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:  Who can play

  1. Currently Enrolled Students at GVSU
  2. Current Faculty & Staff at GVSU
  3. Alumni of GVSU
    1. A team may not have more alumni than current students, faculty or staff, and only students, faculty and staff can be the captain of teams. 
    2. For all sports played in the Rec Center or Kelly Family Sports Center, a facility membership will be required to enter the building. Students, faculty and staff have access to the building for free. Alumni will need to purchase a facility membership. Contact Athletic & Rec Facilities for more information. 
  4. Community members (spring/summer only)

Article 2:  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 their 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 their 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. Any person 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 they lost their 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 may be required for each team. 

Article 7:  Gender Eligibility 

  1. Gender identification: individuals shall be permitted to participate in intramural sports events in accordance with their expressed gender identity.
  2. Open leagues have NO gender requirements.

Article 8:  Illegal Participation

  1. If a team uses an ineligible player, 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 bracket at the time the ineligibility is discovered. 
  2. A participant can be suspended by the intramural sports coordinator for unsportsmanlike conduct. This does not require an ejection
  3. A participant who participants after ejection or suspension is illegal participation. 

NOTE:  Any claim of ineligible participation will be investigated when brought to the attention, via official protest or other means, of Recreation & Wellness staff, regardless of the number of games that the ineligible participation occurred. For specific questions on eligibility, please contact [email protected]

Article 9:  Rosters

  1. 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 online via GVSU's IMLeagues portal. To access IMLeagues. go to, or 
  2.  Each participant must create an account. Students, faculty and staff will do this by utilizing their GVSU network credentials, and agreeing to the terms and conditions. Alumni and community members will use the guest log in at 
  3. 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).
  4. 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, or via the GVSU Recreation app. Intramural sports staff will not add players to rosters at game sites. 

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. 
  2. A clear photo of a person's ID will be accepted if the name and picture appear to not be altered in any way. If either the name or picture is not legible by the staff member, a second form of identification, or the physical form of the ID will be required. 

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.
  • Respectfully speak with the staff in reference to any team related issue. 
  • Ensure team members speak respectfully with staff.
  • Verify 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 10 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 Recreation & Wellness office with any discrepancies before 9:00AM the date following the teams' last regular season game. These should be emailed to [email protected]
  • Maintain communication with Recreation & Wellness staff throughout the season in regard to schedules, entries, playoffs, sportsmanship and constructive feedback.

Article 1:  Assumption of Risk

  1. The possibility of injury exists in all sports.  GVSU & Recreation & Wellness 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. This waiver is completed during the time a person joins a team. 
  3. All participants in Grand Valley State University Intramural Sports must create an account through the website, which includes accepting the terms and conditions, before they participate in any activity.  There will be NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule.

Article 2:  Blood Policy

If a staff member observes that a participants is bleeding, has an open wound, or has blood on their uniform, the participant will be directed to leave the game.  The injured participant 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 participant at the discretion of the staff.

Article 3:  Pets/Service Animal Policy

Pets are NOT allowed on or within close proximity to the playing surfaces. All participants, staff and guests will be asked to remove their pet.

EXCEPTION: Service animals will be allowed near the playing surfaces to perform its duties. Emotional support animals are not considered service animals, and therefore are not allowed in the facilities. Service animals will legally only ever be dogs or miniature horses. Recreation & Wellness staff may ask the following questions about the service animal.

  • Is the service animal required because of a disability?  
  • What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?


Article 1: Online Registration

  1. Registration for all intramural sports will be completed through Captains must register teams on during registration periods.
  2. 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 within five days after the team is created or after the registration deadline. 
  3. 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.
  4. Teams will need to select a team color during registration.
  5. Waitlist registration is for teams that want to put their team in line if a spot becomes available. When a spot becomes available teams will be contacted to fill the spot. Teams who register on the waitlist can contact Recreation & Wellness 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. Registration deadlines are the dates to create teams & get the minimum number of players on their roster for the respective sport. Players may continue to add to a confirmed team during the league season. 

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 within five days after the team is created or prior to the registration deadline for that sport. 
  2. If a team does not have the minimum number on the roster five days after the team is created, 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.
  3. If a team decides not to play in the sport registered, please contact the Recreation & Wellness office.

Article 4: Payment

  1. When joining or creating at team, 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. Pass options may vary and cost will be indicated on the IMLeagues website. 
  3. Refunds are not guaranteed and will be issued based on situation, as determined by RecWell staff. Decisions on refunds are final. Typically, a refund will not be issued to a participant after the registration deadline for a sport. 

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

Article 1:  Event Types

  1. Intramural sports events may be leagues, tournaments, or single day events. The types of sports or leagues available will be indicated on IMLeagues.

Article 2: Scheduling

  1. For specific sports, scheduling will be broken into divisions. These divisions are the day and time each week a team will play their regular season 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. Not every team is entitled to make the playoff brackets. 


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 Recreation & Wellness Office by 3:00PM the day of the contest.  Weekend requests must be made by 3:00PM the Friday before.  Team captains may call or email to default their game. Please include the day of the game, 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.

Article 2:  Default vs. Forfeit

  1. A team that 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 Recreation & Wellness staff. 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, if at least one player is checked in before game time. 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 may be removed from the league and 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 and subsequent poor field conditions, or unforeseen circumstances which may occur in both indoor and outdoor facilities that create unsafe playing conditions. Recreation & Wellness 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

Recreation & Wellness 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 3:00PM the day following the cancellation.

Article 1:  Team Names and Uniforms

  1. Recreation & Wellness reserves the right to change duplicate team names to avoid confusion. 
  2. Recreation & Wellness reserves the right to change any team name that is deemed inappropriate or offensive. 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 Recreation & Wellness.

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.
  2. Instances of unsportsmanlike conduct may be reported to The Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution. 

Article 5:  Ejected Players

  1. A player ejected from a game for unsportsmanlike conduct must see the intramural sports supervisor. A participant may be ejected before, during or after a contest by any intramural sports staff. Recreation & Wellness staff reserves the right to require an ejected participant to leave the field/complex. Failure to leave the area/complex when directed may result in forfeiture of the game.
  2. If a player is ejected, 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.  
  3. Repeated occurrences of unsportsmanlike conduct by a player may result in suspension.
  4. If a player wishes to appeal a suspension issued by the Intramural Sports Coordinator, they must appeal in writing to the Assistant Director within two working days after the suspension is issued. The Assistant Director will make the final decision. 

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 contest to its opponent. A game can be forfeited at any time by Recreation & Wellness staff.
  2. Repeated or malicious displays of poor or egregious sportsmanship may result in the team being ruled ineligible for participation and possible referral to The Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution

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, Recreation & Wellness 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 or conduct referral.
  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 or conduct referral.


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  immediately request a time out and inform the official that they wish to have a ruling on the interpretation by the Intramural Sports Supervisor.
  • 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.
  •  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. 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 via email to Recreation & Wellness staff. 

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.
  2. Intramural Sports may provide jerseys for sports that require numbers. 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.

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 may be created for 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 5:  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 9:00AM 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.

Page last modified January 5, 2024