FAQ from the Wellesley Public Schools Athletics Department

Welcome to the Wellesley Public Schools Athletic Program

This information has been compiled to better acquaint you with the athletic program at Wellesley Public Schools. Please refer to it when questions about your daughter’s or son’s athletic experience arise. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us at 781-446-6290 x7 or athletics@wellesleyps.org.

John Brown, Athletic Director, Wellesley Public Schools

ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT MISSION STATEMENT

An important extension of the Wellesley Public Schools Core Values, WPS Athletics’ mission is to promote health, well-being, sportsmanship and leadership for all students by offering a comprehensive athletics program that is accessible to all. In doing so, WPS will create an environment that instills the lifelong benefits of sustained fitness, community-mindedness, and the ability to work positively as both an individual and as a team member toward the achievement of lifelong goals and pursuits.


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PHILOSOPHY

The Interscholastic Athletic Program at Wellesley Public Schools is committed to the total physical, emotional, social and mental development of its participants. The program is an extension of the values and ideals of our school and aims to promote the development of a well rounded individual. Wellesley Public School athletes should take pride in themselves and in their team, school and community while learning to work together to achieve common goals. Every athlete should enjoy the experience of being a team member.

Tryouts for the athletic program are open to all students, provided they meet the standards of academic eligibility and school citizenship and meet basic physical/health qualifications. Participation in the program is a privilege granted to students who meet and maintain these standards.

As members of the Wellesley athletic program, students are expected to demonstrate proper respect for all coaches, teammates, officials, spectators and equipment. Student athletes are expected to exhibit the highest level of conduct and sportsmanship both on and off the playing field as they are, at all times, representatives of their team, school and community.

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ROLE OF THE COACH

Wellesley Public Schools acknowledge the substantial amount of time coaches and teammates spend with each other. We know how important the relationships that develop between teammates and between a coach and an athlete can be. We see coaches as teachers, mentors, and role models. In addition to teaching the skills and strategies of athletics, coaches must model and encourage positive citizenship, integrity, commitment, and strong work ethic. While keeping the entire team in mind, one of a coach’s top priorities must be to assist in the healthy physical, emotional and social development of each player.

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GOVERNING BODIES

The Wellesley Public Schools Athletic Department is a member of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) and is therefore governed by Association “Rules and Regulations”. Additional policies, regulations and rules are set by the Wellesley School Committee. Under MIAA guidelines, local communities are allowed to set their own policy, rules and/or regulations as long as they are more restrictive than those stipulated by the MIAA. Rules governing individual sports vary depending upon the sport. For example, rules are as stipulated by the National Federation of State High School Associations for basketball and by the Major League Rules of Baseball for baseball. Copies of the complete set of MIAA rules and regulations are available in the Athletic Office. One of the primary functions of the MIAA is to sponsor and conduct post-season tournaments leading to the determination of geographical district and state champions. When our varsity teams qualify for and enter such tournaments, we are completely subject to the specific rules and regulations that govern each tournament as set by the MIAA. Tournament qualification, divisional placement and geographical district criteria are sport specific.

Some of our teams may qualify for regional tournaments beyond the MIAA tournaments that are sponsored and conducted by the combined state associations that make up the region of competition. Some of our varsity teams may host and/or play in seasonal tournaments that are sponsored by local school districts or other qualified agencies. MIAA regulations specify that such tournaments be sanctioned by the Association and be conducted totally under their policies, rules and regulations. The MIAA does not sanction or sponsor any sub-varsity tournament competition.

The MIAA is a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations and is bound by their set of rules, policies and regulations.

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THE BAY STATE CONFERENCE

Wellesley High School is a member of the eleven (11) school league known as the Bay State Conference. The Conference is governed by the MIAA and its own Constitution. A copy of the Constitution is available for your review in the Athletic Office. Most of our game schedules at all levels of competition are set by the Conference. Most sport game schedules sponsored by the Conference at the varsity level are divided into two (2) divisions for championship play, and for seasonal play at the junior varsity and freshmen levels. The “Herget Division” includes the schools from: Natick, Walpole, Milton, Norwood and Wellesley. The “Carey Division” includes: Framingham, Needham, Braintree, Brookline, Newton North and Weymouth. Interdivisional scheduled play is common for most of our teams. We also schedule some non-conference contests against schools from other surrounding communities. A few of our programs such as girls golf, skiing and sailing compete in other leagues or compete entirely in a “non-league” schedule, because the majority of schools in the Bay State Conference do not sponsor these specific sport activities. Our Middle School program competes in a combined Bay State Conference/Tri Valley League.

