To participate in SASD athletics, parents and students must read the entire athletics handbook and sign and complete the form for permission to participate in athletics, found on page 1 of the handbook.
Download the entire SAHS Athletic Handbook (PDF)
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Use the links below to read sections of the SAHS Athletics Handbook:
- Admission Costs for Sporting Events
- Athletic Department Code of Conduct
- Athletic Insurance
- Athletic NCAA Recruiting Guidelines
- Early Dismissal
- Expressing Concerns
- Grooming and Dress
- Interscholastic Athletics: General Philosophy
- Interscholastic Athletics: List of Sports
- Ninth Grade Participation
- P.I.A.A. Eligibility Rules
- Practice Sessions and Games
- Student Activity Fee Guidelines
- Student-Athlete Season Participation Rule
- Suburban One League Spectator Code of Conduct
- Team Captains
- Team Selection
- The Parent-Coach Relationship
- The Purpose of a Junior Varsity Team
- Unsportsmanlike Conduct
The Souderton Area School District does not provide a student-athlete accident policy. Student accident insurance protection is available for purchase by students for co-curricular and athletic activities. This is a supplemental insurance program, which covers all school-sponsored activities with the exception of senior high football. All students must purchase school insurance or present a signed parental waiver of responsibility before they are permitted to practice. Additional information can be found on the District's Student Accident Insurance page.
If you are planning to enroll in college as a freshman, and you wish to participate in Division I or Division II athletics, you must be certified by the N.C.A.A. Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse. This Initial Clearinghouse Form may be obtained from the Guidance Office. If this form is not completed, you will not be able to participate in collegiate athletics in your freshman year.
If you have any questions about these items, please see your guidance counselor or the Athletic Director.
Early dismissal for afternoon contests is based on travel time and proper warm-up time needed prior to the start of the contest.
- Any away afternoon contest could mean that a student-athlete will miss part, or all, of some afternoon classes. Student-athletes are responsible to see the teacher involved for any assignments for the class missed prior to the early dismissal.
- Student-athletes who leave class earlier than their team dismissal time will be regarded as cutting class and will be subject to the class attendance policies as described in the student handbook.
To be eligible to participate in activities and/or athletics, a student-athlete must be passing all classes. Eligibility is examined weekly and will be determined on Friday at 4:00 PM. Ineligible student-athletes are not permitted to participate in any practice or contest, beginning the following Monday through the following Sunday. Only work evaluated and recorded by the teacher is factored into the Friday afternoon eligibility calculation. For example, if a student-athlete participates in an exam late in the day on a Thursday, it may or may not be evaluated to effect the eligibility calculation on Friday afternoon. If a student-athlete is declared ineligible at the end of a marking period or semester, then he/she is ineligible for a period of fifteen (15) school days.
Participation in a school-sponsored sport requires that the student-athlete must be in attendance at school on the day of the event. To be considered in attendance, the student-athlete cannot miss more than 90 minutes of the school day. The student-athlete must be signed in by the attendance office no later than 9:10 AM to fulfill this attendance requirement. A doctor’s note will not be accepted as an exception to the 90-minute rule.
Student-athletes with appointments during the school day should plan accordingly and make every effort to miss no more than 90 minutes of the school day. School days with modified schedule (PSSA, PSAT, etc.) will follow the 90- minute rule from the beginning of the day (7:40 AM). Seniors who are allowed to report later on these days will follow the 90-minute rule from their adjusted schedule.
The student-athlete must be in attendance the day before a holiday if the event falls on a holiday or the following day. Exceptions to this procedure may be presented to the athletic director for review on a case-by-case basis. Whenever possible, pre-approval for an absence from school on a school sponsored sport day should be requested in writing and given to the athletic director. Student-athletes who owe obligations or student-athletes experiencing academic difficulty may be denied the privilege to participate in any co-curricular activity/sport.
Student-athletes are not permitted to remain in the building after school unless under the direct supervision of a teacher, coach, or “adult in charge” of an after-school activity/sport.
10 latenesses to school = 1 week athletic suspension
15 latenesses to school = 2 week athletic suspension
20 latenesses to school = removal from team
Seniors graduating in January may complete the winter season but may not compete in the spring athletic season.
