ST. THERESA PARISH ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
ATHLETIC POLICY HANDBOOK
The St. Theresa Parish Athletic Association (STPAA) seeks to maximize the involvement of all athletes within the Parish on an age appropriate basis applying Catholic principles. At the elementary level STPAA’s focus is on developing the student’s appreciation of the game, on teaching basic skills, and on encouraging the student’s development as a member of a team.
At the Middle school level, STPAA emphasizes a learning and preparatory experience for high school and possible college participation. At the High school level, STPAA provides opportunity for Parish youth to refine and develop athletic talents as part of their life-long learning and fitness goals as they transition to higher education and adult life.
STPAA operates programs in Soccer (fall), Cheerleading and Basketball (winter) and Track & Field and Volleyball (spring). Where numbers permit, STPAA assigns students to compete with peers of their age or grade.
STPAA operates for the benefit of the children and youth of St. Theresa Parish, and is part of the Religious Education program of the Parish. The STPAA program develops young athletes’ skills and instills sportsmanship with a Catholic perspective. STPAA is mindful always, however, to the importance of academics to our young athletes.
St. Theresa Parish Athletic Association is a member of the Diocese of Harrisburg Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). STPAA abides by and enforces all rules and regulations set forth by the CYO. STPAA athletes, coaches and spectators are subject to rules or regulations adopted by the CYO, whether or not the same are set forth in this Handbook.
A student is eligible to participate in an athletic program sponsored by STPAA so long as he or she:
1. Meets all eligibility requirements established by the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg;
2. Is either:
• enrolled as a student at St. Theresa School; or
• is a member of a family registered at St. Theresa Parish and attends Trinity High School or Bishop McDevitt High School; or
• is a member of a family registered at St. Theresa Parish and has maintained satisfactory attendance in St. Theresa Parish Religious Education classes; and
3. Is not academically or behaviorally ineligible under standards established by STPAA.
Transfer eligibility limitation: In addition to the above requirements, a student who registers at St. Theresa Parish but is not enrolled at St. Theresa School and who in the last twelve months was on the roster of a Harrisburg CYO team other than STPAA shall be eligible to participate in the same activity with STPAA at the Instructional or Competitive/Instructional level only. This limitation shall apply until twelve months after the student’s registration at St. Theresa Parish or until the student is enrolled at St. Theresa School, whichever comes first. This limitation shall not apply where the activity in issue has no grade-appropriate Instructional or Competitive/Instructional level. This limitation may be waived upon proof that registration with the Parish is due to a change in residence.
ACADEMIC AND BEHAVIORAL ELIGIBILITY
STPAA expects its students to maintain academic and behavioral standards. A student who fails to satisfy both academic and behavioral standards shall be ineligible to participate in an STPAA activity, including practices and games.
Academic standards are based on grades from the most recently-concluded marking period (e.g., fourth quarter grades determine eligibility in the following year for Fall sports). A student shall be academically eligible provided that he or she adheres to the following grade and conduct standards:
1. No more than one non-passing grade;
2. Pass all major subjects with a minimum of a "C" average; and
3. All conduct reports are satisfactory or better.
Failure to adhere to any standard above shall result in academic ineligibility. For students enrolled at St. Theresa School, appropriate school authorities of STS shall determine academic eligibility. For non-STS students, the coach shall determine academic eligibility. Non-STS students are required to present their current report card to their coach and are not eligible to practice or play until presentation of the same to the coach.
A student declared academically ineligible will be placed on a probationary period as stated below and given the opportunity to restore eligibility by raising his/her grades and/or correcting conduct problems.
The student will still have 3 weeks of probation in which he/she cannot practice or play in games. Students may attend games in street clothes if they desire but are not allowed to attend practices. The school will monitor their progress towards eligibility and report updates to the STPAA.
