Athletic Code of Conduct

Athletic Department Goals | Philosophy | Athlete Responsibilities | Conditions of Involvement | Legal Authority | PenaltiesCyber Image Policy | Process for Penalty Reduction | Team Captain Higher Standard | Application of the Code | Attendance for Athletes | Student Arrest | Individual Team Standards | Academic Eligibility | Transportation | Withdrawing from a Team | Eligibility for Tryouts | Section II Sportsmanship Policy for Athletes | Spectator Behavior System | Participation in Physical Education | Eligibility | Vacation Policy for Athletes | FAQ

Section 1: Athletic Department Goals

  1. Greater Amsterdam School District (GASD) Athletes will develop responsibility and leadership through self-discipline, a strong work ethic, respect for others, a winning attitude, regard for team and school rules, and respect for oneself.
  2. GASD Athletics is an extension of the classroom experience, designed to support and enhance academic achievement
  3. GASD Athletic Program will strive to involve as many students as possible to maximize opportunities to support moral, social and emotional growth of student athletes.
  4. GASD Athletics will provide support for coaches, who through their positive leadership will    exemplify the values set forth in these goals.

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Section 2: Philosophy

  1. In the Greater Amsterdam Central School District Athletic Program, we believe that participation on an athletic team is a privilege, which should elicit great pride in both the student athlete and his/her family.  It is also an acceptance of responsibility, which requires an extra commitment from those who wear our school colors and represent their teammates, coaches, school and community. Standards of behavior are necessarily high and a willingness to meet these standards is a condition for being a member of one of our teams.
  2. Our coaches are responsible for providing leadership, encouragement and direction to assist the student-athlete with meeting his/her personal commitment to their team.  They are also responsible for providing the student-athlete the opportunity to compete in an athletic environment that fosters sportsmanship and fair play. Coaches will strive to enhance the academic pursuit of the student athlete through athletic participation.  The following guidelines serve as benchmarks for the conduct of coaches.

Coach’s Responsibilities


  • Possesses and maintains a moral character that is in congruence with the expectations of the Board of Education, School and Athletic Department.
  • Possesses all qualifications and criteria established by the NYSPHSAA for coaches, supervisors and department heads.
  • Possesses all necessary certifications in accordance to the NYSPHSAA and the State Educations Department i.e., First Aid, CPR, AED, Life Guarding, Coaching Certification (if applicable), Finger Printing, etc.
  • Possesses a good knowledge of the sport assigned including, but not limited to, knowledge of training and conditioning techniques and the ability to diagnose player deficiencies and prescribe corrective activities.
  • Possesses a good ability to communicate with parents, students, staff, and other coaches.
  • Possesses the ability to address situations dealing with blood, bodily fluids, and tissue.

Preseason Administrative duties:

  • Arrange a daily practice schedule and calendar (give a copy to the AD, combining schools, parents/guardians and the main office)
  • Attend coach’s meeting with Athletic Director
  • Recruit students to play
  • Arrange for scrimmages with other schools
  • Arrange to attend invitational’s (if applicable)
  • Host parent informational meetings
  • Arrange for requalification’s and/or physicals of athletes
  • Prepare all forms necessary for student eligibility
  • Head coach will meet with staff, to explain expectations, present playbooks and scouting responsibilities
  • Coaches must ride on the bus at all times!

