REMEMBER THAT THE AAU IS AN EVENT OPERATOR AND DOES NOT ORGANIZE/SPONSOR THE TEAMS THAT PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PLAYERS AND THEIR PARENTS/GUARDIANS TO FIND OR START TEAMS. THE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES ARE OFFERED AS A PATTERN TO BE USED AT THE ORGANIZER’S DISCRETION. THE AAU DOES NOT ENDORSE ANY PARTICULAR ORGANIZATIONAL PROCESS OR CLAIM TO HAVE EXACT KNOWLEDGE OF HOW TO START OR FIND A TEAM.
The four most important considerations in forming a team are developing a philosophy for your team, finding committed players, finding a coach, and finding a practice facility.
Develop the Philosophy
Will it be a participation team where everyone gets equal playing time or a performance team where playing time must be earned? If the coach and the players don’t buy into the philosophy of the team, it will eventually lead to problems and hard feelings.
Selection of Players
Will you run area wide or local tryouts? Will the tryouts be open to everyone or by invitation only? Are tryouts necessary or will you just select your team? You will need to decide how many players you will have on the roster. Will you take athletes in addition to the roster size you agreed on? How will you divide the cost for all the activities of the club?
To participate in AAU events, you are required to register the club and all the members who will participate in the AAU events you enter. The club membership comes in three levels. Level I gives you the opportunity to participate in AAU events at $30. Level II gives you the same opportunity, but you may also host AAU sanctioned events, if approved. The cost is $60. Level III is available for the club that is not incorporated and would like the benefit of 501©3 designation for contributions. That cost is $300 and is only available online. The other two levels can be purchased online, through the District Registrar, or through the National office. The website is www.aausports.org. Either click on JOIN NOW to use a credit card, or click on APPLICATIONS to download the form to mail to your District address or the National Headquarters address in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Keep in mind that your District office may be quicker than the National Headquarters, but the online registration process is the quickest.
Once you have the club registered, you receive a CLUB NUMBER or CLUB CODE. Go back to the same Internet locations and register each individual member (athlete or non-athlete) using the complete CLUB CODE you received with the club membership. You have a choice of memberships. The regular athlete is $14 where accident coverage is in AAU events only. The AB (added benefit) athlete is $16 where accident coverage is in both AAU and non-AAU events, under certain circumstances. The regular non-athlete fee is $14, the AB non-athlete fee is $16. A non-athlete is any adult who will be working with the athlete members at any time during practice or events. Also, any club contact listed on the club membership must have the non-athlete membership. Be sure to print everything as requested.
Keep in mind that your particular sport may request that you register online. Once registered you may look for events to participate in. Check out your sport website through the District website, www.ncaau.org, and the National website, www.aausports.org.
Develop a Budget
Once you have registered your club and it’s members, you need to determine the cost of the events you want to enter and how to divide the cost of tournament entry and travel. Be sure to include every expense that you will need to complete the list of events that you are participating in. Keep in mind that you must pay to enter the event, get there, stay there, and eat while you are there. You can get a sponsor, solicit donations, host a tournament, or use fundraising companies.
If you find a local business or individual to sponsor your team, that business or individual must use the money spent as an expense rather than a deduction. If you wish to solicit donations from larger businesses, then you must be a Level III club member and use the 501©3 designation.
If you wish to host an AAU sanctioned event, then you must contact your Sport Director to verify the dates you wish to host your event. Some Sport Directors want to okay the facilities as well as the dates. Once you have received that okay, you must sanction the event. The event can be sanctioned either online, or by downloading the application and sending it to the District Registrar. The website location is www.aausports.org and click on Event Sanction. Keep in mind that the event will need the approval of the Sport Director before it can be completed.
Finally, you may use a fund-raising professional to meet your budget. This company is a aNational Sponsors of the AAU. You can contact ESPN the Magazine at https://proxy.espn.go.com/coaches or 1-888-530-3776.
If you need further assistance in setting up your organization, you may call your District office at 1-800-AAU4-4USA (1-800-228-4872).