If after 3 weeks, the student has improved their grade to eligibility levels, the student will be reinstated to the team. The student may also be reinstated if the teacher deems that the student is working hard towards improving the grade but has not yet reached the level for eligibility.
If the second option is used for reinstatement, the student will have another 3 weeks to bring the grade up to the standards. If after those 3 weeks, the grade is still not at the proper standard, the student will not be allowed to play anymore basketball for the season.
Behavioral standards are based on the appropriate behavior reasonably expected from Catholic youth. St. Theresa School and/or St. Theresa Parish may make a determination that a student is behaviorally ineligible upon information that a student has engaged in inappropriate behavior, misconduct, willful violation of school rules, or demonstrates an attitude antagonistic to the standards and philosophy of St. Theresa Parish. The following list, which is not inclusive, may result in a student being declared behaviorally ineligible:
1. Suspension (whether in-school or out-of-school) or expulsion from school;
2. An arrest or any citation for a summary offense or greater (whether the underlying allegation arose in or out of school);
3. Ejection from an STPAA contest other than for attaining the maximum number of fouls;
4. Assessment of three technical fouls within the same season of play (inclusive of all levels of play); or
5. Other conduct relating to an STPAA activity that is unbecoming of Catholic youth or that may reasonably bring STPAA into disrepute.
Coaches are responsible to timely inform the Executive Committee of all technical fouls assessed to any STPAA player. Additionally, a coach who receives information of any of the above (i.e., evidence less than conclusive proof), is nonetheless authorized to make a determination that a student is behaviorally ineligible without first consulting the STPAA Executive Committee. A coach shall first consult with the STPAA Executive Committee before making a determination that information as described in items 1, 2 3 or 4, above should not result in behavioral ineligibility. A coach may make a preliminary determination that information as described in item 5 should not result in behavioral ineligibility, except that such preliminary determination may be modified or reversed by the Executive Committee. The parent or guardian is required to apprise the coach or the STPAA Executive Committee of any suspension, or any arrest or citation involving his or her child; such information may be discussed among members of the STPAA Executive Committee in a private session to make the appropriate determination.
Before any student declared behaviorally ineligible may be returned to eligibility, the student and his parents or guardians shall first meet with the STPAA Executive Committee and coach.
All CYO coaches (Head and Assistant) are required to be registered with the Diocesan Director on or before the deadline established by the Diocese. In order to be registered, the Commissioner must receive the following information for each person: Coach’s full name, what level they coach, head or assistant coach, mailing address, zip code, telephone number, and if they have attended the Diocesan CYO Coaches Orientation Program.
REQUIRED BACKGROUND CLEARANCES:
All individuals who have direct supervisory access to minors on a regular and on-going basis, whether full time, part time, or volunteer, are required to have a PA State Police Criminal Record Check and a PA Child Abuse History Clearance. Coaches or volunteers who currently live in another state or have resided in another state within the past two years must also obtain a FBI background clearance. All clearances must be submitted and a satisfactory report received by St. Theresa’s before the coach or volunteer is permitted to supervise players.
COACHES ORIENTATION PROGRAM:
All basketball coaches are required to attend the diocese sponsored Coaches Orientation Program held each year prior to the beginning of the official CYO basketball season. No basketball coach (head or assistant) will be allowed to coach a team in any capacity until he/she attends and meets the established standards of the Orientation Program. This includes all bench personnel. Any new basketball coach will have to attend this program no later than the program date prior to his/her second year of coaching. STPAA encourages all coaches regardless of sport to attend the diocesan Coaches Orientation Program.
All coaches are required to meet with the STPAA before the start of the sport season to review STPAA expectations.
Each parent and player in the program will be given a coaches evaluation to be completed and returned to the STPAA Secretary. The appropriate Commissioner will distribute the evaluations to the players and parents approximately two weeks prior to the last League game.
The STPAA’s basketball team placement policy for boys and girls at all levels will adhere to the applicable policies of the Diocese of Harrisburg. All eligible participants in grades 3 through 8 may try out for any level. The number of players, the criteria for selection and the placement of individual players on each team (including players swinging from an intermediate level to a competitive level) will be at the discretion of the head coach at each level and the respective Commissioner.
One of the challenges facing STPAA is the reasonable and equitable allocation of the limited available gym time, and to minimize the use of outside gym time which is not free. STPAA has developed the following guidelines for practice for all sports at all levels:
5.0 hours for Varsity
5.0 hours Intermediate I
4.5 hours for Junior Varsity
3.0 hours for all other teams
Practice time is per team, however, no individual player may exceed 6 hours total practice time in a given week (Sunday to Saturday).
Notice shall be given to all parents of players once the teams are chosen.
Good Friday through Easter
TEAM MEMBERSHIP AND BASKETBALL PLAYING TIME POLICY
(Diocese and League rules and or policies will take precedence over STPAA rules and or policies.)
Boys and Girls Varsity and JV teams have no minimum playing time for league gamesand post-season tournaments. *There is a possiblity of NO playing time. For Pre-Season League & Elective Tournaments, a Target of 25% Playing Time of the Cumulative Minutes of All Games. There is no minimum playing time for overtime.
*Coaches reserve the right to withdraw the minimum playing times based on 1). the player’s effort level at practice; 2). the player’s attitude; and 3). the player’s attendance. An unexcused absence from practice will preclude a player from starting the next game; and two unexcused absences within the same week will render the player ineligible for the next game.
MODERATELY COMPETITIVE TEAMS
Boys and Girls Intermediate I and High School teams have no minimum playing time for league gamesand post-season tournaments. For Pre-Season League & Elective Tournaments, substanitally more than 25% Playing Time of the Cumulative Minutes of All Games. There is no minimum playing time for overtime.
Boys and Girls Intermediate I and Novice teams should have Fair & Nearly Equal Playing Time with No Fixed Starting Rotation for all games.
• The Boys League Commissioner and the Girls League Commissioner should include the names of all Varsity and Intermediate I players on the rosters at each level since the Varsity & Intermediate I players may “swing” between the two levels.
• Prior to the filing of the team rosters, the Varsity and Junior Varsity coaches should individually discuss each player’s anticipated playing time with the player and parent(s). If the anticipated playing time is not sufficient to a player, a player may elect to play soley on an Intermediate I or Intermediate II team, as appropriate. Varsity players, with the approval of the varsity coach, may opt to “swing” between the Varsity and Intermediate I team. Varsity Coach, Intermediate Coach, and parents to agree on the practice schedules for each team.
• Each mid-season, the Varsity and JV coaches should address 1). the individual players who are consistently receiving the minimum playing times and 2). the individual players who are not receiving the anticipated playing time as discussed at the beginning of the season. To receive more playing time, players may elect to be transferred to an Intermediate I or Intermediate II team for the remainder of the season.
• Should concerns/questions arise regarding playing time or other concerns, please discuss your issues with the appropriate individuals, using the following chain of command. 1). Coach 2). Respective Commissioner 3). Any Athletic Association Executive Committee Member and 4). Pastor.
Please use the following guidelines when approaching a coach to discuss issues.
Sportsmanship is the practice of playing fair; of taking defeat without complaint, and savoring victory without gloating. Good sportsmanship means treating opponents, coaches and officials with fairness, generosity, courtesy and integrity. STPAA expects its athletes, families and spectators to demonstrate good sportsmanship. Attendance at a STPAA event, whether at St. Theresa Parish or elsewhere, is a privilege, and any person attending shall adhere to principles of good sportsmanship. Examples of good sportsmanship include the following:
• Cheerleaders lead fans in a positive manner;
• Applause for introduction of all players, coaches and officials;
• Acceptance of decisions of officials;
• Spectators and players show concern for an injured player.
• Players shake hands with an opponent who fouls out and spectators recognize the opponent’s performance with applause;
• Opposing players and coaches shake hands at the end of the contest; and
• Applause at the end of contest for the performances of all participants.
Any of the following actions (whether from a player, coach, cheerleader or spectator) is deemed unacceptable behavior that is prohibited by STPAA:
1. Fighting or disorderly conduct.
2. Using profane or obscene language.
3. Making an obscene gesture, or otherwise making gestures that are reasonably interpreted to be threatening or harassing.
4. Making a disrespectful or derogatory yell, chant, song or gesture.
5. Booing or heckling an official's decision.
6. Yelling or waving arms to distract or disconcert an opponent.
7. Other behavior inconsistent with general principles of sportsmanship.
STPAA reserves the right to enforce the above prohibitions through a disciplinary exclusion from STPAA contests. The Executive Committee will investigate any report of a violation of the above rules, and will meet with the affected person(s). An individual found to have committed a prohibited act may be banned from attending any STPAA contest for a duration to be determined at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
LIABILITY AND INSURANCE
STPAA’s programs involve strenuous physical activity. Such activity carries the risk of injury. Additionally, your child may have a medical condition that could be affected by the exertion or activity of the program. STPAA strongly recommends all parents and guardians to refer your child for a physical examination before participating in an STPAA activity to make reasonably certain the activity is appropriate for your child’s health.
Although there are many positive benefits to participation in athletics, participation in any sporting activity carries risks and dangers. While STPAA attempts to provide appropriate facilities, equipment and supervision within its resources and means, STPAA cannot guarantee against injury to your child. By allowing your child to participate in STPAA athletics, you acknowledge and accept that your child faces the possibility or risk of injury.
In the event of an injury or harm arising from a student’s participation in an STPAA program, exclusive financial responsibility for any and all medical expenses is upon the student’s parent or guardian (or insurance company). Parents are encouraged to obtain adequate insurance coverage for their children. Parents not carrying group or individual medical insurance MUST contact the pastor before allowing their children to participate in athletics. St. Theresa Parish (including, without limitation, St. Theresa School and STPAA) assumes NO responsibility for any medical or treatment expense or other liability arising from any injury or other harm to your child.
STPAA usage of St. Theresa gymnasium is important: the Bert Leo Court is the Saints’ home court and its use reduces outlays on gym rentals. STPAA enjoys a privilege of liberal access to the STS gym. This privilege is subject to compliance by STPAA with the security needs of St. Theresa Parish and St. Theresa School. STPAA’s access to the STS building is limited to the gymnasium and team rooms, the concession area, rest rooms on the 1st floor south hallway, and related building access. Each parent must adhere to and monitor compliance with all security requirements of the building, including:
• No exterior door shall be propped open at any time for any reason.
• All classrooms and offices are off-limits;
• All hallways and stairwells that are barricaded are off-limits.
• Children must be supervised at all times and must not run in halls or wander through the building;
• All hallways, doors and open areas of the building shall be checked before leaving and securing the building.
Any violation of these security requirements must be reported to the coach or, on game day, the building monitor. An STPAA team that fails to adhere to security requirements may be banished from St. Theresa School, which in turn will cause reduction of practice time for that team, if not other teams. STPAA reserves the right to suspend attendance privileges at St. Theresa gym of any person who fails to adhere to this policy. Remember that the building houses our children’s school during the day and that good security practices keep our kids safe.
TRANSPORTATION RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR STUDENTS
Parents and guardians are responsible for their own child’s transportation to and from practices and games. Parents and guardians are reminded to take every measure to ensure that their student(s) are transported safely, and in compliance with Pennsylvania motor vehicle laws, including the requirement that each child use a seat belt while in a motor vehicle.
