Series: Series5000     Sub Series: 5000     Policy Number: 5280
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It is the objective of the Board of Education that parity will exist and be maintained within the district’s interscholastic athletic program in terms of the number and kind of sports activities for girls and boys.


The interscholastic athletic program has been designed to enhance the educational experience of our students. Sports involvement provides student athletes with the opportunity to develop physically, mentally, and emotionally.  The personal characteristics of physical fitness, athletic skill, leadership, discipline, self-esteem, loyalty, cooperation, motivation, sense of fair play, and the development of long term friendships are promoted by participation in athletics.  The objective of the Rhinebeck interscholastic athletic program is to complement the objectives and policies of the school in the development of well-rounded individuals who are capable of taking their place in today’s society.


The individual sports in the interscholastic athletic program are competitive in nature. Most sports in the athletic program have three levels of competition, Modified, Junior Varsity, and Varsity, as student interest and other factors allow.


Modified sports are designed for students in grades 7 and 8. The emphasis at the Modified Level is on participation while learning the necessary skills to compete at more advanced levels. Exceptional athletes in the 7th and 8th grade may try out for teams at the JV or Varsity level after successfully completing the “Athletic Placement Process” (APP), as outlined by the New York State Education Department for that particular sport. The Athletic Placement Process (APP) should only be used for “exceptional athletes,” typically athletes who are expected by the coach to start and to play a majority of each game due to their skills and abilities. The Athletic Placement Process will not be implemented to fill out roster spots. Regardless of the reason, the Athletic Placement Process will be implemented at the sole discretion of the school district.


Junior Varsity sports are, for the most part, for students in 9th and 10th grades. 11th graders may be allowed to play JV sports, and 12th graders are only allowed to participate at the JV level under certain circumstances and with the advance permission of the Mid-Hudson Athletic League. Here the emphasis is on fine-tuning sport-specific skills and on participation. Varsity level teams are generally for 11th and 12th grade students, and selection for these teams is based on skill and performance. At the Varsity level, there is a particularly strong emphasis on competitive play.


Each program shall be designed in a manner that is similar to our academic curriculum. The knowledge and skills needed to be successful on the Varsity level should be used to establish the skills and knowledge developed at the JV and Modified Levels.  It is desirable that those who wish to participate are given every opportunity to do so, but where fiscal or sport limitations play a part in determining squad size, the basic criteria for team membership shall be athletic skill.


During the try-out process, coaches will evaluate players based on their skills and their knowledge of the game, as well as their character, coachability, work ethic, and commitment, and will select team members based upon those criteria. To the maximum extent possible, coaches shall adhere to the stated goals, principles and philosophy of the interscholastic athletic program in effect at the time. Coaches may not use a potential player’s participation or non-participation in a private club or team, in a private off-season or pre-season camp, and/or in a private training program as a selection criterion for membership and/or participation on an athletic team.     


The following guidelines shall be used in implementing this policy:

  1.  Individual sports within the interscholastic athletic program may be financed through donations by booster organizations as deemed necessary by the Board of Education.
  2. Eligibility rules adopted by the Board of Education shall apply (see Policy 5305, Eligibility for Extracurricular Activities)
  3. Parents shall sign a permission slip for their children to participate in interscholastic athletics.
  4. Every precaution should be taken to protect the health of the individual student. Each participant must have a physical examination. Every injury should be reported immediately to the coach who in turn should report it to the athletic trainer, to the nurse, and to the parent, as soon as practicable, preferably the same day. The parent is responsible for follow-up treatment of injuries. District policy specifically addresses concussions and head injuries, which are the most commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and can have serious consequences if not managed carefully. However, following an absence from participation for any injury, the student must have a doctor’s signed statement authorizing his/her return to participation.
  5. Students should be supervised at all times. Coaches should see to it that students have left locker rooms and the building after practices.

Coaches are responsible for administering the athletic program for their teams, ensuring the safety of student athletes, caring and accounting for school property, working closely and harmoniously with fellow coaches and teachers, remaining current in best coaching practices, game strategies and tactics, and rules changes, using positive and encouraging motivational strategies to inspire and support student athletes, and modeling good sportsmanship and appropriate behavior on and off the field or court.


Parents can best support the program by encouraging their children to participate fully and to enjoy the competitive experience, by modeling good sportsmanship and appropriate behavior as spectators before, during, and after athletic competitions, and by supporting the decisions of the coaches, administrators, and other members of the school staff in connection with the district interscholastic athletic program.

District Reference:

General Reference:

Education Law §§1709 (8-a); 3001-b 
8 NYCRR §135.4 

Adoption Date:

Last Revised:

Last Reviewed: