Forms & General Information
- Athletic Code of Conduct
- Concussion Information
- Concussion Management Plan
- IMPACT Testing Parent Consent form
- Private Vehicle Permission form
- Private Vehicle Application form
- Sports Recertification form
Guidelines for Participation in Interscholastic Athletics
Your child has expressed an interest in participating in the District interscholastic sports program. Participation in athletics provides many opportunities for enrichment in a student’s educational program. These guidelines are intended to set forth standards, rules, expectations and procedures associated with such participation. Student athletes shall be subject to the Student Code of Conduct, Student Rights and Responsibilities and all related matters as set forth in the High School Spartan Handbook hereafter referenced as “Handbook.”
Athletics are intended to have a positive effect on performance in the classroom and attitude toward all school experiences. It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to determine whether a son/daughter will continue to participate in athletics if grades and classroom attitude are not acceptable. Parents should consult with their child’s guidance counselor, assistant principals or coach if they have questions regarding academic standing and athletic competition. Student athletes are also subject to the conditions of the “Academic Guidelines for Participation in Interscholastic Athletics.”
Student athletes who fail two or more subjects will be required to seek regularly scheduled help in those subjects. Arrangements for such assistance may include but not be limited to:
- Contacting /conferencing with individual teachers
- Study sessions during Activity Period prior to regularly scheduled practices.
- Privately paid tutoring sessions will be accepted
- Academic Support Center attendance during study halls or free blocks during the regular school day.
Student athletes subject to this requirement and who fail to seek the required assistance will not be allowed to participate in athletic contests. Determination of compliance with this provision shall be made cooperatively with the coach, administrators and Athletic Director. In addition, student athletes who are failing 3 or more classes will be removed from their sport (practices and contests). The Athletic Director shall make a specific recommendation for student athlete participation.
- All student athletes must receive a sports physical before participating in any practice or contest. Sports physicals may be provided by the School Physician. Physicals provided by the athlete’s personal physician must be accepted and approved by the School Physician. A sports physical will be valid for one school year, subject to review if there is a significant injury or illness as determined by the District representatives. A sports physical
update by the District Nurse must occur prior to participation in the student athlete’s next sports season.
- All student athletes must attend all practices and contests throughout the season, which may include practices and contests over school break (Varsity athletes will have practices/contests over breaks.) Unexcused absences will result in consequences being enforced.
- All student athletes must demonstrate respect or fellow teammates, coaches, game officials and opponents. This includes the avoidance of physical or verbal abuse, including so-called trash- talking toward team-mates and/or opponents.
- Student athletes must demonstrate control over emotions and language.
- Student athletes must follow any specific rules provided by the team coach.
- All student athletes must ride the District team bus to and from all athletic contests requiring travel. An athlete may be allowed to ride home after an athletic contest with a signed consent from his/her parent guardian. This consent may be obtained from the coach after the conclusion of the contest.
- To be eligible to participate in any contest or practice, student athletes must be in attendance at school for the
entire school day, including homeroom and all classes. Any student athlete who receives ISS for the day is ineligible to participate in any contest/practices scheduled that day. Even though the student athlete is ineligible they are expected to be present with the team at practice or the athletic contest. Exceptions for educational, medical, religious and bereavement absences will be accepted. Students who fail to comply with this policy may be subject to disciplinary action by the schools administration which may include suspension from practices
- HAZING – Coaches will not permit student athletes to stage any type of initiation ceremony or hazing of
athletes at any level. BH-BL will not tolerate any athlete giving another athlete haircuts, shaving, locker/shower pranks, etc.
- BULLYING/CYBERBULLYING – Coaches will not permit student athletes to consciously, willfully and deliberately cause a hostile activity which is intended to harm another student either physically or mentally.
- SOCIAL ELECTRONIC / MEDIA EXPECTATIONS – Images/posts/etc. of inappropriate or illegal behavior posted on any electronic media shall constitute a basis for discipline under this Code (i.e.. Texting, Social Media, etc.). Violation of the above team standards will result in disciplinary action. Discipline may include suspension from athletic contests, suspension from practice sessions and permanent suspension from team activity for the balance of the sports season. The coach and administrator will recommend the penalty to the Athletic Director, who shall make the determination.
Athletic Training Rules
- Student training rules shall include the Student Code of Conduct regulations set forth in the Handbook. In addition, the team coach will provide specific training rules for each team sport not otherwise covered by these guidelines. Student athletes are expected to follow healthy eating habits, habits of cleanliness, absence of alcohol, tobacco and non-prescription drug use. Diet supplements, weight loss pills, performance enhancing drugs such as steroids and other related items are strictly prohibited.