WELLESLEY RAIDERS SPORTS LISTS

FALL SEASON: Starting Date: Varies, usually late August

  • Boys Soccer: Varsity, JV, Freshmen, Middle School
  • Girls Soccer: Varsity, JV, Freshmen, Middle School
  • Football: Varsity, JV, Freshmen, Middle School
  • Field Hockey: Varsity, JV, Freshmen, Middle School
  • Boys Golf : Varsity & JV
  • Girls Swimming: Varsity & JV
  • Girls Diving: Varsity
  • Girls Volleyball: Varsity, JV, Freshmen, Middle School
  • Boys Cross Country: Varsity, JV, Middle School
  • Girls Cross Country: Varsity, JV, Middle School

WINTER SEASON: Starting Date: Monday after Thanksgiving

  • Boys Basketball: Varsity, JV, Freshmen, Middle School
  • Girls Basketball: Varsity, JV, Freshmen, Middle School
  • Dance Team: Varsity
  • Girls Gymnastics: Varsity
  • Boys Indoor Track: Varsity & JV
  • Girls Indoor Track: Varsity & JV
  • Boys Swimming: Varsity & JV
  • Boys Diving: Varsity
  • Boys Ice Hockey: Varsity, JV, Middle School
  • Girls Ice Hockey: Varsity, JV, Middle School
  • Wrestling: Varsity, JV, Middle School
  • Boys Skiing: Nordic: Varsity & JV
  • Girls Skiing: Nordic: Varsity & JV
  • Boys Skiing: Alpine: Varsity & JV
  • Girls Skiing: Alpine: Varsity & JV

SPRING SEASON: Starting Date: Third Monday in March

  • Baseball: Varsity, JV, Freshmen, Middle School
  • Softball: Varsity, JV, Freshmen, Middle School
  • Boys Lacrosse: Varsity, JV & Freshmen
  • Girls Lacrosse: Varsity, JV & Freshmen
  • Boys Tennis: Varsity, JV, Middle School
  • Girls Tennis: Varsity, JV, Middle School
  • Boys Outdoor Track: Varsity, JV, Middle School
  • Girls Outdoor Track: Varsity, JV, Middle School
  • Coed Sailing: Varsity & JV
  • Girls Golf: Varsity, JV
  • Boys Volleyball: Varsity, JV, Freshmen

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LEVELS OF PLAY – GOALS

The common goals of the athletic program at ALL LEVELS of play are for athletes to:

  • Develop their physical, emotional, social and mental skills.
  • Develop respect for authority, teammates, opponents and themselves.
  • Develop pride in themselves, their team, their school and their community.
  • Develop leadership qualities.
  • Learn to work as a team member towards the attainment of common goals.
  • Develop team responsibility and dedication.
  • Learn the rules of particular sports.
  • Develop the skills necessary to play a particular sport.
  • Have fun.
  • Ensure that all athletes are placed on a team level that will allow them to succeed to the best of their ability.

Additional goals of MIDDLE SCHOOL and FRESHMEN LEVEL teams are to:

  • Introduce the rules and develop the skills of the sport.
  • Present an opportunity for an athlete to experience a specific sport.
  • Introduce young athletes to interscholastic competition.
  • Allow an athlete to determine if he/she wishes to continue in a specific sport.
  • Give all participants a share of playing time, assuming they have attended practice, have worked to their potential, have the proper attitude and are committed to the team. Athletic skill is also a factor in determining playing time.
  • There is a possibility that some students may be cut during tryouts. Students who are cut will be encouraged to tryout for another sports team whenever possible.

Additional goals of JUNIOR VARSITY LEVEL teams are to:

  • Further develop the skills and knowledge of the sport.
  • Increase the intensity of the competition.
  • Prepare for the varsity level in that sport.
  • Place more emphasis on winning than at the freshmen level.
  • Give participants playing time based on practice attendance, work ethic, attitude, commitment to the team and athletic skill.
  • There is a possibility that some students may be cut during tryouts. Students who are cut will be encouraged to tryout for another sports team whenever possible.

Additional goals of VARSITY LEVEL teams are to:

  • Develop skills and knowledge to their highest level.
  • Allow talented athletes the opportunity to prepare for and excel in competition.
  • Compete for League, Sectional and State Championships.
  • Expect all members to be role models for younger students.
  • It is likely that some students will be cut during tryouts.

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PLAYING TIME

Playing time is influenced by many factors, a great many of which are unique to the sport. Five factors which will help determine playing time are:

  1. Athletic ability in the sport
  2. Attitude and work ethic
  3. Attendance
  4. Commitment to the team
  5. Citizenship in school and in the community

There are many decisions made on a regular basis by members of our coaching staff. These include: which athletes should start a contest, who should play what position and the amount of playing time. These very difficult coaching decisions are made only by members of our coaching staff after weighing a considerable number of factors. The coach has sole responsibility for all playing time decisions.

