Skip to main content

Intramural Sports Participant Handbook

The Northern Kentucky University (NKU) Department of Campus Recreation is committed to providing diverse, fun and competitive Intramural Sports activities to serve the recreational needs of the NKU students, faculty, staff and alumni. Therefore, the Department of Campus Recreation has established an Intramural Sports Policy to provide a consistent and equitable framework for the management of the Intramural Sports program.

All currently enrolled students (undergraduate, graduate, and law), faculty, and staff of Northern Kentucky University may participate in the intramural and recreational sports activities provided they meet the following criteria:

  • STUDENTS: Students must be registered for a minimum of one credit hour and have a valid NKU All-Card. If, at any time, the student is not enrolled for a minimum of one credit hour, they immediately become ineligible to participate in any Campus Recreation activity.
    • NKU VARSITY ATHLETES: A NKU varsity athlete is defined as a student who is listed on a varsity roster. Varsity athletes will not be permitted to participate in related intramural sports during the same academic year in which they are classified as a varsity athlete.
    • FACULTY AND STAFF: Faculty and Staff must be an employee recognized by the NKU Department of Human Resources and have the option of playing on any Non-Greek Intramural Sports team 

Related Sports:

Intramural Sport: Varsity Sport:
3on3, 5on5 Basketball/ 3pt, free-throw or dunk Basketball
Sand or Indoor Volleyball Volleyball
Futsal, 3v3, Indoor or Outdoor Soccer Soccer
Wiffleball, Softball, or HR Derby/Hitting Baseball
Tennis Singles Tennis

Eligibility (cont.):

  1. If a team disbands (not forfeiture) prior to their second scheduled contest, members of that team who still wish to participate will be eligible to join another team.
  2. To be eligible to participate in post-season tournament play, individuals must be on the roster before the 1 st playoff game.
  3. A team is only eligible to participate in post-season tournament play when the following criteria has been met: 
    1. 4.0 or better sportsmanship rating
    2. Has not forfeited a game during the regular season
    3. Has not defaulted 2 or more games during the regular season
    4. Paid the team fee (if applicable)
  4. The use of an assumed name in any manner shall constitute a violation of the Intramural Sports Policy and good sportsmanship. The individual violating this rule will be immediately suspended and may receive additional sanctions. Any team allowing a participant to play under an assumed name will receive a forfeit for every game associated with this violation and may receive additional sanctions.
  5. Any individual who has played a sport at any professional level is ineligible to participate in that sport and all related sports.
  6. Men are eligible to participate in men’s and co-recreational leagues only and women are eligible to participate in women’s and co-recreational leagues only. Exceptions to this policy must be approved in advance by the Intramural Professional Staff.
  7. Individuals may play for only one men’s or women’s team AND one Co-Rec team for each sport. Once an individual has actually played for a team, he/she may not play for any other team during that sport. Individuals who participate on more than one team are ineligible for further participation in that sport for the balance of the league and/or tournament. The team for whom the individual participates illegally may be assessed a forfeit for all games associated with the violation. Final ruling will be made by Intramural Professional Staff.
  8. Any individual ruled ineligible by the Intramural Professional Staff for whatever reason, will remain ineligible unless otherwise determined.
  9. The use of alcohol and/or drugs by spectators and/or participants is strictly prohibited and will be dealt with swiftly and severely.
  10. Determination of participant eligibility status is the responsibility of the team captains. Violation of the eligibility rules will result in forfeiture of the contest(s) in which the infraction occurs. In addition, the following penalties will be imposed for eligibility violations:
    1. Any person participating on more than one team in any Intramural Sports league will be ineligible for further participation in that sport for the remainder of the semester.
    2. Any team using a player who is not an NKU student, faculty/staff member, or alumnus will be eliminated from further league and tournament competition in the activity in which the violation occurred and will lose their team fee.


To create an IMLeagues account: **Note** IMLeagues offers a live support button on the right side of all pages, please use this button if you encounter any difficulties.

