Elementary School Athletics Handbook

Athletic Director: Joe Baudo, jbaudo@nardin.org  (716) 881-6262 x1790

Assistant Athletic Director: Jackie D’Orazio, (716) 881-6262 x1620

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS

Like all extracurricular activities, athletics play an important part in the learning experience and development of students at Nardin Academy. Athletics provide an opportunity for students to excel outside of the classroom and develop life-long skills and tools for success. Our commitment is to provide a safe, structured, and respectful environment for students to develop their sport-specific skills, cultivate their character and courage, and learn personal responsibility and teamwork through sports.

Coaches, parents, faculty and staff all have a role to play in the positive outcome of our student-athletes interscholastic sports experience. Understanding roles, which are defined in this handbook, is key to how well a team or program operates and performs. A successful team is one where all participants understand and embrace their role. When this happens, teams and programs excel. If any challenges arise, they are able to overcome them as a strong, cohesive unit.

Success is not only measured in wins and losses; it is also defined by the improvement of the student-athletes and team over the course of a season; how much the student-athletes enjoy their experience; and how well Nardin is represented by the sportsmanship displayed on the playing field. I ask you to keep this in mind as our student-athletes and teams prepare and strive to win. GO GATORS!

Sincerely,
Joe Baudo
Athletic Director

NARDIN ACADEMY’S MISSION STATEMENT

 Inspiring hearts and minds to do amazing things for the world through faith, character, academic excellence, and service.

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY

Nardin Academy admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.

It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs and athletic and other school-administered programs.

 NARDIN ACADEMY ATHLETICS

Mission

The Nardin Academy Athletics program is a highly visible, integrated part of the Western New York educational and athletic community. As part of Nardin Academy’s overall programs, it strives to produce well-rounded student-athletes who are known for their sportsmanship, teamwork and competitive spirit. In harmony with the academy’s mission, the athletics program helps student-athletes to develop and maximize their individual talents, be a positive part of a larger community and cultivate their character and courage to do amazing things.

Vision

The athletics program is student-centered with a focus on developing well-rounded student-athletes and providing them opportunities to excel outside of the classroom, giving them life-long skills and tools for success.

Goal

Develop and graduate student-athletes who internalize their Nardin Academy athletics participation, perceiving it as a positive, educational, fun and meaningful experience; who are well-prepared to succeed in their high school and college careers and beyond.

ATHLETICS PHILOSOPHY

Nardin Elementary and Middle School Athletics have the philosophy that everyone interested in a sport is welcome to join the team if committed to attending the practices and contests. At the junior varsity level (5th & 6th grade) all athletes receive equal playing/participation time. On the varsity level (6th-8th grade) each athlete will receive at least 25% playing/participation time. This is to prepare our athletes for the increase in competitive play and preparation for high school sports. However, if an athlete misses a practice or game, playing time is not guaranteed.

PARTICIPATION REQIREMENTS

For students to participate in sports they must have the following:

  1. Updated physical on file in the health office
  2. Completed and signed Handbook/Permission form in the athletics office
  3. Completed and signed Medical Authorization form in the athletics office
  4. Completed and signed Car Pool form in the athletics office
  5. Completed and signed Study Hall form in the athletics office

New for the 2019-2020 school year, we are excited to announce that we are now offering the convenience of online registration through FamilyID (www.familyid.com) for our sport sign-ups.

FamilyID is a secure registration platform that provides you with an easy, user-friendly way to register for our programs, and helps us to be more administratively efficient and environmentally responsible. When you register through FamilyID, the system keeps track of your information in your FamilyID profile. You enter your information only once for each family member and that information can then be used for multiple programs throughout the year.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL INTERSCHOLASTIC SPORTS CALENDAR

 Fall Sport Offerings

Girls’ Tennis, grades 5-8 – end of August or beginning of September to mid-October

Girls’ Varsity Soccer, grades 7-8 - end of August through the end of October

Boys’ Varsity Soccer, grades 7-8 - end of August through the end of October

Girls’ Junior Varsity Soccer, grades 5-6 – end of August or beginning of September through the end of October

Boys’ Junior Varsity Soccer, grades 5-6 – end of August or beginning of September through the end of October

Co-ed Swimming, grades K-8 – beginning of September to mid-November

 Winter Sport Offerings

Girls’ Junior Varsity Basketball, grades 5-6 – beginning of or mid-November through beginning of March

Girls’ Varsity Basketball, grades 7-8 - beginning of or mid-November through beginning of March

