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Captain's Manual

The Intramural Sports Program at Northwestern University strives to offer its students, faculty, and staff opportunities to recreate in a fun and enjoyable way. The program provides a chance for participation in sports in an organized, competitive environment while structuring the competition along various levels of skill. It should be understood that intramural sports are intended to provide a way for students, faculty and staff of Northwestern University to enjoy sports in an unpressured and fun environment.


The following policies are designed to provide guidelines upon which reasonable decisions regarding the conduct of the program can be made. All intramural participants are expected to comply with the spirit as well as the letter of the rules. By participating, individuals imply their acceptance of the rules and policies of the Intramural Sports Program and the decisions of the Intramural Sports Program staff members.

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    All students registered at Northwestern University, as well as full-time faculty and staff, shall be eligible to participate in all phases of the Intramural Sports Program. Spouses are also eligible to participate but must be approved by the Director of IM Sports. The following rules are intended to promote fair and orderly competition.

    1. General Eligibility

      1. An individual is permitted to play for only one team per sport. The only way an individual may represent two teams is if they are playing on a Co-Rec team in addition to a Men's White or Purple league team for that sport (although there may be restrictions regarding this rule for certain sports).
      2. Any player representing two teams as described above becomes ineligible from the moment s/he plays for the "second team". Once ineligibility is determined, ALL games for both teams in which this person played will be forfeited if the violation is detected prior to post-season play. If a violation is detected during post-season play, the team(s) with the ineligible player will automatically lose the game in which the player is detected. The opposing team will receive the victory.
      3. Eligibility status is the responsibility of each individual participant and team captain. The burden of discovery does not rest solely with the protesting team. The Intramural Sports Program staff members have the authority to declare an individual and/or team ineligible at any time.
    2. Members of Varsity Sports Teams

      Athletes who participate in intercollegiate sports, who are trying out for, or who are working out with a team during the current academic year are ineligible to participate in that sport or its related sport (i.e. a football player can not play on an IM flag football team) for the entire academic year. Students who are trying out for or working out with a team are ineligible for participation in that sport unless they voluntarily withdraw or are cut from the team prior to the first scheduled varsity match. Former varsity athletes may participate in their sport or related sport provided that they participate during the academic year following their last year of participation. Former collegiate varsity athletes are NOT permitted to play in the white (recreational) league unless a purple league is not offered. Former collegiate varsity athletes also count towards the number of club players on a teams roster.

    3. Members of Sport Club Teams

      A sports club member shall be defined, for the purpose of Intramural eligibility, as a member listed on the sports club roster in the Sports Club Director's office anytime during the academic year or anytime during previous academic years. Athletes who participate in the Sports Club Program are eligible to participate in the Intramural Sports Program. Sports Club athletes may participate in their sport or related sport provided that they follow the guidelines listed below regarding number of players that can be on a roster. Sports Club athletes are NOT permitted to play in the White League (recreational league) unless a Purple League is not offered.

    4. Below is a list of Northwestern University Intramural Sports and their related varsity or sports club. In parenthesis before each IM Sport is the number of Club and/or former varsity athletes that can be on a roster. This includes men and women. Anyone on a roster can play at anytime throughout each contest.

      • (3) IM Softball-Ex-Varsity/Club Baseball, Softball
      • (4) IM Basketball-Ex-Varsity/Club Basketball
      • (2) IM Flag Football-Ex-Varsity Football
      • (2) IM Floor Hockey-Club Ice Hockey
      • (3) IM Soccer-Ex-Varsity/Club Soccer
      • (2) IM Ultimate Frisbee-Club Ultimate Frisbee
      • (2) IM Volleyball-Ex-Varsity/Club Volleyball
      • Anyone is eligible to participate in individual tournaments throughout the year.

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    1. Purple

      Teams may consist of any combination of University students (graduate or undergraduate of either gender), faculty, and staff. "Purple" denotes that this is a competitive division for highly skilled team members.

    2. White

      Teams may consist of any combination of University students (graduate or undergraduate of either gender), faculty and staff. "White" denotes that this is a less competitive, or recreational division for lesser-skilled team members.

    3. Women

      Teams may consist of any combination of female University students (graduate or undergraduate), faculty and staff. Women are eligible to participate in Purple and White divisions. If a woman is participating in a Purple or White division, she may not compete in a women's division of the same sport. However, she may compete in the Co-Rec division if desired.

    4. Co-Rec

      Teams must consist of both men and women who are University students (graduate and undergraduate), faculty or staff. Due to the nature of the Co-Rec league, rules are generally altered to allow for fair competition and participation.

