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Interscholastic Athletics Handbook

Dear Parents/Guardians: 

Your son/daughter is a candidate for the Salmon River Central School Interscholastic Athletic Program. We trust that he/she will soon be a valued member of one of our outstanding athletic teams. We need your help, as primary role models, to reinforce essential school policies regarding interscholastic athletics. 

Participation in Salmon River’s Athletic Program is a privilege, which is earned by proper expected behaviors, not a guaranteed right. It demands our student-athletes be responsible, and make commitments that imply sacrifices and dedication to physical fitness, a healthy lifestyle, as well as sportsmanship and academics. Significant findings in health research have pointed out the undesirability of using tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and other controlled substances, especially at the teenage level. Our Athletic Department endorses these findings. 

The Athletic Department must require its athletes to follow certain established rules and regulations. As parent/guardians, you can ensure a more positive athletic experience for your child by helping him/her understand, and comply with the attached interscholastic athletic policies, including the following “Standards” on substance abuse, behavior, attendance, and academics. 

If you agree with the “Standards of Conduct for Student Athletes”, and can fully accept the policies and procedures contained therein as your own, and are willing to cooperate with school personnel in the enforcement of these policies and procedures, please indicate by completing and signing the Standards of Conduct Signature Form. After completing and signing this document, please have your son/daughter return it to their coach or advisor immediately. 

During the first weeks of practice, coaches/advisors will review the entire set of policies and procedures with the students at a team or squad meeting. Emphasis will be placed on developing an understanding of the Standards. Coaches will also indicate that final team selection, and continued membership on any team or squad, will be based upon “the total performance of the athlete as a team or squad member”. That attitude, as well as adherence to the Standards, is as important as the demonstration of athletic ability in selecting and retaining team members. 

We appreciate your concern in, and attention to, making your son’s/daughter’s membership on an interscholastic athletic team a valuable, memorable, and enjoyable experience. 


Shawn Miller 
Athletic Director 

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Title IX

The Board of Education of the Salmon River Central School District does not discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, race, color, national origin, or handicapping condition in the educational programs or activities which it operates, and is in full compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The Board of Education’s policy of non-discrimination includes the following: recruitment and appointment of employees, employment pay and benefits; counseling service for students; access by students to educational program; course offerings; and student activities. 

The district official responsible for the coordination of activities relating to the above compliances is the Athletic Director at Salmon River Central School – 637 County Route 1, Fort Covington, NY 12937 – (518) 358-6615. This official will provide information including complaint procedures to any student, employee, or person who feels that the district or its officials have violated his or her rights. 

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Code of Ethics

It is the duty of all concerned with High School Athletics to: 

  • Emphasize the proper ideals of sportsmanship, ethical conduct, and fair play.
  • Eliminate all possibilities that tend to destroy the best values of the game.
  • Stress the values derived from playing the game fairly.
  • Show courtesy and respect to visiting teams and officials.
  • Establish a cordial and respectful relationship between visitors and hosts.
  • Respect the integrity and judgment of the sports officials.
  • Achieve a thorough understanding and acceptance of the rules of the game, and the standards of eligibility.
  • Encourage the principles of leadership, initiative, and good judgment by all athletes.
  • Recognize that the purpose of athletics is to promote the physical, mental, moral, social, and emotional well-being of the individual players.
  • Remember that an athletic contest is only a game, not a matter of “life or death” for player, coach, school, fan, community, state or nation.

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Salmon River Central School District Mission

The Salmon River Central School maximizes student achievement in a fair manner and respects cultural diversity. 

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Goal & Objectives


The experience of participation in athletic contests and activities shall reflect the total educational goals of our district.


  • Develop an understanding and appreciation of the place which interscholastic sports and activities occupy in the American culture, by developing sound educational attitudes toward them.
  • Educate the student body in the appreciation of sports and activities, and the best way to enjoy them from the point of view of good sportsmanship.
  • Serve as a focal point for the morale, spirit, and loyalty of students, by providing a common meeting ground and enthusiasm that is shared by all.
  • Allow for the development of physical growth, mental alertness, and emotional stability for all those who participate in athletics.
  • Provide the opportunity for a student to learn to handle winning and losing, and to make decisions that affect themselves and members of their team.
  • Learn to develop, through hard work and dedication, a feeling of self-confidence and self-esteem in all participants.

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Philosophy of Athletics

The Board of Education of the Salmon River Central School District believes that the opportunity should be provided for all students to participate in some form of interscholastic or intramural athletic competition, and is vital to the educational development of our students.

The Board of Education believes that athletic competition provides opportunities for students to grow physically and intellectually through their experience in self-discipline, and their contributions to a team effort. The actual competition is believed to be the culmination of many aspects of athletic instruction.

The teaching of basic fundamentals, rules and conditioning, as well as the fostering of a healthy attitude toward competition, are felt to be the primary and essential goals in athletic instruction.

It is the Board of Education’s policy to provide students with athletic competition in a variety of sports, regardless of sex, with quality and competent coaching in all instances, including intramurals. The Board of Education recognizes the importance of spectators at athletic competitions, and the role they play in the students’ development of playing before an audience.

It is recognized that a well-organized and well-conducted Athletic Program is a potent factor in the morale of a high school student body, and an important phase of good community-school relations. The Board of Education believes that students should develop a positive attitude toward both winning and losing. Teaching and expecting good sportsmanship are important goals in the educational aspect of athletics. To that end, the Board of Education recognizes that the various Athletic levels have different goals. The following section outlines and explains each tier of the Salmon River Central School District’s Athletic Program.

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Philosophy of Each Sport Level

Grades 7 and 8 (Modified)

The modified level of competition is the program where competitive sports focuses on the fundamentals of the game and team play; rules, training, and basic skills. At this introductory level, a large emphasis is placed on academics, sportsmanship, chemical-free lifestyle, socio-emotional growth, as well as commitment and dedication. The major emphasis is placed upon maximum participation of athletes, rather than winning. Therefore, “playing time” follows the Salmon River Central School guidelines. All members of the team, who finish the season in good standing, will receive an equal award (Certificate). Modified coaches can implement cuts from teams when teams are so large it becomes a safety issue. If a coach wishes to implement cuts, they must have prior approval from the Athletic Administration and Superintendent/Athletic Committee.

