Athletic Guidelines

Taft High School Athletic Guidelines

These guidelines have been prepared for you as a prospective athlete at Taft High School. It is our belief that a student who elects to participate in athletics is voluntarily making a choice of self discipline and self-denial. If we find that a student cannot or will not comply with the established rules and regulations pertaining to his/her academic progress, grooming, training habits, and/or conduct (including being willing to accept the decisions of the coaching staff,) then that student will be removed from the team. 
The concept of self-discipline and self-denial is tempered by our responsibility to recognize the rights of individuals within the objectives of the team. It is our opinion that there is no room in high school athletics for students who will not or cannot discipline their minds and bodies for rigorous competition. It is also our opinion that individuals should be willing to put team goals and team concerns above any individual. 
Our coaching decisions are first based on what is best for the team and then secondly what is best for the individual. We are striving for excellence and we do not want our student athletes to compromise with mediocrity. Our success depends on the inner strength and commitment of all the participants. 
I. EXPECTATIONS 
     A. We expect all athletes to: 
           1. GET AN EDUCATION. 
                In the classroom and on the field of competition. 
           2. DO WHAT IS RIGHT.
               By family, school, community and yourself. Do not do anything that will bring disgrace to you, your family, school and/or                                 community.

            3. WORK HARD AND DREAM YOUR DREAM.
                Be the best you can possibly be. Set goals and strive to achieve them. 