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SELECTED RULES, REGULATIONS, POLICIES AND PRACTICE

The following is a list of important policies, rules and regulations that govern our athletic department. Take the time to read and understand them. If any questions and/or concerns arise during your athletic experience at Wellesley Middle School and High School that are not addressed or answered in this booklet, please contact the Athletic Office at the High School.

COMMITMENT

The Wellesley Public School Athletic Program is based on the philosophy of “Raider Pride.” Each member of our athletic teams, Middle School, Freshmen, Junior Varsity and Varsity MUST:

  1. Commit to be present at all team activities including tryouts, practices, meetings and contests with other schools.
  2. Dedicate him/herself to becoming an excellent team member and school citizen.
  3. Strive to continually improve as an athlete.
  4. Demonstrate pride in team performance and in him/herself as a team member.

Realizing that these four qualities are necessary to achieve “Raider Pride,” we expect a high level of commitment from all of our student athletes.

DAILY

While trying out for and after being selected to be a member of a Wellesley Public School team, students are expected to make at least a two to three hour per day, five day per week commitment to the team for the extent of the season. Practices will consist, on average, of two hours of team activity daily, usually between the hours of 2:30 PM – 7:00 PM. Preparation time before and after practice and/or games may bring the total time to three to four hours (depending on the sport).

At the Varsity and JV level, weekend and/or evening practices and games are common. Students should expect regular involvement during these times. Practice and game hours may vary considerably because many of our teams share facilities and/or use facilities off campus. Contact the coach or the athletic office for more specific information concerning practice and game times.

TRY OUTS/CUTS

Participation in athletics is a privilege; students try out voluntarily and, for some teams, risk being cut. During the try out period, the coach will provide an explanation of his/her expectations. It is the student’s responsibility to demonstrate to the coach that he/she can meet them. Coaches will speak to students individually that are being cut from the program. Coaches will provide contact information and encourage the student to follow-up if he/she has questions or concerns or just want to discuss further. Students cut from one team are encouraged to try out for another team if there is space on that team. After tryouts begin, no athlete may voluntarily leave one team and try out for another without the consent of the coaches of both teams and the Athletic Director.

PARENT MEETING

Each High School Program will hold a preseason informational meeting for parents after cuts are made. At this meeting, information will be distributed covering but not limited to the following:

  • Attendance Policies
  • MIAA Policies
  • Practice Policy/Weekends
  • Coach Contact Information

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VACATION AND EXTENDED ABSENCE POLICY

Varsity Teams:
Families of student athletes should understand that all three regularly scheduled school vacations in December, February and April, are in the heart of our athletic seasons and the athletic program continues to operate.

There are practices and contests scheduled during school vacation weeks.
Although extended absences from team functions either during school vacation periods or while school is in session are discouraged, the Athletic Department recognizes that certain circumstances do require them. Students who plan to be absent from team activities for an extended period due to reasons such as family trips, religious obligations, or college visits are expected to inform their coaches regarding the absence as soon as plans are made. If an athlete misses one game or more than one practice under such circumstances, he/she may be required to miss the first scheduled contest after his or her return. Although prior notification for a planned absence is mandatory, such notification does not eliminate the possibility of consequences following an absence. An athlete is required to earn his or her position back upon return.

Junior Varsity, Freshmen and Middle School Teams:
During school vacation periods Junior Varsity, Freshmen and Middle School teams will not be scheduled for contests against other schools (with the exception of Ice Hockey). Coaches may elect to hold practices for students who are not on an extended absence as defined in the Varsity Section above. All available team members are expected to attend team practices. All efforts will be made by the Athletic Department not to schedule any contests against other schools until sufficient practice time has been allowed upon school reopening at the conclusion of the vacation period. Once contests resume, all team members are eligible to compete.

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DAILY TEAM ATTENDANCE

It is extremely important to notify the coach if an athlete will be absent from a practice or game if that athlete was present in school earlier that day. The coaches in our program expect their athletes to attend all team-related activities and may suspend a team member from contests for absences. While students are excused from team activities for illness, injury, academic, family or religious reasons, prior notification is expected.

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STANDARDS FOR PARTICIPATION

A student athlete must be willing to make the commitments outlined and must also be declared eligible to play by the Athletic Director, according to the standards listed below.

Physical Examination:
All students are required to have a current physical examination on file in the Nurse’s Office prior to participating in the athletic program in order to keep your child safe and protect confidentiality.   This means that before your child can tryout, practice or participate on a team they must have a copy of their physical examination on file as required by the MIAA guidelines.  The MIAA definition of a current physical examination is as follows:

“All students must pass a physical examination prior to participation in School Athletics. A physical exam covers the student for 13 months from the exam date. A student’s eligibility will terminate once a physical has reached the 13 month limit”.