  1. Go to IMLeagues
  2. Enter your Northern Kentucky University username and password and submit.
  3. You should be automatically joined to IMLeagues – If not you can search schools by clicking the Northern Kentucky University link.
  4. Questions contact Jeremy Chipman at or David Wiley at

How to sign up for an intramural sport:

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Click the Create/Join Team button at the top right of your User Homepage page OR Click on the “Northern Kentucky University” link to go to your school’s homepage on IMLeagues.
  3. The current sports will be displayed, click on the sport you wish to join.
  4. Choose the league you wish to play in (Men’s A, Men’s B, Fraternity, Sorority/Women, Co-Rec)
  5. You can join the sport one of three ways:
    1. Create a team (For team captains)
      1. Captains can invite members to their team by clicking the “Invite Members” link on the team page. Any invited members must accept the invitation to be joined to your team.
        1. If they’ve already registered on IMLeagues: search for their name, and invite them
        2. If they haven’t yet registered on IMLeagues: scroll down to the “Invite by Email Address” box, and input their email address.
    2. Join a team
      1. Use the Create/Join Team Button at top right of every page
      2. Accepting a request from the captain to join his team
      3. Finding the team and captain name on division/league page and requesting to join
      4. Going to the captain’s playercard page, viewing his team, and requesting to join
    3. Join as a Free Agent
      1. You can list yourself as a free agent in as many divisions within a league as you’d like. You will be visible to all members of the site and can request to join teams, or post information about yourself so teams can request to add you to their team.

Organization of Competition:
Intramural competition is offered in three leagues:

  1. Men’s League: Intramural programs are available for men to participate in individual, dual and team activities.
  2. Women’s League: Intramural programs are available for women to participate in individual, dual and team activities.
  3. Co-Rec League: Intramural programs are available for men AND women to participate in dual and team activities which require a minimum number of players of each gender.
  4. Max Roster per Sport: There will be a maximum amount of participants allowed per team/per sport. Double the number of players on the field/court at the start of the game are permitted on a team’s roster
    1. e.g. Flag Football is 7 players on the field= maximum 14 people per roster.
  5. Tie Breaker System-In the case of a tie situation regarding playoffs, the following procedures will be used to determine where teams are seeded in the playoffs. * The Intramural Sports Department reserves the right to have a playoff game to break any ties if possible.
    1. #1) Head to Head Competition #2) Sportsmanship Rating #3) Point Differential

League Divisions (levels of competition):

  1. Team Sports: Independent teams may choose to participate in one of two divisions. The Competitive Division (Upper) is designed for teams seeking a high level of competition. The Recreational Division (Lower) offers a less competitive environment for teams that desire to compete against teams of average skill. The (Greek) league is designed for teams who are comprised of players who are ALL active members of a nationally recognized chapter.
    1. Upper and Lower will only be offered in the Flag Football and Basketball Leagues.
  2. Individual/Dual Sports: Depending on the number of entries, individual/dual sport competition may be divided into ability levels. When this system is used, individuals must choose their own competition level based on their ability and level of competition they desire. The Open Division (Upper) is for highly skilled athletes who possess above-average skills and have competitive experience. The Intermediate Division (Lower) is for average skilled players who have limited experience in competitive play.
  3. The goal of this system is to allow teams/players to compete at a level that is appropriate for their ability level. In addition, this system is designed to create an atmosphere where participants of all ability levels can, and will, participate and can enjoy some measure of success.
  4. If a limited amount of entries are received for any league/division, the Intramural Professional Staff reserves the right to combine leagues/divisions without prior notice.
  5. At the end of the regular season, Intramural Staff has the right to move any team from the lower division to the upper division for playoffs. 

Equipment Damage:
Any damages to equipment, fields, and/or any other facility/building(s) that has occurred within the framework of the intramural event will be charged to the offending participant(s). He or she will be financially responsible for any and all deliberate or negligent destruction to the building, fields, or equipment. Individuals who do not pay for the damaged equipment may have a departmental and/or administrative hold placed upon their student accounts.