Student-athletes are responsible for any and all equipment (including uniforms and practice clothing) and will be expected to pay for any items that are not returned or which are returned showing excessive wear and abuse. Issued equipment is not to be used for any activity outside of the practices and competitions of the school sport for which the equipment was issued. Except for the day of a game, athletic equipment/clothing should not be worn at school (never in gym class), at home, or for participation outside of school.
It is unfortunate that some people steal, but that does not void responsibility for returning or paying for all that was issued. Be careful with equipment and personal belongings (cash, i-pods, cell phones, etc.) and use a lock on locker at all times. If any equipment is not returned at the conclusion of the season, an obligation will be issued to the student-athlete for the fair cost of a replacement. The student-athlete will not be permitted further athletic or activity participation until the obligation is cleared. It is highly recommended that all personal belongings such as cell phones, i-pods, wallets, etc. be kept with you at all times.
If there are any questions or concerns involving some aspect of the athletic program, the student-athlete should first contact the appropriate coach. If there is no resolution, he or she should then go to the head coach, athletic director, or principal. When expressing an occasional concern with a coach, please refer to and use the following guidelines:
- Never approach your coach immediately after a contest. This is not a proper time or place for a discussion concerning your child or the team.
- Call the following day and make an appointment, which is convenient for both you and the coach to meet.
- Raise your concern in a calm and civil manner. Yelling, being rude, or using foul language is totally unacceptable.
- Once you have stated your question or concern, listen to the explanation. Listening receptively may really help you to understand any explanation which is given.
The purpose of this policy is to maintain a safe, positive environment for students and staff that is free from hazing. Hazing activities of any type are inconsistent with the educational goals of the district and are prohibited at all times. For purposes of this policy, hazing is defined as any activity that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental health, physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or membership in or affiliation with any organization recognized by the Board.
Endanger the physical health shall include but not be limited to any brutality of the physical nature, such as whipping; beating; branding; forced calisthenics; exposure to the elements; forced consumption of any food, beverage, alcohol, drug, or controlled substance; or other forced physical activity that could adversely affect the physical health or safety of the individual.
No student, coach, sponsor, volunteer or district employee shall plan, encourage, assist or engage in any hazing activity. The board directs that no administrator, coach, sponsor, volunteer or district employee shall permit, condone, or tolerate any form of hazing. (The district will investigate all complaints of hazing and will administer appropriate discipline to any individual who violates this policy. The Board encourages students who have been subjected to hazing to promptly report such incidents to the building principal.)
Athletic programs are not to exploit students to entertain the public, advertise the school, earn money for the school, enhance the professional reputation of the coach, be used as a vehicle to aggrandize certain individual student-athletes, or be considered as a major method for obtaining financial assistance for individual student-athletes from institutions of higher learning.
The interscholastic athletic program should:
- Be regarded as an integral part of the total educational program and should be conducted in keeping with the worthiness of the whole educational program.
- Supplement rather than serve as substitutes for basic physical education, recreation and intramural programs.
- Be subject to the same administrative control as the total educational program.
- Be so conducted that the physical welfare and safety of the participants are protected.
- Be conducted in accordance with the letter and spirit of the rules and regulations of appropriate conference, state, and national associations to which the school district belongs.
- Give authority to the Athletic Director and Coaching Staff to decide team size, playing time and amount of players.
Baseball - Varsity, Junior Varsity
Basketball - Varsity Boys, Junior Varsity Boys, Varsity Girls, Junior Varsity Girls
Cheerleading - Varsity, Junior Varsity
Cross Country - Varsity Boys, Varsity Girls
Coed Golf - Varsity
Football - Varsity, Junior Varsity, Freshman
Field Hockey - Varsity, Junior Varsity, Freshman
Lacrosse - Varsity Girls, Junior Varsity Girls, Varsity Boys, Junior Varsity Boys
Soccer - Varsity Boys, Junior Varsity Boys, Varsity Girls, Junior Varsity Girls
Softball - Varsity, Junior Varsity
Swimming - Varsity Boys, Varsity Girls
Tennis - Varsity Boys, Varsity Girls
Track - Varsity Boys, Varsity Girls
Volleyball - Varsity Boys, Junior Varsity Boys, Varsity Girls, Junior Varsity Girls
Water Polo - Varsity Boys, Varsity Girls, Junior Varsity Boys/Girls
Winter Track - Varsity Boys, Varsity Girls
Wrestling - Varsity, Junior Varsity
Ninth grade students in the Souderton Area School District are eligible to compete in the Varsity and Junior Varsity programs at Souderton Area High School where we do not sponsor a freshman program. In sports, where Souderton has a freshman team, the following criteria must be followed:
- A coach has made the decision to allow ninth graders to play up and that you qualify for Junior Varsity or Varsity status.