Goals and Performance Responsibilities:

Goal A: To manage and supervise the assigned athletic program.
  • Assign duties and responsibilities to assistant coaches with approval of Coordinator of the Department
  • Coordinate the issuance, care, and inventory of equipment, supplies, (medical, as well as others), and uniforms
  • Assist the Department Coordinator in purchasing equipment, supplies, and uniforms for particular sport.
  • Assist the Department Coordinator in scheduling independent games and officials.
  • Supervise students at all times form the time practice or activity starts until students leave for home.  At no time should students be without direct supervision of a coach.
  • Coordinate the security of all facilities used by the team and coaching staff.
    Submit all mandatory forms to the Coordinator of the Department.
  • Ensure the proper completion of physical examinations and all forms relating to the examinations and emergency medical authorization before a student participates.
  • Ensure proper completion of parental emergency release forms when the team is traveling.
  • Coordinate the distribution, collection, storage of athletic equipment, uniforms and supplies (during the season and at its conclusion), and for the collection of fees for lost equipment and uniforms by athletes.
  • Show respect for officials, press, opposing coaches, visiting teams, parents, fans, students, athletes, fellow coaches, and teachers.
  • Be a leader among young student athletes as an athletic coach and as a classroom teacher.
  • Be responsible for security at all facilities used by team and coaching staff when custodians are not on duty.
  • Set up all scouting trips and meetings with coaches.
  • Perform any other duties or responsibilities related to the coaching position as needed or directed by the high school principal and/or department coordinator.
Goal B: To establish and environment in which athletes can gain self-esteem and develop a positive self-image.
  • Be responsible for awards presentations made during annual awards programs, and incorporating total coaching staff.
  • Demonstrate a interest in the classroom efforts and off-season activities of athletes, i.e. academic performance, college preparation/recruiting, etc.
  • Work with athletes in a fair, understanding, tolerant, sympathetic, and patient manner.
  • Encourage students to participate in more than one sport.
  • Encourage students to try different positions, events, etc.
  • Promote school and community interest in the sport by:
    • Appearing at school pep rallies
    • Holding preseason parent meeting
    • Attending Booster club meetings (if applicable)
    • Maintaining a pleasant, workable relationship with news media, opposing coaches, faculty, administration, etc.
    • Preparing public address announcements for in-school reading
  • Notify all members of the team of all policies, procedures, eligibility (academic and athletic), and training rules as they pertain to the team.
  • Be responsible for the conduct of student athletes and other involved students at all times-practices, games, bus rides, other schools, etc.
  • Promote unity within the coaching fraternity and within the framework of the athletic department.
  • Report any nettlesome issues surrounding game management to coordinator prior to addressing these issues with opposing coaches, schools, administrators and players.
Goal C: To establish winning teams within the bounds of good sportsmanship.
  • Develop teamwork, morale, sportsmanship, courtesy, fair play, academic excellence, and strict adherence to rules of training, eligibility, and conduct.
  • Develop practice plans that will meet the needs of all your athletes.  Hold your athletes accountable for knowing plays, drills and routines.
  • Every practice is a teachable moment.  Do Not Cancel Practice! If something comes up, you must find a certified coach to substitute for you.
  • JV and Varsity practices must be held on Saturdays and over breaks.
  • Promote the attitude among athletes and coaches that winning is important but is secondary to good sportsmanship and the overall welfare of the athlete.

Term of Employment

The length of the contract shall be determined by the length of the athletic season as established by the New State Public High School Athletic Association, the administration and board of education.

I understand that I must make reasonable decisions and must act on those decisions to ensure that the goals are met as a precursor for continuation of employment.

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Section 3: Athlete Responsibilities

