How club sports really work at DU

Eli-Men's Club Lacrosse President

With 32 teams, DU club sports are an essential part of the student programs and although the dynamics of each team are different, it is the students who are responsible for keeping their teams together.

According to sophomore Eli Rosen, President of Men’s Club Lacrosse, the team had fallen apart last year after financial issues, instability of leaders and lack of commitment. “Even though I didn’t realize how much work it would be it’s worth it because I wanted to help make the team better,” said Rosen who manages and coaches the team by himself. Rosen has organized 6 games for the team this year against Colorado School of Mines, University of Wyoming, Western State, Regis, CU-Pueblo and CU-Fort Lewis.

The men’s team has about 30 players and they practice every Monday and Wednesday on the turf field from 7 to 8:30. They are looking into hiring a coach for their season, which will officially start in the beginning of February.

Women’s Club Lacrosse is part of the Rocky Mountain Women’s Lacrosse League, which is composed of division 1, and division 2 teams, according to senior Alex Mulvihill, President of Women’s Club Lacrosse. They are scheduled to play 12 games during their season against Colorado School of Mines, CU Boulder, CSU, Air Force, University of Wyoming, Westminster and a few other teams at a tournament in Santa Barbara.

The women’s team has 22 players and a coach, Cora, who played DU’s nationally ranked D1 team. Unlike Rosen; Mulvihill relies heavily on her team officers for help in managing the team. Senior Mahalia Gauld is the Vice President, junior Ali Donnermeyer is the Secretary and sophomore Alisa Anderson is the treasurer.

“The majority of my job is planning fundraisers and submitting check and deposit forms,” said Anderson.

The Financial Side of Club Sports

Since some club sports can be more expensive than others, the administration helps the teams budget their money. According to Ruth Brown, Director of Campus and Community Programs, each team requests an allocation in the spring for the following year and then the officers determine dues and fundraising opportunities for the team. For men and women’s lacrosse the budget is usually based on what they want to do in that year and it changes year to year.

Both of the dues for men and women’s lacrosse are more expensive than many club sports, and because the women’s team travels a lot, they rely on fundraising and donations from parents. Men’s dues are $325 and women’s are $305 and according to Mulvihill, $5 goes to club sports so that they can build an endowment.

Brown works with the Director of Club Sports as well as the captains of each team to manage club sports. “Men’s lacrosse is just starting back up so they are in the beginning stages of managing their budget.  Women’s lacrosse has improved over the past few years and now understand that higher team dues and fundraising efforts are required in order to participate at a national level,” said Brown.

This year the men’s team did not present an allocation but the women did, according to Brown. “In the past couple of years, we have met with the Club Women’s Lacrosse team to work through their budget as they have become more nationally competitive and that has changed the scope of their club and its required budget,” said Brown.

Field Spaces and Practices

One problem for both teams is the lack of field space during practices. Each team does a warm-up and drills but cannot scrimmage a full field. “We do drills but we only get half of a field so it hurts us in transitions because we can’t do full practice drills,” said Mulvihill.

Accommodating the field and planning practices for 32 can be difficult but a system has been established. “In regard to practice times, we look at who is in season.  Generally, the teams that are in season get the earlier practice times unless they request otherwise.  When scheduling games, we look at the varsity schedule and plan around that.  For games, we ask teams to request the times they would prefer and use that as a starting point to create their schedules,” said Brown.

Retention Rates and the Diversity of Players

Both men and women’s club lacrosse teams have more freshman than upperclassman because freshmen are willing to commit more of their time. According to Mulvihill about 45% of the women’s team are freshman but that number will likely decrease over time. The men’s team is primarily freshman and sophomores because the upperclassman quit after how the team was managed last year, according to Rosen.

Some players are dedicated and making the four year commitment. “I can definitely see myself playing all four years because I love the team aspects and it is one of my favorite parts of DU. Playing as a freshman was so fun and it made me want to play for 3 more years,” said Anderson.

Room for Improvement

[/caption]

While club sports are one of DU’s most successful student programs, both of the Presidents felt that there could be changes to club sports. “The communication between myself and the person in charge of club sports is often frustrating,” said Mulvihill.

“There is a lack of communication between the club sports that don’t necessarily bring in a lot of money and the ones that do,” said Rosen.

According to Mulvihill and Rosen, there is a gap between club sports teams that are 100% committed and the ones that just want to have fun.

While the men’s team is just starting to build their credibility back up again, the women’s team is deciding just how competitive they want to be.

“For women’s lacrosse it is hard because we want to be good and go to nationals but people also don’t want to make the sacrifices to be the best because of other commitments,” said Mulvihill.

 

One Response to How club sports really work at DU

  • tastbury
    tastbury says:

    I like your article topic because it sheds light onto a subject matter that isn’t very well known. I also like how you included various problems in club sports instead of focusing on just one.
    I would include more links throughout your article or add some links at the end of your story. Also you need to add a caption for your last picture.

Leave a Reply