Athletic Team Selection Process

Steps Prior to First Day of Practice

  1. Attend the sign-up and/or pre-season meeting ~ the pre-season meetings are held at least one month prior to the start of the season to review athletic department policies, individual and team expectations, health and safety rules, conditioning programs and a variety of other pertinent topics. The fall season meeting is held in May/June prior to summer break.
  2. Pre-Sports Medical Screening ~ each student must be medically evaluated and cleared prior to interscholastic competition.  As per NYSPHAA,“ (1) The results of the pre-sports medical screening shall be valid for a period of 12 months during the last day of the month in which the physical was conducted. (2) Unless the medical examination is conducted within 30 days of the start of the season, a health history update is required.  (3) If the 12 month period for the physical expires during a sports season, participants may complete the season as long as the health history was conducted prior to the season. For example, a physical conducted on August 1 will be valid through August 31.” (See NYSPHSAA for complete definition of Health Examinations) The school physician should complete the physical evaluation of the athlete or accept the form of his/her personal physician.
  3. Permission, Sports Warning, 30 Day Health Up date, and Emergency Medical Treatment  ~ this is a 4 part form and is to be completed by both the parent/guardian and the student. The form needs to be filled out in its entirety each season as the information cannot be carried over from one sport season to the next. The forms are mailed home in August for the fall season and distributed at informational meetings for the winter and spring seasons. Additional forms are available in the nurse’s office at each school and in the high school athletic office. The high school form is white and the middle school form is yellow.
  4. Physical Conditioning and Skill Development ~ it is extremely important for the athlete to prepare him/herself at least 6 weeks prior to the beginning of the season. When a student has difficulty performing at his/her best during the “try-out,” it is usually a result of poor physical conditioning. The coach is the best source of physical conditioning exercises. These conditioning exercises probably include running 1-3 miles 3 days per week, sit-ups, push-ups, flexibility and a strength-training program. Each student should define specific goals and incorporate them into a program that prepares him/her for the skills necessary to perform that sport.

Try-out Process

It is the philosophy of the athletic department to include as many participants as each team will allow.  This is determined by the nature and requirements of each sport. “Cuts” are not always made, but is based on the number students trying out and the number of slots available.

The try-out gives the coach an opportunity to make a value judgment on skill level, pre-season conditioning, and initial mental attitude within a period of time. There are standards and expectations of participation that the coach establishes for the purpose of making the best selection possible.
The following are examples of these standards and expectations;

  • Physical condition of the student
  • Skill level
  • Attitude
  • Competition level
  • Work ethic

The try-out period will last a minimum of 5 try-out sessions. A student who is ill or hurt during this period of time will be afforded additional time.  At the end of this period the team selection is made. The coach will meet with each individual student to explain how the student performed and his/her expected role during the season. A student may ask for an extended try-out if his/her capabilities were not fully demonstrated. This must be requested by the student and discussed with the coach.

The student of a lower grade level at the high school level may inquire about trying-out for a team of a higher level if he/she is emotionally and physically ready.  This inquiry is made by the student directly to the head coach to discuss the possibilities.  If a student has shown the capabilities of higher-level competition and is in the 9th or 10th grade, the parents should be consulted by the coach and apprised of the student’s role and team function.

Team Choice Alternatives

If a student does not make the team of his/her choice, the following options are available within a reasonable amount of time. This is to allow the student a chance to discover a variety of capabilities, talents and interests.

  1. Joining a “no cut” team at any time (there is no grade division)
  2. Try-out for another team with a coach’s permission
  3. Request to be part of the team as a practice player

Athletic Support Services

Joining a team in the capacity as a “support service” is a great opportunity for a student who wants to be a part of the athletic program and learn a new skill.  The following options give a student a chance to work with a team in varying capacities:

  • Team manager
  • Team statistician/scorer
  • Athletic trainer assistant
  • Public address announcer
  • Video tape photographer
  • Sports photographer

The coaching staff will run various practice or contest components and can utilize a student who has the capacity, and has the interest in one of the above areas. There are many new skills embedded within the “support service.”