Athletic Code of Conduct

Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville CSD

OESJ wolf symbol/mascotAthletic Code of Conduct

Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central School District

Standards of Conduct

Rules and Regulations for Interscholastic Athletes

Table of Contents

Message to the Athletes

The coaching staff of the Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central School welcomes all candidates who will have the privilege of representing the district in the Interscholastic Athletic Program. It is our duty to inform you that participation in interscholastic athletics may result in injury.

It is the intent of the Board of Education that the District operates and finances a program in interscholastic athletics and other activities for boys and girls who choose to participate. This is an extension of the education and physical education program. Those students who choose to participate are expected to take extra steps necessary to assure maximum benefits from the activity, in terms of physical fitness, self discipline in behavior and appearance and demonstrate satisfactory academic performance in the classroom.

While participating in athletic activities it is a privilege of our students. It is qualified first by academics requirements and secondly by performance requirements.

The conduct of a student-athlete is closely observed in many areas of life; on the field, in the classroom, and in the community. Take pride in yourself, your team and your school. You should always project a positive image. Winning or losing is not as important as your reaction to winning or losing. Your reaction is what people will remember, not the score. You should be gracious in defeat and modest in victory.

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Message to the Parents

One of the missions of co-curricular school activities is to serve as an extension of the classroom. There are important lessons to be learned in athletics. One of those lessons is to set and maintain high standards of sportsmanship, ethics and integrity in our schools and our society. It is up to us to provide the direction and constant vigilance under which good sportsmanship can prosper and have a positive impact on our children the leaders of tomorrow. While scholastic achievement is determined on an individual basis, the Administration and the Athletic Department reserve the right to determine his/ her eligibility to participate in practices and events.

Parents are encouraged to regularly review their son’s or daughter’s academic progress, and to contact the school if achievement declines or remains below expected levels. Research tells us; student-athletes, generally, obtain higher grades during the season than out of season. Student-athletes must participate in physical education, as well as other classes, the day of a practice or contest.

The Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville CSD has joined a statewide campaign sponsored by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, Inc., to promote sportsmanship at our events. We feel the need to stress the type of exemplary behavior that should be exhibited by all players and spectators at our events. The value of the lessons learned by exhibiting good sportsmanship will last a lifetime. If we ever lose sight of that, then athletics, or any co-curricular activity, is not worth sponsoring. The positive actions of a coach, athlete or spectator at an event can influence how our school is perceived in our community and the communities of those schools we meet on the field of play.

We are asking for your support in this effort by emphasizing to your son or daughter what is expected of them at an athletic event as a competitor or spectator. After all, such events are an extension of the school day, and we should expect the same type of respectful behavior exhibited in the athletic arena as we do in the classroom. We urge you to ask your children to demonstrate self-control and self-discipline and at the same time, enjoy the games.

Finally, we ask you to set a good example when in the stands at an event. It is only through these efforts that we can clearly communicate what is acceptable behavior. We hope that your positive example will help set the tone for those around you so we may all enjoy the games in which our athletic teams are involved.

When you attend an athletic event, you are given the privilege to view the action and to voice your support of our teams. We want the support to be in a positive tone so that the educational value of these events is completely developed and clearly communicated to our students.

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1. Modified

Our purpose is to provide a broad and varied athletic program with and opportunity for competition in each and every contest for all athletes.  The intention of the modified program lies in skill development, team play, sportsmanship and cooperation with game officials, opponents, teammates and coaches.

Coaches should encourage participation and stress responsibility to their teams.  By nurturing a positive atmosphere and promoting high expectations, this program should encourage respect of self and others, thus enabling all individuals to grow to their full potential.

2. JV & Varsity

Students are encouraged to participate in athletics during their years in attendance at OESJ.  It is a privilege granted to everyone eligible, and as such, there are expectations upon each student as stipulated in the athletic code.

Once a student reaches 9th grade the purpose of the interscholastic athletic program is to be competitive with other schools in the league.  Coaches will prepare the team to be successful on the field and the court.

The coaches will prepare the students by teaching them the skills, which enable the players to perform to the best of his/her ability.  Coaches will instill in players a commitment of responsibility to conduct themselves as a team. Sportsmanship and appropriate conduct in competition will be expected of players, coaches and spectators.

