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Student-Athlete Handbook

MALDEN CATHOLIC

HIGH SCHOOL

Malden, Massachusetts
 

Malden Catholic High School Athletics Philosophy: The athletic program at MC is a vital component in the overall educational experience. We ask our student-athletes to be competitive both on the field and in the classrooms. We value sportsmanship, growth of the spirit, mind, and body. We expect to contribute to the students experience in school while developing desirable character traits including persistence, determination, dedication, tenacity, and the will to win. It is our goal to enhance the student athlete’s well-being as an important part of our community. The goals of MC athletics are to encourage maximum participation of the student body in athletics while maintaining high standards of achievement.

Malden Catholic High School Athletics supports the academic mission of the school. We are not separate but rather an extension of a quality educational program. It has been found that students who participate in athletic programs tend to have higher grade-point averages, better attendance records, lower drop-out rates and fewer discipline problems than students do generally. Athletic programs provide valuable lessons on many practical situations, teamwork, sportsmanship, winning and losing, as well as hard work. Students gain experience with self-discipline, self-confidence and develop skills to solve complex situations. All these skills are needed and used later in life as responsible, productive adults.

This athletic handbook is not designed to replace those procedures developed for the general student body, nor do we intend it to cover all situations that may arise. However, it is used as a foundation of what we at MC believe in and expect from our athletes. As with all school policies, there is a course of action should an infraction take place. Once an administrator finds evidence of a violation, the athlete will be notified of the alleged infraction. There is a due process (see page 3) and the athlete will be given an opportunity to state their version of events and if desired an appeals process may be handled by the Principal. The Malden Catholic Athlete/Parent Handbook and its policies are reviewed annually by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association and complies with all predetermined by-laws and policies. Any questions regarding the policies should be directed to the Principal or Athletic Administrator.

Scope of Code: The Code of Conduct will apply to each student athlete for one calendar year (including summer) from the date of his/her most recent signoff/signature and will be always in effect, in all locations including non-school activities. Violation of the Code of Conduct may result in penalties, which are consistent those identified within the code as determined by the coach and/or Director of Athletics. Each coach also has the prerogative to establish and implement additional guidelines specific to his/her team.

Athletic Code of Conduct: Athletics at Malden Catholic is an extension of our educational mission. We expect our student-athletes to play hard, but fair and clean; to learn self-discipline, sportsmanship, teamwork, persistence, and responsibility.

The MIAA Rule 63 is called the Good Citizen Rule. It states “Student-athletes may not represent their school if they are on in-house or out-of-house disciplinary suspension. A suspended student is ineligible for practice or competition for at least the number of days (or partial days) equal to the number of days of the suspension.” At Malden Catholic, we go one step further and believe that it is a privilege to wear the “Blue and Gold.” Students who are not conducting themselves as good citizens in accordance with the rules laid down in this handbook may be asked to leave an athletic team regardless of whether a suspension has been issued.

We expect our coaches to be teachers of life’s lessons and role models ready to demonstrate how to win with grace and to accept defeat with class. We expect our fans to offer positive support for the action on the field and to be respectful to all participants, officials, and one another. We expect parents to follow the channels of communication outlined in our cut-policy. In addition, parents of athletes are encouraged to attend any available informational meetings. We join the MIAA in discouraging unacceptable behaviors at athletic events. These include yelling or negative chanting or gestures toward an opponent; booing or heckling an official’s decision; displays of temper with an official’s call; taunting or trash talk; blaming loss of game on officials, coaches, or participants; loud fan-coaching from the sidelines; using profanity, displays of anger, or negative cheers that draw attention away from the game. We want fans to know that attendance at high school games is a privilege and not license to assault others verbally or to be obnoxious; and the improper behavior of others is not an invitation for us to act improperly too. All fans should promptly and politely follow direction from our game supervisor, any MC faculty member or staff. Seniors participating in spring sports are subject to school regulations through the end of the season and tournaments. Transcripts will be withheld for discipline issues.

Cooperation During Investigation: It is important for all student-athletes to understand that involvement in athletic programs is a privilege. With the responsibility of being an athlete, comes a commitment for the athlete to be truthful and forthcoming with information. An athlete who is under investigation is expected to:

  • Be truthful about the violation being investigated
  • Be forthcoming with all information
  • Not be deceptive or untruthful
  • Be cooperative

If the student-athlete under investigation does not comply with these expectations, the Athletic Director has within his/her authority to impose a greater level of consequence if it is determined that the athlete has lied, been deceptive or untruthful prior to, or after the determination of guilt and/or consequences. Failure to comply with the above conditions may result in full expulsion from the athletic program for the duration of the student-athletes future career.

