- Haslett High School
- Athletics Handbook
Athletics Handbook Overview
The role of interscholastic athletics in Haslett Public Schools is to provide educational experiences in the framework of competitive athletics. By focusing on educational outcomes and student learning, athletics provides avenues for physical, emotional, social, and intellectual growth.
Contained within this document, you will find very valuable basic information, including our philosophy and expected educational outcomes of participation in athletics, as well as, more detailed information regarding eligibility and our code of conduct. If you wish additional information, please see the Haslett Public Schools website. On the home page, click Schools, then High School for Athletics.
Please take the time to read and discuss this information with your student/guardian. Familiarity with this information is essential in accommodating an understanding of the policies and guidelines of our athletic programs. I look forward to working with our athletes at Haslett High School. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call me at my office, 339-8249.
Darin P. Ferguson
Introduction to Athletics
To the parent/guardian:
We are committed to the educational development of students through athletics and feel that a properly controlled, well-organized sports program meets the athletes’ needs for self-expression, mental alertness, and physical growth. It is our hope to maintain a program that is sound in purpose and will further each student’s educational maturity.
When your athlete joined our sports program, they committed our staff to certain responsibilities and obligations, including:
1. To provide adequate equipment and facilities;
2. To provide well-trained coaches, and
3. To provide equalized contests with skilled officials.
Likewise, we believe that you have committed yourselves to certain responsibilities and obligations. We would like to take this opportunity to acquaint you with specific policies that are necessary for a well-organized athletics program. The following information is not meant simply as a list of rules but is offered as a guide for successful participation in athletics at Haslett High School.
We share a belief that athletics are an integral part of the high school educational experience. We look forward to working with you and to watching your student-athletes participate.
To the athlete:
Being a member of a Haslett High School athletic team is both an honor and a privilege. We hope you will enjoy your time participating in high school athletics and take the lessons you learn with you when you leave Haslett High School.
The rules outlined in this handbook are not designed solely to describe consequences; they are intended as a guide to successful participation. As an athlete, you will be expected to understand and abide by these rules. It is your responsibility to follow them completely and at all times.
1. Responsibilities to yourself: The most important of these responsibilities is to broaden yourself and develop strength of character. You owe it to yourself to get the greatest possible benefit from your high school experiences. Your academic studies, and participation in other extracurricular activities, as well as in sports, help to prepare you for your life as an adult.
2. Responsibilities to your school: Another responsibility you assume as a team member is to your school. You assume a leadership role when you are on an athletic team. The student body and members of the community know you. You are on stage with the spotlight on you. The student body, the community, and other communities judge our school by your conduct and attitudes, both on and off the field. Because you have accepted this leadership role, you can contribute greatly to school spirit and community pride. Haslett High School cannot maintain its reputation as an outstanding school unless you do your best in whatever activity you wish to engage in. By participating in athletics to the maximum of your ability, you are contributing to the reputation of your school.
3. Responsibilities to others: As a team member, you also bear a heavy responsibility to your family. When you know that you have lived up to all of your commitments, that you have practiced with great enthusiasm, and that you have played the game to the best of your ability, you can keep your self-respect and your loved ones can be proud of you.
Athletics are a part of the extracurricular educational process of Haslett Public Schools, serving as an arena for learning. We strive to have each student-athlete enjoy a positive experience while developing competitive teams. The role of interscholastic athletics in Haslett Public Schools is to provide educational experiences in the framework of competitive athletics.
We value the right of all athletes to compete and grow personally without compromising good sportsmanship or the dignity and humanity of other athletes, teams, and communities.
- We are respectful of all cultures and expressions of values and beliefs.
- We are responsible and successful before, during, and after competition, practices, and all spaces where we represent ourselves and our team.
- We uphold the importance of finding joy through being a part of a team that represents more than the individual and sharing in the highs and lows of athletic competition.
- We show empathy, kindness, and commitment to our teammates, opponents, and fans.
- We will hold each other accountable to these values, and work together with our teammates, coaches, and school personnel when these values have been compromised by anyone.
A Board of Education is a legal entity for providing a system of public education within a geographic area of the State of Michigan. The system was created by, and is governed by, State statutes. Members of a Board are chosen by citizens to represent them and the State in the governance of the local schools.
The Board has the dual responsibility for implementing statutory requirements pertaining to public education and for meeting the desires of residents. While the Board has an obligation to determine and assess citizen desires, it is understood that when the voters elect delegates to represent them in the conduct of specified educational programs, they, at the same time, are endowed with the authority to exercise their best judgment in determining policies, making decisions, and approving procedures for carrying out the responsibility.