3. Scrimmages

All rules and regulations regarding scrimmages will be followed using the standards set by the NYSPHAA. The OESJ Athletic Policy will treat scrimmages as practices when determining consequences for rules infractions such as attendance and/or discipline.

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THE TEAM — In general, any student may try out for any sport offered in the program, providing he/she meets the required NYSPHSAA eligibility regulations.


For all sports, a 4 year eligibility plan will be in effect under the guidelines of the NYSPHSAA

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Any student in grades 7 and 8, upon parent recommendation and that can, in the coach’s opinion, qualify for varsity athletic teams, may take a physical fitness and maturation test given by the school and a physician. If the student meets state mandates of both tests, upon parent approval, he/she can qualify to play on a JV or Varsity team.

In any sport that provides a JV and Varsity level of competition, the coaches involved will cooperatively select the Varsity squad first from all eligible participants, regardless of grade level. The students not selected for the varsity team may then tryout for the JV team. Any 9-12 grade athletes competing at the Varsity/JV level must know that the final determination of the level of play will be up to the coach and the parent.

In any sport that provides a Modified level of competition, the coaches involved will select the Modified team from Grades 7,8,9 and JV and Varsity Grades 9,10,11,12.

In all sports, the coach is responsible for:

  1. Selection of team members
  2. Excluding players who are deemed ineligible according to school policies
  3. Reporting rule infractions to the Building Principal
  4. Carrying out pertinent Board policies

In the event of a loss of players on a Varsity team, players may be moved up from the Modified or JV team with the consent of both coaches involved, the student and the student’s parent or guardian, and in compliance with NYSPHSAA guidelines.

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Participation on an Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville athletic team is a privilege, which should elicit great pride in both the athletes and their families. Standards of behavior are high and a willingness to live up to them is part of being a member of a team. For this reason, each athlete will be required to sign the athletic form indicating the athlete’s personal commitment. This signature will recognize the athlete’s responsibility to the team and their willingness to set a positive example, adhere to basic concepts of good citizenship, and follow proper training practices.

The Administration will make the determination as to whether a violation of the Standards of Behavior has occurred. This determination will be based on the circumstances presented to the Administration in an informal matter. The standards of proof are less than that required in a court of law and the dismissal of criminal charges against a student-athlete does not preclude the Administration from finding that a violation of the Standards of Behavior has occurred. Listed below are some examples of training rule violations of the athletic code. This list is not all-inclusive:

  • Vandalism or property destruction.
  • Poor citizenship.
  • Cutting school or classes.
  • Being a negative influence in terms of team morale or effort.
  • Not making a sincere academic effort or complying with the academic eligibility policy.
  • Stealing of any kind, including athletic equipment.
  • The possession of any item that would be used for production, use or sale of drugs or alcohol. The use of alcohol, drugs or tobacco (including e-cigarettes/vapor pens) at any time is strictly prohibited.
  • Smoking and/or use of any tobacco products.
  • Fighting.
  • The unlawful possession or use of any type of firearm or weapon is strictly prohibited.
  • Sexual harassment or sexual misconduct.
  • Inappropriate use of the internet, i.e. posting of pictures, comments on social networking sites, etc.

Basic Rule

Never do anything that will have an adverse effect on your ability to perform. Never do anything to embarrass or create an unfavorable impression of yourself, your team, or your school.

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First Offense

Beginning on the date of the offense the athlete will be placed on probation for one calendar year.

The student-athlete will be expected to practice with the team, but will not be allowed to participate in the team’s scheduled competitions according to the eligibility chart. For example, a player on a team with a 16 game schedule found guilty of smoking during the summer would be expected to practice with the team but would not be permitted to participate in the first two scheduled contests. Scrimmages are not considered scheduled contests. The student-athlete may be required to attend mandatory in-school counseling assigned by the Administration.  Sources of counseling may include a Substance Abuse Counselor, Guidance Counselor, Psychologist, and Administrator or other qualified personnel.  The duration of the counseling will be at the discretion of the counselor.  The counseling must begin prior to the athletes’ return to competition.  Failure to attend a session will result in the athlete becoming ineligible for competition until the requirement is met.

