Community sport organizations (CSO) deals with sport on the local level. It might include a municipal league (usualy team sports such as hockey and softball), a community centre based organization, private clubs or teams. In all cases, the role of this organization is to provide structured coaching, officiating, training and competition for athletes. A CSO is frequently an athlete’s first entry into a sport and may provide different levels of programs ranging from beginner to advanced, child to seniors, recreational to high performance. Some sports rely on clubs or teams for high performance athletes and it is common that athletes below the provincial and national level continue training with their CSO.
Clubs, teams and local sport organizations are usually affiliated with the Provincial Sport Organization (PSO), where one exists. They are normally a user-pay system, where an athlete buys a membership or pays into classes. When a local sport organization is a member of a PSO, they are required to abide by the policies set out by the provincial body.
The CSO is usually a not-for-profit organization (society) and can manage employees, apply for grants or perform other business functions such as fundraising.