How to Write a Team Contract

By Ethan Pendleton

When it comes to team sports, working together is everything. In order to get along on the field, everyone on the team needs to be on the same page before the game starts. Having each member sign a team contract ensures that everyone knows what is expected. Whether you're involved with a child's tee-ball team or an adult's semi-pro football team, here is how to draw up the team contract that will prevent conflict between players. (Hopefully!)

How to Write a Team Contract

Step 1

Make a list of the responsibilities each person on the team needs to fulfill. It's a good idea to put all of this information in the contract because a player's role may change. Also, when it comes to contracts, more information is better than less.

Step 2

Include as many dates and times as you can to ensure everyone knows where they are supposed to be. This includes the practice times and locations and the game schedule. Include a link to a website that features maps directing the player to the location of away games.

Step 3

List all of the costs each team member must bear, the date the money must be turned in, and to whom. The Milwaukee Department of School and Community Services produced a men's softball contract in which all of the players' costs are listed in bold. Organize the costs in whatever way you think will be clearest.

Step 4

Establish consequences for breaking a rule. Unfortunately, someone will always try to find ways around team rules. The contract should make clear what will happen when someone misbehaves. This way, if someone protests, all you need to do is show them the contract they signed.

Step 5

Present the contract in an easy-to-understand way in a team meeting. Read the entire document aloud and make sure that everyone understands. Take valid criticism into account. Once everyone agrees, have each member sign at the same time to reinforce that everyone is playing by the same rules.

Step 6

Consider your team contract a living document. Situations will always change and things will be different from year to year. It might be a good idea to turn your contract into a template. That way, you can plug in updated information each year.

References

About the Author

Ethan Pendleton is a teacher and writer in Columbus, Ohio. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Ohio State University at Marion and teaches writing in various capacities in his community.

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