Commitment to Practice and Games

  • Athletes are expected to attend every practice and contest, unless excused by their coach. If an athlete is in school attendance, he or she is expected at practice. There are no unexcused absences from practices or games. Excused absences are permitted for extra help (lateness only), death in the family, family illness, family emergencies, medical reasons, and religious observances. Timely communication between the coach, parent and/or athlete in this situation is essential.

    Opportunities exist for Fredonia’s student-athletes, especially at the high school level, to participate on non-school sponsored teams, while participating on school-sponsored teams. When these situations occur, sound communication between the student-athlete, parent/guardian, and coach is mandatory. As discussed in the philosophy portion of this handbook, membership on a junior varsity or varsity team requires a considerable time commitment. The school district is responsible for monitoring the wellness and safety of each of our student-athletes. With this in mind, each situation involving outside school competition must be carefully evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Furthermore, any anticipated conflicts with regard to school commitment and program expectations must be brought to the attention of the coaching staff prior to tryouts.

    An athlete’s first commitment must be to the school program. Coaches are not expected to excuse athletes from school practices and/or contests due to conflicts or commitments with outside community club or travel team practices, contests and/or tournaments. Parents and athletes should not expect coaches to compromise their commitment expectations.

    Family Vacations

    When parents and student-athletes choose to take their family vacation during a sport season, it must be understood that the time missed by the student-athlete can affect team chemistry, personal conditioning, and performance level of the individual and the overall success of the team. Each and every individual on the team has a role, not just in the game, but in the practice climate as well, regardless of how much playing time the athlete is experiencing. Commitment during the vacation periods involves self-sacrifice, not only on the part of the coach and athlete, but the family as well. Attendance is mandatory during vacation periods. The modified program will not schedule as many practices as the high school level. Contact the coach prior to the season in order to fulfill team commitments and expectations.

    Varsity Athletic Vacation Policy

    In order to ensure that students recognize and understand their responsibility as a member of the varsity and JV team, parents and students are reminded that their participation requires attendance at all practices and games during non-school and vacation periods. Therefore, student athletes must be prepared to participate in athletic practices or games that are scheduled during the following recesses: Thanksgiving Break (end of November), Winter Break (end of December), Mid-winter (mid February) and spring (March/April). As a school district and members of the Chautauqua Cattaraugus Athletic Association, we are committed to preparing for and honoring the contest schedule during these non-school and vacation periods. In addition to these periods, the fall sports season will start prior to Labor Day.  Consequently, all varsity athletes and their families are reminded to plan vacations accordingly.

    It is recognized that there may be situations of an emergency nature that may arise which would necessitate the missing of scheduled practices. The student athlete and family may request an exception from this policy by appealing to the coach. All athletes should be expected to plan ahead and attend these practices and/or competitions, if they wish to remain on the team, maintain playing eligibility and earn an award letter. Student-athletes are expected to make a full commitment to the season and notify the coach of any potential commitment conflicts prior to tryouts. A problem with commitment may impact the selection process.

    Once selected for a team, an athlete is expected to finish the season. As a general rule, an individual who drops out once selections have been made may not try out for another team that season. If the coaches of both teams involved make an appeal to the Athletic Director and are both in agreement that a change would be beneficial, the appeal can be considered. A student dismissed from a team for disciplinary reasons may not try out for another team that season.

    School-Sanctioned Activities and Field Trips

    There are numerous educational opportunities for students in our school system. The Athletic department supports school-sanctioned programs and trips, but also realizes that student-athletes who choose to participate in school trips or school exchange programs may miss substantial amounts of practice time, which affects personal athletic goals and team goals.  Coaches, parents and student-athletes have a responsibility to each other and parents are expected to plan and communicate well in advance of each sport season when considering participation in school sanctioned programs and/or trips. All attempts should be made to consider the practice and/or game schedule and seek the advice of the coach before making commitments to plans. If an athlete’s personal commitments compromise team goals, or present a conflict with respect to the standards and expectations defined for all involved in the program, the athlete should be prepared to make a choice between his/her continued relationship with the team and their commitment to other personal goals.