Intramural Sports Rules and Policies

Intramural Sports offers a variety of sports and events for participants of all skill levels in a fun and recreational environment. Specific policies and procedures have been put in place to ensure a fun, recreational environment for all participants. 

Topics relating to, eligibility, captain responsibilities, participant safety, registration, league structures and requirements, defaults, forfeits, game cancellations and postponements, sportsmanship, protests, equipment and uniforms, playoff information, and awards have been outlined to help create a memorable experience.

IM Sports Policy Manual

Sport Rules

IM Sports Policy Manual

Article 1:  Student Enrollment

  1. Fall and Winter Semester:  All students currently enrolled at Grand Valley State University are eligible for Intramural Sports participation. Alumni are allowed to join a team, but the team cannot have more alumni than current students or staff, and alumni cannot create a team. 
  2. Spring/Summer:  All students who were enrolled the previous winter semester, enrolled in the present spring/summer session, or will be enrolled in the following fall semester at Grand Valley State University are eligible for Intramural Sports participation. Summer Intramural Sports will also be open to members of the community.

Article 2:  Faculty & Staff

  1. All terms:  All faculty and staff members employed at Grand Valley State University are eligible for Intramural Sports participation.

Article 3:  Club Sports Athletes

  1. An Intramural Sports team may contain TWO Club Sports athletes for the respective sport in all leagues. For the purposes of Intramural Sports eligibility, a person is considered a Club Sports athlete if they were on the active roster for that sport on or after the first day of classes for the current academic year (Aug-July).  In addition, Club Sport coaches are considered Club Sport athletes for Intramural Sports participation purposes. 
  2. For intramural sports eligibility, the total number of athletes is from coed, men’s and women’s club sport teams combined, not each individual team/club.

Article 4:  Varsity/Professional Athletes

  1. Any current or former member of an intercollegiate sport at Grand Valley State University is ineligible for Intramural Sports participation in that sport or similar sport, and will remain so until 365 days have elapsed from his/her removal from the official university team roster.
  2. Any current or former intercollegiate athlete at any junior college, college or university shall be ineligible for Intramural Sports participation in that sport or similar activity, until 365 days has elapsed from his/her removal from the official university team roster.
  3. Varsity scout team members, practice squads, and coaches will be counted as club sport athletes for Intramural Sports participation purposes.
  4. A student or faculty/staff who is considered a professional athlete is permanently ineligible for Grand Valley State University Intramural Sports participation in that sport or similar sport in which he/she lost his/her amateur status. 

Article 5:  Coaches & Non-Players

  1. Intramural Sports coaches are subject to the same eligibility as participants and must check in and be listed on the team roster prior to participation. Only squad members who are in uniform, ready to play, and on a team’s roster are permitted in the team areas. Non-players are NOT permitted in the team player areas and must be in designated spectator areas of the facility.

Article 6:  Number of Teams

  1. An individual may participate on any number of teams in any sport. An IM Sports pass will be required for each team. 

Article 7:  Gender Eligibility

  1. No female shall be eligible for participation in a male division.  Likewise, no male shall be eligible for participation in a female division.  
  2. Gender identification: individuals shall be permitted to participate in Intramural Sports events in accordance with that person’s expressed gender identity.
  3. Open leagues have NO gender requirements.

Article 8:  Illegal Participation

  1. If a team uses an ineligible player in league play, all games or contests in which the ineligible individual participated may be forfeited to the opponents, regardless of the outcome.  The illegal player may be suspended for the remainder of the activity season and/or the academic year.  In elimination tournament play, the team will be disqualified from the respective position in the bracket at the time the ineligibility is discovered. 

NOTE:  Any claim of ineligible participation will be investigated when brought to the attention, via official protest or other means, of the Intramural Sports administration or student staff, regardless of the number of games that the ineligible participation occurred. For specific questions on eligibility, please contact Intramural Sports administration.