Boys’ Junior Varsity Basketball, grades 5-6 - beginning of or mid-November through beginning of March

Boys’ Varsity Basketball, grades 7-8 - beginning of or mid-November through beginning of March

Boys’ & Girls’ Developmental Squash, grades 5-8, beginning of November through beginning of March

 Spring Sport Offerings

Girls’ Softball, grades 6-8 - mid-March until late May or early June

Girls’ Lacrosse, grades 6-8 - mid-March until mid-May

Boys’ Lacrosse, grades 6-8 - mid-March until mid-May

Co-ed Track & Field, 3-8 - mid-March until late May

 DIOCESAN GUIDELINES FOR ATHLETICS PARTICIPATION

In order to participate in elementary athletics, a student may not be 15 years old by Labor Day of the school year during which the student plans to participate.

Any student who wishes to participate in the athletics program must have on file with the health office a current-year release from a doctor to participate and written permission of the parents.

Students who have completed eighth grade and enroll in another school as an eighth grade student are not eligible to participate in athletics if they participated in athletics in sixth, seventh, or eighth grade of the school previously attended.

Any coach or player excluded by an official from an inter-school competition for unsportsmanlike conduct is ineligible to coach or play in that sport until after the next previously scheduled inter-school contest in that sport on that level has been completed.

It is forbidden to wear jewelry (including taped earrings, string bracelets, flat rings, etc.) with the exception of religious medallions or medical identifications. If worn, these items must be removed from chains and taped or sewn under a uniform.

If a school is closed due to inclement weather, students from that school are not allowed to participate in practice or competition of any nature on that day.

If a student-athlete leaves school for sickness, he/she may not participate in the athletics program in any capacity after school on that day.

If a student-athlete is unable to participate in his/her regularly scheduled P.E./dance class, he/she is not allowed to participate in a game or practice that day.

Student-athletes must have an updated physical on file in the health office and parents must sign and return to the athletics office the Handbook/Permission and Medical Authorization forms located on the Nardin website or in the athletics office prior to participation in any sport.

NARDIN ELEMENTARY ATHLETICS POLICIES

 Eligibility

Nardin must follow the guidelines set forth by the Diocese, which state a student must be passing all subjects to participate.

Physical exams expire, one year after original exam date. There will be a 15 day grace period for a student to get a new physical exam. It is advisable for athletes to make an appointment with their physician as close to this date as possible, to ensure no lapse in participation occurs. An athlete will not be allowed to participate in practices or contests if their physical exam is expired.

Assigned Detention

Students will serve detention on the day assigned. Please do not call school personnel to have the day changed so a child can participate in athletics. Students must serve detention before rejoining their respective team for practice or contests.

Injuries and Return to “Game Play”

Athletes are responsible for notifying their coach if an injury requires medical attention.

In the event that an athlete has a suspected or questionable injury, the athletic director or school nurse may request medical clearance in order to continue to practice or play in a contest.

After missing five or more days of practice for any medical reason, an athlete must submit a physician's written permission to return to active participation (practice) to the athletic director. The athletic director will notify the business office, health office, principal and assistant athletic director.

Athletes returning from an injury must be 100% cleared by their doctor (in writing) before participating in practices again. “Return as tolerated” is not considered 100% cleared.

Attendance at Practices and Contests

A child that leaves school for sickness may not participate in after school athletics in any capacity on that day. A child who leaves school for a legitimate excuse (doctor appointment, bereavement etc.) may return and participate in athletics with a written note. Furthermore, if a student is unable to participate in his/her regularly scheduled physical education or dance class, except for a legitimate written excuse, he/she is not eligible to participate in athletics on that day.

If an athlete misses a specified number of practices or contests for legitimate reasons, the coach has the discretion not to play that athlete in an upcoming contest. The same applies for illegitimate absences. An athlete will lose playing time if he/she misses a practice or contest that is unexcused. If there are two or more unexcused absences, the athlete may not be permitted to play in the next contest. If there are multiple absences, the athlete may be dismissed from the team.