- Substance Abuse – From the start of the fall athletic season to the end of the
school year any student athlete is strictly prohibited from:
- The use or possession of alcohol, tobacco (including snuff, chewing and smokeless tobacco), non-prescription, synthetic, or illegal drugs as defined by the New York State Penal Law.
- Hosting and/or attending alcohol or drug parties, selling or purchasing illegal drugs or alcohol and any other illegal conduct as defined by the Penal Law.
- We hope that during the summer months parents will continue to uphold the above standards.
- Due Process and Penalties
- All due process requirements are specified in Article IV of these guidelines.
- Upon determination that a student athlete has violated the substance abuse guidelines, the following penalties may be applied:
- Beginning from the date when the offense is verified, the student athlete will be placed on probation for three (3) consecutive District athletic seasons.
- If the offense occurs during his/her current season the student athlete will be suspended for a minimum of 20% of the teams’ contests that season as determined by the coach and Athletic Director.
- A conference involving the team coach, Athletic Director, Building Administrator, and student athlete will be held. The parent/guardian will be informed by phone of the consequences and his/her role on the team during the suspension period. During the suspension period, the student athlete will be referred to the appropriate school personnel for counseling and assistance.
Second Offense of Similar Nature
- The student athlete will be suspended for the remainder of the current sport season, following the due process procedures referenced in Article IV herein.
- The student athlete may be suspended for a minimum of 30% of the teams contest during his/her next succeeding sports season as determined by the coach and Athletic Director.
- If second offense occurs out of season the student athlete will be suspended a minimum of 30% of his/her
next succeeding sports season.
- The student athlete will be required to obtain mandatory in-school counseling. The counseling must begin prior to the student athlete’s return to competition. Failure to attend counseling will result in the student athlete becoming ineligible for competition until such counseling has been completed to the satisfaction of the Athletic Director and the High School Principal.
- The student athlete will be suspended from participation in interscholastic athletics for three (3) consecutive athletic seasons following the completion of the due process procedures set forth in . Article IV herein.
A student athlete who voluntarily admits to violation of these guidelines or who requests assistance prior to any verified violation will be referred for assistance. The student athlete may be suspended from competition as determined by the coach and Athletic Director. A one year probationary period will go into effect from the date of admission, and any future violation of these guidelines will be considered a second offense as set forth in these guidelines.
Due Process Procedures
Parents and student athletes must recognize that participation in interscholastic athletics is a privilege and not a right. Therefore, certain standards of due process that apply to regular school codes of conduct may not apply in the interscholastic setting. The District is committed to providing fair and equitable treatment with respect to the enforcement of these guidelines and to provide an opportunity for parents and student athletes to discuss factual issues related to any and all rules, standards and procedures set for the in these guidelines. Due process procedures will include the following:
- All allegations will be investigated by an administrator and Athletic Director in order to verify, to the extent
possible, the fact basis of such allegations.
- Parents and student athletes will be notified of any allegations that are verified and which result in discipline
being imposed according to these guidelines. Parents and student athletes may request a meeting with the coach and Athletic Director to review these matters prior to the imposition of any discipline.
- If the student athlete and/or parents wishes to contest the allegations, fact determinations, or proposed discipline, a request for a hearing can be made with five days of notification to the high school principal/designee. The high school principal/designee will schedule such a hearing as soon as is possible and shall act in the capacity of the hearing officer. This hearing is intended to be informal, but to allow both the affected student athlete and district to provide information to the high school principal/designee for a determination. The high school principal/designee’s decision will be final and binding upon all parties.
V. Quitting Team/Dismissal
Any student athlete who voluntarily leaves a team during the competition season will not be permitted to join another team during that season, except with permission of the Athletic Director. Any student athlete who is dismissed from a team for violating these guidelines will not be permitted to join another team during the same sports season. In addition, any student athlete who voluntarily quits or is dismissed under this provision without permission from the Athletic Director or coach will receive the loss of 20% of their next sports season.
Any student athlete suspended from school will become (at the discretion of the District administration) ineligible to participate on any team during the season in which the infraction occurred. Repeated offenses will result in ineligibility for additional sports seasons, and as such may be determined by the Athletic Director and High School Principal. Student athletes convicted of criminal activity may be suspended from athletic team eligibility for up to six (6) consecutive athletic seasons.