Game penalties that cannot be served and/or counseling not completed during the sport season will be carried over for completion in the next sports season in which the athlete participates. The parent or guardian will receive written notification from the Principal. The parent or guardian may request an informal conference with the Director of Athletics and/or Administration.

NOTE: HOSTING OF DRINKING/DRUG PARTIES – Student-athletes hosting a party that allows the use of alcohol, drugs, or any other controlled substances shall be removed from participation in interscholastic athletes for one calendar year.  This shall begin on the date of the offense.  This policy is not intended to violate the sanctity of the home.

Second Offense

If a second offense occurs during the probationary period of one calendar year, all provisions set forth in the first offense will apply.  However, the games penalty will be increased according to the eligibility chart.  In addition, a new probationary period of one calendar year will be assigned, beginning on the date of the second offense.

Third Offense

If a third offense occurs during the new probationary period, the student-athlete shall be removed from participation in interscholastic athletics for one calendar year beginning with the date of the third offense.  A third drug or alcohol-related offense as outlined, the student-athlete shall be ineligible to participate in the interscholastic athletic program the remainder of their school career.  A student-athlete who seeks professional help outside the school district on a consistent basis may receive a reduction in the penalty by requesting a hearing in writing to the Director of Athletics.

NOTE: All of the above conditions shall be applicable while enrolled in the Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville School District.

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ELIGIBILITY CHART # of Scheduled Contests

# of Games—First Offense—Second Offense

It should be noted that the circumstances of an incident might warrant immediate removal from the team if the Athletic Department and the Administration believe that the offense committed by the athlete warrants such action.

Appeal Procedure

The student-athlete and parent have the right to appeal athletic penalties to the Administration at an informal conference.


A student-athlete who requests help with a problem prior to any violation will be directed to individuals or agencies that can provide assistance.  At that time, he/she will not be removed from the team.  A one-year probationary period becomes effective, and a future violation will be handled as a second offense.

Enforcement and Due Process:

Upon a credible report to any school official of an alleged violation of this policy, the athletic director, building principal or designee shall interview the student involved. Such interview will be conducted in private and the student’s parent(s) or legal guardian need not be informed of the interview or otherwise be entitled to be present.

In the enforcement of this policy, school authorities are not bound by the same rules of evidence as a court of law.

Upon completion of the investigation, the building principal, athletic director, and/or coach shall conduct a meeting with the student and his/her parent(s) or legal guardian. Immediately after such meeting, the administration of discipline as established in this policy shall be imposed by the principal.  It is the responsibility of the principal to determine a date beyond which no further evidence of a training rule violation will be considered for each individual under investigation. The date shall not exceed beyond 21 days from the time the principal learned of the alleged incident. This statute of limitations does not preclude the principal from investigating individuals who were not initially reported.

The student or parent(s) or legal guardian may appeal the decision by requesting, in writing within five calendar days, a conference with the Superintendent of Schools. The conference will take place within five calendar days of the date of receipt of the written request, if at all possible.
All decisions of the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee relative to any appeals shall be final. An athlete may or may not participate in athletic events until the appeal process is completed, per the Superintendent or his/her designee.

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Students are encouraged to maintain a satisfactory scholastic standing.  All homework assignments are expected to be completed and turned in to teachers on time.  Students should strive to obtain a passing grade in all subjects.

Commensurate with this policy, each student must carry a minimum credit load of 5 courses.  Extreme extenuating personal problems will be reviewed and considered by administrative personnel.

Bona Fide Student – A contestant must be a bona fide student of the Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central School and must be taking at least five subjects including Physical Education.

Registration -A student must have enrolled during the first fifteen school days of the semester and must have been in regular attendance 80 percent of the school year, prorated accordingly.

Age – A student shall be eligible for inter-school competition until his/her nineteenth birthday. If the age of nineteen years is reached on or after September 1 the student may continue to participate during the rest of the year in all sports.

Physical Examinations – A student who may engage in inter-school competition shall receive an annual health examination and may not practice or participate without the approval of the school doctor.

Duration of Competition – A pupil shall be eligible for senior high school athletic competition in each sport during four consecutive seasons of such sport after entry into ninth grade and prior to graduation.

General Rule – There is an entire book on eligibility that is put out by New York State. If anyone has a question as to what he/she can do and not lose eligibility they should contact the Athletic Department.

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It is directed that students participating in any interscholastic or student activity sponsored by the Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Board of Education shall be made aware of, and agree to abide by the following: Students/student athletes will be in regular school attendance at all times.  Students must attend all classes including full participation in P.E.

If a student comes in after the bell to start school:

A. 1st offense – Warning
B. Any additional  CANNOT participate in game/practice/activity that day

Only exceptions to the above will be students who are tardy to school and present a verified excuse for reasons such as dental, medical, drivers test or other such appointments.  Reasons such as student not feeling well, car trouble or other similar situations cannot be used as an acceptable excuse for students to be tardy allowing participation in that day’s game/practice/activity.  However, the principal’s do have the final say on determining if an absence/tardy is excused or not excused.

Students who are not allowed to participate in game/practice/activity are still required to attend that day’s activity.  On game day, the athlete will not participate; on a practice day, the athlete will be assigned an individual activity.  In the case of a scrimmage, the coach will determine what is best for the athlete.  Student athletes must report to each and every practice session, unless absent from school for a legal reason or unless excused in advance by the coach of that sport.  Unexcused absences from practice will result in consequences imposed by the coach.  After three unexcused absences the coach may dismiss the student from the team.  Excuses must be handed in before practice or a game to make it an excused absence.  Sickness must be approved by the school nurse to stay out of practice and go home.  Other-wise, a student is expected to be at practice and, if need be, sit out and watch.

Saturday practices – Coaches may schedule Saturday practices.  The team must be informed at the beginning of the season that they will be required to attend these practices.

Vacation practices and games are mandatory.  If a student cannot make the scheduled practices that are during vacation, the coach must have prior written notification by the parent as to why and what days the student will be out.  If a coach is not notified, it will be treated as an illegal absence.

A student athlete will be suspended from the day’s practice and game/activity if he/she is assigned or serving OSS.   If a student has administratively been assigned ISS at any point during a school day, he/she must leave school grounds at dismissal.  This absence from practice/game will be considered an unexcused absence.

Student athletes must abide by the NYSPHSAA rules, including those regarding necessary pre-game practice, and re-examination after prolonged illness or injury.

This portion of the attendance policy will be in effect the first official day of the season and end on the day of the last game.  An athlete will start the next season he/she chooses to play with “a clean slate.”

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In sports where “cuts” are required, the coach will post a final list of team members before the first interscholastic contest.  Players are cut for lack of ability, poor team spirit, attitude, conduct or absences from practice.  When a student joins a team, he/she is making a commitment.  In order to join a team, a student must be at the first practice or have a pre-approved excuse from the Athletic Director or an Administrator.

Any player whose name appears on the final list will be considered a member of the team.

If a player is ejected from a contest, the rules in the current NYSPHSAA Handbook shall apply.

Quitting the team – A player may make a joint decision involving the coach and the parent to quit at any point throughout the season.  If quitting a team is determined by all parties to be the best possible course of action, there will be no penalty.  If an athlete disrespectfully quits (ie,  Storms out of practice, throws things, slams doors, uses profanity, etc.) at any point throughout the season and says the words “I quit”, he/she will be subject to disciplinary action (see chart on page 5).

If a student quits a team, a form will be completed by the coach and given to the athletic director and the coach will call the parents to inform them of the situation.  The District recognizes three sports seasons: Fall, Winter, and Spring.  Any waiving of this rule can only occur at the discretion of the Superintendent of Schools, after consultation with the Athletic Director.

A coach may dismiss a player for inappropriate conduct.  Athletes will be ineligible for the first four games of the next season played.  If a student athlete is dismissed by a coach, he/she has the right to due process beginning with the Athletic Director.


You will be ineligible for interscholastic competition if:

  1. You receive payment or accept a gift or loan for playing, coaching, officiating, or teaching any sport.
  2. If you sign a contract with a professional team even though you receive no payment or have no participation.
  3. If you receive expenses from a professional team.
  4. If you receive expenses or payment when practicing or trying out with a professional team.
  5. If you play in any sport other than school, or a professional team, or with players who are active members of professional teams.
  6. If you participate in an athletic contest under a false name or advertising.
  7. You will risk the loss of eligibility if you accept an award which does not comply with reasonable specifications as to value, type and source.