Communicating to the coach ahead of time, preferably a one-day advanced notice for non-emergencies, is expected if the athlete will be absent, including the reason why. The following lists identify examples of excused and unexcused absences from practices and contests:

 Examples of Excused Absences

  • Medical
  • Bereavement
  • Absence from school
  • Practice or contest schedule changes and family had a prior commitment
  • Extenuating family circumstances (at the discretion of an administrator)
  • Religious observance
  • UB Math Program

 Examples of Unexcused Absences

  • Attendance at a birthday party
  • Detention
  • Attendance or participation in a non-school sporting activity
  • Family vacation
  • Inability to get a ride
  • Ski Club

Transportation

Nardin Academy will provide transportation to athletic events as designated by the Athletic Director or team coach.  The Nardin athletics staff believes it is in the best interest of team unity that all team members travel together and share the event experience.  Accordingly, all team members are required to ride the bus to the competitive site.  If there is an occasion when your child cannot take the bus, you must, communicate, in writing, to the Athletic Director and Coach, in advance of the event, advising them of the circumstance.  On those occasions, the student and parents are responsible to arrange safe and timely transportation.  Nardin will not provide transportation back to the school following contests. 

It is expected that students will, at all times, conduct themselves appropriately during bus transportation, and comply with Nardin’s student Code of Conduct.  Misconduct may result in disciplinary action, including dismissal, if warranted.  Students will be responsible for any damage to the bus. 

For competitions scheduled on weekends or when school is not in session or scheduled into the evening (after 5:30), the student and parents are responsible to arrange safe and timely transportation. 

For practices occurring prior to 5:30,  a one-way shuttle will be provided after school Monday through Friday when school is in session. Students and parents are responsible for pick up from practices.  The conduct rules set forth above apply to the practice shuttle. 

Study Hall

A few years ago, Nardin Academy implemented a study hall program for elementary students participating in Nardin Academy sports after school. This service was added to provide a learning environment for students to work on homework assignments and read or study material for upcoming tests and quizzes. It is also intended to ensure that all students are together and ready to get on the bus to be transported to practices or games in a timely manner, as well as to ensure that we are not holding the bus waiting for a student who is late.

This year, in an effort to provide a safer and more structured environment for students participating in our after school sports programs, we are making study hall mandatory. Nardin Academy will provide a study hall while students are waiting for practices and games that begin prior to 5:30pm on school days.

All students who are members of a team that have a practice or game scheduled that day (before 5:30) must report to study hall after school. If the student has an after school club they need to attend or need to meet with a teacher, they will be given a pass by the study hall monitor after they have been signed in.

Study Hall Rules

  1. Students must report to the study hall room immediately following the end of the school day and attendance will be taken.
  2. Students must obtain permission from the study hall monitor to leave the room for any reason. They will be given a pass to attend an after school club (ie. Reading club) or meet with a teacher. They must return to the study hall room with the pass signed prior to leaving for practice or a game.
  3. Students are expected to come prepared with work to complete, materials to study, or a book to read while in study hall.
  4. Students will be given an opportunity to change into their practice clothes or game uniforms.
  5. Cell phones, ipods, mp3 players, etc are not be allowed to be used
  6. Students cannot use the vending machines (healthy snack will be provided)
  7. Students are to work independently on homework (unless given permission to work quietly in a group)  
  8. Noise is kept to a minimum so that students can work without distractions.

Failure to abide by the study hall rules will result in removal of the student from study hall for the remainder of the year.
Team/Athlete Issues or Concerns

 For non-emergency issues or concerns, parents are asked to wait 24 hours, to calm down and think things through, before contacting the coach. Do not confront a coach before or after a contest or practice. Meetings of this nature do not promote resolution because emotions are too high.

The appropriate concerns to discuss with coaches are practice and game schedules, expectations for your athlete during practices and contests, ways to help your athlete improve, and college opportunities. Inappropriate issues to discuss with coaches are playing time, team strategy, play calling, roster selection, other athletes, and personal opinions about the coach. Coaches are professionals. They make decisions based on what is best for the team and all athletes involved.

After the 24-hour wait period, the parent may contact the coach to discuss a concern.  If, after discussion with the coach, the concern has not been resolved, parents should contact the athletic director to discuss the concern. 

Fall & Spring Sport Seasons

At the discretion of the athletic director and principal, a student may join two sport teams during the fall and/or spring sports season. A student who is seeking participation on two sport teams must have parental permission. The final decision is made by the athletic director and principal, based on the student’s academic/behavioral record.

The athlete will designate a “primary” and “secondary” sport. The athlete will attend practices for the secondary sport only when they do not conflict with the primary sport. A primary sport contest takes precedence over a secondary sport contest. A secondary sport contest takes precedence over a primary sport practice.