Junior Varsity (JV)

The junior varsity level of competition is the program where there is an increased emphasis placed upon team play, physical conditioning, and refinement of basic skills. At this intermediate level, the program design calls for a balance between participation and winning. Winning at the junior varsity level is considered important, and participants should be taught how to cope with game situations on how to win and lose properly. An attempt will be made to play all participants. However, it is recognized that they may not all play equally in each game. All members of the team who finish the season in good standing will receive an award (Certificate and JV “S”Letter; 2nd year – Emblem/Sport Pin).

Varsity (V)

The varsity level of athletic competition is the culmination of the High School Athletic Program. At this competitive level, the team definitely plays to win the contest. However, varsity contestants shall accept the fact that important lessons are to be learned from losing. Therefore, it will be stressed that while winning is a point of emphasis, the program shall never sacrifice winning at the expense of the rules governing; fair play, good sportsmanship, or the welfare of team members. Team play, sportsmanship, individual physical ability, motivation, and mental attitude are key elements of competition at this level. There continues to be very strong emphasis on academics, sportsmanship, chemical-free life-style, and community service. It is recognized that not all participants may play in every contest. All members of the team who finish the season in good standing will receive an equal award (Certificate, Varsity “S” Letter, and Emblem/Sport Pin; each additional year – Service Bar).

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Salmon River Central School Athletic Program

Interscholastic Teams

Junior Varsity (JV)

  • Basketball
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Softball


  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross-Country
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Indoor Track
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Track & Field
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross-Country
  • Basketball
  • Hockey
  • Indoor Track
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball

Modified (7-8)

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Wrestling
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Volleyball

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Advanced Placement Process

The Board of Education has determined that participation in interscholastic athletics at Salmon River Central School shall be primarily for students in grades 9 through 12, with a limited participation of properly authorized students from grades 7 and 8, as determined by the state and league requirements. Advanced Placement is a process for screening Grade 7 and 8 student-athletes to determine their readiness to compete at a higher level of competition (JV or Varsity) than their current grade level. It is based on ability and maturity, rather than grade level. This program has been designed to assess a student-athlete’s physical maturation, physical fitness, and skill. In addition, Salmon River Central School carefully assesses the socio-emotional maturity of each student-athlete. This program is intended for exceptional student-athletes only.

The Varsity coach of each sport recommends student-athlete candidates for inclusion in this process. Requests directly from parents or student-athletes will not be honored.

All student-athletes are required to sign up for their current grade level team. The coaching staff will invite appropriate student-athletes to tryout at a higher level once it is determined that the student-athlete meets the established criteria.

Participation by a student in athletic activities involves a certain degree of risk of physical injury. Such physical injury can occur in any type of activity, be it a “contact” or a “non-contact” sport. Furthermore, many injuries are truly accidental in nature, and by volunteering to participate in a school-sponsored athletic activity, a student and his/her parents/guardians assume the risk that injuries may occur.

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Athletic Rules and Regulations


The purpose of these rules and regulations is to help an interscholastic athletic participant become a better citizen, by seeking to demonstrate proper behavior and a good attitude at all times. The following rules were recommended by students, parents, coaches, and administration, adopted by the Department of Physical Education, and supported by our Board of Education. These rules are designed to instill pride, discipline, and team spirit in the individual, to enable the individual to achieve maximum physical and/or mental performance in athletics. The individual is required to make a commitment to the community, school, team, coach, and him/herself, by adhering to the established rules and regulations, a condition that must be fulfilled for satisfactory participation in any sport. Obeying the rules is a matter of honor to each individual who makes this commitment. Enforcement of the rules and adjudication of any violations is the responsibility of the coach.

Responsibilities of a Student-Athlete

Being a member of a Salmon River Central School athletic team is a privilege and honor. To many student-athletes, it is the fulfillment of an early ambition. The attainment of this goal carries with it certain traditions and responsibilities that must be maintained. A great athletic tradition has been developed by the hard work and dedication of many people over the years. As a member of an athletic squad at Salmon River Central School, you have inherited a great tradition. Your actions will reflect not only on those who you are associated with now, but those who have contributed so much to our school in the past. Many of our student-athlete alumni have established league, section, and state records. Others have gone on to collegiate fame and the professional level. In honor of this fine tradition, a challenge is set before you to work hard and make certain that your actions reflect the standards that are established by the Athletic Department.

In today’s society you will be asked to make sacrifices that will benefit you, your team, your school, and your community. Never before has the pressure of peer groups been so strong. In some situations, you may have to find the inner strength to say “NO”. In the long run, you and your family will be proud of the sacrifices and dedication you put forth, to be a member of our athletic teams. If you have taken this opportunity to make yourself a better individual, it will be truly a gratifying educational experience. The highs and lows of athletic competition are achieved through hard work, dedication, and discipline; and are rewarded with the development of fond memories and personal achievements. Younger students look up to you, and it is your responsibility to set a good example for them. They will copy many things that you do just to be a member of “your group”. They need attention and guidance, so always take a few minutes to encourage them in whatever way possible.

Student-Athlete Code of Conduct/Behavior

  • Remember and appreciate that participation in athletics is a privilege that is not to be abused by unsportsmanlike conduct.
  • Demonstrate self-control and respect for others at all times, be they officials, spectators, or other athletes.
  • Treat all opponents with respect. You are expected to shake hands after each competition, and congratulate them on their performance.
  • Respect the integrity and judgment of the officials.
  • Remember that improper behavior, especially while in uniform, in school or in our community, reflects poorly upon you, your family, your coach, your teammates, your school, and your community.
  • Understand and abide by the rules and regulations of the contest/event.
  • Accept victory with grace, and defeat with dignity.
  • Remember that the use, abuse, and resulting negative influence of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and performance-enhancing supplements, are detrimental to the game and its participants, and will not be tolerated.