Your child’s coach assumes the role of coach at the beginning of warm-up for practice or games; the coach concludes that role at the end of practice or the game. When a child’s parent is delayed or late for the child at the end of practice or a game, the obligation to wait with that child to ensure his/her ride arrives is a shared responsibility of all parents and is not the sole responsibility of the coach. In the event that your child’s coach may provide transportation for your child to or from practice or a game, the coach is doing so in the capacity of a volunteer and not of a coach.
STPAA programs incur expenses for uniforms, gym or field rentals, equipment, officiating, and league and tournament fees, among others. STPAA is dependent on self-generated revenue, including registration fees, gate and concession operations, tournaments and fund-raisers. In order to minimize direct parent contribution from registration fees, all STPAA parents are expected to volunteer in fund-raising efforts.
STPAA shall assess an appropriate Registration Fee for each activity and announce said fee at or before the start of registration for the activity. Payment in full is required from each student upon registration. A student in 9th-grade or higher who has registered for STPAA basketball but who later becomes ineligible due to selection for a high school team shall be refunded the registration fee in full. A parent or student who wishes to withdraw from an STPAA activity may apply to the Executive Committee for a refund of registration fees; the Executive Committee reserves all discretion in approving such a refund.
BEEF AND BEER FUNDRAISER:
Beef and Beer is an annual parent social/fund-raiser held on a Saturday night in January or February. It includes appetizers, a meal, drinks and music for dancing. Parents are expected to provide volunteer assistance with planning for the event.
Basketball games generate revenue to STPAA from gate sales and concessions. Ticket sales will be at rates determined by the STPAA. STPAA grants a free season pass to each teacher at St. Theresa School. Each team (i.e., team parent or coach) is responsible for coordinating a schedule for the following responsibilities for each home game: gate sales, concessions, clock/scoreboard operator, set-up/clean up, and building monitor.
Home basketball tournaments generate important revenue to STPAA through team registrations, gate sales and concessions. The basketball program at each level is required to sponsor one home tournament annually, schedule permitting. The tournament for that level will be scheduled for a designated weekend. Parents are required to provide liberal assistance throughout the weekend, whether in concessions, collecting gate receipts, operating the clock/scoreboard, supervising student volunteers, monitoring building security, or clean-up. Everyone’s help is critical—a tournament with a full field that is well staffed brings success, and a successful tournament begets full fields for that tournament in future years. When tournament time comes, pitch in for your kids and STPAA—you’ll have fun.
BOYS & GIRLS RISING STARTS TEAM
Rising Stars –
This is a competitive end of season tournament for eligible participants: (1) in seventh grade or lower, (2) currently playing on the varsity, jv, or intermediate teams and (3) who are currently active on the roster of a STPAA basketball team.
Player Nomination -
Coaches and/or commissioner(s) may nominate eligible players to be considered for the Rising Star team. All player nomination are due to the respective basketball commissioner no later then 3 weeks prior to the start of the Rising Stars Tournament in which the player is participating.
Player Selection -
The number of players and player selection on the rising star team shall be at the discretion of the coach in consultation with the Commissioner. The head coach may select a panel made up of coaches, commissioner(s) and/or evaluators to make player recommendations during tryout(s) (if any).
Player Tryouts -
In the event there are more player nominations than player slots then a tryout shall occur. It shall be up to the Rising Star coach on the number and “tryout” practices. The tryouts shall be closed to parents. Only players, coaches and evaluators (if needed) shall be permitted to attend tryouts
The varsity head coach shall have the option to coach the Rising Star team and choose his or her assistant coaches. In the event the head coach declines to coach the Rising Star team the executive committee of STPAA shall appoint the head coach.
Playing Time -
This is a competitive tournament, therefore, STPAA will not mandate playing time. However in the event the Diocese requires mandatory playing time the head coach shall follow the tournament guideline.
Being selected to the Rising Star team does not guarantee the players slot on a Varsity team next year.
Player/Coaches Code of Conduct -
Players/Coaches shall adhere to the same code of conduct during this tournament as in all other CYO events.