The Board declares and, thereby, reaffirms its intent to:
A. Maintain two-way communications with citizens of the District. The Board shall keep them informed of the progress and problems of the School District and the citizens shall be urged to bring their aspirations and concerns about the District to the attention of this body.
B. Establish policies and make decisions on the basis of declared educational philosophy and goals.
C. Act as a truly representative body for citizens in all matters related to programs and operations. The Board recognizes that ultimate responsibility for public education rests with the State, but the Board of Education has been assigned specific authority through statute, and the Board shall not relinquish or fail to exercise that authority.
Haslett High School is a member in good standing of the Michigan High School Athletic Association, which is a private, voluntary association of public, private and parochial secondary schools. The primary function of the Association is to sponsor tournaments and ensure that member schools follow rules and guidelines to promote equitable competition.
The purpose of the Michigan High School Athletic Association is to:
1. Increase and promote the educational value of interscholastic athletic programs throughout the state.
2. Assist member institutions in their regulation of interscholastic athletic eligibility and competition.
3. Promote uniformity, predictability and competitive equity in the application of eligibility rules for athletic contests.
4. Promote the physical welfare of participating students.
Haslett High School is a voluntary member of the Capital Area Activities Conference. This league was established for the primary purpose of promoting selected interscholastic activities among member schools and the assurance of such advantages as may be gained by a union of effort.
M.H.S.A.A. Requirements for High School Eligibility
In order to be eligible for interscholastic athletics, a high school student must meet the following requirements:
1. Age – High school students become ineligible if they reach their nineteenth (19) birthday before September 1st of a current school year.
2. Athletic Physical Form – Students must have on file, in the school’s office, a physician’s statement for the current school year (after April 15) certifying that they are physically able to compete in athletic practices and contests.
3. Enrollment – Students must be enrolled in school per MHSAA guidelines. A student must be enrolled in the school for which he or she competes.
4. Semesters of enrollment – Students cannot be eligible in high school for more than eight semesters, and seventh and eighth semesters must be consecutive. Students are allowed four first semesters and four second semesters of competition and cannot compete if they have graduated from high school.
5. Semester records – students must have passed at least four full-credit subjects in the previous semester of enrollment, and must be currently passing four full credit courses.
6. Transfer students – A student in grades 9 through 12 who transfers to another high school may not be eligible unless the student qualifies for immediate eligibility under one or more of MHSAA exceptions. Students and parents anticipating a change of schools should first seek advice from their high school administration.
7. Undue influence – The use of undue influence by any person directly or indirectly associated with a school to secure or encourage the attendance of a student for athletic purposes, shall cause the student to become ineligible for a minimum of one semester.
8. Limited team membership – after practicing with or participating with high school teams, students cannot participate in any athletic competition not sponsored by his or her school in the same sport during the same season. Exceptions include ice hockey and all individual sports, which apply the rule from the point of a student’s first participation in a contest or scrimmage, rather than practice. Students in individual sports may practice, but not compete, in more than two non-school individual meets or contests during the school season while not representing their school.
9. Awards and amateurism – Students cannot receive money or other valuable consideration for participating in M.H.S.A.A. sponsored sports or officiating in interscholastic athletic contests, except as allowed by the M.H.S.A.A. Handbook. Students may accept, for participation in M.H.S.A.A. sponsored sports, a symbolic or merchandise award, which does not have a value over $25. Banquets, luncheons, dinners, trips and admissions to camps or events, are permitted if accepted “in kind.” Awards in the form of cash, merchandise, certificates, or any other negotiable document are never allowed.
Note: Consult the M.H.S.A.A. Handbook for detailed regulations and/or interpretations.
Haslett High School Requirements for High School Athletic Participation
The following are requirements that shall be completed prior to participation on any Haslett athletic team. The first time a student tries out for any athletic team, he/she will be presented with the Athletic Policy handbook containing all the information for participating in athletics at Haslett High School.
1. Athletic Physical Form- This form must be completed and returned to the athletic office before a student will be able to try out OR participate in athletics.
2. Scholastic eligibility- In order to participate on a Haslett athletic team, each athlete must have satisfied all of the scholastic eligibility requirements of the MHSAA prior to participation. Grades are checked at midterm, term and semester. When grades are checked, a student must be passing at least “66 percent of credit load potential for a full-time student”. If at semester a student is not passing at least sixty-six percent of their classes, they are academically ineligible for the first sixty days of the following semester. If at term or midterm, a student is not passing at least sixty-six percent of their classes, the student must first sit out one full week and is not again eligible for participation until he/she is passing at least sixty-six percent of their classes. Students who are ineligible at the end of the second semester of the school year become eligible on their 61st scheduled school day of the following school year, provided they have been passing classes cumulatively for the previous sixty days.