- The parents/guardian of the student-athlete must give written permission to the coach of their approval for their son/daughter to be on the Varsity or Junior Varsity team. This must be done before the student-athlete is allowed to play in the first official Non-league or league game.
- Once a ninth grader plays in a league or non-league game at the Varsity or Junior Varsity level, he/she is committed to that level of competition in that involved sport for the entire year. If a ninth grader plays in a contest at the freshman level, he/she is committed to that level of competition in that involved sport for the entire year unless permission is granted by the Athletic Director based on unusual circumstances. (A player may scrimmage with a Varsity or JV team without affecting their freshman status and vice of versa.)
Souderton Area High School is a member of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) and subscribes to the philosophy and intent of its by-laws. The PIAA by-laws that pertain to age, awards, attendance, health, transfers and residence, participation, representation, curriculum, and seasonal rules will be followed. A complete copy of the P.I.A.A. Handbook is available in the Athletic Office for review.
For your information, some of the more pertinent PIAA and high school rules are listed here:
A student shall be ineligible for interscholastic athletic competition upon attaining the age of 19 years, with the following exception: if the age of 19 is attained on or after July 1, the student is eligible, age-wise, to compete through that school year.
A pupil who has been absent from school during a semester for a total of twenty or more school days shall not be eligible to participate in any athletic contest until he/she has been in attendance for a total of 60 school days following his 20th day of absence. An exception involves a consecutive absence of five or more school days due to confining illness, injury, death in the immediate family (as defined in Section 1154 of the Public School Code of 1949, as amended), court subpoena, quarantine, or an absence of 5 or more school days due to the same confining illness; such absence may be waived from the application of this rule by the District Committee. Attendance at summer school does not count toward the 60 days required.
- All sports activities carry with them inherent risks. While it is the objective of Souderton Area School District Athletic Department to make athletics as safe as possible, injuries do occur. And, while it is not our intention to frighten parents, we feel it is important that both the parents and student-athletes understand that the level of injury may be severe, including paralysis. The purpose of this statement is to assure parents and students are aware of the risks that have always been present in sports. If you are injured while participating in interscholastic athletics, notify your coach, athletic trainer, and parents. You should consult a physician if you or the trainer feels it is necessary.
- Medical Emergency Policy for Away Venues
If a student-athlete is injured during a sporting event and the injury requires the student- athlete to be transported to a hospital the following procedure will be followed:
- If the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the injured student-athlete is at the event, he or she may accompany the injured student- athlete to the hospital or the parent can take their child to the hospital.
- If the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the injured student-athlete are not present, the Athletic Trainer or medical person on duty needs to call 911 in order to have that student-athlete transported. One of the coaches will accompany the student- athlete to the hospital. The parent(s)/guardian(s) or emergency contact listed on the Emergency Form (E-Form) will be contacted to inform them about the situation and that their student-athlete is in route to the hospital.
- Another parent/guardian cannot take the student-athlete to the hospital, regardless if they are a nurse, doctor, or friend of the family. They may accompany the injured student-athlete in the ambulance. However, they may not take the injured athlete off the playing surface unless the student-athlete is in an ambulance. If another person takes the student-athlete to the hospital they are assuming responsibility.
- No pupil shall be eligible to represent his/her school in any interscholastic athletic contest or practice unless he/she has been examined by a licensed physician of medicine or osteopathy before his/her sports of that academic year. Before each sports season of the same academic year, he/she shall be re-examined or certified by a physician or nurse practitioner that his/her condition is satisfactory before he/she commences to train or practice the intended sport.
