Research Participant Information and Consent Form

Title of Study: “Examining Fringe Team Sport: An Exploration of Dodgeball”
Principal Investigator:
Jason Mergler
Applied Health Sciences PhD Candidate
Dr. Leisha Strachan
Professor, University of Manitoba, & Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies

This consent form, a copy of which can be sent to you for your records and reference, is only part of the process of informed consent. It should give you the basic idea of what the research is about and what your participation will involve. After reading through it, please feel free to ask for more detail or additional information.
Purpose of Study

This research study is being conducted, through the sport of dodgeball, to expand our understanding of the fringe team sport literature, investigate the participation and developmental trajectories of fringe team sport athletes, and inform a model of athlete development for Canadian fringe team sports.

Participant Selection

You are being asked to participate in this study because you are a Canadian adult (age 18 years and above) and were previously or currently are a member of a fringe team sport (i.e., dodgeball) or a mainstream team sport (i.e., indoor volleyball). Even if you only used to play either sport as your main sport (i.e., most played/practiced sport), please fill out the questionnaire for the years that you were involved. We will be collecting data from as many individuals as possible to help understand how fringe team sport athletes compare to mainstream team sport athletes in terms of their demographic information, sport participation and training histories, and sport-related financial costs.
Study Procedures

  • The survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.
  • The results of these surveys will be shared as the second phase study paper of a PhD dissertation and may be published and/or presented at conferences. However, identifying information from individual responses will be kept anonymized.
  • You may stop participating in the study at any time, for any reason, if you so decide, until data analysis begins (August 2023). You may also refrain from answering any questions at all.

Risks and Discomforts

The method of data collection for this study will be an online survey conducted through the American website, SurveyMonkey™. As such, responses are subject to American laws. Risks associated with participation are minimal and are similar to those associated with many email and social media websites such as Hotmail and Facebook.


While the benefits of this study might be indirect, this research will be important in providing previously unknown information about the development and participation histories of fringe team sport athletes, and in educating national and provincial/territorial sporting organizations about the value and integral membership of these alternative sports in the sporting community. Additionally, this research will create a greater understanding of the factors that influence the recruitment, retention, and advancement of fringe team sport athletes so that sport organizations can potentially create and provide more opportunities to participate between mainstream and fringe team sports and make sport systems more sustainable and efficient. Lastly, the data from this research will help build a model of fringe team sport athlete development, which would present clearer pathways for these athletes to grow and progress in their sport.


There is no cost to you to fill out the survey.

Payment for Participation

You will receive no payment or reimbursement for any expenses related to taking part in this study.


You will also be provided with a brief summary of the findings (distributed via your national and/or provincial sport organization) once the study has been completed. You can expect to receive this report between May to August 2024.

Confidentiality will be provided to the fullest extent possible by law. All data collected and contained in the study will be treated as confidential. The questionnaires will require participants to disclose their name and email address. To ensure the confidentiality of data both during the conduct of the research and in the release of its findings, these identifiers will then be coded, making it impossible to trace any data back to a specific individual. This process is necessary to remove participant data should they wish to withdraw from the study. Consistent with Statistics Canada guidelines for ensuring confidentiality in data, no cell sizes less than 5 will be reported or used in the description and analysis of the data. This practice ensures that it is impossible to trace any data back to a specific individual.

Participants consent to have their data used for the purpose of research in the form of a thesis (available through MSpace, University of Manitoba’s Institutional Repository), as well as academic outputs such as: presentations, conferences, and peer-reviewed publications. All results of the study will be presented as aggregate data, and no individual will ever be presented. No individual data will be presented during the dissemination of the results. Data will be stored for up to 5 years (August 2028), after which point the data will be destroyed.

The University of Manitoba Health Research Ethics Board (REB) may review records related to the study for quality assurance purposes. Individuals from the REB have a professional responsibility to protect your privacy.

All qualitative and quantitative data will be compiled and stored on secure servers, and password-protected computers and files that only the principal investigator – Jason Mergler, and advisor – Dr. Leisha Strachan, will be able to access. If any of your research records need to be copied to the REB, your name and all identifying information will be removed. No information revealing any personal information such as your name or email address will leave the University of Manitoba.
Voluntary Participation/Withdrawal from the Study

Your decision to take part in this study is voluntary. You may refuse to participate, or you may withdraw from the study until analysis begins (August 2023). Any participant may also withdraw while completing the survey by simply clicking the "exit" button or closing the browser tab. Should an individual wish to remove themselves from the study after completing the survey, they can email the PI at any time before the end of August 2023 to have their information and data destroyed immediately from the data set. Your decision not to participate or to withdraw from the study will not affect your relationship with the principal investigator, advisor, the University of Manitoba, or your sport organization.

If you are a student, your participation or discontinuation in this study will not constitute an element of your academic performance, nor will it be part of your academic record.

In the case of withdrawal, all participant data will be immediately removed and destroyed. There is no consequence from withdrawing from the study.


If any questions come up during or after the study, contact the principal investigator and the study staff:
  • Jason Mergler
  • 416-768-0592
  • Dr. Leisha Strachan
  • 204-474-8378
For questions about your rights as a research participant, you may contact The University of Manitoba, Fort Garry Campus Research Ethics Board Office at 204-474-7122 or
Statement of Consent

Clicking on the box below indicates that you have understood to your satisfaction the information regarding participation in the research project and agree to participate. In no way does this waive your legal rights nor release the researchers, sponsors, or involved institutions from their legal and professional responsibilities. You are free to withdraw from the study at any time, and/or refrain from answering any questions you prefer to omit, without prejudice or consequence. Your continued participation should be as informed as your initial consent, so you should feel free to ask for clarification or new information throughout your participation. The University of Manitoba may look at your research records to see that the research is being done in a safe and proper way. This research has been approved by the Research Ethics Board at the University of Manitoba, Fort Garry campus. If you have any concerns or complaints about this project, you may contact any of the above-named persons or the Human Ethics Office at 204-474-7122 or Upon completion, a copy of this consent form can be sent to you to keep for your records and reference. Please contact the principal investigator if you would like a copy of your responses.

Question Title

* 1. I consent to participate in the online questionnaire portion (phase 2) of the Understanding the Developmental Pathways of Fringe Team Sport Athletes research project. I have understood the nature of this project and wish to participate. I am not waiving any of my legal rights by consenting to this form.

Please note: Your responses will remain completely anonymous.

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* 2. Name

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* 3. Today's date


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* 4. Email address

5% of survey complete.