All team practices will be scheduled so that no practice will go past 9:00 P.M.

Being part of a team means that players will sit together during a game in team area designated by coach.  No spectators will be allowed in TEAM AREA.  No players will be allowed in spectator area.  Players will not interact with spectators during the course of competition or until the activity concludes.

Managers are under the same code as players.

Insubordination or disrespect to a district employee or fellow students will be handled by the coaches, chaperones and Principal.

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Any injury, no matter how small it may seem, must be reported to the coach immediately.  The insurance company may not honor medical bills if injuries are not reported to the coach prior to seeking medical attention.  In case of emergency or if the coach cannot be reached, injuries should be reported to the coach as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours after the injury occurs.

If a player misses five days or more of practice due to an injury, he/she must receive written permission to return to practice from the physician who treated him/her.  If a player visits a physician regarding an injury, the physician must release the player before he/she can participate in practice or contests.

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All students must ride to away competitions/activities via school district transportation.

Students wishing to be excused from riding the bus home from away activities MUST adhere to the following procedure:

  1. Written parental permission must be submitted to the Building Principal or Superintendent before the competition or activity and must be initialed by that administrator.  This approved permission slip will be given to the coach by the administrator.  The approved adult will then be asked to personally sign that student out following the contest.  PERMISSION WILL ONLY BE APPROVED IF THE STUDENT IS LEAVING THE CONTEST WITH A PARENT, FAMILY MEMBER OR TEAM MEMBER’S PARENT ONLY.
  2. Any student abusing this procedure will result in parental notification.
  3. All coaches/advisors must ride the school activity bus with team/participants to and from all contests/activities, unless excused by an administrator.

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Students must accept full responsibility for taking care of all equipment/uniforms issued to them.  If any equipment/uniform is lost through a student’s carelessness or negligence, he/she must repay the district the replacement value of the equipment/uniform lost.  Any equipment issued to a student for any sport must personally be returned to the coach in charge of that sport.  Students may not wear issued athletic equipment/uniforms in gym class or for personal use.

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All students are viewed as ineligible to participate in any game if they are failing two or more subjects.  Students will be evaluated at the five-week progress report and the ten-week grading period on the Friday of the week they are issued.  The guidance office will publish a failing list.  Upon the publication of the list, a student will be ineligible if they are failing 2 or more subjects.  Ineligibility status will be effective Monday through the following Sun-day, inclusive. Students are ineligible to participate in any game during that time period, but, all athletes must attend all practices and games (including away games) and be dressed in street clothes.
To regain eligibility status:

Ineligible students can regain eligibility on a weekly basis. If they are not failing two or more subjects,  The ineligible student’s teachers will receive an email on Thursday of each week during their ineligibility period, asking them if the ineligible athlete is passing or failing his or her course.  If they are  not failing two or more subjects, they will be able to play immediately.  If they are failing two or more subjects, they will be unable to play immediately. This process will continue every week, leading up to the next 5 week progress report or 10 week grading period, whichever comes first.

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This policy will be effective one year from date that it is signed.  Prior to the start of each sports season there will be a meeting for any potential participating student-athlete and their parents.  The purpose of the meeting is to review this policy before the student-athlete is allowed to participate, in athletic practice.

Extenuating circumstances regarding class participation will be considered on  an individual basis by the specific teacher or the principal.

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I have read and received a copy of the above rules and agree to follow them.  I understand the consequences of my actions, which violate these rules, as set forth above, which may include suspension or removal from the team. I am aware that a copy of the district’s concussion policy is available on the school website and available upon request.


_____________________________                                                       ________________

Athlete                                                                                                                          Date

I have read the above rules and am aware of their implications for my son/daughter.  Further I will do my best to see that he/she follows said rules.  In addition my signature confirms that my child has had no injuries or illness that should limit his/her participation in high school athletics.  I am aware that a copy of the district’s concussion policy is available on the school website and available upon request.

_____________________________                                                         ________________

Parent/Guardian                                                                                                         Date




Telephone #:

Home: ______________________________________

Work: ______________________________________

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