3. Haslett Athletic Code of Conduct - Each parent or guardian is responsible for knowing and understanding the athletic eligibility rules, code of conduct and policies of the school district.
Financial obligations and equipment
1. School-issued uniforms, warm-ups, and equipment - All athletes are responsible for the proper care and security of equipment issued to them. School-furnished equipment is to be worn only for contests and practice. Equipment not returned in good condition at the end of the season may be subject to a financial penalty.
2. Athlete purchased uniforms - In some cases, athletes will be required to purchase a portion of the game uniform, which will become their property. (Example: swimsuits, hats, socks)
3. Athletes may be required to purchase various pieces of sport-specific equipment. Examples include, but are not limited to: shoes, cleats, gloves, practice jerseys, etc. All athlete-supplied equipment will remain the property of the athlete.
NOTE: If financial conditions exist that make it difficult for a team member to purchase mandatory equipment or uniforms, please contact the athletic office so that confidential arrangements can be made. Financial conditions should not be the sole reason that a potential student-athlete does not participate.
Code of Conduct
Representing Haslett High School in interscholastic athletic competition is regarded as a privilege and not a right. Students who participate in interscholastic athletics while attending Haslett High School are expected to represent the highest ideals of character by exemplifying good conduct, good sportsmanship, good citizenship, and good training, which includes abstaining from the use of tobacco/nicotine, alcohol, and drugs.
Separate and apart from a student’s performance as an athlete, the student’s conduct, sportsmanship, citizenship, and training reflect at all times on the student-athlete, his or her team, our school, and our community. Accordingly, this Athletic Code has been established for all students who aspire to participate in interscholastic athletics while attending Haslett High School.
Application of the Athletic Code
When a student voluntarily participates in interscholastic athletics, the student agrees to abide by the Haslett High School Athletic Code throughout the student’s high school athletic career. A student may neither attend tryouts nor practice with a team until the student has submitted a signed acknowledgment form agreeing to abide by the Athletic Code (this is done on the front page of the physical form). This Athletic Code applies to candidates, members, and managers of all athletic teams.
Calendar Application of the Athletic Code
Students shall be regarded to be under the rules of the School Athletic Code beginning with their first day of participation in interscholastic athletics and continuing through to their date of graduation or the last date of participation, whichever is later.
Time/Place Application of the Athletic Code
This includes vacation breaks, summer recess, and off-season times. The participant is always under the student activity code from the beginning to the end of their athletic career.
Standards of Conduct
The following behaviors constitute a violation of the Haslett Public Schools Athletic Code and subject the athlete to discipline as outlined in the “Penalties” section of the Athletic Code:
Use, possession, concealment, distribution, sale, or being under the influence of those substances listed in Items 1-7 below:
1. Tobacco or nicotine products in any form, including vaping and marijuana use;
2. Alcohol or alcoholic beverages in any form;
3. Illegal drugs, including but not limited to those substances defined as “controlled substances” pursuant to federal and/or state statute;
4. Steroids, human growth hormones or other performance-enhancing drugs;
5. Substances purported to be illegal, abusive or performance enhancing, i.e., “look-alike” drugs;
6. Misused prescription drugs (misuse of prescription drugs may lead to disciplinary action);
7. Misused non-prescription drugs or inhalants (misuse of non-prescription drugs or inhalants may lead to disciplinary action).
(For purposes of this section of the Athletic Code, the term “distribution” includes the “hosting” of a party at which any of the substances listed in Items 1-7 are provided).
Note: It shall not be a violation of the Athletic Code for an athlete to use or possess a prescription or patent drug when taken pursuant to a legal prescription issued by a licensed practitioner for which permission to use in school has been granted pursuant to Board Policy. An athlete shall notify his or her coach if he or she is taking prescription medicine that could alter the athlete’s behavior or affect the athlete’s ability to participate in physical activity.
Use, possession, concealment, distribution, manufacture or sale of devices designed for and/or associated with the use of controlled substances, to include devices used to smoke, inhale, inject, or otherwise consume controlled substances.
Violation of federal, state or local law/ordinance, including felony or misdemeanor acts other than minor traffic offenses. Conviction of said act is not necessary to establish a violation of Athletic Code, but will be determined through an independent school investigation and may result in a penalty as provided in “Conduct Offenses” below.