ADPRO Ordering Procedure

 All team apparel must be purchased through Adpro. Prior approval from the athletic director is necessary to purchase items from other companies.

Prior to the start of the season, an online store will be set up with items available for purchase. A link to the store will be emailed to all students signed-up for each sport. The store will be open for 10-14 days. All orders must be placed online. Once the store closes, no more orders can be accepted. All items will ship to the school and will be distributed to the team.

THE ROLE OF STUDENT-ATHLETES

Nardin Elementary and Middle School Athletics have the philosophy that everyone interested in a sport is welcome to join the team. For this privilege, students have two major responsibilities:

  1. To demonstrate appropriate sportsmanship and personal responsibility at all times to teammates, opponents, officials, parents, coaches, spectators, and themselves.
  2. To attend all practices and contests unless the coach has been notified, in writing, a legitimate conflict ahead of time.    

EXPECTATIONS FOR STUDENT-ATHLETES

You must be in attendance for the full school day, except for a legitimate leave from school, in order to participate in practice or a contest. If you miss part of the day or all day from school because of sickness, you may not participate in athletics in any capacity on that day.

If you do not participate in your physical education or dance class, you may not participate in practice or a contest on that same day.

You are expected to attend all practices and contests unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from participating and/or attending.

You must be in full Nardin uniform to participate in interscholastic competition.

You are expected to strictly adhere to the rules of the contest. All coaches have been instructed to deal with intentional rule violations first with a reminder, and then with disciplinary action.

You will refrain from criticizing officials. The official is the authority figure at all sports contests. If there is a problem with the officiating or a specific call, the coach will address the official in the appropriate manner.

After a contest or practice, you may only leave after the coach has dismissed you.

You will not engage in disrespectful behavior such as taunting, trash-talking, and other forms of intimidation.

Some practices/contests begin at 4:00 pm or later. You are required to attend a study hall after school and do homework until getting on the bus to go to practice

During a contest, you must sit in the designated team area. You are not to join family/friends during the contest.

You must be attentive and listen to all coaches during practices and contests.

THE ROLE OF THE COACH

The coach is responsible for teaching our athletes sport-specific skills and mentally preparing them for competition while maintaining a positive and caring attitude toward them. Coaches are in a position to develop moral excellence, build self-esteem, and teach life skills—such as hard work, discipline, commitment, sportsmanship, respect, honesty, and teamwork—through their respective sport.

Nardin Academy strongly believes that sportsmanship and fair play are main components to our athletics program. The moral development of our student-athletes is of the upmost importance. Coaches are also expected to teach fair play as the rules for the game have intended.

EXPECTATIONS FOR COACHES

Coaches should: 

Hold a preseason meeting with athletes and, if appropriate, invite parents. During the preseason meeting sportsmanship, team expectations, goals and rules, player and parent responsibilities should be clearly explained.  Schedules should be distributed and contact information should be collected;

Model appropriate behaviors and responses for athletes and spectators. The words and actions of a coach, whether appropriate or not, will be replicated by some of his/her athletes. Coaches are responsible for setting the standard of appropriate conduct. Coaches should maintain a positive approach with the student athletes and offer sincere praise for all athletes during practice and competition;

Hold players accountable for intentional rule violations and other acts of poor sportsmanship; Coaches should remove an athlete, immediately, from a contest to have their conduct addressed, privately and tactfully, and reinstate him/her when you deem appropriate. You should consider benching the athlete for the rest of the contest if a second offense occurs. You should inform the athletic director if an athlete continues such behavior, and contact parents when necessary;

Reward athletes that have made a genuine commitment to attend practices with developmentally appropriate playing time and in accordance with the Nardin participation philosophy;

Demonstrate respect and tolerance for all officials’ interpretation of rules and speak with officials in an appropriate manner.  Coaches should discourage athletes and parents from verbally abusing/criticizing officials and opponents before, during, and after contests;

Never humiliate or embarrass other schools by running up scores, and discuss options to play the game equitably if a team has low numbers;

Enforce the uniform policy,

Be fair and balanced in scheduling practices and games to allow athletes time to fulfill their academic commitments.

Keep winning in perspective because winning and preparing to win are not the only objectives. Success is also defined by athletes/team improving over the course of a season, enjoying their experience, and representing Nardin in a positive fashion

THE ROLE OF THE PARENT

Our parents are an integral part of our athletics program. Supportive parents allow our coaches to coach, officials to officiate, and our athletes to learn and grow through the celebrations and challenges of a season. We expect our parents to act in a manner that encourages and supports the team atmosphere, as well as individual performance. Parents are to be an exemplary role model for good sportsmanship and team play.