If your child’s physical exam expires during the sport season, your child will no longer be able to participate until a new physical examination has been obtained and is on file in the Nurse’s Office.

If you currently have a physical examination on file in the Nurse’s Office and it is NOT due to expire, you do not need to provide another copy.

Parent’s Permission / Registration: 
A student must have a completed online permission / registration form prior to his/her first practice session. This form must be completed for each season of athletic involvement.

Health Insurance:
All student athletes must be enrolled in an HMO or similar health insurance plan. Information on personal insurance coverage is required on the registration. All football players are automatically covered under a supplemental insurance plan purchased by the Town of Wellesley. This supplemental plan will cover expenses after an individual’s plan has contributed its maximum allowable benefits. It is the family’s responsibility to file all claims under its own plan or supplemental policy within three months of the date of injury. Insurance claim forms are available from the athletic trainer, who can assist in the claims process, if requested to do so.

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MIAA ATHLETIC ELIGIBILITY RULES

MIAA student eligibility requirements for participation in interscholastic athletics are quite involved and complex. The MIAA regulations have been condensed considerably here in order to highlight the most important rules and regulations. As with all MIAA rules, there is a waiver process. Waivers of MIAA rules must be initiated by the school Principal / Athletic Director. If the information listed below does not answer specific questions or if there is concern that a waiver might be necessary, please contact the Athletic Office.

Enrollment in Courses / Scholastic Achievement: 
Student athletes must be enrolled in and passing at least 24 credit hours of work at the conclusion of each marking period. For the fall season, year-end grades from the previous school year are used to determine eligibility. At Wellesley Public Schools, a credit hour is defined as any credit that counts towards graduation requirements.

Age:
A High School student athlete shall be under 19 years of age, or be 19, provided that his/her birthday falls on or after September 1st of the school year in which he/she competes.

Time Allowed for Participation: 
A student has four consecutive years of High School eligibility, starting from the date he/she enters the 9th grade. This means that he/she may participate in a maximum of 12 consecutive athletic seasons. A 5th year high school student is usually ineligible for interscholastic competition.

Transfers to Wellesley High School: 
Complex rules govern students entering Wellesley High School from another high school. Information regarding the athletic eligibility of transfer students should be requested from the Athletic Office.

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IN SEASON ELIGIBILITY

At Wellesley Public Schools, student athletes are expected and encouraged to maintain the highest level of scholastic achievement possible. They are also expected to maintain the highest level of citizenship. To promote these goals, the following policies are in effect:

Academic Achievement:
Scholastic “extra help” sessions and make-up work are expected to be completed as soon as possible. On practice days, students should stay after school to complete work whenever necessary. Coaches should be informed by students, in advance if possible, when practice time will be missed due to academic obligations. Once the obligations are completed, students are expected to report to practice on that same day. If the coach was not notified in advance, students should ask their teacher for a note explaining the tardiness. Students arriving late to practice due to make-up work or extra help will not receive an athletic team penalty. On game days, unless time allows, students should ask their classroom teacher if make-up work or extra help may be postponed until the next practice day. A classroom teacher may or may not grant such a postponement. The Athletic Department reserves the right to remove a student from a team for poor academic performance and may reinstate that student after seeing evidence of sufficient improvement. Reinstatement cannot be granted if MIAA scholastic eligibility requirements are not met.

School Discipline Obligations:
Any student athlete with a school disciplinary obligation is expected to fulfill the disciplinary obligation before reporting to an athletic practice and/or game. Students cannot expect, and should not request, disciplinary action to be postponed or canceled for any athletic reason. The Athletic Department reserves the right to remove a student from a team for excessive disciplinary problems and may reinstate that student after seeing evidence of sufficient improvement. It is expected that our athletes be model citizens both in and out of school; they should set an example for all students.

Daily Attendance / Class Cuts:
Students are expected to attend all scheduled periods during the school day. Athletes must be in school a full day in order to practice or play on that day. The Athletic Department will make every possible attempt to check daily class and school attendance. Exceptions, such as doctor’s appointments or college visits, must be cleared in advance by the Athletic Director or Assistant Principal whenever possible. The Athletic Department reserves the right to remove a student from a team for excessive cuts or truancy and may reinstate that student after seeing evidence of sufficient improvement.

School Nurse:
Students who spend time in the nurse’s office due to illness on a school day will not be allowed to participate in any athletic activities on that same day.

Fitness and Health:
All students are required to participate in regularly scheduled Fitness and Health classes. A students who is excused from a Fitness and Health class for medical reasons will not be allowed to participate in his/her team practice or game that same day.

