Club Sports Policies and Procedures

 

General Information

Sport Club Handbook

This Sport Club Handbook contains policies and guidelines to be followed by all clubs currently affiliated or those requesting to be affiliated with the Middle Tennessee State University Sport Club Program. This handbook serves as a guide for club participants and officers in the daily management of their respective clubs. It should be used as a resource for all questions regarding conducting club business.

Sport Clubs are subject to discipline and even suspension from the Sport Club Program for not following the rules and regulations set forth in this handbook. The Department of Campus Recreation and the Division of Student Affairs governs these policies and procedures. Violations of a serious nature may be sent to the university judicial board of the Vice President of Student Affairs.  

What is a Sport Club?

A sport club is a registered student organization that has been formed for the purpose of educating, competing, and/or participating in a particular activity or sport. Many sport clubs exist because of the desire to continue participation in a sport by students other than varsity athletes. Each club’s level of competition or activity is unique, and is dependent on club leadership.  Sport clubs are student-initiated, student-led and student-managed, providing an opportunity for the development of leadership and other life skills and to contribute to the overall college experience.

Middle Tennessee State University Sport Club Program Mission Statement

The Middle Tennessee State University Sport Club Program is dedicated to providing safe opportunities to students for engagement in a variety of sport activities, including activities that are competitive, recreational, and instructional in nature. Students are afforded leadership opportunities and experiences, as each club is organized, managed, and led by students. The program strives to contribute to the health, well-being, development, and education of students through involvement with sport club activity, while supporting those activities by providing use of Campus Recreation facilities and services.

Middle Tennessee State University Campus Recreation Mission Statement

Campus Recreation’s mission is to serve and educate the MTSU community with recreational opportunities to promote healthy lifestyles in a safe environment.

Sport Club Contact List

Competitive Sports Office

(615) 898-5068

Mt.sportclubs@gmail.com

Dan Payne, Competitive Sports Coordinator

(615) 898-5341

daniel.payne@mtsu.edu

Eli Mallahan, GA of Competitive Sports

(615) 898-5068

Elm5r@mtmail.mtsu.edu

 

Competitive Sports Staff

The Sport Club Office, led by the Competitive Sports Coordinator, is designed to help clubs function. The Department of Campus Recreation employs a full-time professional to supervise and assist sport clubs and their activities within the Competitive Sports Program.  The Competitive Sports Coordinator serves as an advisor for clubs on day-to-day operation as well as special events.  The Competitive Sports Coordinator works to ensure that all rules and regulations are followed in accordance with the Competitive Sports Program, Department of Campus Recreation, and The Middle Tennessee State University guidelines.  Finally, the Competitive Sports Coordinator serves as a liaison between the individual clubs and University administration.

Mailboxes

All things mailed to the club can be sent to the Competitive Sports Office. Make sure you come into the office periodically to check your clubs’ mailbox. The mailing address for the Competitive Sports Office is

P.O. Box 556 

Middle Tennessee State University

Murfreesboro, TN 37132

 

Sport Club Eligibility

General Participant Eligibility

  • All current fee-paying Middle Tennessee State University students that meet the minimum accredited hours are eligible for participation in the Sport Club Program. This includes undergraduate, graduate, professional, full-time and part-time students.  Minimum accredited hours for both undergraduate and graduate students are listed as follows:
    • Graduate – 3 hours
    • Undergraduate – 6 hours
  • Students that are only taking online classes need to pay the Programs Fee ($80) to be eligible for Sport Clubs. Students that take classes at MTSU have this fee included in their tuition.
  • Alumni, faculty, and staff are not eligible for participation in the Sport Club Program. However, they may be able to be involved in a club in other ways depending on the leadership and organization of the club.
  • Individuals that are not taking classes during the current semester are not eligible. Members participating with organizations that are competing in regional and/or national competitions that extend into the summer semester may request an exemption from this requirement from the Sport Club Office on an individual basis in order to continue participating during the club’s established postseason period.
  • Specific National, State and/or Local Governing Bodies may have eligibility requirements that are not consistent with the eligibility requirements of the MTSU Sport Club Program. Contact the governing body for specific eligibility requirements. When such requirements conflict with Sport Club Program or other University requirements, Sport Club Program and University requirements will take precedence.