The role of spectators/fans is to provide support and encouragement that is beneficial to all participants. Spectators must remain in their designated area and may not enter the playing areas. Any one violating these guidelines will be asked to leave the facilities and will be assessed additional penalties if necessary. Spectators should refrain from making negative and belittling comments and are subject to all participants’ rules and obligations. If a spectator refuses to leave the facility after Intramural Staff have asked them to leave, Campus Police will be contacted for them to escort that spectator out of the facility.

“Fair Play” Rule:
The Intramural Professional Staff reserves the right to put into effect any new ruling pertaining to Intramural Sports and unsportsmanlike behavior, fair play, and the safety of all participants.

Team Names & Sponsorship:
The Intramural Sports program reserves the right to change or alter any name that is deemed vulgar, offensive, or in poor taste. The Intramural Sports program will also name any team entries that are turned in without a name. The Intramural Sports Program reserves the right to refuse participation to any participant(s) or team(s) that have sponsorship logos that are deemed vulgar, offensive or violate any NKU policies.

Free Agent Service:
The free agent service assists individuals in becoming participants in our team sport activities. If you have an interest in a particular team sport but do not have a team, a player will list himself/herself on the free agents list for the sport he wishes to play by signing up through IMLeagues. Signing up on the free agent list does not guarantee a participant a place on an active roster. It allows for team captains to see that participant is interested and gives that captain the option to pick them up.

Responsibilities of the Team Captain:
Team Captains play a vital role in the Intramural Sports Program by providing team leadership and serving as a liaison between the Department of Campus Recreation and their team members. It is the Team Captain’s responsibility to inform all team members of the policies that govern Campus Recreation programs and facilities. Specific duties of the Team Captain include the following:

  1. Make sure each player has registered on IMLeagues and joined the team’s roster.
  2. Notification of all team members regarding the date, place, and times of their team’s scheduled contests and ensuring they are ready to play at their scheduled time.
  3. Knowledgeable of the policies that govern Campus Recreation programs and facilities, including eligibility rules, and ensuring that all team members adhere to these policies.
  4. Familiarization with the rules governing the sport and the operation of a NKU Campus Recreation Intramural Sports contest and keeping team members informed to eliminate misunderstandings.
  5. Lead by example! Through your leadership, you can encourage good sportsmanship.
  6. Responsibility for the actions of your team members and for spectators directly related to the team, including the conduct of your players and spectators before, during and after the game.
  7. Help escort any ejected player(s) from the facility immediately.
  8. Notify the activity supervisor immediately if any team member is injured or needs medical attention. 

Forfeit & Default Policy:
Forfeits are one of the most damaging aspects of any Intramural Sports Program. Teams want to play, not win by a forfeit. A forfeit creates a void in the use of the facility and the Campus Recreation Department incurs unnecessary labor expenses by having to pay officials and scorekeepers to work a game that doesn’t take place. An Intramural Sports registered team is considered a contract between the Department of Campus Recreation signifying we agree to schedule the registered team for competition and that the registered team will participate in all scheduled games. The following rules will apply to forfeits:

  1. Any individual or team that leaves the playing area before a contest is completed or before it is terminated by the official(s) will forfeit the contest and be charged with a loss.
  2. Any individual or team not ready to play within 10 minutes after the scheduled starting time of an activity will forfeit that contest.
    1. The game clock will start at game time regardless if both teams are ready or not
  3. If a team is suspended for any reason (including forfeiture), future scheduled games will be considered as forfeits in league standings unless a replacement team can be scheduled in the suspended team’s spot.
  4. If your team has future knowledge that it cannot make a game, please notify the Intramural Professional Staff by 2pm on a weekday and 11am on a weekend to default a game and not receive a forfeit penalty.
  5. Each team can only default one game per regular season.
  6. Any team with a forfeit will be ineligible for post-season play. 

