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Chapter 2

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by

Savannah Ahrens

on 24 January 2018

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Transcript of Chapter 2

Starting a Team at Your School
1. What you need to do
2. How we can help
3. Generate Interest
4. Hold an Interest Meeting
5. Officers and Coaches
How We Can Help
1. Talk to Director of Rec/Club Sports
2. Write a Letter of Support
3. Help You Create a Constitution
4. Help You Create a Budget
5. Guide You Through the Process

Generate Interest
1. Get Girls to Help
2. Talk to the Varsity Coach
3. Schedule an Interest Meeting
4. Spread the Word

Hold an Interest Meeting
1. Plan Your Presentation
2. Prepare Handouts
3. Set the Tone for Your Team
What You Need To Do
1. Contact the NCSA
2. Talk to Your Director of Rec/Club Sports
3. Find a Field
Officers and Coaches
1. Elect Officers
2. Find a Coach
Chapter 2
Starting A Team At Your School
Contact the NCSA
The first thing you need to do when starting a club softball team at your school is contact the NCSA Director of Team Development, Tracy Reardon ( Tracy.Reardon@CollClubSports.com; 412-321-8440 x 109), and let her know that you are interested in starting a team. She can guide you through the process and can help get your team up and running quickly and efficiently. It is important to start off in the right direction in order to avoid obstacles that you may not be aware of but Tracy can forecast ahead of time.
Talk to your Director of Rec/Club Sports
Talk to your Director of Rec/Club Sports Cont'd
It is important that you realize that playing softball is several steps down the road at this point. When starting a team, the paperwork and administrative tasks are an unavoidable first few steps in becoming recognized by the school.

Another important issue to discuss with the Rec/ Club Sports Director is your intention to join the NCSA. The fact that you are looking to join an established and reputable league should add validity to your organization as the Director knows you will be competing against other school and that you will be competing for something. All this will help you in the process of becoming an organization and a sport club at your school.
Find a Field
Once you've figured out the administrative aspects of starting a team, it is important to begin planning the logistical aspects. Discuss field options with your Rec/Club Sports Director. Find out if you will be allowed to use the varsity field, if the school has recreational fields you can use, or if you will need to find off-campus fields to use. A good place to go for off-campus fields is local high schools. Be sure to contact the Athletic Director of the high school, not the coach, since the A.D. will have the authority to allow you to use the field. If you are unsuccessful there, the town or county's Sports and Recreation Department should be able to help you out.
Find a Field Cont'd