Sport Club Membership

Sport Club members are defined as individuals who meet any one of the following criteria:

  • Name appears on sport club team roster during the academic year
  • Actively participating with the club following the designated try-out period (if applicable)
  • Paid dues for that club

Club Rosters

All members participating in club activities should be listed on the clubs official roster. It is the responsibility of the club officers to add or remove club members throughout the year. The Competitive Sports staff will add each club to this page every semester. Once that is done, the staff will add all of the current officers for each club. Once each officer has been added to the club roster, they may start adding all of the other club members. Add students to your Official Club Roster using the steps below:

  1. Visit the MTSU Rec Portal at mtsu.edu
  2. Login with your MTSU ID and password
  3. Scroll down and click on the “Sports Clubs” à “My Teams” link
  4. On the next page, click on your club (you can filter using the options on the left hand side of the screen to find the current semester)
  5. The next page is your team page. On that page, click on the “Pending Roster” tab link.
  6. Then click on the dark green “Invite Player” button.
  7. In the next window, enter the email or MTSU ID number, one at a time, for the students you want to add.
  8. Once you have entered one person’s information, click the green “Add” button.
  9. Continue this process until you have added everyone then click the dark green “Send Invitations” button.

Sport Club Officer Positions

Each club must have the following elected officers who meet the requirements listed under Officer Eligibility.  Contact information for each officer must be kept up-to-date with the Competitive Sports Office.

Mandatory Positions. An individual cannot serve in multiple positions at one time.

  • President
  • Vice President
  • 2 Safety Officers

Additional (optional) Sport Club officer positions:

  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Fundraising Chair
  • Community Service Chair
  • Recruitment Chair

Intramural Sports Participation Policy

Members of MTSU Sport Clubs will be allowed to participate in Intramural competitions in their related sports. However for all single gender or Co-Rec Intramural teams a maximum of two (2) Sport Club participants may appear on the team’s roster. If you have even one (1) sport club participant on your team you must play in the A League. Once a person has been deemed a club member, they will be considered as such with regard to intramural Sports for the remainder of that semester. Intramural players who join a club team during the intramural season may be required to discontinue playing for their intramural team in order to keep their intramural team eligible under this rule.

Similar/Related Sports

Club/Professional/Varsity Sports

Intramural Sports

Baseball, Softball

Indoor Baseball, Softball, Home Run Derby

Basketball

3-on-3 Basketball, 5-on-5 Basketball, 3 Point Contest

Cornhole

Cornhole

Dodgeball

Dodgeball

E-Sports (specific to individual game)

E-Sports (specific to individual game)

Football

4-on-4 Flag Football, Flag Football

Kan Jam

Kan Jam

Soccer

Indoor Soccer, Outdoor Soccer

Spikeball

Spikeball

Ultimate Frisbee

Ultimate Frisbee

Volleyball

Indoor Volleyball, Outdoor Volleyball, Wallyball

Insurance and Medical Considerations

  1. The university holds NO blanket insurance policy for sport club participants. Consequently, all club members are strongly encouraged to purchase some type of personal comprehensive accident-health insurance.  An injured participant is responsible for all financial obligations incurred and any treatment necessitated by injury.  Club officers should notify their members of this fact.
  2. The University does not provide insurance for club members while traveling. Club members are responsible for their own auto insurance if traveling in a private vehicle. Passengers in private vehicles that are driven by club members are at the sole risk of the driver.
  3. Sport Clubs at MTSU are responsible for their events and activities, as well as the actions or negligence of the organization membership.
  4. Each participant is always responsible for their own well-being when participating with the group they are affiliated.
  5. Each participant shares with the other members the concern and responsibilities of safety and agrees to follow safe procedures and to avoid any unnecessary, hazardous situations.
  6. Participants are encouraged to discuss with the MTSU Student Health Center medical staff or with their family doctor any known physical problems which may limit participation in the club sports program. This should be handled before participation.
  7. Participants are encouraged to wear proper dress and appropriate protective equipment. If the participant chooses not to use such equipment, the participant must realize that he/she is doing so at his/her own risk.
  8. Arrangements will be made to have proper supervision at home club contests to be held on campus that have been properly scheduled through the Competitive Sports Office.

New Club Guide

Starting a new club sport is a lot of work and will take several months to become a full member 
organization. The MTSU Competitive Sports staff are available for questions and advice every step of the way and are here 
to help.

There are several things that should be considered to determine if the new club will fit into the 
MTSU Sports Club model. Because our clubs operate independently and do not have direct day-to-day 
supervision by trained professionals, there are activities that are prohibited from becoming sports 
clubs on campus. This includes clubs where the risk of serious injury or death are a regular risk 
inherent in the activity (even when operated properly) or where the resource demands

 for support and/or medical care are outside the ability of the university’s model to provide. A 
risk management review is part of any new sport club request process and would be conducted prior 
to any sport being started even on a trial  basis.

