Information for Club Sports

<em>Photo Credit: Mitchell Loll</em>
Photo Credit: Mitchell Loll

Or call the Hazing Hotline at 336.758.HAZE (4293)

The Club Sports program at Wake Forest University offers the community an opportunity to participate in a broad variety of sports and recreational activities.  All programs are based on student interest and designed to enhance the Wake Forest experience by creating an environment where students can unite in diverse groups to achieve common goals and objectives while encouraging leadership, teamwork, a competitive spirit and a sense of wellbeing.  Club sports provides a valuable learning experience through student involvement in fundraising, public relations, organization, administration, budgeting, scheduling, teaching, and leadership development.

Club Sports are student-initiated and student managed.  Club members are actively involved in determining the objectives and procedures of their club.  The organizational and decision-making duties of each club are the responsibility of the members and their officers.  Successful and thriving clubs are those with active members and dedicated officers and leaders.

Hazing is inconsistent with the ideals of good sportsmanship and fair play as well as the basic values of Pro Humanitate.


  • Develop strong, positive, responsible leaders
  • Provide positive alternatives to hazing
  • Meet with your leaders and team to discuss your views and policy on hazing
  • Cite examples of initiations gone bad
  • Install a buddy system
  • Encourage your newcomers to report any anticipated or actual hazing
  • — Team Captains Network

Wake Forest University does not condone or tolerate hazing among any student(s) or student organization(s). Per the University Hazing Policy:

    “Wake Forest University prohibits all forms of hazing which may result in physical and psychological harm to a person. The anti-hazing policy contained here is that of Wake Forest University. Violators are subject to possible criminal action by governmental authorities, in addition to being held accountable through the University’s conduct process.
    Hazing includes attempting to or recklessly or negligently causing physical or emotional injury. Hazing activities and behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following: the forced consumption of any substance, sleep deprivation, paddling or striking in any manner, performing calisthenics, personal servitude, conducting activities that do not allow time to meet academic commitments, requiring the violation of University policies, or federal, state or local laws, and any activity likely to cause embarrassment or humiliation.”

For more information refer to the Wake Forest University Code of Conduct.

Additionally it is expected that all persons who participate in, coach or assist with Club Sports uphold and abide by federal, state and local ordinances as well as University policies. All recognized Wake Forest University Club Sports are expected to follow the safety and risk management practices outlined by their specific sport organizing, sanctioning or governing bodies.

Definitions of hazing vary, but all have common factors:

  • Power differential between those in a group and those who want to join a group, or between senior and junior members of a group
  • Intentional initiation rite, practice or ‘tradition’ involved
  • Willingness to participate does not absolve responsibility for either party
  • Source:

55% of college students involved in clubs, teams, and organizations experience hazing.

Questions to ask your teammates:

  • What are our team’s goals (e.g., perform at a high level, win our conference championship, post-season play)?
  • What does team bonding currently look like for our team?
  • What are the positive elements to these activities?
  • What are the less positive elements (which may even cross the line into hazing)?
  • What role does alcohol play in these team-bonding activities?
  • How can we change or adapt the less positive (potentially hazing) activities to better meet our goals and unify our team?
  • If tradition plays a role in these activities, how can we keep the positive elements and change the less positive aspects? 


What Should the Team Captain be Responsible for?

  • Your first responsibility is to meet with your coach and define the expectations of your position. With the expectations should come the identification of skills and knowledge that you need and how you will acquire the necessary information. You might request a seminar on leadership, administered by your institution, for all captains.
  • As a captain, you can be held accountable for hazing activities within your program and as such, could be legally charged in a hazing incident.
  • Be familiar with all the terms that help to understand why hazing occurs.
  • Make sure discussions about hazing occur with your team, including the coaches! Encourage members to speak up without fear of retribution!

    Simply defined, hazing is:
    • Any act committed against a student who is trying to join a new group that is humiliating or demeaning, or endangers the student’s health and safety.
    • Hazing can occur regardless of CONSENT or WILLINGNESS to participate. If you chose not to take part but knew what was going on, you are part of the problem!

  • Become familiar with the myths and truths of hazing and utilize these concepts in team discussions with your coaches.
  • Discuss team strategies to welcome new members. Set a climate and environment that insists that everyone — from your new members to your veteran seniors — be treated with dignity and respect. How do you do that and bond together at the same time?
  • Ensure that new members know you will support them in resisting any participation in hazing activities

Team Discussion Questions

  • What makes you feel accepted by your teammates and coach? Is it playing time? Is it being socially included at all times? Is it interest in you as a person from upper-class teammates, aside from being an athlete? Is it having your coaches give you “the time of day”? Do you need to have your coaches and teammates talk to you off the field or court? Do you feel respect from the rest of the institution, or are you looked at as a non-contributing student?
  • Why is it that you chose to participate in athletics? You chose to be involved with athletics to: a. Challenge yourself physically and emotionally. b. Enjoy the excitement of competition. c. Develop friendships and the camaraderie of teammates. d. Set goals and work toward accomplishment. e. Enhance one’s self-confidence and pride. f. Build on the value of community. g. Enjoy the experience and have fun!
  • What do you think will be the most positive outcome of your participation? The most positive, lasting outcomes of athletics are the relationships established through mutual respect with teammates and coaches, which last a lifetime.
  • What do you know about traditions and why do they exist? Traditions are time-honored acts that repeat the customs and beliefs of a culture. They are honorable and instill a sense of pride in its members.
  • What purpose does an initiation serve and what place does it have in athletics? Initiations are designed to instruct new members in the principles of an organization. They are ceremonial in nature and often carry a spiritual significance, and should be instructive. By joining an athletic team, one should expect to learn customs and procedures, but should never have to prove his or her right to be respected and treated with dignity at all times.
  • What do you believe that the hazing of a teammate or yourself accomplishes?
    • Hazing does not bond a team, quite the opposite, it tears it apart.
    • Hazing does not instill pride in the team … it humiliates the victims and the team.
    • Hazing does not allow freedom of choice to participate; it creates an environment of expectations, leaving the victim powerless to choose.