Governing Bodies: Malden Catholic High School is a member of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) and is therefore governed by association rules and regulations with enriching life experiences that complement the education students receive in the classroom: teaching the values of self-discipline, respect, and teamwork. The athletic department and coaches create a safe and healthy opportunity for competition within the framework and guidelines of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA), and the Catholic Conference League.

Furthermore, Malden Catholic High School is a member of the Catholic Conference and adheres to the policies, rules and regulations set by the CC. Additional policies, regulations and rules are set by Malden Catholic High School. Under MIAA and CC guidelines, Malden Catholic is allowed to set their own policy, rules and/or regulations as long as they are more stringent than stipulated by the MIAA. Rules governing individual sports vary depending on the sport. Copies of the complete set of MIAA Rules and Regulations are available online at www.miaa.net

One of the primary functions of the MIAA is to sponsor and conduct post-season tournaments leading to the determine State Champions. When our varsity teams qualify for and enter such tournaments, we are completely subject to specific rules and regulations that govern each tournament, as set by the MIAA. The MIAA is a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations and is bound by its set of rules, policies, and regulations.

Standards for Participation: In addition to being willing to make the commitment, a student must be declared eligible for participation by the Principal or his/her designee according to the standards listed in this section to be a candidate for a team. A student may lose their privilege of participation in extracurricular activities if behavior or actions are not the best representations of Malden Catholic standards and code of conduct.

Athletic Pre-Participation: All students interested in playing a sport MUST register directly with Family ID within the given time frame for each season. A list of requirements and all forms needed for participation can be found on the Family ID site. Once registered, the student may not begin participation until their registration is indicated as “approved” by the nurse’s office indicating all medical forms have been successfully submitted either on FamilyID or to the nurse’s office. Never give a physical form to a coach. The FamilyID registration site typically opens one month prior to the season starting and will close one week prior to tryouts.

Physical Examination: A current yearly physical is a requirement of every student at Malden Catholic High School. A school physical is good for 13 months and must be renewed immediately upon expiration. In July 2012 the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association ruled that a current physical must be renewed immediately upon expiration or the student will be deemed ineligible to participate in a sport and should indicate clearance for physical participation.

No student will be allowed to try-out for any team without a current physical. Physicals must be submitted to Family ID before try-outs. If a student’s physical expires mid-season and is not renewed promptly, he will be removed from the team.

MIAA Athletic Eligibility Rules: MIAA student eligibility requirements for participation in high school athletics are quite involved. The MIAA regulations have been condensed considerably here in an attempt to highlight the most important rules and regulations. If the following information does not answer specific questions, or if there is a concern, please contact the Malden Catholic Athletic Department Office.

Academic Eligibility: A student who fails two subjects in a marking period may not participate in any extracurricular activity in the next quarter of that academic year until he is declared eligible by the Principal. He/She is ineligible pending a review of their grades at mid-quarter and may become eligible at that time. The student must initiate the review of their marks by contacting the division head. A student who fails three or more subjects in a marking period is ineligible for the entire next quarter. Participation in athletics at Malden Catholic is a privilege, not a right. Student-athletes join a long, proud athletic tradition when they put on the Blue and Gold. Considerable time, expense, and trust are invested in the varsity athlete. Therefore, each varsity athlete must recognize their responsibility to their team, the athletic program, and their school.

Age and Semester Eligibility: A student must be less than 19 years of age prior to September 1 of the current school year. Time Allowed for Participation. A student shall be eligible for interscholastic high school competition for no more than eight consecutive semesters beyond the eighth grade.

Transfer Students Eligibility: The rules governing transfer students entering Malden Catholic from another school are governed by the MIAA. Students who transfer into Malden Catholic must be declared eligible prior to participating in a contest. Transfer students require approval from the sending school and the MIAA for eligibility to be granted. Information regarding the athletic eligibility of all students transferring to Malden Catholic should be requested from the Athletic Department Office.

Sportsmanship for Student-Athletes: Respect for the sport in which a Malden Catholic student-athlete participates also demands respect for the opponents. Student-athletes participating in MIAA sponsored events are expected to treat opponents with respect. There can be absolutely no tolerance for trash-talking, taunting, or baiting of opponents. Malden Catholic student-athletes must appreciate and understand that they are perhaps the most visible representatives of their school. In addition, their behavior is observed and emulated by many who are younger. Malden Catholic student-athletes must honor the responsibility that accompanies the privilege of representing their school by behaving with dignity and class on and off the field. If any student in any sport, willfully, flagrantly, or maliciously attempts to injure an opponent, he may be withheld from participation in athletics in the future.

Taunting in all sports is a flagrant unsportsmanlike foul, which shall result in the ejection of the participant from that day of competition, plus the next day scheduled competition. Taunting is defined as: Any action or comments by coaches, players or other game personnel which are intended to bait, anger, embarrass, ridicule,

or demean others, whether or not the deeds or words are vulgar or racist. Included is contact that berates, needles, intimidates, or threatens based on race, gender, ethnic origin or background, and conduct that attack religious beliefs, size, economic status, speech, family, special needs, or personal matters or that would be considered “trash talking”.

The MIAA suspends any student from participation in a sport if ejected from athletic contests for unsportsmanlike behavior or what may be considered a dangerous play and MC imposes additional suspensions based on the severity of the event. Malden Catholic in turn, reserves the right to impose the same penalties on spectators displaying poor sportsmanship at any of our contests, both home and away.

Daily Attendance: All students must be in attendance for the entire school day to participate in practice or play in a game that day. Exceptions may be made, such as field trip or school event, college visits, family emergencies, funerals, religious holidays and scheduled appointments. These all require a note and must be cleared by the administration who will notify the Athletic Director in advance, whenever possible. If a student-athlete is dismissed by the School Nurse due to illness; he/she is ineligible to participate in athletics that day. If a contest is scheduled on a weekend day or over a school vacation, the student must be in attendance the preceding Friday to participate. Unique or extenuating circumstances not listed above may be excused through the discretion of the Athletic Director or administration.

The Malden Catholic Athletic Department also will suspend student-athletes from their daily activity after a student has reached their third unexcused tardy of the marking period. If you are late arriving to school, it is your responsibility to inform your parent/guardian to follow up with the Main office to have your tardy marked as excused.

Non-School Competition: A member of a school team is a student-athlete who is regularly present for, and actively participates in, all team tryouts, practices and competitions. Bona fide members, as of the first date to practice in that sport as listed in the MIAA Handbook, of a school team are prevented from missing a high school practice or competition to compete with an out-of-school team, practice or competition to include tournaments, showcases, combines or other athletic events. Whenever a conflict arises between the high school team practice/competition and an out-of-school practice/competition on the same day, the high school team practice/competition must be honored by the student-athlete. Priority must be given at all times to the high school team, its practices, and its contests unless a waiver has been granted by the principal and athletic director. It is expressly understood that waivers shall not be granted on a regular basis and shall only be granted in extraordinary circumstances.

Penalties: Any student-athlete who violates this rule, unless a waiver has been granted as stated above, for the first time shall be declared ineligible for the next five (5) consecutive interscholastic events. This Penalty is effective from the date of his or her last participation in a high school sport. Any student-athlete who violates this rule a second time or subsequent time shall be declared ineligible for participation in any high school sport for the balance of the school year.

International Competition: Students and/or teams desiring this kind of competition must have the approval of the MIAA. No requests for approval will be considered unless received in writing and signed by the principal six (6) weeks prior to the date of participation. Requests are to be submitted to the MIAA Executive Director for action.

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 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 timeframe for when or the location of where the image was taken, it shall be the responsibility that the student- athlete must assume. It must also be noted the there may be persons, who would attempt to implicate an athlete by taking images to place them in situations where they might be in violation of this code standards. This is our rationale for demanding that our athletes not place themselves in such environments. See Social Media Guidelines for more information.

Uniforms Management: Uniforms are inventoried before and after each season by the coach on forms supplied by the Athletic Administrator. Athletes are responsible for the care and regular cleaning of uniforms. Uniforms are property of MC and shall not be worn for personal use. If a uniform distributed is damaged in any way, the athlete should make the coaching staff aware of it. The athlete, at the replacement cost price, will pay for uniforms lost or damaged. The athlete will pay for equipment that is lost or unnecessarily damaged. No athlete shall be allowed to tryout for another sport until all uniforms and equipment are returned. Invoices will be sent fourteen days following close of season, payment due upon receipt. No student having an outstanding uniform or equipment shall be permitted to participate in another activity until such is returned or invoiced paid in full.

Travel: All team members, managers, and coaches shall travel to and return from games, meets, or matches on the team bus. Exceptions to this rule must be pre-approved by the Principal, Assistant Principal, or Athletic Administrator on a written request from the parent/guardian stating the reasons. Athletes are not to return from practice or competition with parent without written compliance with coach prior to doing so. The MC Athletic Department would like to express that we do feel traveling to and from away contests is an important part of unity of the team. An athlete missing the bus shall not be allowed to play in the contest without prior administrative authorization. Parents/guardians are expected to pick up their children within fifteen minutes of the end of any practices or games.

Transportation Behavior: All athletes are expected to travel to away games on the team bus or van. All students should conduct themselves with respect at all times. The driver and coaches are in control on the bus and their decision is final. Failure to act responsibly on the bus will result in suspension from additional away games. If in the event damage is caused on the bus, the student-athlete will be responsible for payment of damages caused and will not be permitted to attend any away games.

Weather Postponements and Cancellations: If school is cancelled due to inclement weather, practices and contests may still be played, but attendance by athletes may not be made mandatory. Policies regarding passing along information in such cases should presented by coaching staffs. The Administration makes determination as to whether the contest or practice may take place. Game postponements are typically made at noon on the day of the event or contest.

Leaving a team: If an athlete decides to drop from a team, he/she has a responsibility to the team and coach to see the coaching staff to explain reasons involved. At which time all uniforms and equipment must be returned to the coach. In the event an item was purchased for the team, i.e. Jackets, shirts, then it is the student’s responsibility to still make payment for those items ordered prior to their leaving the team. Quitting to change sports once final cuts have been made and squads are established is prohibited. No athlete may quit and participate in another sport during the same season without prior approval from Athletic Administrator and both Head Coaches.

Media Relations: Coaches, players, and other school officials should make an effort in their communications with the media to stress positive displays of sportsmanship by student athletes, coaches, spectators and schools involved in the contest. At no time shall anyone be permitted to criticize officials or decisions made by officials during a game or event.

Locker Room and Practice Fields: Athletes before or during practice or events should not enter any unauthorized part of the school, for any reason without coaches’ supervision, during non-school hours.

a. No one other than assigned coaches and players are allowed in the locker rooms without prior approval.

b. No Cell Phones or Cameras may be on within the locker rooms.

c. Cleats are to be removed and cleaned prior to entering building.

d. Teams are responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the locker rooms during their season.

e. All players should be assigned a locker if available, all items should be placed in lockers and the lock secured. Anything left outside the lockers will be placed in lost and found.

Malden Catholic High School is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Only school issued locks are permitted for overnight use and may be purchase from the athletic department.

f. Following the season, all lockers should be emptied within 48 hours of final contest or event. Failure to do so will result in contents of lockers removed.

e. No athlete or team shall be on practice field without proper supervision; this is the responsibility of the athlete to know when to be on the practice field. (This includes weight room and other training facilities.)

Athletic Team Commitments: Athletes are responsible for academic performance and should plan their time so that they devote sufficient time to their academic work as to not allow athletics to interfere with their studies. If an athlete sees that there may be an issue with this, they should schedule a time to speak to the coach to attempt to resolve any conflicts or help with solutions.

Athletes are expected to not allow employment to interfere with their responsibilities to their team or their schoolwork. Athletes should arrange their work schedule around practice and game schedules. Although all attempts to keep games as scheduled is a priority, at times due to weather, facilities, or safety, a game may need to be postponed or cancelled. It is necessary to find the most appropriate date as close to the original scheduled date as possible and each school is expected to schedule these on the next possible open date for both teams.

Athletes that miss the beginning of any season and attempt to participate for that team must attend a minimum of five practices prior playing in a game or contest. No athlete may join a team late that has made cuts.

Missing practices or games due to field trips, family vacations or school functions:

Due to the broad spectrum of educational opportunities available at MC, there are occasions when two or more interests compete or conflict. Students who participate in interscholastic athletics or other formalized clubs/organizations that require consistent, continuing commitment must occasionally choose between participation in the sport or club and participation in a family vacation, field trip, or other school-based activity, including participation in elective courses that meet outside of the traditional school day. Athletes are expected to attend all scheduled practices and competitions during the course of both the regular season and post-season (i.e. tournament competitions).

An athlete who is planning to miss a practice or competition is expected to request an absence from the coach as soon as possible. Attendance exceptions that may be reviewed by the coach include medical and dental appointments, family emergencies, religious obligations, tutorial assistance, or other school-based activities. As each sport varies in nature and team structure, a coach will evaluate a request based upon the unique nature and requirements of the respective sport and team. Again, as each sport varies greatly, even pre-planned trips (both family and school based) may not be permissible based upon the specific nature and structure of the respective team. Coaches are asked to establish a team rule on participation based upon the unique needs of the respective sport, communicate this rule clearly to student-athletes and parents, and to review requests for absence based upon the specific interests of the team as well as the interests of the individual student-athlete. To minimize potential conflict between athletic participation and other interests, parents and students are encouraged to communicate with each other early about choices and decision-making.

Dismissal from classes: From time to time, it is necessary to have a student-athlete dismissed from class to leave for a game. In the event this happens, the student-athlete is responsible for seeing their teacher(s) and making up any work misses a.s.a.p. In addition, leaving the room and going to the locker room should be done with respect to those students and teachers in the classrooms and done so quietly and orderly so as to limit any distractions. Your communication with the teachers ahead of time will greatly help in this process.