Article 9:  Rosters

All participants must be listed on the Official Team Roster prior to their participation in any Intramural Sports activity.  All player additions must be completed in the following ways:

  1. Participants may be added to the team roster and approved on the website any time prior to the start of the playoffs for the league. This requires each participant to create an account, utilizing their GVSU network credentials, and agreeing to the terms and conditions. Names that appear on and subsequently on the roster should match or closely match that of the name on the participant’s government-issued photo ID, which must be presented at the game site prior to participation (see 1-12 for ID requirements).
  2. No on site additions allowed. Participants must purchase a pass and be accepted to the team roster prior to playing. This may be done on a desktop or mobile device. Intramural sports staff will not add players to rosters at game sites. 

Article 10: Housing Rosters

  1. Participants must be currently living in the housing community of the team to be eligible.

Article 11: Greek Rosters

  1. Participants must be currently in good standing with the Greek organization of the team to be eligible.

Article 12:  Forms of Identification

  1. All participants must show an Intramural Sports Staff member a government-issued photo ID (GVSU ID, Driver’s License, Passport, etc.) prior to participation.  If either the name or picture is not legible by the staff member, a second form of identification will be required. Misuse of identification cards (transferring, lending, borrowing, or altering university identification) is a violation of the student code of conduct and shall result in ejection from the game. Names which appear on the roster should match or closely match that of the name on the participant’s government-issued photo ID. In the event the ID does not match the participant using it, Intramural Sports staff may confiscate the ID if it is misused by a participant.

Article 1:  Team Captain

Students, faculty and staff form their own teams and register prior to the registration deadline as indicated in the semester calendar.  One team member must be designated as Captain.  Please refer to Section 4 for information regarding registering an Intramural Sports team.

Article 2:  Responsibilities

The team captain is a key link between the participants (team members) and the Intramural Sports Staff, and is expected to assume the following responsibilities:

  • Manage and complete team registration, including any required quizzes or pregame meetings.
  • Become familiar with all rules, policies & procedures, schedules and any additional information necessary.
  • Check eligibility of all team members according to Intramural Sports Policies & Procedures.
  • Ensure that all team members are on the roster prior to playing in a game. All participants must purchase a pass and be approved by the team captain before they are allowed to play.
  • Continually encourage players to be at the game site 15 minutes prior to game time with a valid government-issued photo ID in order to warm up and sign in for the contest. Intramural Sports staff will have the official forfeit time.
  • Familiarize team members and spectators with the Sportsmanship Policy. Educate them as to the ramifications of poor sportsmanship both for the individual and the team.  This includes proper web etiquette.
  • Verify your team’s roster, record, and sportsmanship rating and contact the Intramural Sports Office with any discrepancies by 4:00PM the day before playoff selection.
  • Maintain communication with Intramural Sports Administration and staff throughout the season in regard to schedules, entries, playoffs, sportsmanship and constructive feedback.
  • Respectfully speak with the staff in reference to any team related issue.

Article 1:  Assumption of Risk

  1. The possibility of injury exists in all sports.  The Department of Campus Recreation assumes no responsibility for injuries. Basic first aid will be available at game sites.
  2. All participants acknowledge an assumption of risk by their voluntary participation in the Intramural Sports Program.
  3. All participants in the Grand Valley State University Intramural Sports Program must create an account through the website, which includes accepting the terms and conditions, before they participate in any supervised activity.  There will be NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule.
  4. Any participant who has sustained a head, neck, or back injury will be ineligible to play in ALL Intramural Sports until they provide the Intramural Sports program with a certified medical personnel’s (M.D., D.O. or A.T.) release. Trained intramural sports staff will determine if a player needs to be removed from a contest.

Article 2:  Blood Policy

If and when an Intramural Sports Staff member observes that a player is bleeding, has an open wound, or has blood on his or her uniform, the player will be directed to leave the game.  The injured player is not to return until the bleeding has stopped, the open wound is covered, and the bloody uniform is changed or cleaned.  The game may resume without the injured player at the discretion of the Intramural Sports Staff.

Article 3:  Bicycles/Pets/Service Animal Policy

No bicycles or pets are allowed on or within close proximity to the playing surfaces.  This will be addressed at the discretion of the Intramural Sports Staff.  The allowance of pets at the facilities is at the discretion facility management, not Intramural Sports Administration.

EXCEPTION: Service animals will be allowed near the playing surfaces. Emotional support animals are not considered service animals, and therefore are not allowed in recreational facilities.

