Most schools will require a teacher sponsor to start any club, and it’s highly encouraged that you have one because they can legally handle all money processes involved with speech. It’s highly recommended that your teacher sponsor is also your coach, has some experience/willingness to learn about speech and debate, and will make a long-term commitment to the team. Try asking your theater, english, or communications teachers if you don’t already have a speech and debate coach!
Your teacher sponsor should be in charge of this. No money transactions should be handled by students. Your club will most likely need to collect dues from each member of the team, which will help fund tournament fees and a potion can be used to purchase some team merch! Your team can also start a booster club to help fundraise throughout the year, and it’ll need to be registered as a 501(c)(3). Given the COVID environment, it’s encouraged to have all forms of payment as electronic.
You will need a teacher sponsor to help coordinate between your team and your school. Paperwork will vary from school to school, so have him/her check with what forms will need to be filled out to officially register your team. Specifics about the paperwork needed for tournaments is detailed in the next section.
Your team should also have a club signup contact sheet for not only students of the team, but parents as well. This way, your coach will be able to contact any member or their parents in case of an emergency or if they just want to send out general information.
It is highly encouraged that your team creates a handbook. You want this to include the bylaws of your team. Expectations of tournament behavior, values, rules for the team, how consequences will be handled, etc. should be considered. You might also want to lay out what your teacher sponsor and student officers are in charge of. If you choose to start a booster club, bylaws for them should also be written.