Malden Catholic High School Due Process: When a student-athlete is suspected of violation of the Malden Catholic High School Athletic Handbook the following steps must be followed.

1. The Athletic Administrator or other school Administrator will meet with the student-athlete and advise him/her of the accused violation. The parents/guardians of the student-athlete may be notified of the accused violation should such violation potentially result in the removal of the student-athlete from the team.

2. The student should be advised as to the facts on which the infractions are based.

3. The student-athlete will be given an opportunity to respond to the violation(s) and provide his/her version of the incident. The student should be asked to give a written or verbal statement concerning the incident.

4. The school Administrator may provide written verification of the intended disciplinary action (including a written statement of appeal procedures) to the parent(s)/guardian.

5. The Athletic Administrator or other school Administrator will provide written notification of the discipline action to the coach, other administrators, and office personnel if such discipline results in the removal of that student from a team temporarily or for the season.

Disciplinary Procedure: The progressive intervention and disciplinary procedures are intended as guidelines only. The administration reserves the discretion to impose consequences up to and including a recommendation for expulsion for any violation. In determining the level of discipline, the administration may consider any relevant facts and circumstances, including but not limited to the nature of the violation, the student’s grade level, the student’s behavior accompanying the violation, the student’s willingness to cooperate with the investigation and any action plan developed with the substance abuse coordinator or guidance department, and the student’s prior disciplinary record.

Spectator Behavior: Any fan acting disrespectfully towards other fans, players, coaches or officials or game personnel may be asked to leave the site with or without prior warning. Any fan, including students, asked to leave a contest will be barred from attending any Malden Catholic High School Athletic contest – Home or Away, for (at least) the remainder of the sports season, including post-season or until a meeting with Athletic Administrator and Principal takes place regarding behavioral expectations. Subsequent violations will result in suspension from attending for a minimum of the remainder of the school year. It is a privilege to be able to watch high school athletics and support your programs and we expect it to be conducted the proper way.

Hazing: There shall be no activities by individuals or teams that are designed to humiliate, initiate, degrade or intimidate another student. Any form of hazing or knowledge of hazing taking place and doing nothing is prohibited and governed by state law. The violation of such will result in the following additional penalties may be imposed by the administration should it be deemed appropriate in each case. In addition, all sexual harassment and bullying policies will be strictly followed as per school student handbook.

Alcohol and Illegal Drugs: Malden Catholic believes that part of our responsibility to help provide and maintain a safe and caring learning environment for our students is that it be chemical free. As a proactive step to help ensure that Malden Catholic remains as safe as possible an environment for every student, the school in conjunction with the Assistant District Attorney’s Office may occasionally conduct drug scans. Such scans can include the building (lockers, public areas, classrooms) as well as the premises (parking lot, vehicles, grounds). We wish to reinforce a positive message that illegal drugs are not welcome at our school and that we take seriously our responsibility to do our best to provide a secure and drug-free environment conducive to learning and to the development of healthful habits. We hope that all these actions bespeak a caring presence, and, of course, we steadily rely on the powerful influence of parents to communicate daily messages to their children to shape healthful living.

The abuse of alcohol and other drugs hinders personal growth and well-being and damages the learning atmosphere of the school. The possession or use of alcohol or drugs of any other type on school property or prior to any school-related activity will result in either indefinite suspension or expulsion. Distribution includes the selling, providing, sharing, and giving away of illegal substances to students. The distribution of alcohol or drugs of any type will result in expulsion with no appeal. Additionally, whenever the Administration learns that a student has or is using drugs, if the student is not expelled:

1. The student will be required to undergo drug assessment from an agent outside the school, for which the school will help with referrals.

2. The findings of an assessment will be reported to the school.

3. If parents fail to cooperate in these requirements, their son may be asked to withdraw from Malden Catholic and the information will be filed with the Division of Youth Services via the Form 51A.

Self-Referral Program: Malden Catholic’s “Self-Referral Program” is designed to allow students who are using illegal drugs, alcohol, and other controlled substances to refer themselves to the Administration for treatment without disciplinary action, and in confidence. The only exception to the above “without disciplinary action” clause will be for athletes subject to the MIAA rules. In order to protect the athlete and the program, the student would suffer the mandatory suspension from the sport. In order to be a self-referral, the student must voluntarily identify himself as a user prior to being identified through other means (direct observation, drug testing, police report etc.). Once the student identifies himself, the parents will be notified and he will be referred to an agency for drug testing, counseling, and treatment at the parent’s expense. The Guidance Department will monitor the student’s progress throughout the program and communicate with the parents as necessary. The program will be up to six months in duration depending on the severity of the problem.