  1. Responsibilities to Yourself: The most important of these responsibilities is to broaden and develop strength of character.  You owe it to yourself to derive the greatest benefit from your high school experiences. It is your responsibility to live a healthy lifestyle and to respect your health both physically and mentally at all time.
  2. Responsibility to your Academic Studies: Your academic studies, and your participate in other extracurricular activities as well as sports, prepare you for your life as an adult.  Athletics, while very important to many young people, is only a small part of life. It is important to realize also how few athletes make it to the collegiate level and beyond, and that academic studies and career development are of utmost importance.
  3. Responsibilities to Your School: Another responsibility you assume as a squad member is to your school.  Having outstanding schools requires that you do your best in the activity in which you engage.  As a student athlete, you represent your school at all times and are therefore held to a high standard for behavior and responsibility.
  4. Responsibility to your Community: The community and school tax monies make this athletic experience possible.  For that reason, we must remember that we hold a clear and paramount responsibility to our community.  You assume a leadership role when you are on the athletic squad. The student body and citizens of the community know you.  You are very visible with the spotlight on you. The student body, our community and other communities judge our schools by your conduct and attitude both on and off the field.  This leadership role enables you to contribute significantly to school spirit and community pride. Our desire is that our student athletes are acknowledged and recognized for their character, grace and sportsmanship, rather than just by the team’s win/loss record or any other player’s individual achievements. We urge you to make GASD proud of you and your community proud of your school by your consistent demonstration of these ideals.
  5. Responsibility to Others: As a squad member you also bear a heavy responsibility to your family.  It is your responsibility to exhibit the character and sportsmanship your family can be proud of when you know in your heart that you have lived up to all of the training rules, that you have practiced to the best of your ability everyday and that you have played the game “all out” you can keep your self-respect and your family can be justly proud of you win or lose.
  6. Responsibility to Younger Athletes: The younger students in GASD Athletics are watching you.  They know who you are and what you do. The other upper-class athletes are role models for the young athletes that will come after you. Make them proud. Be an example. They will copy you in many ways. Do not do anything to let them down. Set good examples for them.

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Section 4: Conditions of Involvement

  1. A student who elects to participate in athletics is voluntarily making a choice of self-discipline and commitment.  These are the reasons we place conditions on involvement as the healthy, safety and welfare of athletes must be our first priority.  Good training habits and lifestyle are necessary for us to insure this experience. Failure to comply with the rules of training and conduct means exclusion from the squad.  This concept of self-discipline and commitment is tempered by our responsibility to recognize the rights of the individual within the objectives of the team and the interscholastic program.  There is no place in high school athletics for students who will not discipline their minds and bodies for rigorous competition.
  2. It is the role of the department of athletics to establish and maintain rules that govern the spirit of training and competition for the school district.  These are the clear and consistent boundaries that ensure the success of our young people. These rules need a board basis of community support, which is achieved only through communication to the parent, the coaches, the student athletes and fans.  It is our hope to accomplish this objective through this athletic publication for students and parents.

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Section 5: Legal Authority

  1. The Supreme Court upholds Codes for Athletes and Sports.  Athletic Codes of Conduct and drug testing have been upheld five times by the Supreme Court of the United States of America.  That is the basis for the support in athletics. We must insure the health and safety of those that partake in high-level physical activities.
  2. The New York State Education upholds Codes for Athletes.  In New York State, high school athletics is governed by the New York State Department of Education, with the New York State Public High School Athletic Association authorized to organize sports.  In the year 2001 interscholastic athletics was referenced under the Educational Framework for Athletics the learning standard written for Physical Education and Health making these experiences educationally based.
  3. Athletics is not an Extra-Curricular Activity in NYS (From NY State Department of Education 2001 (EFA) Educational Framework for Interscholastic Athletic Programs). This statement identified educational expectations for school based athletics in response to SAVE legislation.  This established athletics as a co-curricular program that is part of a student’s overall educational experience.
  4. The Code of Conduct for Athletes is based on the following NY State Learning Standard: Learning standard 2 for Health Physical education and family and consumer sciences: a safe and healthy environment which calls for students to demonstrate personally and socially responsible behavior to care and respect themselves and others to recognize threats to the environment, and to demonstrate responsible personal and social behavior while engaged in physical activity.

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Section 6: Penalties

The following procedures were developed to support student athletes in adhering to the Code of Conduct and to prevent students from jeopardizing the behavioral safety and character expectations outlines in this document.  These penalties have been developed with a “corrective” component whereby students have an opportunity to remain involved in athletics to the extent possible. It is based upon the concept of progressive discipline and provides the student with every opportunity to “get back on track.”