The following policy outlines the rules and procedures governing protests:

  1. All protests must be submitted in writing to the Department of Campus Recreation within 24 hours of the incident in question. An exception to this rule would be protests that occur during a weekend activity. In this event, the protest must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. on the first working day following the incident.
  2. Anyone protesting the eligibility of a player must furnish proof that the player is ineligible. The Intramural Professional Staff will rule on all cases concerning eligibility.
  3. Protests concerning the interpretation of a rule and obviously changes the outcome of the game will be accepted. When such a situation arises, the captain or team representative must notify the official and the opponent immediately that the game is being played under protest.
  4. Protests concerning the judgment of an official will not be accepted.
  5. After a protest has been officially filed, the team or individual protested against will have 24 hours from the time they are notified of the protest to respond before a decision is reached. Failure to respond to a protest within the stated time will render an automatic decision against the accused team or individual.

It is the philosophy of the Department of Campus Recreation that sportsmanship and fair play are vital aspects of intramural sports competition. In order to insure proper conduct before, during, and after a contest, officials, activity supervisors, and administrative personnel will make decisions to warn, penalize or eject players/teams displaying unsportsmanlike conduct. The team captain is responsible for the actions of individual members of the team and for their spectators. The conduct of players, coaches and spectators before and after the game is as important as during the game. Teams will be held accountable for their conduct at these times. The following are examples of what the Department of Campus Recreation considers poor sportsmanship:

  1. Profanity.
  2. Unnecessary delay of game.
  3. Participation under an assumed name.
  4. Striking an opponent or official (This will result in an automatic ejection from the game and further disciplinary action from the Student Rights, Conduct & Advocacy Office).
  5. Arguing with officials concerning decisions.
  6. Any action or intent to injure an opponent.
  7. Derogatory and abusive remarks toward an opponent, teammate, or official.
  8. Any action-showing disregard for the rules and/or policies of the Department of Campus Recreation.

Conduct and Sportsmanship:

  • A sportsmanship rating system will be used to control player, captain and bench personnel unsportsmanlike conduct and improper behavior. A player, captain or other bench personnel receiving an ejection from the game shall not be allowed to compete in the next regularly scheduled contest. Campus Recreation may also enforce additional penalties against such persons based on the ejected players.
  • Team captains are responsible for the conduct of their players, sidelines, and spectators. If a player is ejected and refuses to tell his/her name, the captain may also be ejected if he/she will not reveal the name. 

Sportsmanship Ratings will be based on the following criteria:

5-Excellent Conduct and Sportsmanship - Players cooperate fully with the officials and other team members. The captain calmly converses with officials about rule interpretations and calls. The captain also has full control of his/her teammates. Teams that win by forfeit will receive a “5.”

4-Good Conduct and Sportsmanship – Team members verbally complain about some decisions made by the officials and/ or show minor dissension, which may or may not merit a yellow card (soccer), unsportsmanlike flag (flag football), technical foul (basketball).

3-Average Conduct and Sportsmanship – Team shows verbal dissent towards officials and/or the opposing team, receiving a card(s), unsportsmanlike flag(s) or technical foul(s). Captain exhibits minor control over his/her teammates, but is in control with himself/herself. 

2-Below Average Conduct and Sportsmanship – Teams constantly comments to the officials and/or the opposing team from the field and/or the sidelines. The team captain exhibits little or no control over teammates and/ or himself/herself.

1-Poor Conduct and Sportsmanship – Team is completely uncooperative. Captain has no control of teammates, and/ or himself/herself. Any team causing a game to be forfeited, other than by not showing, or receives multiple ejections shall receive a “1” rating.

A team that receives a “1” rating must have their captain meet with the Intramural Professional Staff the following day to be eligible to play their next contest.