- The examination for participants for the current school year shall not be given before June 1.
- A student-athlete sent home by the school nurse because of illness cannot compete or practice that afternoon or evening.
- A student-athlete must return within 90 minutes of a medical appointment to be eligible to participate in that day’s practice or game.
- Student-athletes which are deemed ineligible for either academic or attendance reasons may not participate in practice or games.
- Consent of Parent
A student-athlete shall be eligible for practice or participation in each sport only when there is on file with the Athletic Director a certificate of consent, which is signed by his/her parent or guardian.
- Period of Participation
A pupil cannot represent his school (per PIAA regulations) in interscholastic athletics if he/she has:
- been in attendance more than eight semesters beyond the eighth grade
- played four seasons beyond the eighth grade in any one form of interscholastic athletics
- completed the work of grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 inclusive
Practice sessions are typically closed to spectators and there is a very sound reason for this. These sessions are the equivalent of a teacher’s classroom and there is real, quality instruction taking place. Interruptions and interference to a student-athlete’s concentration and focus in practice cannot be allowed any more than a disruption would be tolerated in an academic setting. A student-athlete must consistently attend practice sessions. They may start and end at different times due to the schedule of the coach or our facilities. Check with the coach for specific times. Typically, practice may not be held when school is dismissed early due to inclement weather or held when school is not in session due to inclement weather. There may be practice held on Saturdays and over holiday periods. Please use the following link for information concerning admission charges for athletic events (LINK TO FAQS).
- The $175.00 one-time fee is good for the entire school year and counts for all PIAA sports and activities/clubs.
- The fee is due two weeks after the start of your sport/activity/club.
- Should a student quit prior to the first official game, or within the first two weeks of another extra- or co-curricular activity/club, the fee will be refunded.
- Should a student-athlete be injured prior to the first official game, the fee will be refunded.
- Should a student-athlete be cut from a team prior to the first official game, the fee will be refunded.
- If a student is dismissed from a team or activity/club, the fee will not be refunded.
- If a student is refunded the activity fee and signs up for another activity later in the school year, the activity fee will have to be repaid to the district.
- If a student is unable to afford the fee, he/she must speak with the athletic director. Provisions will be made for exemption from paying either a part or the entire fee by students whose economic situation would otherwise preclude their involvement.
- Students who would qualify for free or reduced price lunches under the guidelines established for the federally funded lunch programs will not be required to pay the student activity fee.
- Please do not hand in the Activity Fee before it is requested by the coach/sponsor. Students who fail to pay the fee will not be permitted to participate.
- Once a student-athlete begins practice in a sport and his/her membership is terminated by a coach for a reason other than being “cut”, or the student-athlete voluntarily withdraws from the squad, he/she is ineligible to participate in any other sport that season until given approval by the Athletic Director.
- Student-athletes must practice 5 days before competing in any scrimmage, non-league, or league game.
In the interest of continued good relationships in the field of athletics, all spectators are asked to:
- Show their respect for their country by standing attentively and removing hats when the American flag passes by and during the playing and singing of the National Anthem.
- Show their respect by standing for the Alma Maters of both schools.
- Conduct themselves as ladies and gentlemen at all times, showing respect for visiting players and injured athletes, by not booing participants on the playing area and by respecting property.
- Show respect for the game officials and refrain from booing their decisions or interfering with the control of the contest.
- Recognize that vulgarity and indecent gestures are unacceptable.
- Cheer under the organized guidance of the cheerleaders. Cheers to interfere with the opponent’s cheering are unacceptable.
- Recognize that noisemakers and signs in any gymnasium or at any indoor contest are unacceptable.
- Recognize that littering premises, throwing of confetti or paper, and tossing objects onto the playing area are unacceptable.
- Support musical groups for indoor/outdoor activities. However, such groups must be organized, school sponsored and supervised to play only before the games and during half-time.
- Food and beverages are to be in designated areas. The gymnasium and pool deck area are not acceptable areas for the consumption of food and beverages.