Article 1: Online Registration

  1. Registration for all Intramural Sports will be completed through Captains must register teams on during the allotted registration periods. A team is not guaranteed a spot in the league or division if a minimum number of participants who have purchased an IM Sports pass are not on the roster prior to the registration deadline. Registration is by team; individuals who do not have a full team should not register a team, but can look for a free agent team. Teams will need to select a team color during registration.
  2. Waitlist registration is for teams that want to put their team in line if a spot becomes available. When a spot becomes available or more space is opened by Intramural Sports Administration, teams will be contacted to fill the spot. Teams who register on the waitlist can contact the Campus Recreation office for more information. 

Article 2: Registration Periods

  1. Registration periods are for each individual sport or event. Go to the intramural sports website for current offerings. 

Article 3: Confirming Your Team

  1. A team is confirmed in a league when it meets the minimum number of participants required for that sport. Participants join a roster when they purchase an IM Sports Pass and when they are accepted on the team roster. This must be done before the deadline. If a team does not have the minimum number on the roster after the deadline, the team is at risk of losing their spot in the division. Participants in this situation may not be eligible for a refund of their pass. Please email [email protected] with questions about a refund.
  2. If a team decides not to play in the sport registered, please contact the Recreation & Wellness office.

Article 4: Payment

  1. During the registration periods mentioned in Article 2, all players must purchase an IM Sports Pass to be eligible to play. All payments will be taken through IMLeagues and processed on a secure GVSU server.
  2. There are two pass options for participants. All participants will need a pass to play on any team.
  • Semester Pass - $30 – this pass allows a participant to play as many teams as they want for as many sports as the want.
  • League Pass - $15 – this pass allows participants to play on one team in a single sport.

        3. Teams pay to play in regular season games, and are not guaranteed a spot in the playoffs.   

Go to the intramural sports website for more information on the IM Sports Pass.

Article 1:  League Types

  1. For specific sports, leagues will be broken into championship and recreational leagues in an effort to create a more inclusive, fun and competitive environment for all participants. See below for the definition these league. Teams will self-select for leagues and should be honest about their team goals.
  2. Not all sports will register leagues based on competition level. Determination of this is at the discretion of Intramural Sports Administration. If a is not designated as a championship or recreational league, there will be a playoff tournament for all teams.  

Article 2: Scheduling

  1. For specific sports, league scheduling will be broken into divisions. These divisions are the day and time each week a team will play their games. This will be made clear at the time of registration.
  2. For specific sports, league scheduling will be based on time preferences. All attempts will be made to accommodate preferences.
  3. Playoff schedules will be single-elimination brackets. Teams will have the ability to select their spot on the bracket based on league finish. Teams should make sure to map out their “path to the championship” when selecting their time. There will be no rescheduling of playoff games based on team availability.
  4. Teams pay to play in regular season games. Any playoffs games are considered additional, and not every team is entitled to make the playoff brackets. 

Article 3:  Tournaments and Special Events

  1. Participation in Tournaments and Special Events are open to all participants who meet the eligibility requirements and wish to participate in a different type of program.  Tournaments and Special Events may be subject to a fee.  Tournament and Special Event league structures will be determined by the Intramural Sports administration. There are not club sport, varsity or professional athlete restrictions for special events.

Article 1:  Default Policy

  1. Any team knowing in advance that they will be unable to play a regularly scheduled contest is provided the opportunity to default (not play this contest).  In order for the contest to be considered a default, a team member must contact the Campus Recreation Office by 4:00PM the day of the contest.  Weekend requests must be made by 4:00PM the Friday before.  Team captains may call or email ([email protected]) to default their game. Please include the team name, captain name and sport when contacting us about a default.
  • Defaults during the regular season will not count as a loss if the contest would have been cancelled due to inclement weather or unsafe playing conditions.
  • Defaults during the playoffs will not count as a loss if the contest would have been cancelled due to inclement weather or unsafe playing conditions and rescheduled.  If either team cannot make the rescheduled contest, they will need to submit a new default form.