Cumulative or gross misconduct, including behavior which school officials consider conduct unbecoming to an athlete and a representative of Haslett Public Schools. This may include but is not limited to profanity, obscene/vulgar gestures, etc., and may result in a penalty as provided in “Conduct Offenses” below.
Violation of the Student Conduct Code as set forth in the Haslett High School Handbook, which results in a school suspension.
Violation of any team conduct, grooming or training rule as may be established by the coach and approved by the Athletic Director.
*Please note that social media or other displays of any prohibited conduct will be subject to disciplinary action. This includes substance abuse, bullying/harassment, hazing, and any other violations of the student or athletic code of conduct.
1. First Conduct Offense: Violations will be addressed as set forth in the Haslett Athletic Handbook and by team rules established by the coach and approved by the Athletic Director.
2. Second and Subsequent Conduct Offenses: Violations will result in disciplinary actions as determined by the coach and the Athletic Director.
3. In the event that the Athletic Code or other school policies or procedures do not cover situations that arise, the administration reserves the right to establish such rules, conditions, and penalties to respond effectively to unanticipated or unique circumstances and to impose such consequences at the discretion of the administration.
Substance Abuse Offenses:
1. First Violation: Suspension of 25% of the current season’s contests. If the violation occurs when less than 25% of the contests remain, the suspension will be prorated into the next sport in which the athlete participates, even though it may carry over into the next year. The athlete may be allowed to participate in practice for conditioning purposes during the suspension (suspension to be computed from time of the violation.
2. Second Violation: Termination of participation for one full calendar year from all athletics. If a student voluntarily seeks an appropriate, approved program of substance abuse, tobacco cessation, or behavior modification and provides written proof of satisfactory completion of that agency’s requirements, suspension will be reduced by 50%. The student will be allowed to compete in practice for conditioning purposes during the suspension (suspension to be computed from the time of the violation). Any expenses incurred for the assessment and/or treatment program will be the responsibility of the student and not Haslett Public Schools.
3. Third Violation: Termination of participation in the Haslett High Schools athletic program for the remainder of the student’s athletic career.
Substance Abuse Self-Disclosure: An athlete who voluntarily discloses to a school employee a need for assistance for alcohol or substance abuse prior to any reports, charges, or complaints under the Athletic Code shall be required to follow the chemical assessment/treatment procedures outlined in the Athletic Code.
Under such circumstances, the athlete will not be charged with a violation of the Athletic Code of Conduct, unless it is determined that the athlete has used this self-disclosure opportunity primarily to avoid a penalty under the Athletic Code. This self-disclosure exemption is available to an athlete only once during his/her high school career.
1. Satisfaction of the assessment/treatment requirements must be verified in writing by the licensed agency.
2. Any expenses incurred for the chemical assessment/treatment program will be the responsibility of the athlete and not Haslett Public Schools.
**NOTE: Violations will be cumulative during a student’s high school athletic career. Accumulation will begin the first day an athlete begins tryouts for ANY team and will continue throughout their entire high school career.
Reporting and Investigating Violations
All students are guaranteed the right to due process. To ensure those rights when investigating a code violation, the following procedures will be followed:
1. All reporting of violations must be submitted in writing to the athletic director using the district form. (This may also be obtained from the district website, Athletic Director or coach)
2. An athlete will be informed of any charges brought against him/her.
3. An athlete will have the right to present any relevant information that will support their defense.
4. If a possible violation has occurred, a conference may be held with the athlete, his/her parent(s) and the athletic director.
5. If an athlete is suspended, the parent(s) will be notified and will receive a letter stating the findings of the investigation and action being taken.
6. A written report of the investigation will be held on file in the athletic office.
7. This report will not become part of the student’s academic record and will be held confidential.
Student Appeals Procedure
All alleged athletic code violations reviewed by the athletic director will result in a recommendation to the principal. The principal may accept or modify the recommendation to be more or less severe. The procedure below is to be followed in sequence:
1. Parents or guardians may request a conference with the principal or his designee. The principal shall affirm or modify the terms of the recommendation within two school days from the date of the conference.
2. A second appeal may be made to the superintendent of schools within five days of the decision of the principal.
3. All final appeals may be made to the Haslett Board of Education within ten days of the decision of the superintendent of schools.