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    The primary duties and responsibilities of team captains are to organize teams and individuals into competition prior to the sign-up deadline. Once the team captain has signed-up a team, their responsibility does not stop there. Additional duties include:

    1. Keeping members of your group informed of all IM activities and rules while also promoting participation.
    2. Representing your team at all IM meetings.
    3. Notifying your team of scheduled games or activities.
    4. Being familiar with all intramural eligibility rules so that your team adheres to these rules and regulations. Questions regarding player eligibility should be directed to the IM professional staff.
    5. Keeping your teammates and spectators under control at all IM events.
    6. Being the team's spokesperson.
    7. Being fiscally responsible for all forfeit fees that your team has incurred throughout the IM season.

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    1. Team Sports

      1. Registration: Patten Gym, Room 101.
      2. There is a mandatory $40 registration fee for each team. This money will be refunded at the end of the season provided that your team does not forfeit a game during the regular season. We will accept cash or checks. Checks should be made out to Northwestern University. We will not transfer money from another NU accounts.
      3. Give the deposit to the IM Department and pick your playing time.
        After receiving the deposit, the IM Department will input your name and your netid into the database.
      4. Log in with your NetID and edit your roster.
        You can log in on the Rosters & Registration page with your NetID. Once you have logged in, you can add or drop players at your convenience until the rosters are locked.
    2. Tournaments

      1. All registration information for tournaments are located on the tournaments page on the web site.
    3. Rosters

      1. Participation: A person must be listed on the team roster BEFORE he or she is eligible to participate in an intramural event.
      2. Roster Changes: The roster deadline and roster freeze dates are located on the calendar on each page of the website (right hand side). The Roster Deadline is the first roster date listed. After this date all players must be listed on the roster/score sheet to be able to participate. After this date captains will not be able to remove a player from their roster. The Roster Freeze is the second roster date listed. After this time captains will not be able to add any player to their roster. Captains will be able to add players to their roster up to the Roster Freeze date.
      3. Player Limit: No more than 24 players per roster will be allowed.
    4. Team Names

      The IM Office reserves the right to prohibit or modify team names which it deems to be in poor taste, derogatory, or profane.

    5. Schedules

      Team schedules for league play will be available on the NUIM web-site. It is the responsibility of the team captain to check game times/schedules. The IM Office DOES NOT call individual teams or captains to inform them of their first game. Missing the first game of the season due to failure to check the schedules will count as a forfeit and your team will be removed from the schedule.

    6. Game Rescheduling

      The IM Office reserves the right to change game times and/or opponents at any point. Participants will be reasonably notified. A captain desiring to change the day and/or time of a game must contact the IM Office within 48 hours preceding the original play date (or before Noon on Friday for a weekend contest). If team captains cannot agree on a new date and/or time, the team that could not make the originally scheduled game will either have to default, if eligible, or forfeit.

    7. Game Check-In

      Rosters will be printed on the score sheet for every game. Prior to the start of each contest, players are required to present a NU photo ID or SPAC membership card to the designated intramural official. No exceptions will be permitted. Game time is forfeit time!  If there are no players representing a team on-site by game time your team will forfeit.  At game time our officials will hold a captains meeting.  If you do not have enough players to play at this point, our staff will grant your team (5) minutes to field a team.  If you do not field a team after the (5) minutes granted, your team will forfeit the game.

    8. Game Results

      Results are recorded on the official score sheet. Captains are responsible for checking league standings and reporting any inaccuracies to the IM office. All scores, standings and rankings will also be posted on the NUIM web-site.

    9. Playoff brackets

      Play-off brackets will be determined at the end of regular season play. Teams are seeded into brackets based on their power ranking. Teams are considered eligible if they have not forfeited more than one game throughout the regular season. In larger leagues, the field may be cut down to a smaller number due to time constrictions.

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    Northwestern University: We are firmly committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity whereby barriers are removed to create space for all individuals to fully engage in all areas of campus life. We must take care to respect the individual backgrounds, personal identities, intellectual approaches, and demographics expressed by everyone. Individual differences deepen our understanding of one another and the world around us thus making us global citizens. If at any time a participant feels they have been harassed or discriminated against they can use this link for proper giudance:

    Rough play, improper behavior or fighting will not be tolerated in any form. Team captains are responsible for their players and spectators prior to, during and following the game. Any team or player that participates in a fight before, during or after an IM contest will be immediately ejected from the facility and suspended from all Intramural activities.

    Any person or persons (including players, captains, and spectators) who criticize, boisterously obstruct, ridicule, or attempt to demean an IM official or opposing team member shall be liable to expulsion from the program. In addition, a game may be forfeited at the discretion of the official, supervisor on duty, or Director. Individuals exhibiting this behavior must meet with the Director prior to the next contest.