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Standards of Conduct for Student-Athletes


  1. Possession or use of all nicotine/tobacco products, marijuana, consumption of alcoholic beverages, and/or the use of non-prescription drugs or narcotics, will not be tolerated, and will serve as the basis for disciplinary action. A confirmation of a violation is the detection of substance abuse by a coach, teacher, or legal authorities. Reports from other adults will be taken under advisement and will be investigated appropriately.
  2. Disrespect, foul language, fighting, taunting, or insubordination directed toward game officials, coaches, teammates, athletes from opposing teams, fans, or other personnel will subject the athlete to immediate and appropriate disciplinary action. This applies to practices, as well as games (pre-game as well as post-game conduct), and bus trips to and from games. You should be aware that the use of foul or abusive language will place you in a position whereby you may be prosecuted for harassment, in addition to the disciplinary action in school.
  3. A student who has been suspended from school for violation of school rules as spelled out in the Salmon River Central School Handbook, will not be permitted to play a game, or to practice during the period of his/her suspension from school.
  4. The “period of his/her suspension” is defined as those dates indicated by the administrator who notifies the parents of the suspension.
  5. A student athlete, who has been assigned to detention because he/she has violated school rules, will be expected to serve that detention even if he/she misses a practice or an away trip by doing so. A student that receives more than one period of in school suspension on the day of the event will not be eligible to participate. While the administration will not purposely assign detention on the day of a practice or an “away” trip, neither will they avoid assigning a detention on those days.
  6. Athletes must attend school the date of the contest in order to participate unless the student athlete can provide a legal excuse on that day. They must also attend school on the day of practice in order to participate. Extenuating circumstances shall be brought to the attention of the Athletic Director and/or Principal. Excessive tardiness jeopardizes participation.
  7. A student athlete who finds it necessary to miss a practice or game, must notify the coach, and indicate the reason for his/her need to miss. The coach may require documentation in the form of a written/legal excuse (ex. from a doctor). The coach shall evaluate the reason for the missed practice or game, and determine whether or not appropriate disciplinary action is warranted, and so inform the student athlete, upon approval of the Athletic Director. Consistency and enforcement is of the utmost importance in these matters.
  8. Student athletes will conduct themselves in such a manner as to avoid being arrested, prosecuted, or convicted for violation of any law of the village, town, county, state, or nation. Should a person be charged or convicted of a crime or offense, his/her membership status on the team or squad shall be evaluated. After notice is given to the individual, this individual is given an opportunity to be heard and could result in a temporary suspension or dismissal from the squad, or other disciplinary action by school administration and/or the Athletic Council of the School. The Athletic Council includes: Coach, Teacher, Athletic Director, Principal, and Student.
  9. Student athletes will return all school-issued equipment to the coach within one (1) week following the season on the date specified, or immediately upon termination of membership from the squad. The same applies to uniforms. The student athletes do not have the right to retain uniforms, jackets, or other equipment simply because they declare it lost or stolen, and are willing to pay for it. Any such equipment determined to be in the possession of students, shall be reclaimed by the School District, using all legal means at its disposal.
  10. Athletes shall travel to and from contests with their team and coaches, except when extenuating circumstances arise. When this occurs, they may be:
    1. Released directly to their parent(s); or
    2. Have written permission from the Principal to come home by other means.
  11. Individual coaches will set up rules pertaining to their particular sport, as long as they are reviewed, and accepted by the Athletic Director/Athletic Administration. Athletes will be informed of these rules in writing, and are required to abide by them.
  12. Any student athlete may be dismissed from the activity for insubordination or misconduct beyond the above stated infractions.
  13. Any student athlete who has been dismissed from an activity shall not be allowed to join another activity that season.
  14. Any student athlete who wishes to drop out of an activity, and join another during the same season, must first gain permission of both coaches/advisors, and the Athletic Director.
  15. In addition, upon the recommendation of the Athletic Director, or Athletic Administration, the Athletic Council may also be called to meet with an athlete and his/her parents when any serious misconduct or an allegation of any unlawful act occurs, on or off school grounds. Coaches may also establish additional regulations, approved by the Athletic Director, that govern training, practice, or competition. Our athletic regulations are enclosed for you to keep as a reference.


Athletes shall not attend social functions where controlled substances are being used. Parents are encouraged not to host these types of activities, and all athletes shall leave the site immediately.

All “hazing” activities are prohibited, and will not be tolerated. Hazing includes any action, or situation, which recklessly or intentionally causes embarrassment to an athlete, endangers the athlete’s physical or mental health, or involves the forced consumption of food, other matter.

Alcohol, or drugs used by an athlete for the purpose of initiation into, or association with, the organization or team. The season is defined here as the first day of required practice, through the last team practice, game, or event (possibly a team banquet or party).

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Use of Social Media

(Email, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, X, etc.)

It is the goal of the Salmon River athletic program to educate student athletes on the appropriate use of social media at all times.

The Athletic Administration and Coaches will be providing speakers, lectures, and discussions on this expectation. Student athletes who attend and participate will be given credit they completed this important training on the importance this mechanism plays in their role as student athletes.

Bullying or Misuse

Social media bullying is very serious and may be considered a crime. SRCS Athletics strives to provide a safe, positive learning climate for student-athletes in school. Therefore, it shall be the policy of SRCS to maintain an educational environment in which cyber bullying in any form is not tolerated and is strictly prohibited. Any acts of cyber bullying should be reported to the Athletic Administration for investigation and appropriate disciplinary action.

Any identifiable image, photo or video that implicates a student athlete to have been in possession of drugs or alcohol, portrays use of drugs or alcohol, shows conduct unbecoming of an athlete or a crime, can be used to establish a violation of the Code of Conduct.