Hosting a party or gathering: If it is determined a student-athlete were involved in the organization, facilitation, promotion or hosting of any gathering or social event where alcohol or drugs are available, or use has occurred. Penalty should be at a minimum double the first violation status and may include a one-year suspension.

Team Leaders: Team Leaders (captains): Student athlete leaders will be held to the highest standard of behavior as they have chosen to be an example to their peers. Any student athlete in a leadership role will face a greater consequence for any serious code violations.

Vandalism or Theft: Destroying, damaging, defacing or theft of any private or school property at a practice or contest, home or away, will result in at least one week suspension from the team, depending on the severity of the incident and is conditioned upon agreement of restitution. If the school administrators take disciplinary action, this action supersedes other actions and may then result in additional penalties being taken by both the school administrators and athletic department.

Suspension from school: If in the event of a violation of school policy has occurred and such violation results in discipline of that student being suspended from school. (This includes out of school, in school and alternative to out of school suspensions.) The following penalties are carried out to include the suspension from athletic contest and practices. It is our belief in the athletic department that active participation is vital to the success of the individual and the team, if a student is suspended from school they may not participate in athletic contests or practices during such suspension and may not attend practices or games during suspension from school. Furthermore, MC Athletic Code of Conduct may extend such suspended time for athletic eligibility and the team may also impose additional penalties as needed.

Team and Individual Awards: The Malden Catholic High School Athletic Department presents several awards throughout the course of the year. No athlete having missed 20% of athletic contest due to discipline purposes shall qualify for such awards. All participants who complete the season on a team, at the JV or Freshman level, as a player or manager will receive a certificate. Malden Catholic High School offers the some of the following awards annually and are presented at the seasonal awards banquet. Senior Awards, MVP, Coaches’ Award, Most Improved etc.

In addition to these awards, several opportunities are presented time and again for awards, certificates, or scholarships, for those students that display positive sportsmanship and participate in community activities. The athletic department urges all athletes at MC to strive for excellence in the classroom and give to their community whenever possible. Many colleges, universities and work force are looking for those that excel off the field as well as on.

Varsity Letters: Athletes on varsity team who complete the season and meet playing time requirements for a letter, will receive a varsity letter. After the first letter is awarded, they will then receive a pin. Adjustments to the playing time requirements may be allowed for injured athletes or in extreme circumstance with approval of both coaches and Athletic Director. Sportsmanship: Athletes should realize that they are representing their school and community and should conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. Those displaying un-sportsmanlike behavior will not be issued a varsity letter or pin regardless of obtaining other qualifications needed. Follow school and team rules: Athletes must abide by the training rules as set forth by the team and athletic department.

Captains: Each sport may or may not have designated captains; each coach will present a captain with the team’s expectations of that role. The position of captain is one where the individual accepts the role of a leader and of a role model both on and off the competitive area. If a captain does not follow the athletic handbook rules once the role of captain had been accepted, whether this is during the off season or during the season, the position of captain will be removed for the remainder of the season and will not be returned.

Tryouts and Playing Time: At the varsity level the playing time is determined by the coach and is based on ability and compliance to team policies and those that gives the team the greatest competitive edge. Sub-Varsity playing time is determined by the coach and based on ability and compliance to team policies. It is our belief that every attempt shall be made to allow each sub-varsity athlete playing time in each contest, in some instances particular sport rules restrict the amount of playing time and or substitutions that may be made. At no time shall an athlete or parent of an athlete attempt to discuss playing time with a coach. These conversations are best handled with the athlete approaching the coach. With issues concerning your son/daughter the appropriate action is to contact the coach, if further discussion is needed you may contact the Athletic Administrator. If still further discussion is needed you may contact the Principal.

See the MIAA Parent/Coach communication guide. All students are encouraged to participate in MC athletic programs. However, in the event of too many athletes attempting to make a team some athletes will need to be cut from a team. Factors such as finances, facilities, and availability of qualified coaches may place limitation on the number of students who may be accommodated within each sport. Coaches are given discretion to cut or place players on different teams within the program according to ability, desire, conditioning, and other specific coaches’ criteria. For example, seniors do not automatically qualify for varsity level or allow them more playing time, and freshman are not limited to participation on a reserve or junior varsity program. You do not automatically make a varsity team just because you were on the team the previous season. Student-athletes have the right to request explanation as to reason for cut and/or tips for improvement.

Team Guidelines Freshman/Reserve, JV, and Varsity

Freshman/Reserve Teams: This is considered an entry level for high school athletes and for those that may benefit from additional skill development. In some sports if approved, we will offer Freshman/Reserve teams. 

The freshman teams will work within the following concepts:

1. Development of fundamental skills.

2. Equal practice participation among team members.

3. The amount of game time is determined by the coach’s evaluation of the athlete’s attitude, safety, skills and team role, working toward equable playing time.

