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How to Start a Team

Starting a Youth Rugby Club

If you do not have a youth rugby club near you, it is always possible to form a new club with the help of Rugby Illinois and following the guidelines setup by USA Rugby.

Here you can find information and resources to get you started. If you have questions or need additional information, please email us.

If you're interested in starting a non-contact flag rugby club or league, see our Rookie Rugby page.

Checklist

  1. Recruit Players and Parent helpers (see suggestions below)
     
  2. Incorporate your Club as an Illinois Not for Profit Corporation and then request an Employer Identification Number from the IRS (called an EIN even if you never have paid employees).  If you want to be included under Rugby Illinois’ group 501(c)(3) status, there are additional but optional requirements to follow.

    Rugby Illinois recommends incorporating your Club in order to protect against personal liability in case of a lawsuit.  These forms take no more than 15 minutes each to complete. Detailed instructions on the Incorporation process and links to the proper forms are provided below this numbered checklist and Coach suggestions. 
     #Instructions for incorporating and tax matters
     
  3. Open a Club bank account using the Club’s EIN, NOT using anyone’s personal Social Security Number.  

    Use the bank account for all Club business and do not mix Club finances with personal finances.  If you write a personal check or charge a Club expense on your personal credit card, keep receipts and get reimbursed with a Club check.  Promptly deposit all dues and fund-raising money into the Club’s bank account and do not offset Club income against Club expenses you have personally incurred.
     
  4. Register your team with Rugby Illinois.  If you have more than one team as a part of your Club, each team must register.
     
  5. Await notification from Rugby Illinois that your team registration has been accepted.
     
  6. Register your team members (coaches, admins and players) with USA Rugby.
     
  7. Have every coach and other adult associated with your club read, sign, and follow the Rugby Illinois Code of Conduct.
     
  8. Read and follow the Rugby Illinois Bylaws and Coaches Handbook.
     
  9. Report your scores to scores@rugbyillinois.us
     
  10. Have fun!

Checklist

  1. Recruit Players and Parent helpers (see suggestions below)
     
  2. Incorporate your Club as an Illinois Not for Profit Corporation and then request an Employer Identification Number from the IRS (called an EIN even if you never have paid employees).  If you want to be included under Rugby Illinois’ group 501(c)(3) status, there are additional but optional requirements to follow.

    Rugby Illinois recommends incorporating your Club in order to protect against personal liability in case of a lawsuit.  These forms take no more than 15 minutes each to complete. Detailed instructions on the Incorporation process and links to the proper forms are provided below this numbered checklist and Coach suggestions. 
     #Instructions for incorporating and tax matters
     
  3. Open a Club bank account using the Club’s EIN, NOT using anyone’s personal Social Security Number.  

    Use the bank account for all Club business and do not mix Club finances with personal finances.  If you write a personal check or charge a Club expense on your personal credit card, keep receipts and get reimbursed with a Club check.  Promptly deposit all dues and fund-raising money into the Club’s bank account and do not offset Club income against Club expenses you have personally incurred.
     
  4. Register your team with Rugby Illinois.  If you have more than one team as a part of your Club, each team must register.
     
  5. Await notification from Rugby Illinois that your team registration has been accepted.
     
  6. Register your team members (coaches, admins and players) with USA Rugby.
     
  7. Have every coach and other adult associated with your club read, sign, and follow the Rugby Illinois Code of Conduct.
     
  8. Read and follow the Rugby Illinois Bylaws and Coaches Handbook.
     
  9. Report your scores to scores@rugbyillinois.us
     
  10. Have fun!

Suggestions from Current Coaches

Reserve a meeting room and publish the announcement in the Pioneer Press (free) or another local paper.  Plan three meetings.  The first meeting should be informational.  Play a video and give basic information.  The second meeting should be the sign-up and the third meeting an educational session.  Players will start recruiting friends.

Schedule a meeting at the School.  Have a power point presentation or YouTube open with the 20 greatest trys playing as they walk into the room; let them watch it for a while, stop it and give a 15 minute spiel, then return to the video and explain it.  Hold an indoor six week “skills and drills” session through the park district.  Hold a parents meeting where you can recruit drivers and food organizers for game days.

Meet with the parents to go over costs, CIPP, expectations and talk about volunteering for post match gatherings and fund raising.  Keep the parents involved.

Tell your players to keep recruiting all the time.

Equipment you will need to run a practice:

  • Balls
  • Cones
  • Kicking tee
  • Whistle
  • (Once you arrange a field) you may need to buy:
    • Field striper
    • Paint
    • Flags, for marking
      (Make sure the type of paint is acceptable by the people who control your field – some require biodegradable paint). Figure on $150-$200 for these items, unless you can get used flags and striper.