  • A team must have a 4.0 average or better sportsmanship rating to be eligible to participate in the playoffs
  • A team winning a contest by forfeit or default will receive a “5” rating
  • A team losing a contest by forfeit will receive a “2” rating and not be allowed into the playoffs.
  • A team defaulting a game/match will receive a 4 sportsmanship rating
    • Team getting defaulted on will receive a 5 

Sportsmanship Rating During the Playoffs:

  • If a team receives a “1” rating they will be eliminated from the playoffs.
  • If a team receives a “2” rating, the captain must meet with the Intramural Professional Staff the following day to discuss the rating. A decision will be made as to whether the team will continue to participate in the playoffs. If they do continue in the playoffs, they must receive a “5” or “4” rating for the remaining playoff games.
  • A player receiving an ejection will need to schedule an administrative meeting with Intramural Professional Staff. 

Unsportsmanlike Conduct:

  • In the event an individual(s), and/or spectator(s) conducts himself or herself in an unsportsmanlike manner during intramural sports competition, the official(s) working the game has complete authority in taking action, as they deem it necessary, in order to keep the game in control. Depending on the severity of the incident, which would be left up to the official’s judgment, the official may take the following action: give warning, ejection from game, and/or suspend the game. Any player that is ejected from the game must leave the facility immediately. Individual will be escorted from the facility by a professional staff member or Intramural Supervisor not involved in the incident as well as the captain of the team. If the player refuses to leave the facility, University Police will be contacted for them to escort that player out of the facility. The game will not continue until the ejected player leaves the facility and may result in a forfeited contest.
  • Incidents related to unsportsmanlike conduct (examples: using an ineligible player(s); theft of or damage to facilities or equipment; physical and/or verbal abuse toward official(s), supervisor(s), player(s), or spectator(s) etc.) will be investigated by the Intramural Professional Staff. In doing so, the individual(s) and/or team(s) involved may be required to meet and/or submit a written statement of the incident. 
  • The offender(s) will be suspended from further play until the investigation is complete and a ruling is made by professional staff. Penalties could include suspension from a game, games or season, temporary or permanent probation, and/or suspension from intramurals/campus recreation facility for a specific period of time.
  • Verbal and/or physical abuse towards an employee of Campus Recreation will result in immediate removal from the facility. In appropriate circumstances, criminal charges may be filed with University Police. In addition, disciplinary charges, which can result in penalties up to and including suspension or expulsion from the University, may be filed with Student Rights, Conduct & Advocacy Office.
  • Students will be held responsible for any information posted on Campus Recreation electronic media.
  • If a player is ejected from an intramural contest, he or she must set up an administrative meeting with professional staff. They are immediately ineligible to participate in any intramural programming. 

The following are minimum sanctions for unsportsmanlike behavior:

  1. Minimum One Game Suspension
    1. Unsportsmanlike Behavior (includes spectators)
    2. Ejection from a contest
    3. Verbal Abuse
    4. Playing under an assumed name
  2. Minimum Two Game Suspension
    1. Physical unsportsmanlike contact
  3. Minimum 4 Intramural Programming Weeks
    1. Threatening Behavior towards a player, IM Staff or IM Official
  4. Minimum 16 Intramural Programming Weeks
    1. Swinging at, attempting to make contact with or striking another player, IM Staff or IM Official.

Participation in the Intramural Sports program is voluntary. NKU, Campus Recreation and the Intramural Sports Program are not liable for injuries suffered by participants. Therefore, all participants are advised to have proper medical coverage before participating. Injuries are inherent to sports and can happen to any player regardless of age, skill level or conditioning. Participants should be in good health before participating and consider obtaining some type of medical insurance to cover any potential medical expenses from injuries. If you are injured during an intramural contest, notify the IM Supervisor on duty for assistance. At Intramural events, there will be a staff member trained in basic First Aid/CPR/AED and can contact Emergency Medical Services if further assistance is needed. Participants assume liability for any costs associated with Emergency Medical Services. Campus Recreation reserves the right to remove players from competition after an injury. After an injury, it is recommended that participants seek out medical care from a licensed practitioner and are cleared to return before resuming any sporting activities.