Disciplinary Action (Related to Personal Social Media Accounts)

If you post an opinion about anything Salmon River Central School related on your own accounts, please be aware that this information is subject to the code of conduct.

Student-Athletes who post negative, embarrassing, derogatory, inflammatory or any other comments that are inappropriate or negatively represent the athletic department or school will be immediately subject to disciplinary action.

Please remember that we are not only trying to protect the Athletic Department and the School’s image, but also the student-athlete as well.

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Appeal Procedure

Any student wishing to appeal an Athletic Disciplinary action must submit in writing within two days of the disciplinary action to the Athletic Administration stating the reason(s) why their “Standards” infraction(s) should not be disciplined as outlined. This request will then be forwarded to members of the Athletic Council, for their consideration. Should the majority of the Athletic Council members feel that the circumstances warrant a hearing, it will be granted; otherwise, the action will stand.


For violation of Rule A under “Standards”, the following disciplinary action will be taken: 1st offense – 25% of the scheduled game/meet suspension from team, and placed on a probationary period. The probationary period shall last until the next sport season. The athlete in question during this period must continue to follow the Standards of Conduct for student athletes. A second violation of this probationary period will result in a suspension of one sports year for the athlete. Before returning to athletic play, the athlete and parents need to meet with the Athletic Director and Principal to discuss returning to the team. The athlete will be referred to a counselor that is pertinent to their violation OR write a 5 page term paper related to their offense. Game suspensions shall carry over from season to season, if necessary. If there is a confirmation of a first substance violation on school property the consequences will be according to the student code of conduct plus athletic code of conduct. (School property includes all school district lands, buildings, buses leased by school district and any rented facility used by the school district.)

For violation of Rule B under “Standards”, the following disciplinary action shall be taken: 1st offense – reprimand, and benched one (1) game/meet; 2nd offense – benched for three (3) games/meets; 3rd offense – dismissal from team/squad, and one (1) year probation.

Other penalties, resulting from violation(s) of the other Standards of Conduct, shall be imposed by the coach/advisor; if they feel disciplinary action is warranted. The coach’s/advisor’s disciplinary actions in these areas shall remain consistent with the penalty guideline already developed. If a coach is uncertain about what course of action should be taken, a conference with the Principal and/or Athletic Director shall be set-up immediately.

It shall be known, that any student-athlete who is suspended for a period of time from any activity, for a total exceeding five (5) days for breaking the “Standards of Conduct”, will not be eligible for a letter award in that activity, but may receive some other form of recognition for participation. A student-athlete who is dismissed from an activity will not be eligible for any letter award of recognition for that season.

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Participation Regulations

Student Eligibility

Student eligibility for participation on interscholastic teams shall include:

  • Authorization by the school physician;
  • Written parent/guardian consent
  • Endorsement by the Building Principal, based on established rules and various league and State Education Department regulation.

Physical Education Requirement

Athletics is an outgrowth of the Physical Education Program. Those students demonstrating outstanding skill, attitude, and effort are those encouraged to participate in athletics. The wide range of activities in Physical Education gives the students an excellent background in physical fitness, lifetime sports, and team sports.

In agreement with the Salmon River Central School District’s view on the importance of Physical Education, the Board of Education has determined that interscholastic athletics for boys and girls is an integral and desirable part of the District’s secondary school educational program. A well-organized and well-conducted athletic program shall be a potent factor in the morale of a student body and an important phase of good community-school relations. Individual and team sports shall be based upon comprehensive physical education instruction and intramural activities, seeking broad participation from all eligible secondary students, including students with disabilities. Lifetime or carry-over sports are to be particularly encouraged and supported. Parity in the number and kinds of sport activities for girls and boys is a clear objective of the District.

Qualified personnel will be provided for coaching and supervising individual sports. The Board of Education shall have to make the determination of sports programs within its responsibility for fiscal decision making, In addition, it shall be the Board of Education’s policy to encourage intramural athletics as an outgrowth of class instruction in physical education and commensurate with the grade level of the students involved.

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Concussion Guidelines and Procedures


Concussion education will be provided for all administrators, teachers, coaches, school nurses, and guidance counselors. Education of parents will be accomplished through preseason meetings for sports and/or information sheets provided to parents. The protocols will cover all students returning to school after suffering a concussion regardless if the accident occurred outside of school or while participating in a school activity.

Concussion Management Protocol

Return to Play

Return to play following a concussion involves a stepwise progression once the individual is symptom free. There are many risks to premature return to play including: a greater risk for a second concussion because of a lower concussion threshold, second impact syndrome (abnormal brain blood flow that can result in death), exacerbation of any current symptoms, and possibly increased risk for additional injury due to alteration in balance. These NYSPHSAA current returns to play recommendations are based on the most recent international expert opinion. * No student athlete should return to play while symptomatic. Students are prohibited from returning to play the day the concussion is sustained. If there is any doubt as to whether a student has sustained a concussion, it should be treated as a concussion. Once the student athlete is symptom free at rest for 24 hours and has a signed release by the treating clinician, she/he may begin the return to play progression below (provided there are no other mitigating circumstances).

Day 1: Light aerobic activity
Day 2: Sport-specific activity
Day 3: Non-contact training drills
Day 4: Full contact practice
Day 5: Return to play

Each step should take 24 hours so that an athlete would take approximately one week to proceed through the full rehabilitation protocol once they are asymptomatic at rest and with provocative exercise. If any post concussion symptoms occur while in the stepwise program, then the student should drop back to the previous asymptomatic level and try to progress again after a further 24-hour period of rest has passed.

These NYSPHSAA return to play recommendations are based on the most recent international expert opinion.

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Academic Eligibility

Athletic grade checks will be conducted at the 10-week marking period as well as the 5 week progress reports.

