Leander ISD recognizes the desire of LISD high school students to participate in sports that are not sanctioned or endorsed by the Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL), and these guidelines outline the district’s position on high school club sports and their interaction with the district.
For the purpose of these guidelines, a Club Sport is a program organized and operated by members of the Leander ISD community for the benefit of resident LISD students to provide the opportunity to compete in interscholastic athletics in sports in which the school district does not financially support and directly operate a program. Members of the club team must attend the same LISD high school campus.
To the extent a Club Sport desires recognition by LISD and the privileges associated with such recognition, the Club Sport must adhere to those norms of operation that apply to school-sponsored interscholastic programs and that reflect and support the district’s educational mission and Guiding Documents.
Recognition of a Club Sport by LISD is a privilege that is subject to the annual approval by the Superintendent. Requests for recognition shall be initially submitted to the campus athletic coordinator and high school principal for administrative review for compliance with the criteria and guidelines set forth below and forwarded to the Director of Athletics for review. The Director of Athletics and high school principal shall provide their recommendation for approval or rejection of the request to the Superintendent, who shall have the exclusive authority to grant a request for recognition. The Superintendent may reject any request for recognition for any reason determined to be in the best interest of the Leander ISD. Recognition shall be granted for one (1) calendar year and shall terminate on the last day of the academic calendar year. To gain recognition for the upcoming year, all stipulations in the guidelines below must be met.
In addition, by applying for the High School Club Sport designation, each Club Sport is concurrently requesting to be registered with the Office of the Executive Director of Business Services as a booster organization (all documentation must be submitted annually), and must follow the LISD Booster Club Guidelines, such as submitting all fundraisers for approval, attending the annual booster club meeting, making available all accounting documentation upon request for review, and any and all other guidelines as outlined. The LISD website provides information on approved LISD booster clubs.
Sponsors of Club Sports, when seeking recognition from the Superintendent, shall adhere to
the following procedures. Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in the loss of
recognition and the privileges associated with it. The president of the Club Sport program
must present an annual written request to be recognized by the district, in the form of the
designated application. The request must include the following items:
- Proof of not-for-profit status, and such status must be maintained throughout the year.
- Articles of organization and bylaws of parental board of control (all board members must be LISD-approved volunteers as outlined in the LISD Booster Club Guidelines).
- Show proof of LISD-approved criminal background clearances for all coaches/assistant coaches/trainers, etc., comply with the district’s fingerprinting process, be approved LISD volunteers and comply with the LISD Employee Standards of Conduct (Policy DH). Coaches must meet LISD HR hiring standards. This process includes fingerprinting through TEA, and clearance from LISD HR. Coaches must apply through the LISD website’s Careers page. They will apply for the “TEMPORARY WORKER (Do not use unless instructed by HR)” position.
- Team schedule.
- Each player must sign both the LISD Athletic Handbook and the Clubs’ Student athletic manual/handbook outlining player responsibilities and a code of player conduct.
- All additional rules and regulations for participation of the state governing body of the designated sport.
- Incomplete requests will not be granted. Any request must be submitted to the designated campus administrator by Nov. 6, 2020.
The designated campus administrator, as appointed by the campus principal, is responsible
for administering the following guidelines:
- Club Sports agree to follow the same calendar and cancellation policies of the LISD.
- Club Sports must follow the same student-athlete eligibility criteria and requirements established by the Leander ISD for participation in school-sponsored interscholastic-athletic programs, including, but not limited to, attendance (must attend the same high school campus) and academic requirements, and drug and alcohol testing. Students subject to disciplinary action by the school district shall be prohibited from participating in Club Sports during the same period and to the same extent as such students are prohibited from participating in school-sponsored interscholastic-athletic programs.
- A team roster must be submitted to the designated campus administrator before the season begins. An eligibility list, based upon academic progress and attendance, must be submitted to the designated campus administrator.
- The club must consist of a sufficient number of students to conduct the proposed activity in a meaningful manner.