Excerpt from the Positive Coaching Alliance’s document on Coach-Parent Partnership: 

Recognize the Coaches’ Commitment: Your child’s coaches have made a commitment that involves many hours of preparation beyond the time spent at practices and games.

Make Early, Positive Contact With the Coach: Establishing a positive relationship with the coaches will help you proactively shape a positive experience for your child and will lay the foundation for respectful, productive conversations with the coaches should a conflict arise later. 

Don’t Put the Player in the Middle: You wouldn’t complain to your children about how poorly their math teacher explains fractions. Don’t share your disapproval of a coach with your children. Doing so may force the child to take sides, and not necessarily your side. If your child has an issue with the coach and can maturely articulate it, encourage your child to approach the coach and at the very least learn some life lessons in self-advocacy with an authority figure. Otherwise, if you disapprove of how the coach handles a situation, seek a private meeting to discuss the matter.

Let the Coaches Coach: It can confuse players to hear someone other than the coach yelling out instructions. Also, your instructions may counter the coaches’ strategy and tactics, undermining team performance.

 Fill Your Child’s Emotional Tank: Competitive sports can be stressful to players. The last thing they need is your critiquing their performance…on top of what the coach may deliver and what they are already are telling themselves. Let your children know you love and support them regardless of their performance.

Contribute to a Positive Environment: Fill all the players’ Emotional Tanks when you see them doing something well. Honor the Game as a spectator, respecting ROOTS (Rules, Opponents, Officials, Teammates, and Self), and encourage others around you to Honor the Game.

For more resources, visit: www.PCADevZone.org

For more information on Positive Coaching Alliance, visit: www.PositiveCoach.org

EXPECTATIONS FOR PARENTS AND SPECTATORS

Parents should:

 Examine your child’s after-school schedule prior to joining a sport team. Athletes are expected to attend all practices and games and be on time. Over-committing places your child at an unfair advantage at school and on the playing field;

Be an exemplary model of good sportsmanship to the athletes;

Cheer enthusiastically and applaud the fine efforts and play of all athletic participants involved;

Refrain from making critical comments or gestures to officials, coaches, players or representatives from other teams;

Refrain from making verbal contact with your child during practice or contests unless you have asked for approval from the coach to do so;

Contact the athletic director before removing your child for disciplinary reasons to consider other solutions and win-win possibilities so the team is not negatively affected;

Arrive on time to pick up your child from practices and contests; and

Assure that an up-to-date physical is on file with the school nurse (the physical documentation is be given to the school nurses only).

THE ROLE OF ADMINISTRATORS

 Administrators play a vital role in the organization and success of the athletics program. Administrators work closely with the coaches and athletes, supporting and mentoring them throughout the season. Administrators must also ensure that winning is kept in perspective among all those involved in athletics, that sportsmanship and fair play are upheld, that the mission of the school and athletics program are honored, and that a sense of balance is maintained between academic and athletic pursuits.

EXPECTATIONS FOR ADMINISTRATORS

Administrators should:

Ensure that updated physicals and the Handbook/Permission, Medical Authorization, and Car Pool forms for athletic participation are on file before a student is allowed to participate;

Establish and enforce requirements as outlined in the Athletics Handbook;

Select and mentor qualified coaches who understand and are concerned with directing student-athletes according to the mission statement of the school and athletics program as well as understand and enforce the policies established in the Athletics Handbook;

Ensure that all coaches have up-to-date First Aid/CPR/AED training and other appropriate certifications;

Recognize exemplary behavior and actively discourage undesirable conduct by participants, coaches, and fans;

Attend events whenever possible and model appropriate sportsmanship;

Revise the athletic policies in the Handbook as necessary;

Impress upon parents the importance of athletics as an integral part of the educational experience. 

SPORTSMANSHIP

 Sportsmanship is a demonstration of generosity, genuine concern for others, and respect for the game. It is a concrete measure of the understanding and commitment to fair play, ethical behavior and integrity. A good sport is a person known for the manner of his/her acceptance of the rules of the games or of a difficult situation.

 Here are a few examples of sportsmanship:

  • Smiling at the referee who called a foul on you when you did not make it
  • Admitting when you knocked the ball out of bounds
  • Offering sincere congratulations when shaking hands after defeat
  • Cheering for your team, especially when losing.