ONE (1) F – If a student athlete earns one (1) F during the marking period he/she may practice and play. They must take advantage of all opportunities to achieve a passing grade (AIS, Homework Club, etc.). Coaches will be informed so that they can be apprised of the situation and offer guidance and encouragement.

TWO (2) F’s – If a student athlete earns two (2) F’s during a marking period, he/she may practice. He/She will be ineligible to play in a contest until the Friday that grades come out. The only two exceptions are incompletes and progress report grades in which a student athlete can return once a passing grade has been achieved. They must take advantage of all opportunities to achieve a passing grade (AIS, Homework Club, etc.). Once they submit written confirmation, from teacher(s) indicating that they have dropped down to one (1) F, they may practice and play. Coaches will be informed so that they can be apprised of the situation, and offer guidance and encouragement.

THREE (3) or more F’s – If a student athlete earns three (3) or more F’s during the marking period or progress reports, he/she is automatically ineligible, and cannot practice or play. The athlete will be ineligible to play in a contest until the Friday that grades come out. They must take advantage of all opportunities to achieve a passing grade (AIS, Homework Club, etc.). As soon as they submit written confirmation, from teachers, indicating that they have dropped down to two (2) F’s, they may practice, but not play. If they submit written confirmation from teachers, indicating that they have dropped down to one (1) F, they may practice and play. Coaches will be informed so that they can be apprised of the situation, and offer guidance and encouragement.

Appeal Process

Any student-athlete who has demonstrated that he/she has taken advantage of all opportunities to improve academic achievement (AIS, Homework Club, JOM, Boys & Girls Club Attendance, etc.) may request an appeal of Academic Ineligibility status. The student, parent and/or guardian may request an appeal by explaining to the athletic administrator, in writing, why the status should be re-considered. There will be a committee, consisting of the Athletic Director, Athletic Administrator, CSE Chair (when appropriate), and teacher. The committee will meet and take into consideration the student’s effort, ability, attendance, participation, homework and disciplinary record. A decision will be based on the majority of the committee.

Practice Eligibility

  1. Each participant must have a valid physical exam, proof of which must be submitted to the nurse, before starting the first practice. These records will be kept in a permanent file in the school nurse’s office. In addition, the participant must turn in a completed Interscholastic Athletic Permission Slip/Medical and Eligibility Certification form that must be signed by the student-athlete, parent/guardian, nurse and Athletic Director. A health appraisal review, given by the school nurse, is needed before each new season. In addition, a student-athlete and his/her parent/guardian are required to attend the preseason meeting to maintain practice eligibility.
  2. Any athlete cannot enter or sign-up for a sport once three practices have been completed. They must attend one of the first three practices in order to be eligible to play in that season. Any exceptions must be approved by the Athletic Coordinator. All Appeals must be made in writing to the Athletic Council.

Practice Attendance & Tardiness

Each squad member is expected to be present at every practice session (including practice sessions scheduled during vacation periods) unless legally excused from school, or personally excused by the coach. Illegal practice absences or tardiness to practices could result in disciplinary action.


Modified Sports (7th & 8th)

Every effort will be made to accommodate as many student/athletes as possible on our modified teams. Coach/athlete ratio, league schedules, and budget will all be considered in these decisions.

Junior Varsity (JV) & Varsity Sports

Cuts are to be expected. All coaches are expected to provide rationale, both objective and subjective, for any cuts made. This rationale will be available to athletes and parents at the start of the season. All potential cuts are reviewed within the athletic department.

Squad Size Range

Variables to Consider: Limited number of coaches, limited space.


Soccer: 20-22

Junior Varsity (JV)

Soccer: 22-26
Have carried more as practice players due to no feeder system.
Selection by Qualifying Scores, usually carry more.


Soccer: 21-27
Have carried more as practice players due to no feeder system.
Selection by Qualifying Scores, usually carry more.

Illness & Injury

If a student is absent ½ day or all of the school day due to personal illness or injury, he/she will not be permitted to practice or play in any game scheduled that day or night. Any and all injuries are to be reported to his/her coach and the SCS athletic trainer immediately. If a participant misses five (5) consecutive days of practice and/or contests because of illness or injury, he/she must have a note from a physician stating that it is permissible to return to activity.


While on school-sponsored overnight trips the student-athlete will be in his/her room at 10:00 p.m., and lights out at 11:00 p.m. If a participant has a unique situation, he/she may obtain special permission from his/her coach. A violation of this rule may result in disciplinary action, as determined by the coach.

Profanity, Abusive Language and/or Action

The conduct of a student-athlete is closely observed in many areas of life. Your conduct is a reflection of the total education institution you represent. It is important that your behavior be above reproach. The use of profane or abusive language/action is not acceptable, and will not be tolerated. Furthermore, if profanity or abusive language and/or action directed toward a person in authority, (coach, official, etc.) the participant will be removed from the situation for a cooling-off period. This may result in a period of suspension from the squad, as determined by the coach.


Good sportsmanship and citizenship are required of all student-athletes. A student-athlete’s conduct is to be guided by the following principles:

  • Have respect for the rights and feelings of others; and
  • Behave in a manner that reflects favorably on you, your family, your teammates, your coach, your school, and your community.

In the classroom

A Salmon River Central School student-athlete is a student first, and foremost. In order to be an athlete on an interscholastic team, you are required to reach your full potential as a student. Straight A’s are not required, but your best effort is; just as expected on the field/court. As an athlete, you must plan your schedule so that you give sufficient time and energy to your studies, to insure acceptable grades, and maintain academic eligibility. Plan ahead and be organized. In addition to maintaining good scholarship, an athlete shall give respectable attention to classroom activities, and show respect for other students and faculty at all times. Horseplay and disrespectful behavior and/or attitude are unacceptable, and will not be tolerated. Set a good example. Be a positive role model. Remember who you represent.