The following are steps that should be taken in order to begin a new Sports Club. Steps in each 
tier should be completed before moving on to the next one.

Tier 1

  • Recruit members and officers.
    • Each club needs a minimum of 5 active members and 4 officers.
    • Find at least 2 people that are dedicated to completing all the steps and doing all the work to form the club. The more dedicated people you have, the less will be on each of their plates.
  • Submit names and contact info of all officers to Competitive Sports.
  • Find a faculty/staff advisor.
    • Must be a full-time faculty or staff member at MTSU.
    • It cannot be the Competitive Sports Coordinator.
  • Write a constitution for the club.
    • The constitution should have everything about the club, including how it will operate.
    • We have a template you can use if needed.
  • Complete a risk statement for the club.
    • Should detail risk associated with the activity, how participants could be injured, and how would the student participants (officers) take measures to minimize injury.
    • Should include facility needs to be successful and detail the possible risks associated with facility usage.
    • Should include what equipment is needed and any standards of equipment.
  • Register your organization (club) in MyMT.
    • Should be done during the first semester the club is meeting.
    • Will need all of the above info to complete. Meet with Competitive Sports staff once all of the Tier 1 steps are completed.

Tier 2

  • Submit projected budget
    • Budget should include all expected and desired purchases as well as expenses (equipment, rental space, fees, etc.)
  • Have officers (other than Safety Officers) attend training
  • Have 2 people attend Safety Officer training and become CPR certified. o Send in copy of certifications.
  • Add people to official roster on RecPortal.
  • Set-up a bank account. (Most of our clubs use Ascend Federal Credit Union because they are familiar with student org bank accounts)
  • Schedule practice times.

Each new club will operate probationally for 1 full semester prior to becoming a full club sport. This is done to prove the longevity of the club and ensure time for officers to get club policies and procedures organized and in place. During the probation period, clubs will need to complete all of the necessary requirements of being a club sport but will not be allocated any money from the university and will not be allowed to travel. After the probationary semester, the Club Sports staff will decide whether or not to accept the club as a full member organization.

 

All Club Requirements & Expectations

Club Operating Requirements

  • Notice of Club Standing
    • At the beginning of every semester the club should contact the Competitive Sports staff acknowledging that you are or are not participating for the semester. If you are participating you need to provide practice schedule, game schedule, and budgets that go along with the beginning of your season.
  • Register as a Student Organization
    • All Sport Clubs are required to be a registered student organization.
    • Clubs will need to (re)register their organization every academic year they are participating/operating as a club using the following procedures
      • Re-registration Form completed on www.mtsu.edu/mymt
      • Log into myMT using your pipeline credentials.
      • Click the “organization” tab at the top.
      • Click “Registration” on the left hand side.
      • Find your organization and click “re-register”.
    • Finance Report submitted and approved. This will require information about the financial history of the organization including signatures of the Treasurer, President, and Advisor.
    • Advisor Agreement completed and approved.
      • All student organizations must have the following clause in their constitution: "In the event the organization dissolves, the distribution of funds and assets will be given to ________________________." Any constitutions that fail to contain this information will be sent back for revisions.Check out the Student Organizations & Service website for more information at https://www.mtsu.edu/sos/
  • Budgets
    • If your club is operating that semester and need funding from MTSU Campus Recreation, then you must submit a budget proposal. More information about budgets is listed later in this document and will be provided each semester.
  • Meetings
    • At the beginning of every semester all club presidents and vice presidents will be required to attend an Officer Meeting to go over all pertinent info.
    • At least 2 Safety Officers will be required to have a current CPR/First Aid/AED certification. If they do not, they will need to attend a class taught by Campus Recreation staff. Safety Officers will also be required to attend an addition training.
    • We will have a meeting with coaches at the beginning of the semester as well. Coaches are required to attend these meetings as needed if you are participating in the semester.
  • Games and Practice Schedule Request
    • Clubs will need to submit a game and practice schedule request at the beginning of the semester. If games are added after initial submission of game schedule, please communicate with the Competitive Sports office at least one week ahead of time.
  • Travel
    • If you are traveling and plan to request reimbursement money, you must submit a roster and travel itinerary a minimum of 3 days prior to the departure day.
    • In addition, a reimbursement form will need to be completed and submitted at least 3 days after your travel with all receipts.
    • The university does not have vehicles for clubs to use for travel. Clubs will need to arrange vehicles from a rental car company. AVIS has a deal with the university that offers a discount for MTSU club members if you rent vehicles through them. Use the code P059800 when making your reservation.