VII. Injuries and Insurance
Parents will be advised of the fact that there are inherent risks associated with participation in interscholastic athletics. Even with proper instruction and all available safety precautions, it is possible for injuries to occur. Students shall report any injury to his/her coach immediately. Parents’ insurance will apply first for any accident or injury. The District will maintain an insurance policy which may supplement the parents’ insurance and to assist those who do not have any health and accident insurance coverage. Questions regarding this coverage should be referred to the coach or Athletic Director.
VIII. Outside Team Rule
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association permits outside (non-school sponsored) competition. Student athletes must recognize that commitment to the school team is the first priority and outside participation should not be detrimental to the student athlete or to the school team. Any outside participation should only occur following notification to and approval from the coach of the school team. In circumstances where the outside activity conflicts with the school team schedule, the school team schedule shall be followed. Failure to comply with this provision will result in discipline to the student athlete, including suspension from practices, contests or continued participation with the sport program as determined by the coach and Athletic Director.
IX. Issuing of School Equipment and Clothing
It is the responsibility of a student athlete to return all issued equipment and clothing to the team coach. Failure to comply with this guideline will result in the student athlete not being allowed to participate in another sport
until equipment is either returned or paid for. The Athletic Director and/or High School Principal will notify parents and students of the missing equipment and the amount of payment due the District for replacement.
X. Athletic Placement Process
Students in grades 7 or 8 who are exceptional athletes are provided an opportunity to try out for a freshman, junior varsity and/or varsity team. Students must meet the requirements outlined in the New York State Athletic Placement Process. These requirements may be obtained from the Athletic Director.
XI. Transportation for Special Competition
During the course of the school year, individual teams may have the opportunity to compete with schools outside of Section II. Board of Education approval is required for all such competition. If approved, the team will provide its own transportation to the contest, and will not use School District vehicles. Parents will be required to sign a transportation authorization in order for student participation and transportation by private non-school vehicles. Authorization forms will be provided by the team coach, or obtained from the Athletic Director.
XII. Administration of Guidelines
It is the intention of the District, Athletic Director and coaches to provide a positive experience for all student athletes in the District’s interscholastic athletic program. These guidelines have been developed to enhance that experience and to clearly define District, Athletic Director and coach expectations for such participation. The Athletic Director, coach and High School Principal shall have the general administrative authority to implement these guidelines, and to address those situations which may not be specifically set forth in this document. The District, Athletic Director and High School Principal further reserve the right to amend these guidelines, and to provide notice of such amendments to all parents and student athletes participating in the District’s interscholastic athletic program.
The Invisible Injury
A concussion is a reaction by the brain to a jolt or force that can be transmitted to the head by an impact or blow occurring anywhere on the body. Essentially a concussion results from the brain moving back and forth or twisting rapidly inside the skull.
Facts about concussions according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
- An estimated 4 million people under age 19 sustain a head injury annually. Of these approximately 52,000 die and 275,000 are hospitalized.
- An estimated 300,000 sports and recreation related concussions occur each year.
- Students who have had at least one concussion are at increased risk for another concussion. In New York State in 2009, approximately 50,500 children under the age of 19 visited the emergency room for a traumatic brain injury and of those approximately 3,000 were hospitalized.
Requirements of School Districts
- Each school coach, physical education teacher, nurse, and athletic trainer will have to complete an approved course on concussion management on a biennial basis, starting with the 2012-2013 school year.
- School coaches and physical education teachers must complete the CDC course. (www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/online_training.html)
- School nurses and certified athletic trainers must complete the concussion course. (http://preventingconcussions.org)
- Provide concussion management information and sign off with any parental permission form.
- The concussion management and awareness information or the State Education Department’s web site must be made available on the school website, if one exists.
Removal from athletics
- Require the immediate removal from athletic activities of any pupil that has or is believed to have sustained a mild traumatic brain injury.
- No pupils will be allowed to resume athletic activity until they have been symptom free for 24 hours and have been evaluated by and received written and signed authorization from a licensed physician. For interscholastic athletics, clearance must come from the school medical director.
- Such authorization must be kept in the pupil’s permanent health record.
- Schools shall follow directives issued by the pupil’s treating physician.
Symptoms of a concussion are the result of a temporary change in the brain’s function. In most cases, the symptoms of a concussion generally resolve over a short period of time; however, in some cases, symptoms will last for weeks or longer. Children and adolescents are more susceptible to concussions and take longer than adults to recover.