Suburban One Schools reserve the right to eject any spectators whose conduct is detrimental to good sportsmanship. Misbehavior at sporting events may lead to prosecution or school disciplinary action.
There may be several good reasons for having captains of a team. These student-athletes may serve as positive role models, links between the team and the coach, and they certainly should be leaders. A good captain can be a real asset to the team and coaching staff. While some coaches may allow their team to select captains, the ultimate responsibility lies with the coach. The decision to have or not have team captains will be the sole responsibility of the coach. It is also important to understand that serving in the capacity of a captain is not reserved solely for seniors on a team, but rather this position is for the athlete who is best suited to filling the responsibility.
Every coach has the responsibility and authority for selecting his/her team. The criteria for selecting the team are developed by the coach. It is also important to remember that there are no guarantees. Players from previous year’s JV team, for example, do not automatically make either the JV or Varsity team the following year. Having been a member of a team during the previous year or even being a senior does not ensure that a student- athlete will make the team. Parent(s)/guardian(s) should expect that every candidate is treated fairly and given every consideration. Coaches are sensitive to feelings of disappointment, will handle the task as positively as possible, and be available to answer student-athletes’ questions.
While we understand that being cut is disappointing for many student-athletes and even for their parent(s)/guardian(s), we unfortunately cannot keep everyone. Anyone cut from the team is welcome to try out again next season or to try another sport. When parents and student-athletes understand and support the coach’s decision, this difficult process becomes a less painful experience for all.
Should parent(s)/guardian(s) have any questions or concerns, they are asked not to approach the coach immediately at the conclusion of a contest. At this time, coaches have other responsibilities and it may be an emotional time. Call and make an appointment for a later time and approach this meeting in a calm, courteous, and logical manner. One of the responsibilities that a coach has at the conclusion of a contest is to have a brief meeting with his student-athletes. Student-athletes should not pause to talk to parent(s)/guardian(s) or friends immediately after the games. These brief meetings are essential to the learning process involved in athletics.
JV teams exist to provide those student- athletes unable to participate on the Varsity level an opportunity to develop skills and gain experience. While the student-athlete’s age, size, or skill level may be the limiting factor for not making the varsity team, participation on a JV team may enhance the student-athlete’s potential to make the varsity team in the future. A caution, however, must also be given. Being a member of a JV team does not guarantee that a student-athlete will automatically move up the following year to the varsity team. The student-athletes best suited for varsity competition will make the squad each year. Striving to win is important in athletics; however, compiling a great record or winning a championship should not be the primary objective of a JV team. The development of student-athletes should be the ultimate purpose of a JV squad while at the same time acknowledging the value of winning, learning, and enjoying being a member of a team. Playing time and rules will be determined by the head coach.
Student-athletes travel to and from contests, away from school, in transportation provided by the school district unless one of the below applies.
- Injury to a participant that would require alternate transportation.
- Prior arrangements made in writing between the participant’s parent/guardian and the athletic director.
In an effort to be more flexible for our student-athlete families, we will allow parents/guardians to provide transportation for our away games with the following provisions:
- Student-athletes may not drive themselves or other student-athletes.
- Parents may only provide transportation for their child; not other student-athletes.
- Head coaches hold the right to adopt rules that supersede this policy.
- Where school transportation is not provided and alternate means are approved.
- Participation in golf and baseball require travel to an off -campus site for practices and games. It is necessary for us to have your written permission on file.
Any student-athlete removed from a contest for unsportsmanlike conduct (this includes pre-or-post game unsportsmanlike conduct) will receive a mandatory, one game minimum suspension. The suspension is to be served the next game. This rule will be in effect for League, Non-League, and Post Season Play.
The second time a student-athlete is disqualified in the same sport or any other sport during the school year, the penalty shall double. The third time a student-athlete is disqualified in the same sport or any other sport during the school year shall result in immediate dismissal from the athletic program for the remainder of the school year. An ejection or disqualification prevents a player from attending the regularly scheduled contest. This includes riding the bus, the locker room, the sidelines, the bench, the stands, or anywhere on the contest site. Student-athletes need to remember that they are ambassadors and represent not only themselves, but also the coaching staff and the school.