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TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM CONTESTS

The school provides bus transportation or a suitable substitute to most away contests. All team members are expected to travel to these contests using school-provided transportation, when provided. Exceptions to this policy must be requested in writing to the Athletic Director, by a student’s parent, prior to the contest. Reasonable requests will be honored. A coach may allow students to ride home from a contest with their parents provided the necessary forms have been completed and personal contact is made between the parent and coach, at the game site. In most instances, students will not be allowed to ride to and from contests with other students. Non-team members may occasionally be allowed to ride team transportation if: space allows, the coach in charge has given approval, and prior written consent has been given from the parent to the Athletic Director.

In the event that a student engages in a dangerous activity while on the athletic bus, that student may be prohibited from riding the athletic bus for the remainder of the season. If the season is over, the student may be prohibited from riding the athletic bus during the student’s next athletic season. Transportation to and from athletic events will become the responsibility of the parent/guardian and must be approved by the Athletic Director.

Directions to Away Contests: 
The Athletic Department published a set of directions to all away contest locations for the “Bay State Conference” and are available on BigTeams at http://wellesleyathletics.org/. There is also a link on this site for Google Maps directions to most league sites. In the event that directions are needed to a non-league contest, parents and other interested spectators may contact the Athletic Department at: 781-446-6290 x7.

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ATHLETIC FEES

According to School Committee policy, each student athlete at Wellesley High School is required to pay a fee to participate on a team according to the following guidelines:

Fee Schedule:
Student athletes are required to pay an athletic fee of $300 for each season they participate on a team. The maximum charge per family, per school year is $1,800.

Due Date:
Athletic fees are due at the online registration check out, fees should be paid by credit card or if necessary by check. Checks should be made out to Wellesley Public Schools, prior to the first tryout / practice. A student may be excluded from participation if his/her Athletic fee has not been paid. Any costs incurred for returned checks will be charged to the student.

Exemptions:
The fee schedule is in no way designed to exclude students from participating in the athletic program. Exemptions from the athletic fee may be granted by the Business Office. A coach does not have the authority to grant an exemption. All such requests will remain confidential.

Refunds:
Any student who voluntarily leaves a team or is dropped from its roster for disciplinary or eligibility reasons, will not be granted a refund. In other instances, upon request from a student, a refund may be granted. Refunds are made in the form of a credit to the family account or refunded to a credit card. If an athletic fee credit is never used, a check for the refund will be issued by the Town of Wellesley. If a student is cut from a team the user fee will be refunded back to your credit card. No refunds are issued after the first game of the season is played.

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SCHOOL ATHLETIC EQUIPMENT

Students have an obligation and responsibility for all equipment issued to them and for its proper care and retention from the date of issue to the date of return. Students failing to turn in all issued equipment, or returning equipment damaged through misuse, are responsible to meet the current replacement cost for such equipment. Payment is required at the time of the loss, prior to the next season of athletic involvement, or graduation, whichever comes first. In the event that the equipment is found and/or returned after payment, a refund will be issued.

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LOCKER ROOMS AND FACILITIES

Student Lockers:
Once team rosters are set, if not before, each team member will be issued an athletic locker if they so request. If a locker is not issued, students should request one from the coach. Students are expected to lock all personal items and team equipment in their own locker at all times. Students should never give their locker combination to anyone else. Experience has shown that most losses are due to lockers left open or unlocked. On road trips, when lockers are not available, it is highly recommended that students leave valuables at home or give them to parents or a member of the coaching staff for safekeeping at the game site. Large amounts of cash should never be carried or left at the school.

Care of Facilities:
Students are expected to treat all facilities, both home and away, with proper care. Wellesley Public Schools have some of the best facilities in the area, and only proper care and respect will keep them this way. Vandalism is cause for dismissal from a team and further disciplinary action by the school administration.

Building and Facility Access:
At the conclusion of each school day, student athletes should bring all items that they need until the next school day to the locker room area. For safety reasons, students are not allowed access to other areas of the building after practice, games or on non-school days. No students will be allowed access to any of our inside facilities without proper supervision by a school staff member.

Athletic Shoes:
At no time should shoes with cleated soles by worm inside the building. Serious injury can occur from slipping on cement or tiled surfaces.

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TRAINER AND TRAINING ROOM

Wellesley Public Schools is extremely fortunate to have a highly qualified and skilled full-time Trainer as a member of the staff and a well equipped training center located at the High School. On school days, the Trainer’s hours are usually 2 pm until the conclusion of the last practice session or home contest. During weekends or on days when school is not in session, the Trainer is required to be on site only for contests and for some scheduled scrimmages. Occasionally, the Trainer will be on site for “non-school” day practice sessions.