- Participation is limited to registered Leander ISD students who must meet all of the eligibility criteria including, without limitation, those set forth in or promulgated pursuant to District Policy or those set forth by the state governing body. These criteria include, without limitation, verification of requisite academic progress, fulfillment of attendance requirements and the completion of drug and alcohol testing and physical examination if required by the district. Participants’ parents/guardians must authorize the school/district to furnish attendance, academic progress reports and disciplinary reports to satisfy eligibility guidelines. A separate process will outline how grades will be reported each grading period for verification.
- If approval to award athletic letters is requested, the students must meet the same athletic and social standards expected from the student-athletes in school sponsored athletic programs.
- Campus athletic trainers are not responsible for any required medical paperwork by the club sponsor (i.e. physicals) or the care of club participants.
- At the request of the Leander ISD, the Club Sport must furnish a certificate of insurance naming the Leander ISD as an additional insured for liability coverage of at least $1,000,000. Such policies must provide coverage for any occurrences during the year for which recognition has been granted. Coverage afforded to the Leander ISD, as an additional insured shall be on a primary basis and applied before any other insurance carried by the school district. Further, and as a condition of recognition, the Club Sport shall be obligated to indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Leander ISD from any and all claims arising from the Club Sport’s operations.
Terms of Recognition
The following terms apply to Leander ISD recognition:
- Upon receiving district recognition, club sports will receive the following privileges:
- Use of the LISD District or LISD school name where the sport is recognized, and in full compliance with the district’s trademark and licensing program.
- Use of the school colors.
- Use of the school moniker, “Timberwolves, Vipers, Raiders, etc.”, and in full compliance with the district’s trademark and licensing program.
Inclusion in student yearbook.
- Participation in open houses and similar events as approved by the designated campus administrator.
- When requesting LISD facilities either during or outside the recognized season, teams will be expected to adhere to Community Rental guidelines and procedures as written.
- Use of district fields for games only when available (campus and district have first right of refusal) and priority over outside groups only during the recognized season of an approved Club Sport, at the facility rental and fee schedule as set by LISD. LISD will determine recognized season for the club sport. When requesting LISD facilities outside the recognized season, teams will be expected to adhere to Community Rental guidelines as written.
- Right to award a varsity letter when appropriate.
- Can follow LISD district process to request to receive P.E. credit
- At the discretion of the Superintendent, the failure to comply with Leander ISD rules and regulations, including those requirements set forth above, may result in a revocation of recognition and corresponding privileges and/or the denial of a subsequent annual request for recognition.
Establishment of a New Club Sport
LISD appreciates the diverse interests of our student population. It is expected that new recreational pursuits will arise over time and students seeking club status should have a process to follow and criteria to meet in order to establish a new club sport. The process and criteria are outlined below:
- The club must have a school-club sponsor or identified liaison that is an employee of Leander ISD.
- A parental board of control must be established to manage the program, finances and fulfill the requirements needed to create a request for recognition.
- The sport in question must have both a national governing body and state governing body.
- The NCAA must sanction the sport.
- The sport must be sanctioned (UIL equivalent) at the high school level in at least 15 states.
- At least six (6) other schools in the greater Austin area must have a program already in place.
- The requesting club (or chapter) must be sanctioned and in good standing by their state or national body.
- The district reserves the right to withhold recognition should it deem the activity to present issues not in the best interest of the district.
If a Club Sport becomes sanctioned as an interscholastic sport governed by the University Interscholastic League (UIL) upon the effective date of such action, any provision of this guideline that conflicts with any requirements or regulations of the UIL including participant eligibility restrictions, thereafter shall be inapplicable to such sport. Said Club Sport will receive full benefits of the UIL.
Applications and club guidelines will be reviewed each year.
- All Leander ISD and Athletic COVID-19 protocols will be adhered to by players, coaches and spectators.
- Leander ISD facilities may not be available for Community use, regardless of Club Status.