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.

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