At certain times, the Trainer, student staff and facility are extremely busy. Because of this, access to the training room and its services is limited to athletes who are there for care only; it should not be used as a student lounge. Training services will be granted on a first come, first served basis on practice days. On game days, students will be treated in an order that will allow bus and/or game commitments to be met. The Training program exists to help athletes receive the best possible care.

In the event of an athletic injury, the Trainer and/or Physician is in immediate control. At away contests, if the Trainer or Physician are not present, the host school medical personnel are in control. If no medical personnel are present, members of the coaching staff are instructed to “take charge” of the situation and, if warranted, call for emergency care. After an injury, a student may not return to competition without clearance by the Trainer which may also include written permission from the Physician.

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MIAA DRUG AND ALCOHOL POLICY

As a member of the MIAA, Wellesley Public Schools strictly enforces the following Rule:

62.1 From the earliest fall practice date, to the conclusion of the academic year or final athletic event (whichever is latest), a student shall not, regardless of the quantity, use, consume, possess, buy/sell, or give away any beverage containing alcohol; any tobacco product(including e-cigarettes, VAP pens and all similar devices); marijuana (including synthetic); steroids; or any controlled substance. This policy includes products such as “NA or near beer,” inhalants (defined as any substance that produces a mind-altering effect when inhaled), and misuse of over-the-counter medications and substances used for the purposes of altering one’s mental state. It is not a violation for a student to be in possession of a legally defined drug specifically prescribed for the student’s own use by his/her doctor. This rule represents only a minimum standard upon which schools may develop more stringent requirements.

Be aware that certain Wellesley High School teams have more stringent requirements. Those team members will be made aware of individual team guidelines by the coach prior to the season.

This MIAA statewide minimum standard is not intended to render “guilt by association”, e.g. many student athletes might be present at a party where only a few violate this standard.

If a student in violation of this rule is unable to participate in interscholastic sports due to injury or academics, the penalty will not take effect until that student is able to participate again.

Minimum PENALTIES: First violation – When the Principal confirms, following an opportunity for the student to be heard, that a violation occurred, the student shall lose eligibility for the next consecutive interscholastic contests totaling 25% of all interscholastic contests in that sport. No exception is permitted for a student who becomes a participant in a treatment program. It is recommended that the student be allowed to remain at practice for the purpose of rehabilitation. All decimal part of an event will be truncated i.e. All fractional part of an event will be dropped when calculating the 25% of the season.

Second and subsequent violations: When the Principal confirms, following an opportunity for the student to be heard, that a violation occurred, the student shall lose eligibility for the next consecutive interscholastic contests totaling 60% of all interscholastic contests in that sport. All decimal part of an event will be truncated i.e. All fractional part of an event will be dropped when calculating the 60% of the season.

If after the second or subsequent violations the student of his/her own volition becomes a participant in an approved chemical dependency program or treatment program, the student may be certified for reinstatement in MIAA activities after a minimum of 40% of events. The director or a counselor of a chemical dependency treatment center must issue such certification. All decimal part of an event will be truncated i.e. All fractional part of an event will be dropped when calculating the 40% of the season.

Penalties shall be cumulative each academic year. If the penalty period is not completed during the season of violation, the penalty shall carry over to the student’s next season of actual participation, which may affect the eligibility status of the student during the next academic year.

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TEAM CAPTAINS

The following process will be executed when selecting all Team Captains:

  1. Players interested in being named a captain should write a paragraph / letter on why he or she wants to be captain including why he or she would be a good captain.  The letter will only be viewed by the coach, not open to the public. Completion of the letter will result in the player’s name on the ballot for the player advisory vote.
  2. Players advise coach on captains by voting. Each player gets one vote; however, students can divide the one vote across multiple students on the ballot. For example, Jamie votes for 3 people, then each of those 3 votes counts as 1/3 of a vote.
  3. Coach has complete discretion. The coach can go with the player’s advisory vote or can adjust based on coach’s expertise.
  4. Captains are NOT announced at the banquet and all applicants are told, one-on-one, of the captain results. Then the team is informed.

It is expected that team captains be leaders of their team and be ready to assume duties as outlined by their coach. They are expected to be highly aware of team rules and student athlete responsibilities. Captains are expected to communicate with the coach and team in the event of any problems that may affect the team or its members. Captains may be asked to meet with the Athletic Director during the school year to discuss the athletic program.

Captains of teams may be relieved of their position for violation of team, department or school rules. Discussion between the coach and the Athletic Director must take place before an athlete is dismissed as a team captain.

There are no permanent captains for Middle School, Freshman and Junior Varsity Teams.  There can be game day captains for sub-varsity teams.