Article 2:  Default vs. Forfeit

  1. A team that legally defaults will receive a loss in the league standings, not a forfeit.

NOTE: Forfeits do not just affect your team. They also affect the other team who showed up and was ready to play, as well as the staff that is on site for your game. Please default your games if you know you will not have enough people to participate, out of respect of the GVSU community that is impacted.

Article 1:  Types of Forfeits

  1. Forfeits will be classified based on the following:
  • No-show:  Team does not have the required number of players to participate as of the scheduled game time.
  • Eligibility:  Game results in forfeit due to ineligibility of one or more players.  Ineligibility may be due to a player having been previously ejected or ruled ineligible for sportsmanship-related issue, etc. at the time of game.

Article 2:  Game Time

  1. Game time is listed on the website. The location of the official clock will be kept by the student supervisor staff for that evening. Any team failing to report to participate at the scheduled starting time may forfeit to their opponent.  If both teams fail to report to participate, each team shall be credited with a no-show forfeit and the game will not be rescheduled. 

Article 3:  Grace Period

  1. All teams will be given a 5 minute grace period after game time to get enough players checked in to play. This is the minimum to start a game, not to wait for a full team. The game clock, if applicable, may be started at the start of the grace period. If a team does not have enough players at the end of that five minutes, the game will be declared a forfeit.
  2. If a team has zero players checked in at game time, the game will be declared a forfeit. 

Article 4:  Limit of Forfeits 

  1. A team that receives two forfeits will be removed from the league and is ineligible for playoff participation.

Article 1:  Cancellation of Activities

  1. Intramural Sports activities are subject to cancellation due to unsafe facility conditions.  This may include inclement weather (rain, snow, etc.) and subsequent poor field conditions, or unforeseen circumstances which may occur in both indoor and outdoor facilities that create unsafe playing conditions (i.e. roof leaking on basketball floor, a major injury). The Intramural Sports Staff will make all decisions regarding playability and safety of facilities.
  2. Always assume that games will be played as scheduled. In the event of cancellations, there will be a message on the website indicating what events for that day have been cancelled.  It is the responsibility of each team/participant to check the website and their email. Intramural Sports WILL NOT call individual participants to inform them that games are cancelled due to weather. 
  3. Regular season games cancelled due to facility conditions will not be rescheduled. Playoff games will be rescheduled for facility condition related postponements.

Article 2: Cancellation of Activities in Progress

  1. In cases when weather forces the halt of a game in progress, the specific rules of that sport will determine if the game is considered official.  Please refer to the individual rules governing each sport to determine at what point the contest becomes official.

Article 3:  Playoff Postponements

Grand Valley State University Intramural Sports will reschedule postponements of playoff games.  You will NOT be called with the updated time.  It is the responsibility of the team captain to check website to learn of the rescheduled dates and times. New game times will be posted by 4:00PM the day following the cancellation.

Article 1:  Team Names and Uniforms

  1. Grand Valley State University Intramural Sports Program reserves the right to change duplicate team names to avoid confusion.  Also, the Intramural Sports Program reserves the right to change any team name that is deemed inappropriate or offensive (including names involving profanity or of a sexually implicit nature).  Please use the proper judgment when selecting names and uniform artwork. Our goal is an inclusive and fun atmosphere for everyone competing.  If you are unsure if a team name or t-shirt artwork will be acceptable, please contact the Campus Recreation office.

Article 2:  Web Etiquette

  1. The Grand Valley State University Intramural Sports Program will be monitoring content on all social media platforms.  Any comments, pictures, postings or anything deemed inappropriate by the administration of the Grand Valley State University Intramural Sports Program are subject to the following:
  • Removal from the league of the offending player or team
  • Conduct Referral of the offending individual and/or team captain to the Dean of Student’s Office
  1. There will be a zero-tolerance policy for anything that is demeaning, degrading, derogatory or sexually explicit in nature.  This includes, but is not limited to, posted materials referring to topics such as race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, and social or political beliefs. Any harassment of staff or participants will not be tolerated.

Article 3:  Captains

  1. The team captain is responsible for the actions of his/her team.  Additionally, the captain will ensure that his/her team is familiar with the rules of play and Intramural Sports policies and procedures contained in this document.  Copies of the rules are available on the Grand Valley State University Intramural Sports web page.

