NIRSA/CAS Recreational Sports General Standards

NIRSA is a proud member of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS). CAS promotes standards in student affairs, student services, and student development programs in order to maximize the quality and effectiveness of higher education today. As a CAS Member Association, NIRSA provides a representative to CAS meetings and participates in collaborative projects to achieve our shared goal of fostering healthy, productive learning environments.

NIRSA members can click here to access for free to the most current version of The Recreational Sports Programs: CAS Standards and Guidelines and The Role of Recreational Sports: CAS Standards Contextual Statement.

The complete CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education, 8th edition(2012), can be purchased from the online store on the CAS website.

Background of the project

The NIRSA Standards Committee was charged with recommending revisions to the general and specialty standards for collegiate recreational sports. Given the scope of the charge, they received support from the NIRSA Board to focus first on the general standards.

If you are not familiar with the general standards for collegiate recreational sports, here are a few key ways having established standards are important:

  • Provide a yardstick for assessing the status of our programs against a shared set of minimum standards endorsed by our industry
  • Provide guidance in planning or revising aspects of a recreational sport program
  • May assist administrators in advocacy efforts to obtain additional resources
  • May be used to help with staff training and professional preparation of recreational sport specialists
  • May be used to help educate campus colleagues, administrators, and constituents about the role of recreational sports

In the past, members of NIRSA used one or two publications containing standards for collegiate recreational sports: the NIRSA General Standards (written in 1986) and the CAS Standards (last revised in 1996). Since 2004, the NIRSA Standards Committee has been charged with recommending revisions to the general and specialty standards for collegiate recreational sports, which would replace the 1996 CAS Standards.

In 2004-05, the committee carefully studied both publications and unanimously recommended merging the content between the two documents so that one set of general standards would serve the Association. The committee elected to use the format and template of the CAS Standards and incorporate content from the NIRSA General Standards.

From 2005-2007 the committee vetted drafts of proposed revisions with the membership and submitted the final revised NIRSA/CAS Recreational Sports General Standards  which was approved by the NIRSA Board of Directors in April of 2007, approved by the CAS Executive Committee in August of 2007, and adopted by the CAS Committee of the Whole in October of 2007.

For more information, please contact NIRSA Liaison to CAS, Doug Franklin or view the CAS website.

Members Only: Access the CAS Standards