How to start official student-run sports clubs at Iowa State


Hayley Hochstetler/Iowa State Daily

Sports Clubs Coordinator Landon Wolfe shakes hands with Erica Tucker, senior in kinesiology and health. Tucker is also the co-president of the women’s soccer club. 

Kyle Heim

One key element to starting a sport club at Iowa State includes possessing a competitive nature along with an adequate purpose to start the club. Once a club decides they want to be a member of the council, they are required to follow a step-by-step process prior to becoming official.

The club must include five members, along with a faculty staff member here on campus supporting the development of the club.

The next step involves giving a three-minute presentation explaining the goals and agenda of the club before the Student Organization Recognition Board, who either approves or disapproves of the club and provides recommendations.

Last, the club must give a presentation in front of the Sports Club Council. The council then has the final say in deciding whether or not to accept the club.

“We’re looking for some competitive aspect to the club,” said Sports Club coordinator Landon Wolfe. “If they’re wanting to become a sports club, we want to see somewhere along the lines that they’re wanting to compete.”

“It doesn’t have to be nationally, but at least something is shown within their upcoming goals that they want to compete against someone or have some sort of competitive element to it.”

After a club becomes official, it becomes eligible to receive funding from the Government of the Student.

Each spring, the Sports Club Council is responsible for dividing up the funds provided by the GSB among the clubs. The clubs are then required to match the money provided to them through fundraisers.

The council does not necessarily limit the clubs that are accepted into the group to only traditional sport clubs. Within the past few years the council has accepted the Quidditch and Paintball clubs.

“Quidditch on the surface sounds odd in that you wouldn’t think that it’s necessarily a sports club until you look a little further into it and dig a little deeper,” Wolfe said. “They came last spring and brought probably 15 of their club members into our meeting. They lined them up along the wall and gave a detailed presentation. It is an organized system where they’re playing regionally and can qualify for nationals.”

The fact that the Quidditch Club displays a lot of contact throughout games also helped influence the decision of the council.

“We voted Quidditch into the Sports Club Council because after they showed us their video presentation of what one of their games actually looks like, we decided it had a large enough amount of contact to be a sport club,” said Sports Club secretary Samuel Crenshaw.

The council continues to add new clubs. This past August, the Women’s Soccer Club branched off from the men’s club creating its own sports club. Erica Tucker, senior in kinesiology and health, and Madeline Braun, sophomore in advertising, are currently running the team as co-presidents.

“We decided to be co-presidents together,” Tucker said. “We kind of liked the idea of being able to not necessarily be in charge of everyone on our team, but having that say in decisions, where if you’re just a member sometimes you don’t necessarily have your voice heard as much.”

Wolfe’s vision for all of the sports clubs is that the students make the decisions as to how to run the club, even if they have a coach.

“Our clubs are student-run, student-led. Even the ones that have coaches, it’s still the students who are running the show. If they don’t like the direction something’s going they let me know, or they could let the coach know and he or she should change the direction of how things are going,” Wolfe said.