Concussions can happen in any sport. Please refer to the CDC website listed below to learn more about:

  • Signs and Symptoms
  • When to Seek Immediate Medical Attention
  • Danger Signs in Adults

Inclement Weather Policy
The Department of Campus Recreation reserves the right to postpone or reschedule a contest if circumstances warrant such action. Postponements due to field and/or weather conditions will be made by a representative of the Department of Campus Recreation. This decision will be made one hour prior to the start of the first scheduled contest for the day. Scheduled contests postponed due to inclement weather, darkness, or other reasons beyond the control of the activity supervisor shall be rescheduled at the discretion of the Department of Campus Recreation.



The Director’s Cup is designed to increase participation, reward sportsmanship and recognize a campus intramural champion. Each team will be awarded points based on the system described below. At the end of the year, each team's points are added up. The team with the most points is crowned "NKU Intramural Champion." The team’s name is engraved on the Director's Cup Trophy and displayed the following year at the Campus Recreation Center for all to see. Intramural Sports are separated into 3 categories

  • Leagues: Flag Football, Basketball, Outdoor Soccer, 3 v 3 Basketball, 4 on 4 Sand Volleyball, Indoor Soccer, Indoor Volleyball, Wiffle Ball, Dodgeball, and Floor Hockey
  • Individual Tournaments: Rock Paper Scissors, Bench Press Competition, Home Run Derby, Hit Challenge, Free-Throw Competition, 3pt. Competition, Texas Hold ‘em, Tennis Singles, NFL Combine
  • Team Tournaments: Cornhole, Spikeball, Ultimate Frisbee, 2-Ball Soccer, 3v3 Soccer, PreSeason Basketball, InnerTube Water Polo, Softball 

Participation Points:

  • Teams must use the same name (or designate an affiliation) for each sport to accumulate points.
  • Regardless of the number of teams entered by a particular organization, only TWO teams will be eligible to accumulate points for Leagues and Team Tournaments
  • Participation points will be awarded in all activities. For individual and duel events, participants must identify their affiliation with a certain team or organization to receive points.
    • 100% of participants for a Greek organization must be initiated
      • If a participant is a “pledge” they will only be able to participate in the independent leagues.
      • If a “pledge” becomes an active member of a Greek Organization, they must complete their current sport/season on that pledge team.
  • Forfeits: 1st (- half participation points), 2nd (Lose all sports participation points).
    • Example: Organization Y has two teams: A and B. Team A forfeits one game, Teams B plays all of their games. Organization Y will receive only half of all of their team participation points for that sport.
    • This counts towards CoRec teams as well

Competition Points (Competition points will be awarded in sports listed below):
For each game played, both teams will receive competition points according to the following scale:

Men and Women’s Sports: 

Sporting Event Participation League Playoffs
Leagues 1st team: 150 pts
2nd team: 100 pts
*Max of 250 points
1st: 35 pts
2nd: 25 pts
3rd: 15 pts
4th: 15 pts
1st: 100 pts
2nd: 75 pts
3rd: 50 pts
4th: 50 pts
Individual Tournaments 20 pts/person
*Max of 160 points
N/A 1st: 25 pts
2nd: 15 pts
3rd: 5 pts
4th: 5 pts
Team Tournaments 50 pts/team
*Max of 100 points
N/A 1st: 75 pts
2nd: 50 pts
3rd: 25 pts
4th: 25 pts
Co-Rec Sports:
Sporting Event Participation League Tournament
Leagues 1st team: 150 pts
2nd team: 100 pts
*Max of 250 points
1st: 35 pts
2nd: 25 pts
3rd: 15 pts
4th: 15 pts
1st: 100 pts
2nd: 75 pts
3rd: 50 pts
4th: 50 pts
Team Tournaments 50 pts/team
*Max of 100 points
N/A 1st: 75 pts
2nd: 50 pts
3rd: 25 pts
4th: 25 pts
All policies are subject to change without prior written notice. The Campus Recreation Professional Staff has the right to adjust any of these policies at any given time.