Image and Perception

Sport Clubs, as with any organization, need to be aware of the image they may portray to the general public, campus community, potential and current members.  In addition to representing themselves, sport clubs represent the entire Competitive Sports Program, Department of Campus Recreation, Student Activities Center, Division of Student Affairs, and Middle Tennessee State University.  Common sense and good taste should be employed when a club or its members share information about the club via in-person communication, websites, message boards, or any social media. Sport clubs that are discovered to be engaging in inappropriate behavior or are representing the club in poor taste will be sanctioned.  Examples of this type of behavior include, but are not limited to, lewd acts, alcohol consumption, hazing, sexually explicit images, or a general disregard for a standard of decency.

Hazing

Sport clubs should focus on making their organization as welcoming as possible and any hazing activity directly contradicts that environment. There is no place for hazing at MTSU. The university is committed to developing and nurturing a community devoted to honesty and integrity, respect for diversity, engagement in the community and commitment to nonviolence. Campus Recreation and Sport Clubs is committed to the university’s mission and values. All students are expected to treat each other with dignity and respect, regardless of their membership classification or level of seniority within an organization or group.

Hazing is any action or any situation created intentionally that causes embarrassment, harassment or ridicule and risks emotional and/or physical harm to members of a group or team, whether new or not, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.

Hazing can often times be difficult to identify. If you’re not sure whether or not something happening to you or to someone else is hazing, ask yourself these questions:

  • Would I feel comfortable participating in this activity if my parents were watching?
  • Would we get in trouble if a school/college administrator walked by and saw us?
  • Am I being asked to keep these activities a secret?
  • Am I doing anything illegal?
  • Does participation in this activity violate my values or those of this organization?
  • Is this causing emotional or physical distress or stress to myself or to others?
  • Am I going to be able to get a job if I have to put a criminal arrest on my application?

If a sport club is found to be in violation of the hazing policy, they may be subject to disciplinary actions including but not limited to club probation, officer suspension/termination, loss of allocation money, and/or club termination.

Club Expectations

  • In all club-sponsored activities, club members must assume full responsibility for following local, state, and federal laws.
  • Each club must maintain goals and objectives that are consistent with the educational mission of the university.
  • Each club must review and update its constitution as needed.
  • Each club is responsible for completing and submitting proper forms.
  • Each club is responsible for assuring representation at Competitive Sports Program meetings and mandatory workshops.

Club Personnel

Advisor

Every sport club must have a full-time faculty or full-time MTSU staff member to serve as their advisor in order to be a fully recognized sport club by the university. The Competitive Sports Coordinator cannot be listed as a club’s advisor.

Advisor Responsibilities

  • Serve as an information source, provide guidance and leadership.
  • Be knowledgeable of the guidelines and procedures for sport clubs and ensure that the student leaders of the organization are also informed of these policies.
  • Assist members and officers in organization and in planning projects.
  • Offer assistance in developing and overseeing the club budget.
  • Periodically attend club meetings and activities.
  • Provide support and advice on generation of funds.
  • Provide support and advice during fund-raising events.
  • Ensure club abides by University policies and procedures and local, state, and federal laws.

Coaches/Instructors

If desired, it is the responsibility of the sport club to secure the services of a coach/instructor for their club. 

If a club chooses to financially compensate a coach/instructor, it is the sole decision and responsibility of that club to fulfill such request, however the Competitive Sports staff must be informed beforehand. It is not the responsibility of the Competitive Sports Program to financially compensate any coach/instructor.  Sport Clubs who choose to enter into contracts with coaches/instructors are strongly advised to seek legal counsel with regard to contract terms, liability, etc.  Middle Tennessee State University, MTSU Campus Recreation, and the MTSU Competitive Sports Program are not responsible for damages or other issues arising out of contractual arrangements. The Club or Competitive Sports Program can remove a coach for any reason at any time.

Coach/Instructor Responsibilities

  • Coaches are required to fulfill a background check and sign a Coach’s Agreement in order to coach or instruct clubs at practice or games.
  • The Coach/Instructor should restrict their contributions to coaching and/or instruction and should refrain from activities involved in the club’s management. A sport club is first and foremost a student organization and, as such, the student representatives (not the coach/instructor) should serve as the liaison between the club and the sport club staff, the University, and all non-University agencies. The philosophy and key to the success of the Sport Club Program has been the continued emphasis placed on student leadership and participation.
  • The Coach/Instructor must be aware of and follow all University and Sport Club policies and procedures.
  • It is recommended that all coaches/instructors purchase medical and liability insurance, as they are not covered by the University.
  • Coaches should not, under any circumstances allow hazing to take place within the club, nor should they allow an environment of hazing to exist.