4. Learning the rules of the game and desire to play the sport.

5. Development of an orientation toward team effort by each athlete.

6. Sportsmanship and fair play.

7. Development of skills and knowledge of the game to best help them move on to the next level of play.

8. Winning has a much lower priority than that of skill and character development.

Junior Varsity: This level is considered a transitional level with emphasizes the following:

1. Reinforcement and refinement of fundamental skills.

2. The amount of game time is determined by the coach’s evaluations of the athlete’s attitude, skills, safety and team role.

3. Learning the rules of the game.

4. Sportsmanship.

5. More sophisticated athletic strategies.

6. Specific definition of the athlete’s role within the team concept.

7. Great emphasis is given to the concepts of commitment and team play.

8. Emphasis on physical condition and development.

9. Development of the ambition to achieve at the next level of competition and their role there is encouraged.

10. The concept of competitiveness along with continued skill and character development.

Varsity: This level is competitive and emphasizes the following:

1. Development of high proficiency in the physical and mental skills of the sport.

2. The amount of game time is determined by the coach’s evaluation of the athlete’s attitude, skills, safety and team role as it relates to the team’s overall success.

3. Sportsmanship and fair play.

4. Strategy, situation analysis and all mental components of the sport.

5. Specific definition of the individual athlete’s role within the team concept.

6. Maximum commitment to the athletic team.

7. Physical conditioning components of one’s sport.

8. Individual sacrifice for the betterment of the team.

9. Winning within the rules of sportsmanship and fair play.

Locker Rooms: Once team rosters are set, if not before, each team member will be issued an athletic locker. If a locker is not issued, students should request one from the coach or Director of Athletics. Students are expected to always lock all personal items and team equipment in their own locker. 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 for safekeeping at the game site. Cash should never be carried or left at the school.

Malden Catholic Athletics Social Media Policy & Guidelines: Participating in Malden Catholic High School athletics is a privilege and student-athletes are held in high regard, in season as well as out of season. Everything you post on social media is public information and once placed is property of that site and is still searchable even after you remove it. Just as you would not speak inappropriately in the classroom, we expect what you share online to follow the same guidelines. Items found on social media may be used against you and could result in suspension or removal from a team or organization.

Athletes are not permitted and should refrain from displaying disrespectful comments or behavior online such as:

- Inappropriate or derogatory language that may be offensive or harmful to teammates, coaches, officials, students, teachers at Malden Catholic High School or at other schools, including opponents.

- Incriminating photos or statements, hazing, harassment, inappropriate gestures, vandalism, use of drugs or alcohol or other inappropriate behaviors.

- Making a threat of serious physical or emotional injury to another person.

- Indicating knowledge of an unreported school or team violation.

- Offensive or inappropriate pictures or comments posted online.

- Never post yours or others personal information including address, phone, birth date or other personal information.

- Inappropriate content that is unsportsmanlike, demeaning or threatening towards any other individual or entity.

- Content online that would constitute a violation of team, school and league rules (examples: Commenting publicly about a coach, teammate, opponent, official, and staff member and school employees.)

- Information that is sensitive or personal in nature or is proprietary to the team or the school, which is not public information (examples: tentative or future team schedules, student-athlete injuries and eligibility status, travel plans/itineraries or information).

- Information that is sensitive or personal in nature such as injuries, eligibility status, travel plans/itineraries or other information.

Social Media General Guidelines:

1. Assume nothing is private

2. Remember your online audience is vast everyone can see it.

3. Your tweets and post can be permanent.

4. Your retweet and favoring of others indicate your agreement and wish to promote it.

5. If ever in doubt of the appropriateness of your online comments, consider whether it reflects your own values and ethics as well as the representation of Malden Catholic High School.

Penalties as determined by the athletic director, other administration and/or coaches. Including but not limited to possible suspension from his/her athletic team.

College and Career Guidance: One of the most important decisions facing high school students is what to do with their lives after high school. Malden Catholic Athletic Department and coaching staff are willing and eager to assist all 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 videos tapes, if available, and write letters of recommendation. As appropriate they will guide students to more knowledgeable staff members who can help with post-high school 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 NCAA regulations. Copies of the latest regulations are available in the Guidance Office and online at www.ncaa.org. Please be familiar with these regulations and seek assistance if clarification is needed.

Injured athletes: Injured athletes should remain as much as an active part of the team as possible. Athletic Trainer shall have final say in student-athletes return to participation and may require a doctor’s clearance. If you are injured during a game or practice you should see the Athletic Trainer at that time or the following day for evaluation. The Athletic Trainer will determine if assistance is needed. Malden Catholic High School and its employees are not liable for injuries that occur, and the student/athletes and their families are solely responsible for all cost that occurs due to injury.

