Bylaw 13 – Local Sports Clubs

reasonable standard local sports clubs

Reasonable Standards Review

The NCAA has bylaws mandating regulations for coaches, administrators and student-athletes. The National Association of Athletics Compliance (NAAC) has established a set of reasonable standards for the purpose of providing guidance to NCAA member institutions. In this blog series, Spry Compliance Director Todd Hairston will review these standards and provide insight on how Spry can help institutions stay compliant and mitigate risk.

Bylaw 13- Local Sports Clubs

Club sport participation has become a fixture in the youth sport landscape over the past several decades. For college coaches, involvement with club sports is always complicated due to the obvious recruiting implications. Aside from recruiting, however, allowing college coaches the ability to be involved with club sport activities provides a necessary revenue stream for coaches, as well as a valuable developmental resource for prospective student-athletes.  For these reasons, the NCAA has created legislated exceptions that allow college coaches to be involved with local sports clubs under specific circumstances. Navigating these exceptions, however, can be challenging. As institutions prepare for the upcoming 2022-23 academic year, coaches and administrators will benefit by planning ahead to ensure that they are checking all the right boxes with regard to local sports club participation.

Below, we’ll highlight some of NAAC’s recommended standards associated with local sports club activities as well as how Spry can assist athletic departments in meeting them.


  • Actively solicit coaches and sport-specific staff members to identify any potential involvement with a local sports club and to ensure it is approved via institutional procedures and permissible per NCAA rules.
  • Confirm the following for staff member involvement with local sports clubs:
    1. The club is an established, ongoing local club engaged in competitive activities and is not formed for the sole purpose of providing instruction to prospects
    2. Prospect-aged club members reside within a 50-mile radius of campus, and if not, that the club is their closest opportunity for club participation.
  • In situations where the institution’s coach or staff member owns the local sports club, the institution, in its determination, may consider reviewing information including, but not limited to, club participants and their contact information, schedules of club operations, distinction between club and institutional activities, membership dues, and employees (paid and volunteer).
  • In situations where the institution rents its facilities to a local sports club, confirm that appropriate rental fees are paid and the arrangement overall is consistent with institutional policies.
  • Maintain a record of all coaches and sport-specific staff members’ involvement in local sports clubs.
  • Maintain a record (i.e., employment form) of any staff member involvement with local sports clubs, including information collected about the club and its participants.
  • Provide notification to the involved staff member of approval or denial to participate in activities with the local sports club.
  • Maintain a record of education provided to coaches and sport-specific staff members as well as other pertinent staff (i.e., facilities) and constituents regarding NCAA rules related to local sports clubs.
  • Develop and maintain written procedures that assign responsibility and ensure adherence to maintaining records in relation to involvement in a local sport club.

Platform Support

Through SpryConnect’s recruiting module, custom reports can easily be created to identify the location of all prospective student-athletes participating with a club in which a coach is involved.  Additionally, details of all clubs with which a coaching staff member is affiliated can be uploaded to a coach’s profile, allowing for easy sorting and reporting capabilities.  

Relevant Bylaws Local Sports Clubs

Yes or No

  • Question: Is it permissible for a prospective student-athlete to reside with a relative during the period of involvement in a local sports club in order to meet the 50-mile radius restriction?
  • Answer: NO. A prospective student-athlete who relocates to an area within a 50-mile radius of the institution on a temporary basis (e.g., to participate on a club team or attend an institution while maintaining a permanent residence outside the 50-mile radius) is not considered a legal resident of the area regardless of whether the prospective student-athlete meets legal standards of state or local residency for governmental purposes.

Learn about ways that Spry can help you navigate other NCAA bylaws by clicking here.

Todd Hairston