It is imperative that any student who is suspected of having a concussion is removed from athletic activity (e.g. recess, PE class, sports) and remains out of such activities until evaluated and cleared to return to activity by a physician. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Decreased or absent memory of events prior to or immediately after the injury, or difficulty retaining new information
- Confusion or appears dazed
- Headache or head pressure
- Loss of consciousness
- Balance difficulties, dizziness, or clumsy movements
- Double or blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light and/or sound
- Nausea, vomiting and/or loss of appetite
- Irritability, sadness or other changes in personality
- Feeling sluggish, foggy or light-headed
- Concentration or focusing problems
- Fatigue and/or sleep issues – sleeping more or less than usual
Students who develop any of the following signs, or if signs and symptoms worsen, should be seen and evaluated immediately at the nearest hospital emergency room.
- Headaches that worsen
- Looks drowsy and/or cannot be awakened
- Repeated vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Unable to recognize people or places
- Weakness or numbness in arms or legs, facial drooping
- Unsteady gait
- Change in pupil size in one eye
- Significant irritability
- Any loss of consciousness
- Suspicion for skull fracture: blood draining from ear or clear fluid from the nose
State Education Department’s Guidance for Concussion Management
Schools are advised to develop a written concussion management policy. A sample policy is available on the NYSPHSAA web site at www.nysphsaa.org. The policy should include:
- A commitment to reduce the risk of head injuries.
- A procedure and treatment plan developed by the district medical director.
- A procedure to ensure proper education for school nurses, certified athletic trainers, physical education teachers, and coaches.
- A procedure for a coordinated communication plan among appropriate staff.
- A procedure for periodic review of the concussion management program.
Return to Learn and Return to Play Protocols
Cognitive Rest: Activities students should avoid include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Computers and video games
- Television viewing
- Reading or writing
- Studying or homework
- Taking a test or completing significant projects
- Loud music
- Bright lights
Students may only be able to attend school for short periods of time. Accommodations may have to be made for missed tests and assignments.
Physical Rest: Activities students should avoid include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Contact and collision
- High speed, intense exercise and/or sports
- High risk for re-injury or impacts
- Any activity that results in an increased heart rate or increased head pressure
Return to Play Protocol once symptom free for 24 hours and cleared by School Medical Director:
Day 1: Low impact, non strenuous, light aerobic activity.
Day 2: Higher impact, higher exertion, moderate aerobic activity. No resistance training.
Day 3: Sport specific non-contact activity. Low resistance weight training with a spotter.
Day 4: Sport specific activity, non-contact drills. Higher resistance weight training with a spotter.
Day 5: Full contact training drills and intense aerobic activity.
Day 6: Return to full activities with clearance from School Medical Director. Any return of symptoms during the return to play protocol, the student will return to previous day’s activities until symptom free.
Concussion Management Team
Schools may, at their discretion, form a concussion management team to implement and monitor the concussion management policy and program. The team could include, but is not limited to, the following:
- School Administrators
- Medical Director
- Private Medical Provider
- School Nurse
- Director of Physical Education and/or Athletic Director
- Certified Athletic Trainer
- Physical Education Teacher and/or Coaches
- Classroom Teachers
In accordance with the NYSPHSAA guidelines as well as the NYS Concussion Management and Awareness Act of 2011, the Board of Education of the BURNT HILLS-BALLSTON LAKE CSD will adhere to the following plan as it relates to the management of mild traumatic brain injuries (concussions).
The Board of Education of the BURNT HILLS-BALLSTON LAKE CSD recognizes that concussions and head injuries are commonly reported in children and adolescents who participate in sports and physical activity. Therefore, the District adopts the following plan to assist in the proper evaluation and management of head injuries.
Concussions are defined as mild traumatic brain injuries that occur as a result of trauma to the head, jaw or from a violent snapping of the neck. Recovery from concussions is unpredictable and will vary greatly between individuals. Physical and mental rest along with a properly supervised return to play and return to school protocols are necessary to ensure complete recovery.
Any student demonstrating signs and symptoms of a concussion while participating in a school sponsored class, extracurricular activity or interscholastic athletic event shall be removed from the event or activity and be evaluated by the school physician, athletic trainer or school nurse, if possible. In the event that a school health care provider is not available, the district will refer any concussed student to their primary care physician or emergency room, if necessary. Any student returning to school following a concussion diagnosis must have a proper medical release from a physician. However, the chief school physician only will make the final decision with regards to any return to interscholastic athletic activity. Any student who continues to exhibit concussion related signs or symptoms upon return to activity must be removed from participation and re-evaluated by their primary care physician or chief school physician.