Article 4:  Unsportsmanlike Conduct

  1. Players shall not commit acts of unsportsmanlike conduct.  This includes, but is not limited to, arguments with staff by any player, team, or spectator (flagrant fouling, fighting, etc. before, during or after a contest).  No player or team shall:
  • Use foul or derogatory language, threaten, or verbally abuse any other participant or Intramural Sports Staff before, during or after the game.  This includes trash talk.  
  • Participate in a game for which he/she is ineligible.
  • Intentionally strike, push, trip or flagrantly foul another player.
  • Mistreat the facility, equipment, or supplies of Grand Valley State University.
  1. Unsportsmanlike conduct fouls and penalties vary between sports. Please refer to specific sport rules for exact penalties.

Article 5:  Ejected Players

  1. A player ejected from a game for unsportsmanlike conduct must see the Intramural Sports Supervisor.  The Intramural Sports staff reserves the right to require an ejected participant to leave the field/complex. The Intramural Sports Coordinator will determine if a suspension is necessary. If suspended, the suspended player will be declared ineligible for play in ANY Intramural Sports activity until they have contacted the Intramural Sports Coordinator. Failure to leave the area/complex when directed may result in forfeiture of the game.  Any second occurrence of unsportsmanlike conduct by a team may result in that team being eliminated for the remainder of the season.  Failure of a participant to complete the above requirements within 10 business days of his/her ejection may result in a conduct referral.

Article 6:  Unsportsmanlike Conduct and Forfeiture of Games

  1. Any team that receives four unsportsmanlike penalties for that sport during a single contest will forfeit the match to its opponent. A game can be forfeited at any time by Intramural Sports staff.
  2. Repeated or malicious displays of “poor or egregious sportsmanship” may result in the team being ruled ineligible for participation and possible Conduct Referral to the Dean of Student’s Office.

Article 7:  Alcohol & Tobacco Policy

  1. In accordance with University Policy, alcohol consumption prior to or during participation in Intramural Sports is not only unsafe, but also a violation of University rules, and, if you are underage, illegal.  As a reminder, the Intramural Sports Staff strictly enforces the zero tolerance alcohol policy during all intramural sports contests.  Consequences for this violation of the rules may include, but are not limited to, being prohibited to continue participating in the intramural game, conduct referral; and, in egregious situations, arrest.
  2. Tobacco use during Intramural Sports participation is also prohibited.  Participants and spectators are prohibited from using tobacco at Grand Valley State University recreation facilities.  Consequences for this violation of the rules may include, but are not limited to, being prohibited from continuing to participate in the Intramural Sports game.

Article 8:  Suspension from Intramural Sports

  1. Individuals who have been ejected and who wish to again become eligible to participate in Intramural Sports at Grand Valley State University must submit a petition in writing to Intramural Sports administration for reinstatement.  Upon receipt of the petition for reinstatement, a hearing may be scheduled.  Based on the petition and reinstatement hearing, a decision will be rendered generally within one business day. In extreme circumstances (violations of University policy, state law, or federal law), Recreation and Wellness may submit a Conduct Referral to the Dean of Student’s office.

Article 1:  Rule Related Protests

  1. Questions pertaining to interpretation of rules on the part of the contest official(s) must be resolved by the Intramural Sports Supervisor in charge of that field/court at the time the interpretation occurs and prior to the next live ball.  The procedure shall be:
  • If a team/participant feels the official has made a misinterpretation of a rule, the Team Captain shall calmly and immediately request a “time out” and inform the official that he/she wishes to have a ruling on the interpretation by the Intramural Sports Supervisor in charge.
  • No protest which involves the judgment of the active official(s) shall be upheld.  The judgment of the official(s) is final.  This also includes Intramural Staff when necessary.
  1. Example:  One foot in-bounds while in possession of the ball constitutes a legal catch in flag football.
  • Case 1: An official rules a pass incomplete because the “player did not have two feet in-bounds.”  This is a rule misinterpretation, which IS protestable.
  • Case 2:  An official rules a pass incomplete because the “player’s first foot landed on the sideline.”  This is a judgment call, which is NOT protestable.
  1. If corrections are necessary, the Intramural Sports Supervisor in charge shall rule immediately and the team/participant shall not be charged with a time out; however, if the official’s interpretation was correct, the team/participant will be charged with a time out.  The interpretation of the rule by the Intramurals Sports Supervisor is final.