Conduct Penalties & Hazing

  1. Any student-athlete found to have committed offenses including but not limited to: poor citizenship, multiple discipline issues or out of school suspension will result in a Conduct Violation.  The Review Committee has the right to deny the student-athlete their ability to have the violation reduced based on the circumstances of the violation.
  2. Effective on the date when penalties under the code are imposed, the athlete will be placed on probation for one calendar year.
  3. During the period of probation the athlete will be expected to practice with the team (unless directed otherwise by the coach) but will not be allowed to participate in the team’s scheduled competitions according to the eligibility chart.  For example, a player on a team with a 16-game schedule found guilty of multiple class cuts would be expected to practice with the team but would not be permitted to participate in the first four scheduled contests. During the probation period scrimmages do not count as contests, however student-athletes on probation may not participate in team scrimmages.
  4. Penalties which cannot be served during the sport season, in which they are imposed, will be carried over for completion in the next sports season in which the athlete participates in and completes.  The penalty assigned will be adjusted proportionately based on the number of regular season scheduled contests in the subsequent season.
  5. Any student athlete can at any time make a self-referral for a violation of the chemical health standards.  This self-referral must be made prior to any investigation and must be made to the Athletic Director.
  6. Hazing/Initiation Ceremony-GASD coaches will not permit nor will GASD student athlete’s stage any type of “initiation ceremony” or hazing for athletes at any time and on any level.  This prohibition includes any athlete giving other athletes haircuts, having other athletes, locker-shower pranks, etc. A Hazing violation will result in a full year contest reduction with no ability to reduce penalty.

Chemical Health Violations

Any student athlete found to have committed offenses including, but not limited to: possession/and our use of alcohol or tobacco; attendance at a party where drugs/alcohol are being served; the distribution of tobacco product and/or alcoholic beverages whether on or off school grounds; the use or possession of illegal drugs, prescription or controlled substances, or drug paraphernalia, whether on or off school grounds; hosting a party where alcohol is served; sale or distribution of illegal drugs, prescription or controlled substance or drug paraphernalia whether on or off school grounds will be subject to the penalties outlined in 6-3 and the Eligibility Chart.

Full Year Contest Reduction

  1. Any behavior more severe then written in 6-7, including but not limited to large scale breaches of the School or Athletic Code of Conduct will result in a full calendar year contest reduction.  The Athletic Review Team will review the assessed consequences on an individual basis. The Athletic Review team will review the assessed consequences on an individual basis.
  2. A second violation while the student-athlete is on probation will result in a full calendar year contest reduction without the ability to reduce penalty.  A second violation of a chemical healthy offense will result in a mandatory FIVE session counseling program.

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Section 7: Cyber Image Policy

Any identifiable image, photo or video which implicates a student athlete to have been in possession or presence of drugs or portrays a actual use or out of character behavior or crime shall be confirmation of a violation of the code.  Since there is no way to establish a time frame for when or location of where the image was taken, it shall be a responsibility that the student athlete must assume. It must also be noted that there may be a persons who would attempt to implicate an athlete by taking such images to place them in a situation where they might be in violation of this code standard.  It is critical that our athletes not place themselves in such environments.

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Section 8: Process for Penalty Reduction

  1. Education: In the result of a Conduct Violation the student athlete and parent will have a meeting with the Athletic Director to design a behavior agreement and organize a plan to improve designated behavior.  In the case of a Chemical Health Violation the process requires that the parent/guardian and student-athlete see a qualified chemical health specialist, counselor or social worker to discuss the magnitude and status of the chemical health of the individual.
  2. Legal Ramifications: The process requires the parent/guardian and student-athlete to see the SRO (School Resource Officer) to discuss the legal ramifications of the behavior of concern and to discuss the law and youth risk behaviors.
  3. Corrective: The student-athlete and parent/guardian must come to an understanding that corrective measures are necessary in order to resume the athletic career or to practice and compete again.  This shall include a document signed by the student-athlete and parent/guardian which clearly states agreed to changes and conditions. This document acknowledges that a violation has occurred that they (parent/guardian and student-athlete) are willing to make changes in order to resume/continue athletic participation and that they will adhere to the code standards.  It also indicates that the parent/guardian and student-athlete are aware of the next level of consequence that would result should another violation occur.
  4. Restorative: The student-athlete must address the teammates and coaches and admit to the violation, show remorse, ask to come back to the team and recommit to provisions of the CODE by resigning it in front of teammates and coaches.
  5. If the student-athlete completes the 4-step process the penalty of games will be reduced by half.