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    In the event of inclement weather, each team is responsible for checking the NUIM web-site for any cancellations. The IM Staff will NOT make calls to team members or captains to inform them of a cancellation! Information on cancellations will only be available AFTER 3:00 PM on the day of the game, regardless of the weather of that day or previous days. Games that are played on Sunday will have information on cancellations AFTER 10:00AM. There may be times that cancellations will occur on-site, so if there is not a posting on the website, your team should arrive at the scheduled event site.

    The Intramural Department reserves the right to cancel all or part of a sport season due to poor weather or any other unforeseen situations.

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    1. Forfeits

      All forfeit fees ($40) will be assessed to the captain of any team that forfeits a contest during the regular season. Game time is forfeit time!  If there are no players representing a team on-site by game time your team will forfeit.  At game time our officials will hold a captains meeting.  If you do not have enough players to play at this point, our staff will grant your team (5) minutes to field a team.  If you do not field a team after the (5) minutes granted, your team will forfeit the game.

      Forfeit Policy: A team will be dropped from the league if they forfeit their first scheduled game. They will also be dropped from the league following a second forfeit throughout the season.

    2. Defaults

      If a team knows in advance that they cannot field a team for a scheduled match/game, the captain must notify the IM Director ( the day before the match. **If, however, the scheduled match is on a Sunday, the default must be reported by Noon on Friday.**

      By defaulting, a forfeit fee will NOT be assessed. A default counts as a LOSS (and a win for the opponent), but does not affect a team's play-off eligibility status.

      Only one default is allowed without penalty. A second default will disqualify a team for post-season play and that team will lose their $40 deposit.

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    1. Rule interpretation

      There will be NO protests involving an official's judgment. A protest involving a rule interpretation must be made at the time of the incident. This allows the officials to conference with the supervisor regarding the rule interpretation before play resumes. It is the players' responsibility to act on this at the time of the incident, otherwise, play will continue.

    2. Eligibility protests

      Eligibility protests may be made at anytime during a scheduled event.

      If a team questions an individual's eligibility or appearance on a team's roster, a "roster check" will be made by the supervisor for BOTH teams to ensure everyone's eligibility.

      Ater the roster check, if either team is found to have violated eligibility requirements, they will forfeit that game.

      If the identity of an individual is questioned, the individual must provide a picture ID to prove their identity. Failure to prove their identity prior to the end of the supervisor's shift will result in a forfeit for that team. If the individual fails to prove their identity as an eligible player, it will be assumed that the player is ineligible and the team will forfeit the game in which the individual was playing.

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    The most significant rewards for active participation and success in the Intramural Sports Program are not material. However, to provide participants with a tangible reward, specially designed t-shirts will be presented to winning team members. Champions will also be recognized on the web site. There will also be an award at the end of the year for "Team of the Year".

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    Sports officials are a vital aspect of any intramural program. Here at Northwestern University, all of our sports officials are students. These students are working in one of the most difficult situations possible - in front of their peers. The Intramural Sports Department trains all its own officials. Their work for our department is a learning experience and not a full-time job, so please cooperate fully with your sports official.

    The Intramural Department will provide officials. If there is a lack of officials, games will be self officiated by the players as deemed by the on-duty supervisor. An official may be placed on the court to strictly supervise and keep score, however, the official will not be forced to officiate the game. Teams have the option to refuse to play using this policy. These games however, may not be rescheduled.

    Officials are needed for all sports. Interested persons are encouraged to contact the IM Director.

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    The Intramural Sports Department will provide all the equipment necessary (i.e. flags, balls, sticks, etc.) for intramural competition. Captains will also be responsible for the equipment. Equipment must be returned in the same condition that it was loaned. If any equipment is returned in worse condition or lost, the team captain will be fiscally responsible.

    Athletic shoes must be worn during all IM activities. However, it is highly recommended that participants wear appropriate court shoes on all courts and cleats during field activities. In addition, any shoe that could possibly endanger another participant (i.e. metal cleats) is strictly prohibited. No one may play in sandals, socks or bare feet. The decision of the on-duty supervisor is final.

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    Participation in all Fitness and Recreation facilities and programs are on a voluntary basis. Northwestern University shall not be liable for any injuries, damages, or other such losses that individuals may incur while using Fitness and Recreation Facilities or participating in Fitness and Recreation programs. Participants specifically assume all risks of injuries, damages, or other such losses while using any equipment or facilities at Northwestern University, or while participating in any program, exercise, or activity at Northwestern or on university premises. Participants waive any and all claims against Northwestern University, its trustees, officers, agents, and employees for any such injuries, damages, or losses.

    First Aid for minor injuries is available at each activity site through the on-duty supervisor.

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