Article 2:  Eligibility Protests

  1. Illegal Player Protest – This type of protest is for a team that feels a member or members of the opposing team is participating illegally (ie. a participant played on a NCAA Varsity team within the past year). In the event of this type of protest the player(s) whose legality is being questioned will be permitted to play, with the understanding that if they are found to be participating illegally the game will be forfeit. This type of protest must be filed with an Intramural Sports supervisor on site or with Intramural Sports Administration.

Article 1: Uniform Shirts

  1. All team members are required to bring with them a shirt that is the color selected by the team captain at the time of registration. The team will wear this color for the entire season. If during playoffs, teams have identical colors, one team will be required to wear jerseys provided by Intramural Sports staff. All shirts must meet the sportsmanship guidelines outlined above.

EXCEPTION: Intramural Sports will provide jerseys for basketball and floor hockey. A t-shirt is required to be worn underneath any jersey provided by Intramural Sports. If a team’s own jerseys or shirts are numbered, the team will not be required to wear the jerseys provided during basketball and floor hockey.

Article 2: Jewelry

  1. Depending on the sport or activity, jewelry may be allowed. Intramural Sports staff may require jewelry to be removed for safety reasons. 
  2. Any participants required to wear medical bracelets or medical medals will be permitted to do so. Participants who wear jewelry for religious reasons will be permitted to do so.   However, in both cases, the jewelry must be taped to the body.

Article 4:  Sanctions/Penalties

  1. Any player that refuses to remove illegal equipment during a contest will be given an unsportsmanlike penalty for the violation.  All penalties associated with the violation will be assessed (e.g. 10-yard unsportsmanlike, Technical Foul, etc.).  The player to whom the unsportsmanlike penalty is given must leave the game, remove the jewelry, and may not return until the next opportunity to substitute according to the rules governing the sport.

Article 5:  Equipment

  1. Equipment will be provided for all Intramural Sports events. Participants may use their own equipment, if approved by the Intramural Sports Staff.

Article 1:  Team Eligibility

  1. Playoff brackets will be created for most sports. Not every team will make the playoffs, if facility or scheduling issues require a smaller bracket than number of teams in the league. 
  2. To be eligible for the playoffs, teams must meet the following criteria.
  • Teams must have less than 2 forfeits.

Article 2:  Player Eligibility

  1. Only players who are listed on the roster will be eligible to play in the playoffs. No additions for any reason will be allowed after bracket selection. A player may only play on one team during the playoffs.

Article 3: Seeding

  1. Eligible teams will be seeded prior to bracket selection based on the following criteria and tiebreakers:
  • 1.     Winning percentage
  • 2.     Head to head 
  • 3.    Total point’s allowed

Article 4:  Verification Responsibility

  1. It is the responsibility of the team captain to verify team record, sportsmanship, and roster after their last regular season game and contact the Recreation & Wellness Office with any discrepancies by 12:00PM the day following their last regular season game .  

Article 5:  Playoff Brackets

  1. Teams will be allowed to pick their spot on the playoff bracket that best meets the times they can play. The day and time of playoff selection will be emailed out ahead of time. To view the exact time teams can pick their spot, based on the seeding outlines above, team captains should log onto to view their team page. In a situation where a playoff bracket is small enough that teams will play on similar days to the regular season, teams will be seeded and placed in the bracket.

Article 1:  Team Sports

  1. A championship award will be presented to each member of a league team winning an All Campus Championship who participates in the championship game. Each sport has a fixed number of championship shirts that will be awarded per team. Shirts will be awarded to players only on the roster and at the discretion of the team captain. If the captain would like to award a t-shirt to a player on the roster who is not checked in for the championship game, that participant must come to the Campus Recreation office to pick up their award.

Article 2:  Tournaments and Special Events

  1. A championship award will be presented to each member of a team or individual events winning a Tournament or Special Events.

Page last modified March 21, 2023