all traveling members will receive a Refund Request Form that must be filled out and returned to receive all of their personal monies. Donors are sent a letter notifying them of the situation and giving them the opportunity to request their funds back as well.

Can I come too?
Absolutely! The cost for additional travelers is the same as it is for the athletes. Their package includes all of the activities, amenities and transportation that we provide for our athletes. The only thing not available to our group additions is the uniform and playing time!

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Athletes

Who is USA Athletes International?
To find out more about who USA Athletes (USAAI) is as an organization, please visit our About Us page.

Why haven't I heard of you?
It is very possible that you have never heard of USA Athletes International. It may seem strange to you, but it is normal for us. In fact, it is the way we chose to operate. USAAI does not advertise. Because we select our athletes based on the recommendations of coaches, athletes and athletics professionals, we take the initiative to contact those players. We do not extend an open invitation to just anyone who wants to go. USAAI athletes are a select group of elite athletes that represent their team, schools, country and USAAI while they are overseas, and we choose to invite only those we feel will do this with the class, integrity and character of a true athlete.

Am I guaranteed playing time on this trip?
YES! All athletes are guaranteed as equal amount of playing time as is possible on our 8-13 day long trips. The amount of playing time you ultimately receive can depend on your versatility as a player (positions played) and your athletic performance during the trip. For example, if you are a baseball pitcher and can also play as an outfielder as well, your playing time chances are increased over a player that is just a pitcher.

How are players selected?
USAAI invites high school and college athletes to participate in our program based solely on recommendations from coaches, athletes and athletics professionals. We ask them to make their recommendations based not only on athletic ability, but also on depth of character, leadership ability, and scholastic efforts. In the simplest of terms, someone somewhere has recommended you to us as an outstanding athlete. What USAAI does is provide you with the opportunity to travel with us overseas, taking in a new culture and extending those qualities into international competition as you represent your school, USAAI and the United States.

USAAI also has athletes that choose to travel in multiple years. Once an athlete has traveled with the organization, they no longer require a recommendation.

What is included in the cost of my trip?

  • Round Trip Airfare from the Team's Gateway City Airport
  • International Airport and Hotel Taxes
  • Service Fees
  • International Hotel Accommodations
  • Meals as Outlined in the Itinerary
  • Tours as Outlined in the Itinerary
  • Uniforms and USA Athletes Apparel
  • International & USA Sport Sanctioning and Approvals
  • An Experienced and Knowledgeable Tour Manager and Coaching Staff

What is NOT included in the cost of my trip?

  • Connecting Airline Ticket to Gateway City
  • Passport Fees
  • Visa Fees (if applicable)
  • Fuel Surcharges (if applicable)
  • Individual Medical Insurance (Primary)
  • Customary Tipping (Bus drivers, etc.)
  • Laundry
  • Travel Insurance (Recommended)
  • Personal Items: Souvenirs, Telephone Calls and Internet, Snacks, Drinks, etc.

Do I need a passport?
Under current international regulations, all Americans traveling outside of the United States are required to have a passport. If you do not already have a passport, you can apply for one by picking up a form at your local post office. You can also apply online at the U.S. Department of State's website, www.travel.state.gov. If you are not a US citizen, you may need to secure a travel visa to participate in a USAAI tour. This will be the traveler's responsibility in this case, but USAAI will be able to assist with the needed information for this process for you. Contact your Program Coordinator if you have questions about whether you need a visa or not. Currently, Australia is the only trip USAAI takes that requires a visa for US citizens, and USAAI can assit you in this process if you are a US passport holder.

How many people are going?
The number of teams traveling is assigned on an individual basis and is dependant on the particular series or tournament. The easiest way to find out about how many teams/people will be traveling with your group is to talk to your recruiter.

How will this affect my college eligibility?
USAAI works in conjunction with the NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA and other sanctioning bodies to ensure that any guidelines relating to our program and eligibility are met. We also advise all participating athletes to check with their member institutions to make sure they are in compliance with any conference- or school-specific regulations. For more information regarding NCAA eligibility and foreign tours, you can read the NCAA Regulations Governing Foreign Tours for Divisions I, II and III in their manuals at www.ncaa.org under Legislation & Governance.

Will this help me gain exposure for college?
The jump between high school and college athletics is a significant one. Trips with USAAI are not geared to offer athletes exposure to a wide variety of college coaches. They are, however, a great thing for college coaches to see on your athletic resume. They demonstrate your willingness to be a versatile player, leadership potential and ability to step outside your comfort zone. An overwhelming majority of our coaching staff comes from the collegiate level. As a result, many athletes have used our tours as an opportunity to acquaint themselves with collegiate coaching styles, philosophies and techniques that will help them make a much smoother transition into their next level of play.

Will this give me exposure for professional play?
Several of the competitions USAAI participates in involve club, semi-professional and professional players and teams. Depending on the location, athletes may have the opportunity to be seen by overseas scouts/coaches. This, however, is not the focus of what USAAI does, and we do not facilitate these relationships for the athletes. Athletes must have a pro-active attitude and take the initiative to interact with those individuals if a post-collegiate career is something they wish to pursue.

Do the competitions or USAAI provide a trainer?
The competitions that USAAI participates in do not typically provide any athletic training staff nor does USAAI. We advise athletes to pack any preventative equipment, medicine, tape, pre-wrap, etc. that they feel they might need while competing.

How is the playing time divided?
Part of our criteria for athlete selection has to do with their ability to compete. None of our athletes are invited under the pretense of "sitting the bench". Coaches do their best to make sure every player on the team receives an equal amount of playing time.