Eligibility Chart

  • No. of regularly scheduled contest: 8
    • Conduct Violation: 2
    • Chemical Health Violation: 4
  • No. of regularly scheduled contest: 9
    • Conduct Violation: 2
    • Chemical Health Violation: 4
  • No. of regularly scheduled contest: 10
    • Conduct Violation: 2
    • Chemical Health Violation: 4
  • No. of regularly scheduled contest: 11
    • Conduct Violation: 2
    • Chemical Health Violation: 4
  • No. of regularly scheduled contest: 12
    • Conduct Violation: 3
    • Chemical Health Violation: 6
  • No. of regularly scheduled contest: 13
    • Conduct Violation: 3
    • Chemical Health Violation: 6
  • No. of regularly scheduled contest: 14
    • Conduct Violation: 3
    • Chemical Health Violation: 6
  • No. of regularly scheduled contest: 15
    • Conduct Violation: 3
    • Chemical Health Violation: 6
  • No. of regularly scheduled contest: 16
    • Conduct Violation: 4
    • Chemical Health Violation: 8
  • No. of regularly scheduled contest: 17
    • Conduct Violation: 4
    • Chemical Health Violation: 8
  • No. of regularly scheduled contest: 18
    • Conduct Violation: 4
    • Chemical Health Violation: 8
  • No. of regularly scheduled contest: 19
    • Conduct Violation: 4
    • Chemical Health Violation: 8
  • No. of regularly scheduled contest: 20
    • Conduct Violation: 5
    • Chemical Health Violation: 10

It should be noted, not withstanding the above chart of penalties, that the facts of an incident may warrant immediate removal from the team if the Athletic Discipline Review Team and the administration believe that the offense committed by the athlete warrants such actions.

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Section 9: Team Captain Higher Standard

  1. Recent AAI surveys indicate that as many as 48% of team student leaders are involved in the “party culture.”
  2. Student-athlete leaders will be held to the highest standard of behavior, because they chose to be an example to their peers.  Any student-athlete in a leadership role will face a greater consequence for violations of the code than team members.
  3. A team leader in violation of Section 6 of the Code of Conduct WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE GAME REDUCTION PROCESS.

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Section 10: Application of the Code

  1. The Code of Conduct will apply to each student athlete for one calendar year (including summer) from the date of his/her most recent signature and will be in effect in all locations including non-school activities.
  2. All violations of the Code will be cumulative beginning with a student’s participation on a modified, freshman, junior varsity or varsity team.

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Section 11: Attendance for Athletes

  1. Student-athletes are expected to attend all practices and contests unless excused by the coach.  It is the athlete’s responsibility to notify the coach in advance of any circumstances, which would prohibit attendance at practice(s) other than absence from school.  Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action ranging from a verbal warning to a conduct violation.
  2. A student who is absent from school will not be eligible for participation in any athletic event or practice session on the day he or she is absent.
  3. Students who are members of an interscholastic athletic team are expected to be in school on time on a daily basis.  Students will be ineligible for practice or contest participation that day if they do not report to the attendance office by the end of period 2 (9:37).  Students who report to school after period 2 must present a legal written excuse signed by a parent or guardian to be eligible for participation on that day.  Examples of Legal Excuses (1) Personal illness (2) Death in the family (3) Impassable roads (4) Religious Observance (5) Medical exam
  4. Athletes that present the attendance office with 4 or more legal excuses in one sport season will have a review by the Athlete Review Team on the nature of the tardy excuses.
  5. Athletes that report to school then leave for an illness are not eligible for a contest or practice on that day.  If a student-athlete reports to school then has a legal excuse (note from parent) to leave school they are eligible to participate in that days contest.

