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Structural Dimensions of VSOs

Volunteer Sports Organizations are nonprofit entities formally constituted to offer members with opportunities to take part in organized sport and physical events either as an individual level or in a team (Cuskelly, Hoye & Auld 2006, p.17). Like any other organizations, VSOs also have structural dimensions that define their operations and limitations (Robinson &Palmer 2010).

According to Cuskelly Hoye, and Auld (2006), VSOs’ structure is made of five primary elements: volunteers, members, salaried staff, management committee (board) and a council. Members are the individual players, coaches, participants, administrators and other affiliated organizations. Examples of such affiliated organizations may include the competing clubs and other regional sports associations. One of the sole responsibilities of member organizations is to avail sporting facilities for various sports.

On VSOs, council plays a role similar to ordinary shareholders or principal directors in a company. They are registered members with voting rights awarded based on their membership status. Members of Council usually meet once a year to discuss matter pertaining the running of the organizations. In VSOs management structure, the council is charged the duty to elect, appoint or invite members for the purpose of management’s decision-making (Cuskelly, Hoye & Auld 2006, p.68). Their role, therefore, is to act as agents of the organization and membership.

VSOs’ management committee usually comprise of selected professionals, executives, and other salaried staffs. They represent the interest of the organizations’ membership, hence, their decisions must portray mutual interest of the members and the organization itself (Thiel & Mayer 2009, p.85). VSOs takes atop-down structure where at the top is the board to whom the executive reports. Other paid staffs, however, reports to the executives who are next in command on the board.

VSOs structural dimension is well organized (Cuskelly, Taylor, Hoye & Darcy 2006). It calls for high degree of responsibility, commitment, and discipline among the volunteers in areas such as coaching, provision of sporting facilities and exercise fairness in the provision of opportunities. The result of all these activities is a mutual benefit to members.


Cuskelly, G., Hoye, R. and Auld, C., 2006. Working with volunteers in sport: Theory and practice. Routledge

Cuskelly, G., Taylor, T., Hoye, R. and Darcy, S., 2006. Volunteer management practices and volunteer retention: A human resource management approach. Sports Management Review9(2), pp.141-163.

Robinson, L. and Palmer, D. eds., 2010. Managing voluntary sports organizations. Routledge.

Thiel, A. and Mayer, J., 2009. Characteristics of voluntary sports clubs management: A sociological perspective. EuropeanSports Management Quarterly9(1), pp.81-98.