Make sure that about a week before any home match, that you confirm directions to the pitch with the visiting team and the referee.

Incorporating your Club in Illinois and Not for Profit Tax matters

 #Instructions for incorporating and tax matters

DISCLAIMER: The information provided below and elsewhere on the Rugby Illinois website is not intended to be and should not be construed as legal advice or tax advice.  It is general information intended to help youth rugby clubs get started by sharing resources and the process followed by other teams.  This is not an exhaustive list of requirements or concerns that may apply to your club.   If you have any questions specific to the facts of your organization, you should consult your own attorney or professional tax advisor.

  • Club Name. First, decide on the name of your Club.  You can check to see if that name is available as a corporate name in Illinois by calling (217) 782-9521 or by completing the online name checker here: https://www.ilsos.gov/ContactFormsWeb/corpform.html
  • Incorporating with or without plans to be a 501(c)(3). Next, if the name appears to be available; complete, sign and mail two copies of the Illinois Articles of Incorporation for a Not for Profit, along with the filing fee, as instructed on this form with the Illinois Secretary of State: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/nfp10210.pdf
    • Considerations re incorporating:
      • If you are not interested in 501(c)(3) status or sales tax exemption, then you may be eligible to incorporate online for a slightly higher filing fee. If you choose to incorporate online, you will need to choose a generic corporate purpose from a list (such as “educational” or “any allowable purpose under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code”).  The online application is here: https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/business_services/incorporation/nfp_instructions.html If you go this route and later decide to seek 501(c)(3) status, you will need to file an amendment to your Articles of Incorporation with the Illinois SOS.
         
      • However, if you want to request that your Club be included under Rugby Illinois’ group tax exempt status (applied for as of January 25, 2016) under 501(c)(3), then you will need to Incorporate as first instructed above on the FORM NFP 102.10, so that you can provide a specific corporate purpose that aligns with the Rugby Illinois corporate purpose.
         
      • To request that your Club be included under Rugby Illinois’ group tax exempt status (instead of your club applying for tax exempt status via Form 1023 on your own), you must
        • ​Have an EIN for your Club
        • Adopt a calendar year fiscal year
        • Consent to be included under the RIL group exemption by September 15 to claim exemption during the following calendar year fiscal year
        • Conform your corporate purpose to that of Rugby Illinois' and
        • Contact the Rugby Illinois Secretary at secretary@rugbyillinois.us for specific instructions on accomplishing the above, including language you can copy as your corporate purpose within your Articles of Incorporation.
  • Taxpayer Identification Number.  Apply online with the IRS for an EIN and choose a calendar year fiscal year (unless you are not interested in the Rugby Illinois group 501(c)(3), then you can choose any 12 month fiscal period) at: https://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Apply-for-an-Employer-Identification-Number-(EIN)-Online

    For more information on EINs or if you would prefer to fax or mail your application for EIN, see Form SS-4 here https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fss4.pdf
     
  • Exemption from Sales Tax. Once you are included under the Rugby Illinois group 501(c)(3) status, you can request a sales tax exemption from the Illinois Department of Revenue.  There is no fee to apply and no standard form to complete. For more information, including what your organization needs to submit with your request, visit http://www.revenue.state.il.us/NonProfits/ .
     
  • Good Standing.  Mind your P’s and Q’s.  Keep an eye on the email and mailing address provided on these forms for correspondence from the Illinois Secretary of State and IRS. 
    • To stay in good standing with the Illinois Secretary of State, you will need to file an Annual Report every year during the month you incorporated. Illinois will send this simple 1 page form to your Registered Agent address.
    • Both 501(c)(3)s and non-501(c)(3) Not for Profits must file annual returns with the IRS (If you have an EIN, the IRS will notify you at your registered address regarding what to file and when; such as, for example, an annual online postcard called the 990e for not for profits grossing under $50,000). 
    • If you are granted inclusion under RIL’s 501c3 group exempt status, you must issue receipts for donations to your Club from anyone who requests one and always for donations of $250 or more.  A template tax exempt receipt is available under the resource documents below.  
    • As a general rule, neither Rugby Illinois not its Member clubs solicit the general public for donations.  We operate on dues and sponsorships and the occasional T-shirt sale.  If, however, you do rely or intend to rely on soliciting the public for fundraising rather than confining your dues and donation requests to your membership, the Illinois Attorney General requires that you register with them in addition to the Secretary of State and IRS.

Resources and Sample Forms