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Section 12: Student Arrest

In an event that police arrest a student-athlete the student will be suspended from the team until the court proceedings are completed and they have rendered a decision.  Each case will be individually handled specifically for that student athlete. Further consequences may be handed down if the student-athlete is found guilty in a court of law.  The following are guides to help determine the length of a suspension for a student:

  • Violation: 10% to entire Season
  • Misdemeanor: 20% to entire School Year
  • Felony: Career ban from interscholastic athletes

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Section 13: Individual Team Standards

Often a coach will develop standards for a specific team.  These standards may come in the form of responsibilities, requirements, expectations and penalties for violations.  They will reflect the standards of this handbook and the coach’s expectations for his/her team. They may also address such issues as attendance at practices and games, expected behavior at practices and games and other issues not specifically covered in this handbook.  The athletic director will approve these specific team standards and a copy will be kept on file in the athletic director’s office. Once approved by the athletic director, these standards will act as an extension of the district Athletic Code of Conduct.

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Section 14: Academic Eligibility

  1. All students who participate on an interscholastic athletic team will have their academic progress monitored by the Athletic Department at the completion of every 5-week period.  Any athlete who is failing 1 or more classes or receives an incomplete in one or more subjects at the time of academic review will be placed on academic probation.
  2. Student athletes on academic probation are required to attend an after school study hall session two times a week.  Failure to report to the study hall will make the student-athlete ineligible for participation in interscholastic athletics for one contest for every absence of the study hall.
  3. After five weeks each student athlete is still failing the student is off probation and can discontinue the study hall.
  4. IF the student athlete is still failing the course but shows improvement they will remain on probation and continue the study hall.  If the student-athlete shows no improvement in the course he/she will be declared ineligible for the remaining games on their schedule.  The athletic director and teacher will determine the progress and effort of the student athlete in determining a player’s eligibility to participate.
  5. Students with multiple failures will be subject to review by the athletic director and high school principal to determine eligibility for participation in athletes.

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Section 15: Transportation

Travel to and from athletic contests:

  • Student athletes are required to ride in the vehicle(s) provided by the GASD in compliance with New York State’s Project SAVE legislation.  Exceptions may be made for extenuating circumstances.
  • The Parent/Guardian must complete the permission slip found in the back of the booklet and return to the athletic office two days in advance of the contest.  We encourage student athletes to ride home with their team.
  • The Student Athlete is expected to be polite and courteous to the drivers and transportation aides.
  • All school rules are in effect during transportation
  • Every attempt should be made to leave the vehicle in its original condition

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Section 16: Withdrawing from a Team

A student athlete may withdraw from the team any time prior to the first competition or before the last day of tryouts without consequence.
A student athlete who withdraws after the first competition will be required to sit out TWO games of that season or the following sport season which ever happens first.  Exceptions for withdrawal without penalty will be at the discretion of the Athletic Director and Athletic Review Team.

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Section 17: Eligibility for Tryouts

All GASD requirements shall conform to the current requirements of the New York State Education Department and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.