Funding & Reimbursements

Off-Campus Banking Accounts

A club may open an off-campus bank account, however, Middle Tennessee State University, the Department of Campus Recreation, and the Competitive Sports Program have no responsibility and supervision of student organization off-campus bank accounts. The club is responsible for all oversight and operation of an off-campus account. One best practice in managing this account is to make sure at least 2 current club officers are added to the account.

These bank accounts should house the funds earmarked for the club and should not be used for personal reasons. The club is responsible for spending these funds in a manner that represents MTSU in a positive light, is safe to the club, and used to benefit the club as an organization.

Budget Requests

Budget requests must be sent to the Competitive Sports Office by the date advertised by the Competitive Sports staff each semester. Budget requests need to be reasonable and be presented in the format that is provided at https://www.mtsu.edu/camprec/clubs/forms.php.

Once the budget deadline has passed, the Competitive Sports staff will balance the requests of each club with the amount of money allocated to the Sport Club program for that semester. Each club may or may not be granted the requested amount of reimbursement money each semester. In addition to balancing each club’s request, the following will be used to help determine how much money each club will receive:

  1. Cost of Sport
    • Practice facilities, conference fees, etc
  2. Club needs for operation
  3. Compliance to Sport Club Policies and Procedures
  4. Longevity of club
  5. Club roster size

Fundraising

Each club will be required to fundraise 25% of their semesterly reimbursement request. This fundraising money can include any type of revenue generated by the club such as dues, sponsorships, fundraisers, etc.

Purchases

All item purchases need to be approved and inventoried by the Competitive Sports Coordinator if the club is planning to be reimbursed. Items that are ordered online or by mail, must be shipped to Campus Recreation in order to be inventoried. Please use the following shipping address for all purchases:

Attn: Campus Recreation – Dan Payne
P.O. Box 556 
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
 

Reimbursements

If a club wishes to be reimbursed for any purchases, original receipts need to be used. These receipts need to be turned in with a completed reimbursement form that can be found at https://www.mtsu.edu/camprec/clubs/forms.php. If needing a receipt for a trainer or official, we have one formatted that clubs can use at https://www.mtsu.edu/camprec/clubs/forms.php. All equipment purchased with reimbursed funds must be stored at the university. Since the club was reimbursed for this equipment it is technically owed by the university.

List of what can be reimbursed:

  • Governing Organization Dues/Fees
  • Officials/Athletic Trainer
  • General, non-personal Equipment/Uniforms to be used by the club
  • Travel (transportation, gas, lodging, tourney fees)

List of what cannot be reimbursed:

  • Facility Space Usage (dependent on availability of Rec Center facilities)
  • Facility Rental
  • Food and Drink
  • Personal Equipment/Uniforms
  • Individual Player Dues/Coaching Fees
  • Parking/Speeding Tickets

If you have a question about whether or not a purchase is reimbursable, please ask the Competitive Sports staff before making the purchase.

 

Club Sport Practices

Practice Requests

Sport Clubs can request facility space for practices on a recurring basis through the Competitive Sports Program. All Sport Club Practice Requests that are properly turned in by the deadline to the Competitive Sports Office will be used by the Coordinator to create a practice schedule for each facility, each semester.  Practice schedules are made at the beginning of each semester - Fall, Spring and Summer - and continue throughout that term.

In all facilities, a limit may be placed on the number of regular weekly or monthly practice sessions scheduled in order to accommodate as many groups as possible with a practice schedule of reasonable frequency. Clubs must make use of their allotted practice space once it is scheduled to them. If clubs wish to discontinue regular practices, club representatives must contact the Competitive Sports Office.

Practice Cancellations and Conflicts

Practices at the Sport Club Complex can be cancelled at any time at the discretion of the Competitive Sports Staff. If possible, the Competitive Sports Coordinator will try to provide practice space in the Campus Recreation building if space is available.

Facilities & Requests

The following is a list of MTSU Campus Recreation facilities:

  • Intramural Sports Fields
  • Sport Club Complex (off Main St.)
  • MTSU Campus Recreation Building

If the club is seeking use of the MTSU Campus Recreation Building for practices, events, tournaments, or games, the club should submit a Facility Reservation Form to the Competitive Sports Coordinator.

 
 

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Office Phone
615.898.2104 (8am - 5pm)
 
Main Entrance
615.898.5569

Email
camprec@mtsu.edu

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 556 
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Physical Address
1848 Blue Raider Drive
Murfreesboro, TN  37132