Return to Play from Injury: Malden Catholic contracts the services of Hallmark Health services to provide Athletic Trainer services for each of the high school athletic programs. The Athletic Trainers are trained and certified to provide the very best care for our student-athletes. All high school student-athletes who suffer an injury or who feel discomfort must be evaluated by the Athletic Trainer prior to returning to their sport. Any time a student-athlete visits the emergency room or a doctor due to potential injury, that student must provide documentation from the doctor they visited or their primary care physician stating they are safe to return to play.

Treatment for Head Injuries: Malden Catholic and Athletic Department are keenly aware of the nature and concern regarding the topic of head injuries. Significant progress has been made the last several years to ensure that students to do not return to participate in athletic endeavors prior to reaching a full recovery. In recent history research has shown that participating in athletics while suffering from a concussion can result in lifelong injuries and complicated health issues. The Athletic Department and Hallmark Health, Inc. provide the opportunity at the family’s expense to use the ImPACT or similar program to evaluate head injuries. Student-Athletes can take an online Baseline Test prior to the start of their athletic season(s).

Any athlete who exhibits signs, symptoms, or behavior consistent with a concussion (such as loss of consciousness, nausea, headache, dizziness, confusion, or balance problems) shall be immediately removed from the contest and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health-care professional.

When an athlete is cleared to return to play by a physician with documentation after they have sustained a concussion, a gradual return to play plan will be administered by the Athletic Trainer to monitor the athlete and insure they are symptom free during sports specific activities, before allowing them to participate in live athletic participation. Any prior concussion history for an athlete before attending Malden Catholic High School should be noted in the mandatory Pre-Participation Head Injury Concussion Reporting Form that is due before each sports season for record keeping purposes.

The Athletic Director or School Nurse in consultation with the Athletic Trainer reserves the right to withhold any

student from participating in any school sponsored practices and/or contests; if it is determined that student is not in full health.
 

MIAA PARENT/COACH COMMUNICATION GUIDE

Both parenting and coaching are extremely difficult vocations. By establishing communication and understanding of each position, we are better able to accept the actions of the other and provide greater benefit to our student athletes. To be successful, communication is vital and requires involvement, dedication, sacrifice, and commitment from parents, student- athletes, and coaches.

COMMUNICATION YOU SHOULD EXPECT FROM YOUR CHILD’S COACH:

1) Coach and program’s philosophy.

2) Individual and team expectations.

3) Location and times of all practices and games.

4) Team requirements, i.e., practices, special equipment, off-season conditioning.

5) Procedure followed should your child be injured during practice or games.

6) Any discipline that may result in the denial of your child’s participation.
 

COMMUNICATION COACHES EXPECT FROM PARENTS:

1) Concerns expressed directly to the coach.

2) Notification of schedule conflicts well in advance.

3) Specific concerns with regard to a coach’s philosophy and/or expectations.

4) Support for the program and the attributes of dedication, commitment, and responsibility that are essential ingredients for cusses and excellence. Encourage your child to excel.

While your child is involved in interscholastic athletics, they will experience some of the most regarding and inspiring moments of their lives. It is also important to understand that there might also be times when things do not go the way you or your child wishes. At these times, discussion with the coach is encouraged.

 

APPROPRIATE CONCERNS TO COMMUNICATE WITH COACHES:

1) The treatment of your child, mentally and physically.

2) Ways to help your child to improve and develop.

3) Concerns about your child’s behavior.

It is very difficult to accept your child not playing as much as you may hope. Coaches are professionals. They make judgment decisions based on what they believe is the best for the team and all athletes involved. There are certain areas and issues that can and should be discussed with your child’s coach. Other things, such as those below, should be left to the direction of the coach.

 

ISSUES NOT APPROPRIATE TO COMMUNICATE WITH COACHES:

1) Playing time. 2) Play calling.

3) Team strategy. 3) Other student-athletes.

 

IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN TO DISCUSS WITH A COACH:

1) Call to set up an appointment with the coach.

2) If the coach cannot be reached, call your Athletic Administrator. A meeting will be set up for you with the coach.

3) Please do not attempt to confront a coach before, after, or during a practice or game. These can be emotional times for both the parent and the coach, and this situation does not promote resolution nor objective analysis.

 

WHAT A PARENT CAN DO IF THE MEETING WITH THE COACH DOES NOT PROVE A SATISFACTORY RESOLUTION:

1) Call and set up an appointment with the Athletic Administrator to discuss the situation.

Research indicates that students involved in athletics are most likely to succeed at their chosen profession and make creative contributions to their communities. Many of the character traits, qualities, and attributes required to be a successful student athlete are exactly those that will promote a successful life after high school.