If your Rec/Club Sports Director does not have contact information for your local Sports and Recreation Department, you can usually find a link to their website on the town or county's website or by doing a quick internet search. An important thing to remember when trying to find a field is that your team is covered by the NCSA's $2 million general liability insurance policy. Some organizations may require that the field be added to the insurance policy as an "Additional Insured." This can be done very easily by submitting the name and address of the field, the person to contact about the field, and his / her phone and fax numbers to the NCSA along with a check made out to the NCSA for $75.
Talk to Director of Rec/Club Sports
The NCSA Director of Team Development, Tracy Reardon can speak with your Director of Rec/Club Sports. She can explain the league to him/her, answer any questions or concerns he/she might have, and work in conjunction with him/her to help you get your team started. Putting your Rec/Club Sports Director in contact with the NCSA shows him/her that you are serious about starting the team and that you are working towards the goal of joining an established league.
Write a Letter of Support
The NCSA can write a Letter of Support for you to use when attempting to become an organization and a club sport at your school. This letter will show the Student Government that you are intending to join an established and successful league and that the NCSA staff will be there to guide and advise you both in the creation of your team as well as the running of your team within the league.
Help You Create a Constitution
Student Organizations are required to create a constitution outlining their organization including its purpose, membership requirements, officer responsibilities, and by-laws. The NCSA can help you create such a constitution. You can find a sample constitution here::
http://www.clubsoftball.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Sample-Constitution-NCSA.pdf
This is a guideline and should be changed based on your individual club.
Help You Create a Budget
It is important to plan the financial aspect of running the team. You need to take into account how much you will be spending on league dues, uniforms, equipment, fields, umpires, tournament fees, and traveling expenses as well as how much money you will be receiving from your school. This will help you to estimate how much money you will need to raise through fundraisers, sponsors, and player dues. The NCSA can help you create a budget and you can see a sample budget here: http://www.clubsoftball.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Sample-Budget-NCSA.pdf
This is a guideline and should be edited to suit your teams budgetary needs.
Guide You Through the Process
The NCSA will be here to guide you through the entire process of becoming a sport club at your school and then becoming a member of the NCSA. The staff will answer any questions you have along the way and make sure that you are on the right track. By working with the NCSA, you will always have someone that you can go to for help and support as you get your team started.
Get Girls to Help
Your Director of Rec/Club Sports may know of some other girls who have tried to start a team or inquired about a club softball team at the school. These are the girls you should contact right away to find out if they are interested in playing and perhaps helping you with the process of starting the team. If they are, you should delegate some responsibilities to these girls so you don't have to do everything yourself.
Talk to the Varsity Coach
You should also contact the varsity coach and let him/her know that you are starting a team. The coach might know of some players that were previously cut from the varsity team who may be interested in getting involved as a player or organizer.
Schedule an Interest Meeting
Next, you should pick a place and time to hold an interest meeting. Your Rec/Club Sports Director can help you reserve a room on campus to hold the meeting. This will be for all the girls you already know are interested in playing as well as all the girls you may not have met yet who are interested in playing. Thus, it is important for you to schedule this meeting well in advance so you have time to publicize it.
Spread the Word
Once you've locked down a time and place for your interest meeting, start spreading the word. Sign up for a spot at your school's Activities Fair. Have information about the team and the meeting to hand out to people and also have a sign up sheet to get contact information for the girls you talk to. Create flyers and post them around the campus in the dorms, academic buildings, gyms, dining centers, and especially in the Athletic or Rec/Club Sports office. Ask the Rec/Club Sports Director if he/she can post the information on their website. You should also contact the varsity coach with the meeting information so he/she can pass it along to girls who don't make varsity. Contact the other club sport teams at your school and ask them to forward the information along to their teams and anyone else that might be interested.
Spread the Word Cont'd
Girls who get cut from other teams might be interested in playing softball. Players on other teams (even the guys' teams) may know of girls who are interested in playing. Make announcements in classes. The more people who hear about your team, the better. One way to make sure a lot of people find out about your team is through the internet. Have everyone who you've talked to about the team post the information about the interested meeting through their personal social media outlets. Create a Facebook group for your team and an "Event" for your meeting. Search for girls who list "softball" in their profiles and send them messages about the team and an invite to the meeting.
Plan Your Presentation
You'll want to plan your meeting as if you are planning for a class presentation. Prepare what you want to discuss ahead of time and create an outline for you to follow during your meeting. You'll want to discuss what the team is about, who is in charge, and where you are in your stage of development. Most schools require that Student Organizations have officers who are responsible for running the organization. If you already have officers, introduce them and briefly explain what each of their roles is. If you do not have officers, explain the positions that need to be filled and what responsibilities each person will have. It may be helpful to have a handout with a brief description of each position to distribute to interested girls. You should also discuss the NCSA. Explain what the organization is, what conference you will be joining, the teams you will be playing, and all the benefits that come with being in the league. Talk about the opportunity to attend Spring Training and the chance to earn a bid to the World Series. Make sure the girls have the website address (www.clubsoftball.org) so they can explore it themselves.
Prepare Handouts
You may want to prepare handouts to distribute to the girls at the meeting. These handouts should include important information about the team, information about the NCSA (including the website), and descriptions of officer roles.
Have a sign up sheet to pass around at the meeting with sections for each girl to write her name, email address, phone number what position(s) she plays. Use the email addresses to create a list so you can send out mass emails about tryout or practice dates and other information about the team.
Set the Tone for Your Team
You get one chance to make a first impression with these girls. The way you conduct yourself during this meeting will set the tone for the entire year and will determine how these girls view you as an authority figure. If you command their respect during this meeting, you will have it for the rest of the year. If you are unorganized or lackadaisical, this attitude will be reflected in the girls when they show up for tryouts.
It is important to be organized, professional and confident during this meeting. You want to show the girls that you are serious and dedicated and that you are looking for players with these same characteristics.
Elect Officers
If you have a group of girls that you've been working with and whom you trust, you can all decide to assume those roles for the first year. Alternatively, you can hold elections in which interested girls run for the office of their choice. If you hold elections, be sure to create a brief description of the responsibilities of each office so that the girls are aware of what they are running for and what duties they will assume if elected. It is important to have quality officers because they hold a large amount of responsibility. There have been teams in the past that had a lot of talent but were unsuccessful because of a lack of leaderships and accountability among the officers.
Elect Officers Cont'd
There are many responsibilities that come with being an officer and it is important to divide up the duties so that each officer knows what she is responsible for. Duties that you will want to delegate include things such as scheduling, fundraising, equipment purchasing, uniform/apparel purchasing, public relations, and travel arrangements.
Find A Coach
When starting a team, it may be very difficult to find a coach, especially in a short amount of time. If there is someone who qualified and capable, you may want to ask this person to be your coach. However, a player can also act as a coach. You can have multiple players assuming the roles of "Assistant Coaches" in order to help out with practice and coaching the bases. However, it is important to designate someone as the "Head Coach," even if that person is also a player, so there is someone making the final decisions on the field.
Find a Coach Cont'd
You should define the duties of the assistant coaches clearly so that each understands their roles. For example, you can have a pitching coach, a hitting coach, and a defensive coach. This way, you can break the team up into groups during practice and each coach knows what her responsibilities are and all the players know who is in charge. Remember though, you should have one head coach who oversees the other coaches and makes the final decisions.
Your Director of Rec/Club Sports will be very helpful to you throughout this process. He/she will likely be able to tell you if any one else is currently (or was recently) working on starting a team at your school. He/she should also be familiar with what the process of starting a team entails. You'll first need to become a recognized student organization throughout the student government. Be sure that you get the name and contact information of the appropriate person within the student government that you will need to speak to. Your Rec/Club Sports Direct should be familiar with the process and should be able to put you in contact with the proper people.
Coming Up...

Chapter 3: Joining the NCSA
Full transcript