  • A Physical examination by a licensed medical doctor or medical practitioner.  (A) Exam must declare the student fit for the appropriate activity (B) Exams are required for modified, freshmen, junior varsity and varsity sports (C) Exam results must be submitted to the school nurse prior to any participation in the sport.
  • Requirements for 7th or 8th grade eligibility for freshmen, JV or Varsity Sports (For Truly Exceptional Athletes): (A) Must have a physical examination as stated above (B) Must gain approval of the Director of Athletics (C) Must gain approval of the school physician (D) Must complete NYS Selection Classification Process (E) Must display exceptional skill and appropriate maturity level.
  • For a girl to play on a boys’ team or a boy to play on a girls’ team (A) The student athlete and Parent/Guardian must submit a written request to the district superintendent and gain approval from the superintendent (B) Must have a physical examination as stated above (C) The student’s primary care physician and the school’s physician must give their consent (D) Must pass the NYS Mixed Competition Program (E) Must pass the NYS Fitness Screening Test for the sport.
  • All student athletes must complete Parts A and B of the Code of Conduct to be eligible to participate in their first contest.  This form must be handed back to your coach.

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Section 18: Section II Sportsmanship Policy for Athletes

  • Learn and understand the rules of your sport
  • Play hard; play to win but play fairly within the rules
  • Do not allow your temper to distract you from the fundamentals of good sportsmanship.  Maintain self-control; respect your opponent
  • Never taunt.  Congratulate him or her at the game’s end.  Acknowledge good play.
  • Respect the integrity and judgment of the officials.  Never question the decision of an official
  • Be an example for your school, teammates and opponents.  A player who is disqualified from a contest for unsportsmanlike behavior by an official is prohibited from playing in the next regularly scheduled contest game PLUS a conduct violation.  A player who strikes or otherwise physically assaults an official will be subject to an extended suspension from athletic competition.  A physical confrontation with an official is any incident in which a player either strikes, bumps, or otherwise physically intimidates an official prior to, during or after a contest or game. (Citation: Section taken from Section II Handbook 2010)

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Section 19: Spectator Behavior System

  1. The problem of negative fan behavior has reached levels of concern in all sports venues and needs to be seriously addressed.  The American Athletic Institute through its mandated high school chemical-healthy program ”Life of an Athlete,”has a red and yellow card warning system that has been adopted by the Greater Amsterdam Central School District.
  2. The spectator is given a yellow card as a warning that their behavior may not be appropriate for an interscholastic athletic contest.  The warning is described on the card. If the behavior continues they would receive a red card. If the spectator receives a red card they would be asked to leave the contest by the appropriate site leader
  3. If a parent receives 4 total cards in the same sport season they will forfeit their right to attend any GASD athletic contest for remainder of that season.
  4. If a parent accumulates 5 total cards in their son/daughter’s playing career they will forfeit their right to attend any GASD athletic contest for the remainder of the student-athlete’s career.

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Section 20: Participation in Physical Education

All athletes are expected to attend and participate in all classes including dressing for and participating in physical education class
If a student athlete does not participate in physical education class on the day of a scheduled contest the athlete is not eligible to participate in that days contest.

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Section 21: Eligibility

  • According to NYSPHSAA Regulations, in order for a student to be eligible for interscholastic competition they must meet the following criteria:
    • Be a registered student in school
    • Enrolled in a minimum of four subjects including Physical education.
  • Duration of competition (High school level) students are eligible to compete for:
    • Four consecutive years upon entry into 9th grade
    • Four years in one sport unless advanced by selective classification. Students reaching the age of 19 prior to July 1 may not participate during the school year.

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Section 22: Vacation Policy for Athletes

In order for students to participate in varsity level athletics it is necessary for student athletes to attend all practices and contests.  Dedicated participation of each student athlete is essential to the morale and performance of the entire team. Athletes and their families are encouraged to plan trips and other foreseeable family obligations around the athletic calendar.
If student athletes are aware of vacation plans that conflict with their obligations to the team they must notify their coach immediately.
Student athletes who miss a scheduled contest(s) during the season shall be deemed ineligible for an equal number of contest(s).  The Athletic Director shall determine all matters of student eligibility. Appeals for special circumstances may be submitted to the athletic director and review team.

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Section 23: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who can tryout for an interscholastic team?

A: A student who has a current physical examination and meets the requirements of the NYSPHSAA may try out for a team.