Off the Field

Salmon River Central School student-athlete are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that will reflect positively on themselves, as well as our school’s athletic team(s). Inappropriate behavior, as defined by the Salmon River Central School Code of Conduct, in or out of school, will result in a disciplinary review and subjection to suspension and/or dismissal from the athletic program. Any involvement with police, including accusations and/or arrests, any time during the year, will result in a disciplinary review and subjection to suspension and/or dismissal from the athletic program.

On the Field

A Salmon River Central School student-athlete does not use questionable or illegal tactics to win a game/contest. He/She learns fast that losing is part of the game; accepting victory with grace, and defeat with dignity. It is always courteous and gracious to congratulate the opponent on a well-played game after the contest, whether in victory or defeat. Game officials will always be treated with respect, and a sense of understanding the critical role they play. For without their involvement, there would be no game/contest. A student-athlete keeps this in mind.


Hazing in any form (including “initiation”) is degrading, and is strictly forbidden by New York State law. No student shall conspire to engage in hazing, participate in hazing, or commit any act that causes, or is likely to cause bodily danger, physical harm, personal degradation or disgrace, resulting in physical or mental harm to any fellow student or other person. It is understood that hazing of any kind, anywhere, is forbidden, and will not be tolerated. It is further understood that each student-athlete has the duty to report any acts of hazing he/she sees, or knows of, to a coach or administrator; and participation in, or failure to report, any hazing will result in a disciplinary review and possible suspension and dismissal from the athletic program.

Statement from the National Federation of State High School Associations

In response to the recent focus on the use of food supplements (specifically creatine), the National Federation of State High School Associations has issued a position statement on the use of drugs, medicine and food supplements in interscholastic sports.

Suspension from School

A student-athlete who is suspended from school (including in-school suspension) by school authorities shall incur a suspension from his or her squad, equal in duration to the period for which the individual is out of school. The principal will notify the Athletic Director, who will notify the coach of the suspension.

School Tardiness & Attendance

Repeated tardiness and absence will affect eligibility, as determined daily by the coach. Attendance on the day before, the day of, and the day after the contest is required.

If a pattern is noticed by school administration or coach, a meeting will be set up to address the situation. Illegal absence and/or tardiness, on the day of the athletic contest, will result in the loss of eligibility to play in that day’s contest/event. Therefore, a student-athlete is required to be marked in attendance, in their first period class, by 8:14 a.m., on the day of the contest/event. The only exemption is a legal excuse (i.e. Doctor/Dentist appointment).

Leaving a Squad/Transferring

In the event a student quits a squad, he or she will have 48 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) to personally ask the coach for reinstatement. If the student does not personally apply for reinstatement by the 48-hour deadline, he/she is considered permanently dropped from the squad. Once an athlete attends the first five (5) days of a sport, he/she may not quit to tryout for another sport that is being conducted simultaneously, unless the two (2) coaches involved mutually agree to the change. If the athlete is cut from the squad, he/she may try out for a second sport, at the discretion of the coach of the second sport. In addition, in order for an athlete to exchange teams, he/she must have a “Request for Athletic Squad Transfer” form signed by both coaches, and his/her parents. All Head Coaches have this form.


The Salmon River Central School Department of Athletics encourages students to participate in a variety of sports. As such, the district does not endorse in principle, or practice, the concepts of specialization or recruitment. Specialization occurs when a student involves himself/herself in one (1) athletic activity over a period of time, forsaking other athletic endeavors. Recruitment occurs when a coach encourages a student who is involved in more than one athletic activity that it is in their best interest to compete in only one (1) sport.

Transportation/Travel Release

All student-athletes will be bused to and from athletic contests by the Salmon River Central School Transportation Department. However, under certain circumstances or exceptional situations, where it creates an inconvenience to the family, athletes may be excused from riding either to, or from, an athletic event on school-authorized transportation. This privilege is to be kept to a minimum, since our philosophy continues to be that an athlete is part of a team in all phases of team activity.

The procedure for travel release, from “away” contests

  • Should a parent approach a coach at an “away” contest, and request that their son/daughter ride home with them, the coach shall agree, upon receiving written release of responsibility for the athlete.
  • An athlete will only be released to the care of an adult. At no time will he/she be allowed to be driven home by another youth (student or student athlete).
  • Should an athlete request to ride home with adult other than their guardian the athlete will need written permission from their parents signed by the Principal or the Athletic Director and then be signed out.


Coaches/Advisors shall make every effort to coordinate schedules annually, and/or seasonally, to minimize scheduling conflicts. Student-athletes are to make their coach/advisor aware of any conflicts as far in advance as possible. When a conflict occurs between scheduled practices, the student-athlete may choose either activity without academic penalty, loss of membership, or loss of status in the other activity. When a conflict occurs between a competition/performance and a scheduled practice, student-athletes are expected to attend the competition/performance without academic penalty, loss of group membership, or loss of status in the other activity. When conflict occurs between two competitions/performances, the student-athlete may choose either activity, after consulting with the adult coach/advisor in a timely manner. If a serious difference of opinion arises, the student-athlete and the adult coach/advisor will resolve the conflict jointly.


All athletic equipment must be returned at the end of the season to the coach. A student-athlete will not be eligible to participate in a second sport until all equipment is returned. In addition, the student-athlete will be financially responsible for any unreturned equipment.

Game Eligibility

In addition to all NYSPHSAA, Section X, and Salmon River Central School athletic eligibility rules, student-athletes and parent/guardians must attend the mandatory preseason meeting, and sign the form, to be eligible to participate in games/contests.

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Outside Participation

Salmon River Central School student-athletes must understand that commitment to the school team comes first, and outside participation should not be detrimental to an individual, or to a Salmon River Central School interscholastic team. Any athlete seeking relief from attending an SRC game MUST seek prior approval from the athletic administration.

Steps for Approval

  • Request must be in writing (email, text, or letter) to the coach.
  • Coaches must forward the request immediately to the athletic administration for consideration.
  • The athletic administration will make the decision along with input from the coach.
  • The coach will be responsible for informing the athlete/parent.

This above rule must be followed and adhered to by every coach.

