I thought I would take a little to do a write-up for the new clubs and organizations that will be popping up here and asking questions. I don’t think there has been an actual full write up to help and it seems like there is just a lot of different threads saying the same exact thing.
I will mostly focus on the organization part over a team since a team is very simple to form and manage.
I will separate the post into a couple of parts:
Part 1: Team V.S. Organization
When a person tells me they want to start a club at their school, there is really one question that you must ask yourself. Are you looking to build a Team or an Organization?
There are major differences in the both.
The NCPA makes it simple enough that if you have at least five people attending your school who are looking to compete at the collegiate level, you can register as a team to represent your school. This eliminates the whole process of going through your school and is an efficient quick route to get into the NCPA league the fastest. I see this a lot with smaller colleges who do not have the numbers at their school to efficiently create a stable and functional organization.
If you are truly passionate about starting a paintball club at your school, you would be looking to form an official organization that will possibly be funded and recognized by your school. This would be a route that essentially could possibly allow your team to have their fees and paint paid for by the school, and is around for longer than just a team of five individuals who wanted to play paintball.
Which is best for me?
It really depends. There are several key factors that can influence this question.
From my own personal experience, the process to form a club that is recognized by the school can take up to half a semester to the full academic year.
For UMass it took pretty much the entire academic year.
Overall you need to know what kind of commitment you are willing to give to this club. If you are a senior it makes no sense IMO to go and try to start an organization if you do not have a legitimate plan to hand off to a trustworthy individual to run the organization after your last semester is over.
I was fortunate enough to be a freshman when I realized that a club at UMass was completely possible to achieve. I found 5-6 individuals that were committed to helping me achieve this goal and that are how we are alive today.
So before you decide to start a club ask yourself realistically if this is for you because the process is very long and could be daunting.
Part 2: I want to start an organization
So you decided you want to start one. In this part we are going to talk about how to make sure that your club can get off to a steady start with a couple of tips and strategy’s.
1. Make sure you have at least 3-6 people that are interested in helping you achieve this. With all the bureaucracy of starting a club you are going to need people to go to certain places and talk to certain people and it is a lot to handle for one person.
2. Make sure you do adequate research and find out what is your schools process of starting a sports club and organization.
Example: UMass has the SGA (student government association) that helps new clubs get started.
Make sure to find out the policies of firearms on campus and how this would affect starting a club.
We at UMass already had a Gun Club so we knew that if people using real firearms could start a club there would be no problem with paintball.
3. Try to get the process and paperwork started ASAP; it takes the school a good 2-4 weeks to process all of it and get your club set up.
4. Make sure you pay attention to your school email for any important documents or info regarding your club.
Overall each school has its own process of starting a club so I can only be general as possible. If any specific questions arise you can feel free to ask me.
Part 3: In the long run
So this part will discuss after the whole process of getting set up and how to maintain your club so it can grow and succeed.
In the long run there are really a couple of things you want to accomplish with your club.
1) Set up an organization that is stable, financed and will be able to run long after you leave the school
2) make sure that you are well known on campus and have a good positive image about the team and the sport in general
Example: don’t run around campus half naked wearing your team jersey lmao
NOTES AND ADDITIONAL INFO :
Originally Posted by Alex Elliott
I would add the following:
Generally, unless your school won the paintball player lottery (I'm looking at you UNO/VIcious and FGCU) odds are that you'll probably have to start an organization first.
Well, let's say there are 2-3 D2 players at your school, let's call one of them "Dan". Odds are Dan doesn't want to play on your school team with a bunch of D4/5 players when he could play with a local PSP D2 team.
What that means for you, club president/team captain, is that you'll have to take those D4/5 guys and whip them into shape/D3 level. That way:
a. you might start to win
b. "Dan" might take some interest
c. "Dan" doesn't get shot after all the D4/5 players get laned off the break (trust me, D2/3 players don't like that)
Oh, one other thing: Cathedrals used to take something like 80 years to build which meant the guys that designed them and started building them were dead by the time they were finished.
In the same vein, odds are if you are a freshman and you are starting a paintball club organization from scratch, you'll have graduated by the time the club/team gets really good. It will still be a lot of fun and you'll learn a hell of a lot. Just wanted to set expectations.