Student Grievance Procedure
In a situation where there has been no apparent infraction or disciplinary action applied, but a student wishes to lodge a grievance or
present some other issue involving a respective sport, contest, participant, etc., the procedure below is to be followed in sequence:
1. Direct communication with the coach.
2. Direct communication with the athletic director.
3. Direct communication with the principal
4. Direct communication with the superintendent.
Other Procedures and Guidelines
Limits of Participation
Athletes will be limited to participation in one school-sponsored sport per season. Any exception to this rule must be made with the approval of the athletic director and high school principal.
Athletes may leave an away athletic event only with a parent or legal guardian, providing the parent or guardian has spoken and given a note to the coach at the event.
All athletes will observe the Guidelines for district Transportation set down by the school district regarding behavior on a school bus.
Quitting a Sport
Dropping out of a sport is always considered a serious matter. If an athlete wants to quit any sport, the student should notify the coach and return all equipment. Athletes who quit a sport midseason may not be allowed to practice or compete until all equipment is returned and the athlete has met with the athletic director.
College recruitment information is available in both the guidance and the athletic office. Current NCAA qualifications and standards for recruitment are located in section VII of this handbook. Athletes should make the head coach aware of their situation in regard to being recruited. Student-athletes are responsible for their own recruitment efforts. This includes ensuring NCAA eligibility of courses, grades, credits, etc. Athletes may seek assistance from their counselor.
Conflicts between extracurricular activities
Since the athletic and fine arts departments recognize that each student should have the opportunity for a broad range of experiences in the area of co-curricular activities, every attempt will be made to schedule events in a manner that minimizes conflicts. If conflict does occur between practices, contests, and/or performances, the following criteria will be used:
1. If a conflict occurs between a performance or contest and practice, the athlete may go to the performance without any reprisal. If this conflict occurs on the same day but at different times, all coaches and instructors involved will work together to solve the conflict. If necessary and possible, transportation will be provided and/or arranged by the school.
2. If a conflict occurs between two events, the academic event has precedence.
3. If a conflict occurs between two non-academic events, a meeting will be called as soon as possible to work out a solution.
Athletes are expected to attend all classes and only miss class for legitimate reasons. Parents are expected not to excuse students from school for non-emergency situations, especially during a student’s athletic season. When an absence does occur, athletes must be in attendance for at least three classes if they are to be eligible to participate in practice or competition. The principal or athletic director must approve any exception to this rule.
Perfect attendance for all practices and competitions is the expectation for all Haslett athletes. If it is necessary for an athlete to miss a practice, the coach of that team should be notified prior to the absence whenever possible. Unexcused absences are unacceptable and can lead to consequences related to the athletes’ playing time, status on the team, and more.
Holiday practices are discouraged, especially by teams below varsity level. Holiday practices will be permitted only when:
1. Special permission is granted by the athletic director,
2. A contest has been scheduled the following day, and/or
3. A tournament or play-off contest falls on the following day.
Note: Athletes that must miss practice in observance of a cultural or religious holiday that are not recognized as federal holidays may be excused from practice or competitions to observe the event. This should be communicated to the coach of the team at the beginning of the season or as soon as is reasonably possible.
Non-School Day Practices
Non-school day practices are days before school begins in the fall and during breaks scheduled throughout the school year, such as Thanksgiving break, Winter break, Mid-winter break, Spring break, etc. Practice is permitted. Athletes should make every effort to attend these practices. Coaches should work with athletes and families to accommodate family needs.
In accordance with our philosophy of athletics and our desire to see as many students as possible participate in the athletic program while at Haslett High School, we encourage coaches to keep as many students as possible within the framework of high school interscholastic competition. Time, space, facilities, equipment, personal preference and other factors will place limitations on the most
effective squad size for any particular sport.
If an athlete knows that they are not able to attend tryouts for a sport, they must make arrangements with the coach before tryouts. It is at the coach’s discretion, in conjunction with the athletic director, to determine if an alternative tryout opportunity can be offered.
Prior to trying out, the following information will be made available to all candidates for the team:
1. Extent of the try-out period (a minimum number of practice sessions)
2. Criteria used to select the team
3. Number to be selected
4. Practice commitment if they make the team (including possible holiday conflicts and/or commitments)
5. Game and season commitments
Choosing the members of the athletic squads is the sole responsibility of the coaches of those teams. When a squad reduction is necessary, the process will include the following::
1. Opportunity for a predetermined minimum number of practice sessions for each candidate.
2. Opportunity for each candidate to have performed in at least one game-like setting (unless extenuating circumstances prevent such a setting, (weather, etc.)
3. Each candidate will be personally informed of the cut by the coach. Coaches will discuss specific alternative possibilities for continued participation in the sport, or in other areas of participation within the athletic program with the athletes.