Newsletter Articles


June 02, 2011

Developing Learning Outcomes in Intramural Sports
to Address Unsporting Behavior

Kurt D. Klier, CRSS
Intramural Sports Director
Campus Recreation Services
University of Maryland

How many times have we, as intramural professionals, had to deal with unsporting behavior? Is the time we spend training our students on how to deal with comments such as “hey ref you suck” effective? How do we know? Developing Learning Outcomes for Intramural Sports may seem superfluous but they will be an invaluable tool in understanding and documenting what your student employees are learning. As Student Affairs employees, we believe that the scope of learning is not limited to the classroom; rather, it involves all aspects of a student’s experience, including Intramural Sports.

First, it is important to determine the relevance of your Outcomes as they relate to the mission statement and/or strategic plan of the University or Program. We determined that effectively managing unsporting behavior supports the core values of Campus Recreation Services, to ‘develop students and professional staff’ and to ‘promote safety and minimize risk.’  The goal also contributes to one aspect of the Mission of the Division of Student Affairs to ‘…promote student development.’

Secondly, after you develop your Learning Outcomes have someone else review them. Choose a fellow recreational colleague, a colleague outside recreation who has knowledge and understanding of Learning Outcomes, or choose a student. Have them review what you developed and determine if they can understand and reproduce your outcomes. The process of having someone review what you developed will help you determine if the Learning Outcomes are clear.

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Sport Club Travel

May 13, 2011

What do other schools do? What should we do?

Chuck Vogt
Director, Intramural and Club Sports
Bellarmine University

Ask any Campus Recreation professional this question: “What is the most dangerous part of club sports competition?” The answer will typically be: “The travel to and from the game site.” Many students participate in Sport Clubs throughout the country and this number seems to be increasing every year. Some schools also pay the coaches for their time, some pay from University funds while others leave it up to the clubs. This is also a pressing issue as clubs gain popularity and size. Good volunteers are harder and harder to come by.
Recently, I conducted some informal research by posing a few questions to the NIRSA Club Sports listserv. Several schools responded, and the feedback was very illuminating.
The questions asked were simple and straightforward:

  1. Do you require a coach/advisor to travel with your student groups/club sports when they leave campus?
  2. Do you allow students to travel independently of their coach advisor? If yes, what type of documentation do you keep?
  3. Are all of your advisors/coaches university personnel or individuals from outside the university?
  4. Are they paid? If yes, how much?

The following highlights the responses of some and small schools. Responses identified with specific schools are reported with permission, otherwise only the State of the school location is reported. Contact the author directly if you would like to see the results in their entirety.
Sport Clubs Travel Survey

The idea behind the informal research was not only to focus on travel, but also the administration of that travel. How do certain professionals handle certain situations? What are the best practices? While the responses to the questions can provide some guidance, at the end of the day, these are questions which can only be answered by you and appropriate university personnel.

Providing Athletic Training Services for Sport Clubs

May 12, 2011

A Future Trend?

Nicole Piscitelli
Assistant Director
Informal Recreation and Student Development
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Over the years, Sport Club Programs have developed into sophisticated student organizations. Campus Recreation departments invest thousands of dollars each year while Sport Clubs recruit talented players, pay coaches, and travel all over the country to compete. Administrators continually support and guide the club organizations by implementing policies, hosting educational sessions, and providing services to meet the needs of the sport club participants.

A major issue and possible trend that Campus Recreation Departments are facing is whether or not to provide some level of athletic training service for sport club participants. Athletic trainers provide a depth and breadth of knowledge beyond that of a student with first aid and CPR certifications, or even that of an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Athletic trainers are highly educated and skilled individuals providing services that range from injury prevention to rehabilitation. The ability to provide athletic training services is an excellent addition to a sport club program; however, securing funding and resources can be an obstacle.

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Current Legal Practices in Collegiate Club Sport Programs

May 12, 2011

Steve Kampf
Recreational Sports
Bowling Green State University

Scott Haines
Recreational Services
The College at Brockport, SUNY

Robert C. Schneider
The Department of Physical Education and Sport
The College at Brockport, SUNY

William F. Stier Jr.
The Department of Physical Education and Sport
The College at Brockport, SUNY

Brady Gaskins
Office of Residential Life
Bowling Green State University
Legal liability practices within a college recreation program have long been an apprehension for the personnel who oversee programming. In particular, club sport activities have been a concern as to what the true legal liability benchmarks were in the field of college recreational sports. A review of current literature revealed a lack of benchmarking information relating to legal liability practices in collegiate club sport programs. Specifically, the information gained from this study provides programmatic direction in reviewing and proposing changes to policies and procedures relating to club sport safety.

A comprehensive research study was recently completed on the subject of legal liability that relates to club sports. Areas that were studied included the use of waivers, travel, coaching, first aid/CPR, and supervision. The following information serves as a reference point for those who oversee college club sport programs and could help in developing or reviewing policies and procedures.

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Six Steps to Sport Clubs Risk Assessment

May 12, 2011

Eric Ascher, Sport Clubs Coordinator
Diane James, Risk Management & Aquatics Coordinator
Steven Elliott, Risk Management Aide
Department of Recreational Sports
University of Florida

Risk Management is an important component of any Sport Clubs program. Because of this fact, UF RecSports chose to begin a department-wide risk assessment project with Sport Clubs. This project began in July with information from the web and other NIRSA members. Very few models were available. In August, a Risk Management Aide joined the team and the process of creating the Risk Assessment began.

The Risk Management team developed a rough draft utilizing what information had been found and what elements should be documented. A Risk Assessment Form and a PowerPoint presentation geared specifically to the Sport Clubs was developed. Drafts were sent to the Director, Associate Director, and Sport Clubs Coordinator for feedback. Revisions were made and presentations to the clubs were scheduled.

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Sport Club Member Training

May 12, 2011

Bob Gough
Aquatics & Sport Club Coordinator
Campus Recreation
University of North Carolina Wilmington

Sport Club professionals spend hours developing and writing policy manuals with the hope that club members read and understand each concept. We know through experience that this is seldom the case. What can we do to help reinforce the messages our club officers need to know? Member training can be part of the solution to this problem.
The Sport Club program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) has experienced growth each of the last seven years. The Sport Club Council (SCC) meeting was a great opportunity to include training topics – when the total number of clubs were smaller. When we reached the 20 Sport Clubs mark, the Sport Club Council meetings were taking 2 hours, and we realized that the Sport Club Council meeting was no longer the best place to train our club officers.

We began researching training programs from other sport club programs, new member orientation programs for fraternity and sorority programs, and the employee training program from the UNCW Discover Outdoor program. The process lead to the development of a weekly one-hour sport club member training program we named the ‘Sport Club Management Series’.

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