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CAPTAIN’S PRACTICE

According to the MIAA Rule Book “a captain’s practice usually means that the team’s captain(s) are organizing and conducting out-of-season practice for that sport without coaching supervision.” These practices are designed by students to allow team candidates to “get in shape” for the upcoming season. They are not organized, attended or sponsored by members of our coaching staff. Since members of our coaching staff are not permitted to be involved with these practices, they are NOT MANDATORY, attendance is NOT MONITORED by a coach, and they are NOT part of our athletic program.

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COLLEGE / CAREER GUIDANCE

One of the most important decisions facing high school students is what to do with their lives after high school. The members of the Wellesley High School Athletic Staff are willing and eager to assist all of their students with this extremely important decision. Staff members fully understand the importance of this assistance. They may be able to answer questions, contact schools and/or coaches, send video tapes, if available, and write letters of recommendation. They will guide students to more knowledgeable resources who can help with decisions. If a student’s goal is to compete athletically at the collegiate level, it is very important to be aware of the ever changing N.C.A.A. (National Collegiate Athletic Association) regulations. Copies of the latest regulations are available in the Guidance Office. The High School Guidance Department also has a wealth of information and experience on this topic.

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MIAA TOURNAMENT PARTICIPATION / BONA FIDE TEAM MEMBERS

Participation in any Meet or Tournament sponsored by the MIAA is limited to students of institutional member schools which have registered that sport with the Association during the summer membership renewal process.

Rule 45 of the July 1, 2005 MIAA Handbook states: “A bona fide member of the school team is a student who is consistently present for, and actively participates in, all high school team sessions (e.g. practices tryouts, competitions). Bona fide members of a school team are precluded from missing a high school practice or competition in order to participate in a non-school athletic activity/event in any sport recognized by the MIAA. Any student who violates this standard is ineligible for 25% of the season immediately upon confirmation of the violation. See Rule 96 for additional tournament restrictions.

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POSTPONED CONTESTS

Many contests throughout the school year are postponed due to factors such as inclement weather. In most instances it is the “home” school that calls for a postponement. By Bay State Conference rule, games are to be made-up on the next available open date on both schools’ schedules, including weekends, whenever practical.

Decisions on postponements are made as late in the day as is practical for proper notification of all interested parties. On school days, the most common time is about 1 pm for afternoon contests. If there are any questions as to the status of a contest, the Athletic Office welcomes calls, but please wait until after 1 pm. On non-school days, and for evening contests, postponements are made approximately 2 to 3 hours prior to the contest. Please delay calls in these instances until 2 hours before the scheduled contest. Normally, you may call for game status information up until the scheduled time of the contest. You may also check our BigTeams website at http://wellesleyathletics.org/ for up to the minute information.

It is sometimes necessary because of scheduling conflicts to cancel rather than postpone Sub-Varsity contests. Cancellations of Varsity contests, because of League standings and/or Tournament qualification regulations, are extremely rare.

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SPORTSMANSHIP

Wellesley Public Schools expect all parties present at a contest to display the highest possible level of sportsmanship. Players, coaches and spectators should treat opponents, game officials and visiting spectators with respect. The MIAA reserves the right to “warn, censure, place on probation or suspend up to 1 calendar year any player, team, coach, games or school official or school determined to be acting in a manner contrary to the standards of good sportsmanship.” Wellesley Public Schools in turn, reserves the right to impose the same penalties on spectators displaying poor sportsmanship at any of our contests, both home and away.

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INTENT TO INJURE RULE

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Associations Rule Number 56.8 states “any student in any sport” (in the opinion of the game official) “who willfully, flagrantly or maliciously attempts to injure an opponent shall be removed from the contest immediately and shall not participate in any sport season for 1 year from the date of the incident. “Fighting” does not apply to this section unless warranted in the judgment of the game official.

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HAZING

The Massachusetts Hazing Law is quoted below. Hazing in any form is unacceptable. If you have any concern that your son or daughter is involved in a hazing incident, we strongly encourage you to call the Coach, the Athletic Director, or the Principal immediately.

Massachusetts State Law – Chapter 536, Sections 17, 18

Hazing is defined as any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or person. Incidents of hazing must be reported to the appropriate law enforcement officials as soon as reasonably practicable.

Section 17. “Whoever is a principle organizer or participant in the crime of hazing as defined herein shall be punished by a fine of not more than $3000 or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than 1 year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Hazing is defined as any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which will fully or recklessly endanger the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation.”

Section 18. “Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing as defined in Section 17 and is at the scene of such a crime shall, to the extent that such a person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such a crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. Whoever fails to report such a crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1000.”