Consequences for violating the outside participation approval process are as follows:

If an athlete violates the process, the coach must notify the athletic administration immediately. The athletic administration will use the following consequence scale.

1st offense – 2 game suspension.
2nd offense – Dismissed from team.

Family Vacations

When parents and student-athletes choose to take family vacations during sport seasons, it must be understood that time missed by the student-athlete can affect team chemistry and personal conditioning. Student-athletes who miss practice(s) or competition(s) for any reason may have their position or playing time adjusted. Coaches shall make every effort to inform parents and student-athletes of the season’s-schedule as far in advance as possible.

Please Note: A student-athlete’s absence(s) during try-outs may have an impact on the decision to be selected for the team.

Chain of Communication

During the course of a student-athlete’s interscholastic career, he/she or his/her parents/guardians may have questions/concerns that needs to be addressed. The team coach is the best source of information. The student-athlete should address concerns directly with his/her coach. If after speaking with the coach you are not satisfied, the next step would be for your parent(s) to speak to the coach. If there is no resolution at this step, your parent(s) need to call the Athletic Director’s office and schedule an appointment through his secretary to meet with him at a mutually convenient time. Please be advised that anonymous complaints will not be addressed.

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Communication Guidelines

Both parenting and coaching are extremely difficult vocations. By establishing an understanding of each position, we are better able to accept the actions of the other, and work in concert to provide a great benefit to the children. As parents, when your child becomes involved in our interscholastic program, you have the right to comprehend what expectations are placed on your child. This begins with clear communication from the coach of your child’s athletic team/program.

Communication You Should Expect From Your Child’s Coach

Many of these topics have already been discussed in this handbook. However, the coach will reiterate, highlight, and elaborate on those specific to his/her program.

  • Philosophy of the coach and program.
  • Expectations the coach has for your child, as well as the entire team.
  • Locations and times of all practices and contests/events.
  • Team requirements, i.e. special equipment, off-season expectations, etc.
  • Procedure, should your child be injured during participation.
  • Disciplinary action(s) that may result in the denial of your child’s participation.

Communication Coaches Expect from Parents

  • Notification of any schedule conflicts, well in advance.
  • Specific concern(s) in regards to a coach’s philosophy and/or expectations.
  • Concerns expressed directly to the coach, only after the player has talked to the coach.

As your child becomes involved in interscholastic programs at Salmon River Central School, he/she will experience some of the most rewarding moments of his/her life. It is important to understand that there may also be times when things do not go the way you and/or your child wishes. At these times, discussion with the coach is strongly encouraged.

Appropriate Concerns (to be discussed with coaches)

  • The treatment of your child; mentally, physically, emotionally.
  • Ways to help your child improve.
  • Concerns about your child’s behavior.

It is very difficult to accept the fact that your child is not playing as much as you may hope/wish. Coaches are professionals, and they make judgment decisions based on what they believe to be in the best interest of all student-athletes involved. As you have noticed from the list above, certain topics can and should be discussed with, and addressed by, your child’s coach. Other topics, such as those below, shall be left to the discretion of the coach.

Inappropriate Concerns (not to be discussed with coaches)

  • Other student-athletes, unless his/her behavior directly affects the welfare of your child.
  • Playing time.
  • Team strategy and/or play calling.

There are situations that may require a conference between the coach and parent(s). These are to be encouraged. It is important that both parties involved have a clear understanding of the other’s position. When these conferences are necessary, the following procedure shall be followed, to help promote a resolution to the issue of concern.

Procedure to Follow To Discuss a Concern with a Parent

  1. The first attempt to resolve the situation will be the student-athlete contacting the coach; call and set-up an appointment with the coach, to discuss the situation.
  2. If a resolution is not reached, the parent is to contact the coach and set-up an appointment to discuss the situation previously addressed by his/her child.
  3. If the coach cannot be reached, or does not return your call within a reasonable amount of time, contact the Athletic Director’s office at (518) 358-6615 to receive assistance in arranging a meeting.
  4. Please do not attempt to meet with a coach immediately before or after a practice or contest/event, unless already mutually agreed upon. These can be emotional times for both the parent(s) and coach. Meetings of this nature do not promote resolution.

Procedure to Follow When the Meeting with the Coach Did Not Provide a Satisfactory Resolution

  1. Call the office of the Athletic Director, and speak with his secretary at (518) 358-6615. She will schedule an appointment for you to have a telephone conference with the Athletic Director at a mutually convenient time.
  2. After you have completed your telephone conference with the Athletic Director, and you decide that you would like to come into the office for a “face-to-face” discussion, call the office of the Athletic Director, and speak with his secretary at (518) 358-6615. She will schedule an appointment for you to meet with the Athletic Director, at a mutually convenient time.
  3. Make certain to attend the scheduled meeting. If you need to cancel or reschedule, please call the Athletic Director’s secretary as soon as possible, with a new date and time. She will ascertain if this is a mutually convenient time for the Athletic Director.
  4. The parent/guardian, coach, and Athletic Director will meet to discuss the situation in-depth. All parties will make a good-faith attempt to reach a compromise and/or resolution.
  5. Should the need arise; the appropriate next step shall be discussed/determined.

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Sportsmanship Policy

The Salmon River Central School Interscholastic Athletic Program is committed to promoting the proper ideals of sportsmanship, ethical conduct, and fair play at all sports contests. In order to ensure the well-being of all individual players, we will oppose instances, situations, and/or activities, which run counter to the best values of athletic competition. We will expect acceptable standards of good citizenship and propriety, with proper regard for the rights of others.

We are further committed to the belief that schools participating in interscholastic athletic activities should be held responsible for the conduct of their players, coaches, faculty members, and spectators. Conduct which is detrimental to the educational value of athletic activities may be deemed just cause for the school’s reprimand, probation, suspension from a particular sport, or suspension from interscholastic athletic activities.

