PROCESS FOR REQUESTING VARSITY SPORT STATUS

Application

This application is designed to assist synchronized swimming clubs/coaches achieve varsity status. It is to be used as a template and a tool to organize your ideas and information. The application is divided into six areas which include participation, finances, facilities, scheduling, impact on the institution, and compliance with Title IX regulations. Each of these areas should be considered in the review and recommendation process. We understand that the appropriate institutional representatives will make the final decision regarding establishment of a varsity program.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recognizes Synchronized Swimming as an emerging sport. The proposed team will conform to the rules of the college/university, the conference, USA Synchro and the NCAA. The sport will also be able to schedule competition against comparable institutions and demonstrate sufficient interest, commitment, competitiveness, and potential to warrant such status.

I. Participation

This section is intended to determine the degree of participation in the sport. In completing this section, please refer to the questions below. Please be thorough in your answer and attach supporting documentation where appropriate.

  • What is the interest level on the campus and surrounding communities for the proposed sport? (Please attach schedules and roster numbers of high school, age group and/or collegiate teams in this area.)
  • How can the college/university successfully recruit individuals to participate in the proposed sport?
  • Does the climate and/or geographic location have any impact on the ability to develop a competitive team or attract quality student-athletes? Please explain.
  • Which geographical area(s) would be targeted for recruiting?
  • How many participation opportunities would be created in Intercollegiate Athletics at the college/university, if the proposed sport is given varsity status? How many of those opportunities would be for the under-represented students?

II. Finance/Budget

In completing this section, please refer to Attachments I and II. Please complete all areas on this spreadsheet and attach supporting documentation where appropriate. It will be necessary to explain how these numbers were formulated.

When a varsity sport team is added to an intercollegiate athletic department, one must consider the additional support services that will be required to provide the student-athletes with the best possible experience. To the best of your ability, please describe the level of support the proposed sport would require from the following support services:
  • Academic support Athletic trainers
  • Sports Information/Athletic Communication
  • Maintenance and grounds crew
  • Strength and Conditioning coaches
  • Administrative support
Additionally, please describe what you believe the potential revenue might be for this sport. Include in your discussion ticket sales, fundraising efforts, and the feasibility of camps and/or clinics.

III. Facilities

In completing this section please refer to the questions below. Please be thorough in your answers and attach supporting documentation where appropriate.

  • What type of practice and competition facilities would be needed for the proposed sport?
  • Does this facility currently exist on the campus?
  • Can it meet the demands of the proposed sport?
  • What kind of facility maintenance should be expected for the proposed sport?
  • What type of locker room space is required? Is this space currently available?

IV. Scheduling of Competition

This section is intended to determine the available competition for the proposed sport. Please be specific when answering the following questions and attach documentation (i.e., schedules from other institutions, etc.). A successful sport should be able to schedule competition against comparable institutions and within our geographic region.

  • How many collegiate institutions compete at the NCAA Varsity Level?
  • In the state where the college/university is located?
  • In the same conference where the college/university is located?
  • In the region?
  • Nationally?
  • What is the available NCAA Varsity competition within a five-hour driving radius of the college/university?
  • What time of year does this sport compete? What is the length of the season?
  • What is the NCAA minimum number of competitions needed?

V. Impact on the Institution

This section is intended to determine the competitive impact this sport would have on the athletic department and the institution as a whole. In completing this section please refer to the questions below. Please be thorough in your answers and attach supporting documentation where appropriate.

  • What is the potential media interest for this sport (local, regional, national)?
  • Does the conference sponsor a championship for this sport?
  • How can we be competitive in the conference, zone, or nationally within five years?
  • What is the availability of quality coaches for this sport?
  • What is the local/regional spectator interest for this sport?

VI. Compliance with Title IX Regulations

This section is intended to determine how this sport will affect compliance with Title IX at the college/university. Please discuss how the addition of this sport will support Title IX and strengthen the college/university's commitment to this federal law. Please keep the following areas in mind as you complete this section:

  • Accommodation of interests and abilities
  • Athletic Grant-In-Aid
  • Participation opportunities

VII. Other

Please provide any other information the team/coach may feel necessary for consideration of varsity status.

  • What makes the proposed sport a better addition to the varsity program at the college/university than any other prospective sport?
  • If this sport is already a club sport at the college/university, please provide the following information:
  1. Number of years as a club sport
  2. Average number of participants
  3. Current roster of club team (include the date the student first entered any collegiate institution full-time)
  4. The results of the past three years of competition
  5. The number of coaches over the past three years (name, address, telephone number)
  6. Budget (including actual expenditures, revenue, and fundraising proceeds)

FAQs

Q: Do I have to fill this out and turn it into the Athletic Department?
A: This form is to guide clubs through the process of applying for Varsity Status. This form does NOT have to be turned in to the Athletic Department, although we recommend supplying the information from the forms to athletic administrators. Also, turn in a completed copy to USA Synchro. Please call the National Office for assistance.

Q: How many participation opportunities would be created in Intercollegiate Athletics at the college/university, if the proposed sport is given varsity status?
A: Currently, there are 20 athletic opportunities and 5 scholarships available.

Q: How many of those opportunities would be for the under-represented students?
A: All of them.

Q: How many collegiate institutions compete at NCAA Varsity Level?
A: 30 teams overall, nine are varsity.

Q: What time of year does the sport compete? 
A: Winter season

Q: What is the length of the season?
A: Length of season in Division I and II is 132 days. In Division III, the playing season may not exceed 21 weeks.

Q: NCAA minimum number of competitions needed?
A: Eight contests

Q: Does the conference sponsor a championship for this sport?
A: The East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC) is the only conference that sponsors a championship.

The rule of thumb to start a conference is to have six varsity programs in place before making a presentation to the conference chair/committee.

Q: What conference is my school in?

List of Current Synchro Colleges/Universities - Varsity Programs, Club Programs and Startups


Directions for Completing Forms

The suggested procedure to request varsity status includes:

  1. Complete top part of cover page on varsity status request form.
  2. Prepare a written response to the questions in parts I through VII. Attach documentation where necessary.
  3. Complete and include Attachments 1 and 2.
  4. Send the original proposal plus five complete copies to the Athletic Director. Send one extra copy to USA Synchro to hold in your collegiate file.
Please see the FAQ page for assistance with Parts I-VII.

Attachment I
Please list the start-up costs of the proposed sport in column one. This should reflect the BASIC needs of the program. In years 2, 3 and 4, expand the program's budget to ensure that the sport becomes a regionally competitive program by the fifth year. (For example: if more recruiting money will be needed over the years, please specify accordingly.)

Attachment II
Please briefly explain how you arrived at the numbers listed on Attachment 1. Include any supporting documentation that you feel is necessary to support your position.