How many games will we play?
The number of competitions is based on the type of tour the team is making. Most "series" tours average between four and five games. The number of games played in a tournament setting is dependent upon the tournament's format and bracketing system.

What if I get hurt?
Before the trip: If you get injured after registering for the team and will be unable to compete, notify USAAI right away so we can secure enough players for each position. We still encourage injured athletes to take the trip, even if they will not be able to participate in competition. You have earned the right to take this trip and be a part of a USA-representing team. Playing or not, you can still have a great time!

USAAI cannot refund trip money if an athlete becomes injured and chooses not to travel. For this reason, we strongly recommend that athletes purchase travel insurance. (Please see "What if I have to cancel?")

During the trip: In the event that you get injured while on tour, requiring assistance beyond what the USAAI staff is able to provide, the group's tour leader(s) will ensure that you are taken to a facility where the appropriate care can be provided. The cost of the services rendered does fall to you, the athlete. We recommend that you contact your primary health insurance provider to learn about how your coverage operates internationally.

What if I have to cancel?
USAAI takes care of all trip details in advance to make sure that everything from your accommodations to your attire are the best that they can be. Therefore, when a traveler cancels, they become subject to a cancellation fee that is based on the timeliness of their cancellation and filing of cancellation paperwork. Cancellation forms must be requested from the USAAI office. The cancellation is put into effect on the date the cancellation form is received, NOT by postmark date or the date that USAAI was first notified of the cancellation to be filed.

Prior to Departure || Cancellation Policy

  • 121+ Days || $600.00 deposit If paid- Player forfeits $600 deposits. If unpaid, Player pays $600 or any unpaid portion thereof.
  • 120 – 90 Days || 50% of the total trip cost due
  • 89 – 65 Days || 75% of the total trip cost due
  • 64 – 35 Days || 100% of total trip cost
  • 34 – 15 Days || No Refund total trip cost due Plus $425.00 roommate private accommodation surcharge
  • 14 Days or Less || No Refund total trip cost due Plus $425.00 roommate private
    accommodation surcharge

To prevent a loss of personal funds, we strongly recommend that our travelers purchase some form of travel insurance. (Please see "Do you provide insurance?".)

What if USAAI cancels a tour?
In the event that USAAI deems it necessary to cancel a tour, all traveling members will receive a Refund Request Form that must be filled out and returned to receive all of their personal monies. Donors are sent a letter notifying them of the situation and giving them the opportunity to request their funds back as well.

Can my family and friends come too?
Absolutely! The cost for additional travelers is the same as it is for the athletes. Their package includes all of the activities, amenities and transportation that we provide for our athletes. The only thing not available to our group additions is the uniform and playing time!

What kind of fundraising programs does USAAI offer?
USAAI offers three basic programs that with a little hard work can be high successful. Many athletes use these programs exclusively to raise all of the money needed to cover their trip costs. Others will use one of these programs combined with an approach they have used in the past (ie. Spaghetti Dinners, Benefit Concerts, Golf Tournaments, or Car Washes). Three Short videos are below to describe each of the USAAI programs.

  • USAAI Fundraising Letter Program
  • USAAI Raffle Ticket Program
  • USAAI T-Shirt Sales Program


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Coaches

How do I become involved as a coach?
We are always interested in having quality coaches join our traveling family! Coaches interested in becoming involved with our program should speak with their sport's recruiter and send a copy of their resume via e-mail or postal mail. They will be contacted by our director to talk about what we do and the expectations we have for our coaching staff. USAAI selects its coaching staff based upon criteria similar to that of our athletes and reserves the right to deny coaching requests as well as make any coaching adjustments it deems necessary.

What are the coach’s responsibilities on a USAAI trip?
The coach is the primary role model for each team USAAI sends. The coach will be the first person the athlete meets at the airport and it is their responsibility to set the tone for the trip. The coach is responsible to make sure that all of their ‘team rules’ are followed as well as making sure every athlete receives as much playing time as possible. The coaches are also responsible for relaying information such as bus departure times and meal times to the players so the entire group stays on schedule. After that the coach will enjoy taking in a new culture with the rest of the travelers.

How will this affect player's college eligibility?
USAAI works in conjunction with the NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA and other sanctioning bodies to ensure that any guidelines relating to our program and eligibility are met. We also advise all participating athletes to check with their member institutions to make sure they are in compliance with any conference- or school-specific regulations. If you or your compliance officer have any questions or would like more clarification about USAAI and its compliance, please don't hesitate to contact our office at (913)397-9024.

How will this affect MY team with regards to the foreign tours guidelines?
USAAI makes sure that the number of participating athletes on each team always stays in compliance with foreign tours numbers and specifications. There should be no conflict between you athletes competing for USAAI and your team's ability to take advantage of team touring overseas. PLEASE check with your compliance coordinator, however, to ensure that your conference or institution does not have any of their own restrictions that may cause a problem. If notified, USAAI will do its best to make accommodations that fall within your conference or institution's restrictions for players that still wish to participate.

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For the players, coaches and supporters that travel with USAAI, we have one main goal:
To make your experience the best possible, athletic and educational opportunity you have ever been a part of. These tours are not ONLY about the sport, they are designed to give the participant the opportunity to learn about their sport, themselves, and the world they live in.

If you do not see any specific question you have addressed on this page, please email us your question at info@usaai.org. We will be glad to get you the information you need.