II. RESPONSIBILITIES 
     A. It is the athlete’s responsibility to: 
           1. Attend every practice or meeting scheduled, except when ill or otherwise excused by the head coach in advance and to be on                          time to all practices or meetings. Contact must be made with your coach if you are unable to attend a practice or meeting. 
           2. Pursue and attempt to master the sport you are involved in. 
           3. Express opinions and ideas in a respectful manner so as not to slander others.
           4. Pay charges for lost equipment as set in the codes. 
           5. Be aware of all rules and regulations for athletic behavior as outlined and conduct himself/herself in accordance with them. 
           6. Dress and appear in accordance with the standards set by the coordinated effort of the team involved and head coach. 
           7. Cooperate with the coaching staff in investigation of disciplinary cases and volunteer information relating to an offense. 
           8. Assist the coaching staff in operating a safe athletic program. 
           9. Be prepared for each practice or meeting with the necessary materials or equipment. If equipment needs repair – show it to a                       coach immediately. 
         10. Exhibit an attitude of respect towards individuals and property and conduct himself/herself in a positive manner. 
         11. Refrain from making profane, insulting, threatening or inflammatory remarks or engaging in disruptive behavior. 
         12. Seek changes in the athletic guidelines in an orderly and responsible manner through contact of the head coach and asking for                      a meeting. 
         13. Respect the discipline management plan both in the classroom and in athletics. 
III. CONDUCT 
The younger students are watching you. The athletes at the nearby middle schools are depending on you to show them how to be the best. They look up to you and will copy you in many ways. Do not do anything to let them down. The conduct of an athlete is closely observed in many areas; thus it is very important that your conduct be above reproach wherever you may be. 
     A. On the field of competition: 
          1. Refrain from using profanity or illegal tactics. 
          2. Understand that losing is part of the game and that you should be gracious in defeat and modest in victory. 
          3. Show class whether in victory or defeat by being courteous and congratulate the opponent on a well-played game. 
     B. In the classroom: 
          1. Respect and adhere to classroom rules and procedures set by the teacher. 
          2. Be alert and attentive to instruction and complete all assignments in a timely manner.  
          3. Show respect to your teacher and other students. Horseplay and cutting up in the classroom are not acceptable nor approved                        patterns of behavior. 
          4. Be on time to class and NEVER cut class or school. 
     C. On/off campus: 
          1. Carry a positive attitude and be proud of who you are and what you stand for. 
          2. Remember because you are an athlete everyone is watching you. 
IV. GROOMING 
All members of any athletic team are expected to be well groomed. Appearance, expression, and actions always influence people’s opinions of you, the team, the school and the community. Once you have volunteered to be a member of the team, you have made a choice to uphold certain standards expected of athletes in the community. Our standards are set purposefully high. Fads and “cultural” styles may not be approved or acceptable. Our guidelines will stand on the judgment of our athletic coordinator and head coaches as approved by the athletic director and principal. 
     A. Hair: 
          1. Excessively long and unnatural colors or styles will not be accepted. 
          2. Sideburns will not extend below the ear and are to be straight, not tapered or flange. 
          3. Facial hair will not be acceptable. Beards, goatees, or mustaches will not be worn. Shave days will be on Monday’s and Thursdays. 
     B. Dress Code: 
          1. Must be presentably dressed and well-groomed at all times. This includes at school, assemblies, trips, banquets, etc. 
          2. T-shirts or hats promoting alcoholic beverages or drugs are not acceptable. 
          3. Earrings and any other jewelry such as necklaces, bracelets, watches or rings are not a part of the athletic uniform and will not be                worn during practice or competition. 
          4. Tattoos are highly discouraged. 
          It is important to note that these grooming standards are in effect for the ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR. THEY ARE NOT “SEASONAL”                      STANDARDS. Athletes not in compliance can be suspended from participation of any sort, including workouts.
V. TRAINING RULES (NISD Board Policy): 
There are certain training rules and standards you must be willing to accept if you wish to be an athlete. You must be able to say “NO” to certain things if you truly desire to excel. It is a proven fact that alcohol, tobacco and drugs produce harmful effects on the body and is harmful to the development of human growth both mentally and physically. You cannot compromise athletics with substance abuse. 
     A. Tobacco: 
          1. NISD board policy 
     B. Alcohol and Drugs: 
          1. NISD board policy. 
VI. DROPPING OR TRANSFERRING SPORTS: 
We encourage all athletes to never give up in competition, and to give their best efforts at all times. We believe, when an athlete starts with a team he/she is responsible to see it through to the end. There are occasions, however, when an athlete may find it necessary to drop a sport for good reason. If this is the case, the following procedure must be followed: 
     A. Quitting: 
          1. Talk with your immediate coach, then the head coach of the sport. 
          2. With mutual understanding the athlete should be either reinstated into the program or removed from the program. If the athlete is                removed by his/her request, parent contact must be made and documented. 
          3. An athlete quitting a sport cannot practice with nor participate on a team in a concurrent season or upcoming season until the                      season from which the athlete has quit has been completed. 
VII. HAZING 
…“intentional or reckless act by one or more persons against a student that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office, or maintaining membership in an organization whose members include students at an educational agency.” 
***Hazing will not be tolerated and will result in immediate suspension and possible removal from the team pending investigation.
VIII. ELIGIBILITY 
     A. UIL Compliance: 
          1. Students beginning ninth grade must have been promoted from a lower grade prior to the beginning of the current school year. 
          2. Students beginning their second year of high school must have earned 5 credits, which count toward state high school graduation                requirements. Students beginning their third year must have earned a total of 10 credits or 5 credits during the 12 months                              preceding the first day of the current school year. Students beginning their fourth year of high school must have earned a total of                 15 credits or 5 credits during the 12 months preceding the first day of the current school year. 
          3. A student who receives, at the end of any grading period (after the first six weeks of the school year) a grade below 70 in any                        academic class (other than an identified advanced class) or a student with disabilities who fails to meet the standards in the                          individual Education Plan (IEP) may not participate in extra curricular activities for at least three school weeks. AN INELIGIBLE                      STUDENT IS EXPECTED TO PRACTICE WITH THE TEAM. 
          4. A student regains eligibility when the principal and the teachers determine that he/she has; 1) earned a passing grade (70 or                        above) in all academic classes, other than those that are advanced, and 2) completed the three school weeks of ineligibility. 
          5. District policy will dictate the eligibility standards concerning advanced classes. 
VIV. SOCIAL MEDIA: 
The use of Social Media may be monitored and subject to discipline based on its content and purpose. (See Athletic Code of Conduct) 
Our primary focus is to help our student-athletes earn the proper credits to graduate from high school while maintaining eligibility to participate in our programs.