Q: Will all candidates make the team?

A: Students may fail to make a team for lack of ability in the sport, poor attitude or unexcused absence from practice.  The sport-specific criteria for making a team will be reviewed with the parents and the student athletes at the pre-season meeting.  Any sports program making cuts will follow the guidelines reviewed at the pre-season meeting.

Q: When does practice begin on school days?

A: Practice may not officially begin until 2:30pm.  Practice times may vary after 2:30pm. The coach should distribute a practice schedule to each member of the team.  Students participating in after school tutoring should report immediately following their tutoring.

Q: Will an athlete play in every game?

A: All student athletes on modified teams will play in every game.  Student athletes on freshman, JV or Varsity may or may not play in every game.  Coaches base their decision regarding playing time on an athlete’s attitude, skill, practice attendance, fitness and the level of the competition the team is facing.  Questions regarding playing time should first be addressed by the student athlete to their coach followed by the Athletic Director if needed. Playing time issues should never be addressed immediately following a game.  If the issue cannot be resolved parents should contact the athletic director.

Q: Does the school pay the bills for athletic injuries?

A: Family health insurance policies cover athletic injuries.  The school insurance pays only after the family’s insurance is exhausted.  It will not necessarily take care of remaining bills. There is a set schedule for maximum payments for each injury.

Varsity Program Philosophy

Varsity competition is the culmination of each sport’s program.  Normally, seniors and juniors make up the majority of the roster.  Occasionally, a sophomore and infrequently a freshman may be included on the team providing that evidence of advanced levels of physical development, athletic skill and appropriate socio-emotional development is demonstrated.  It is possible but rare for a middle school level student to be included on a varsity roster. Selection classification occurs more frequently in sports commonly classified as “individual” (track, golf, swimming, etc.)

Squad size at the varsity level is limited.  The number of participants on any given team is a function of those needed to conduct an effective and meaningful practice and to play the contest.  It is vital that each team member has a role and is informed of its importance. The number of roster positions is relative to the students’ acceptance of their individual roles in pursuit of the team’s goals.  While contest participation over the course of a season is desirable, a specified amount of playing time at the varsity level is never guaranteed.

A sound attitude and advanced level of skill are prerequisites for a position on a varsity team, as in the realization that a varsity sport requires a six-day-a-week commitment.  This commitment is often extended into vacation periods for all sport seasons. While contests and practices are rarely held on holidays and Sundays, the dedication and commitment needed to conduct a successful varsity program should be taken seriously.  The varsity coach is the leader of that sport’s program and determines the system of instruction and strategy for that program. The communication among the modified, junior varsity and varsity programs is the responsibility of the varsity coach. Preparing for success, striving for victory in each contest and working to reach the groups and individuals maximum potential are worthy goals of a varsity level team.

Junior Varsity Program Philosophy

The junior varsity level is intended for those who display the potential of continued development into productive varsity level performers.  Although team membership varies according to the structure of each program, sophomores occupy the majority of roster positions. In certain situations, juniors who are expected to make contributions at the varsity level will be considered for junior varsity participation.  Also, freshmen may be included on a junior varsity roster, as well as middle school students who have satisfied all selection classification requirements at this level, athletes are expected to have visibly committed themselves to the program, team and continued self-development.  Junior varsity programs work towards achieving a balance between continued team and player development and striving for victory. The outcome of the contest becomes a consideration at this level.

Modified Program Philosophy

This program is available to all students in the seventh, eighth and ninth grades.  Sport activities offered are determined by the existence of leagues, student interest, and the relationship to the high school program.  At this level, the focus is on learning athletic skills and games rules, fundamentals of team play, socio-emotional growth, physiologically appropriate demands on the adolescent body, and healthy competition.

At the modified level if the number of students trying out for a team creates a situation that is difficult to manage, poses  a safety problem or is problematic because of facility considerations.

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