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Student-Athlete Code of Behavior/Ethics

Responsibility of the student-athlete

  • Remember and appreciate that participation in athletics is a privilege that is not to be abused by unsportsmanlike conduct.
  • Demonstrate self-control and respect for others at all times, be they officials, spectators, or other athletes.
  • Treat all opponents with respect. You are expected to shake hands after each competition, and congratulate them on their performance.
  • Respect the integrity and judgment of the officials.
  • Remember that improper behavior, especially while in uniform, in school or in our community, reflects poorly upon you, your family, your coach, your teammates, your school, and your community.
  • Understand and abide by the rules and regulations of the contest/event.
  • Accept victory with grace, and defeat with dignity.
  • Remember that the use, abuse, and resulting negative influence of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and performance-enhancing supplements, are detrimental to the game and its participants, and will not be tolerated.

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Parent/Spectator Code of Behavior/Ethics

It is the responsibility of the parent/spectator to:

  • Keep cheering positive. There should be no profanity, or degrading language/gestures.
  • Avoid actions that offend visiting teams, or individual players.
  • Show appreciation of good play, by both teams.
  • Learn the rules of the game, in order to be a better-informed spectator.
  • Treat all visiting teams in a manner in which you would expect to be treated.
  • Accept the judgment of coaches and officials.
  • Encourage other spectators to participate in the spirit of good sportsmanship.
  • Avoid the use, abuse, and resulting negative influence of drugs, including alcohol and tobacco.

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Section X All Northern Requirement

In order to be considered by Section X, for an All Northern Award the athlete must:

  • Exhibit sportsmanship toward players, spectators, officials, and other athletes.
  • Be on time, respectful, and hardworking during games and practices.
  • Be a positive role model for other athletes and exhibit good leadership qualities.

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Section X/Salmon River Central School Disqualification Policy

Sportsmanship is an integral and vital ingredient of any interscholastic athletic program. The National Federation of High School Athletics, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, Section X, and Salmon River Central School District have targeted the area of sportsmanship for a major emphasis. Section X and Salmon River Central School have instituted the following policy to ensure the development and understanding of the importance of proper sportsmanship and fair play.

Any Salmon River Central School student-athlete or spectator who is ejected, disqualified, or asked to leave/removed from a contest/event, will be automatically suspended for a minimum of one (1) game. The game is to be the next game played (and may be carried over to the player’s/spectators next season). A conference between the player/spectator and the Athletic Director will take place before eligibility is restored, and/or permission to attend is granted.

Please be cognizant that your behavior and language are appropriate for an educational setting.

Please realize that your admittance to observe a contest and support high school activities is a privilege, not a license to verbally assault players, coaches, or officials.

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Tips for Fans


  • Support your players and coaches.
  • Acknowledge hard work and good plays.
  • Be certain you are part of the solution, not part of the problem.
  • Discourage negative behavior on the part of other fans (adult or student).


  • Do not address opponent players, coaches, or fans in any manner.
  • Do not address the officials in any manner – PERIOD.
  • Do not encourage, or tolerate negative behavior on the part of other fans (adult or student).

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Dominic Murray Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act

The Dominic Murray Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act is a new law as of July 1, 2022. This law requires schools, students, and parents/guardians have information on sudden cardiac arrest risks, signs, and symptoms. Please note that sudden cardiac arrest in children and youth is rare. The incidence of sudden cardiac death (SCD) on the playing field is 0.61 in 100,000.’ Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is an emergency that happens when the heart suddenly stops working. SCA can cause death if not treated immediately, and even with treatment death may occur. lmmediate treatment is cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use of an automatic external defibrillator (AED). All public schools must have a staff member trained in the use of CPR and AED in school and at all school athletic events. Preventing SCA before it happens is the best way to save a life. Both your family health history and your child’s personal history must be told to healthcare providers to help them know if your child is at risk for sudden cardiac arrest. Ask your child if they are having any of the symptoms listed below and tell a healthcare provider. Know your family history and tell a healthcare provider of any risk factors listed below.

Signs or symptoms 

  • Fainting or seizure, especially during or right after exercise or with excitement or startled
  • Racing heart, palpitations, or irregular heartbeat
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or extreme fatigue with exercise
  • Chest pain or discomfort with exercise
  • Excessive shortness of breath during exercise
  • Excessive, unexpected fatigue during or after exercise

Student’s Personal Risk Factors 

  • Use of diet pills, performance-enhancing supplements, energy drinks, or drugs such as cocaine, inhalants, or “recreational” drugs
  • Elevated blood pressure or cholesterol
  • History of health care provider ordered test(s) for heart related issues

Student’s Family History Risk Factors 

  • Family history of known heart abnormalities or sudden death before 50 years of age
  • Family members with unexplained fainting, seizures, drowning, near drowning or car accidents before 50 years of age
  • Structural heart abnormality, repaired or un-repaired
  • Any relative diagnosed with the following conditions:
    • Enlarged HearU Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy/Dilated Cardiomyopathy
    • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy
    • Heart rhythm problems (long or short QT interval)
    • Brugada Syndrome
    • Catecholaminergic Ventricular Tachycardia 
    • Marfan Syndrome (aortic rupture) 
    • Heart attack (at 50 years or younger)
    • Pacemaker or implanted cardiac defibrillator (lCD) 

SCA in students at risk can be triggered by athletic activities. To decrease any chance of SCA in a student, the lnterval Health History for Athletics must be completed and signed by a parent or guardian before each sports Season unless a physical examination has been conducted within 30 days before the start of the season. This form has questions to help identify changes since the last physical examination or health history was completed. School personnel may require a student with health or history changes to see a healthcare provider before participating in athletics. 

Finally, the law requires any student who has signs and symptoms of pending SCA be removed from athletic activity until seen by a physician. The physician must provide written clearance to the school for the student to be able to return to athletics. 

If you have any questions, please email the State Education Department’s Office of Student Support Services or call (518) 486-6090. 

After reading the above Standards of Conduct, please complete, sign, and return the below form to the Coach.

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