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ATHLETE / COACH RELATIONSHIPS

Participation in athletics should be an enjoyable experience for all parties involved; student, coach and parent. There is no doubt that participation tends to be emotionally charged and dealing constructively with these emotions can be an excellent learning experience. In most cases, athletic competition is extremely positive and complements the educational experience enjoyed by students at Wellesley High School and Middle School. Occasionally conflicts between coaches and students arise. These conflicts must be addressed and resolved immediately so that the many benefits of athletic involvement may continue to contribute to the emotional and physical growth of Wellesley Public School students.

The following section of this booklet deals with what families may expect from the coaching staff, and what to do if conflicts and/or problems present themselves.

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COACHING EXPECTATIONS

At Wellesley High School and Middle School, athletes should expect to be treated with respect and to be treated fairly by their coaches. The coaches are professionals who are aware of and committed to upholding the responsibilities they have to follow the policies and regulations of the MIAA, the Bay State Conference and Wellesley Public Schools. Each student must be treated as an individual, yet as a part of the team. Rules and regulations must be uniformly and fairly enforced at all times. In most instances, during the season of play a student athlete spends more time daily under the direct supervision and guidance of his/her coach than any other adult. This time spent should be enjoyable, educational, positive and worthwhile; the influence that a coach may have with each individual team member is enormous. As recommended by the MIAA, we encourage participation in varied activities under different teacher/coach role models. The percentage of student athletes who complete their formal athletic experiences at the conclusion of his/her senior year is overwhelming (well in excess of 80%). Other than championships or the development of “blue chip athletes”, we focus our attention upon goals that will develop contributing members of society.

Athletes and their families can expect the following to be communicated/fostered by members of the Wellesley High School coaching staff:

  • Time Commitment
  • Team Rules
  • Individual Success
  • Social and Emotional Growth
  • Team Spirit
  • Athletic Performance
  • Skill Development
  • Approachability
  • Competitiveness

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EVALUATION OF COACHES

Each coach employed by the Town of Wellesley is formally evaluated on his/her performance at the conclusion of each athletic season. The evaluations are performed by the head coach for each of his/her assistant coaches and by the Athletic Director for each head coach.

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COMMUNICATION POLICY

Athletic involvement is highly emotional and very time consuming. Because of this, conflicts and issues between a student and his/her coach may arise. It is imperative that any conflict and/or issue be addressed immediately and as directly as possible so that it can be resolved promptly.

FIRST STEP:
Personal Student-Coach Contact – The athlete should discuss the issue with his/her coach as soon as possible. Sometimes a parent of an athlete may wish to contact the coach. In order for the contact to be productive, it is suggested that athletes and/or parents avoid contacting a coach at the following times:

  • Either prior to or immediately following a contest
  • During an active practice session
  • During a time when other students are present or when it would be obvious to others that the discussion is taking place
  • When there is not sufficient time to allow for a complete discussion

The best solution is to ask the coach, either over the phone or in person, if an appointment could be made to discuss the issue. A parent or student may also leave a note for the coach in the Athletic Office.

SECOND STEP:
Student-Athletic Director Contact – If a satisfactory resolution is not reached through direct contact with the coach, the student and/or parent should contact the Athletic Director. The coach should be informed that this contact is going to be made. If this discussion does not result in a satisfactory conclusion then a meeting will be scheduled involving all concerned parties in an attempt to reach a satisfactory resolution. Since athletic seasons are relatively short, issues should be addressed immediately. While there can be no guarantee that all parties will agree with all resolutions or findings, a thorough, respectful discussion of different perceptions and experiences can lead to more productive relationships and clearer understandings in the future.

THIRD STEP:
Student-Administration Contact – If there is still not a satisfactory resolution, the student or parent should contact the Principal. The Athletic Director should be informed that contact is going to be made.

The Athletic Department strives to hire the best possible coaches who are committed to ensuring a positive environment for all athletes. As a department we strive to build player/coach relationships and recognize that all interactions provide a healthy learning opportunity. While we realize that at times an athlete and his or her parents may have a concern with a particular coach and may not want to speak directly with the coach, we feel it is essential that athletes and parents do speak with coaches directly to resolve any concerns. An issue cannot possibly be resolved unless those directly involved have a candid, open conversation regarding the problem. The coach is the person most familiar with the student athlete in the context of the team environment. Coaches and players interact daily at practice and games and have the mutual information necessary to discuss any situation which may arise. This positive communication is of utmost importance.

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MESSAGE TO SPECTATORS AND PARENTS

We urge you to support the Wellesley Public Schools Athletic Program by:

  • Attending games both home and away.
  • Lending positive support to our teams and coaches.
  • Encouraging all players without regard to their role on the team.
  • Helping other spectators and parents to maintain an appropriate sportsmanlike attitude.
  • Showing respect for the authority of the game officials.
  • Enjoying the Wellesley athletic experience.

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