In the event that a student receives a concussion diagnosis, the school’s concussion management team (CMT) will be notified to assist the student with both the return to play and return to school protocols. Compliance and adherence of these protocols are necessary to ensure a student’s complete recovery.
Concussion Management Team (CMT)
The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central Schools CMT will be comprised of the following individuals:
- Chief School Physician/Associate School Physician
- Athletic Trainer
- Middle School and High School Nurses
- Athletic Director
- Middle School and High School Assistant Principals(as needed)
- Athletic Coaches (as needed )
- Physical Education teachers (as needed)
- Guidance Counselors (as needed)
- Academic teachers (as needed)
- Outside resources (medical specialists/counselors) (as needed)
CM Athletic/PE Communication Protocol
Head Injury/Symptoms are reported to:
- Athletic Trainer ————-> Chief/Associate School Physician
Athletic Trainer reports to:
- Athletic Director
- Building Nurse
Concussion Diagnosis by Physician reported to
- Athletic Trainer ——–> CMT
- Building Nurse
Neurocognitive Baseline Testing (ImPACT®)
Students who participate in interscholastic athletics may, depending upon the sport, be subject to neurocognitive baseline testing prior to the start of their sport season with parent consent. Testing will be done using the “Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing” (ImPACT®) system to collect data on a student’s baseline cognitive functions and reaction time. Results of the baseline testing will be shared with parents.
In the event that a student sustains a concussion, he or she will be tested again post injury to help determine cognitive recovery. Post injury testing will only occur after a student’s symptoms have completely resolved and before any return to physical activity is permitted.
Baseline and post injury testing is conducted at the high school by the school’s certified athletic trainer. Baseline testing for certain sports will occur during a student’s freshman and junior years. Interpretation of the test results is done by the Chief/Associate school physician. Only those students who demonstrate satisfactory results as determined by the Chief/Associate school physician, will be allowed to begin the return to play protocol.
A proper Return to Play Protocol following a concussion ensures that a student can return to physical activity safely while also decreasing the risk of re-injury. Protecting students from Post Concussion and Second Impact Syndromes is vital. Return to play is a stepwise progression that a student will undergo after: 1) a complete resolution of symptoms has occurred for at least 24 hours and 2) medical clearance has been given by the athlete’s private physician following a post injury ImPACT® test.
The Athletic Trainer, under the direction of the Chief/Associate School Physician, will administer the Return to Play Protocol. Each step in the progression should take 24 hours. If any symptoms return at any time during the progression the student must return to the previous step and wait for symptoms to resolve. The student’s parents and Chief/Associate School Physician will be notified in such an event. Following a successful completion of the progression, the student will be cleared to resume full athletic/physical activity without restriction by the Chief/Associate School Physician.
Post Impact Testing – if athlete passes test he/she will proceed to the following steps. If athlete fails test he/she will be referred back to physician for clearance.
- Day 1: Low impact, non strenuous, light cardiovascular activity
- Day 2: Higher impact, higher exertion, moderate aerobic activity. No resistance training
- Day 3: Sport specific non-contact activity. Low resistance weight training with a spotter.
- Day 4: Sport specific, non-contact drills. Higher resistance weight training with spotter.
- Day 5: Full contact training drills and intense aerobic activity.
- Day 6: Return to full activities with clearance from School Medical Director.
Return-to-Physical Education Protocol
Following a concussion diagnosis, any student returning to physical education classes must also have a proper medical release from a physician. Upon receiving a physician’s release, the school nurse will clear a student to return to physical education classes. Students returning to physical education must also follow a return to PE progression.
- Step 1: Low impact, non contact, cardiovascular PE activity
- Step 2: Non contact PE activity, moderate intensity
- Step 3: Full intensity PE activity
In order to ensure a full recovery from a concussion, students must also follow a Return to School Protocol as well. Similar to the Return to Play progression, the Return to School progression involves a gradual return to the academic demands of the school day. Because recovery from concussions is highly variable and based on several factors, not all students will follow the same progression. However, the individual needs of each student will be taken into consideration when a student is released to return to school by either their primary care physician or Chief/Associate School Physician.
When a student is medically cleared to return to school, the CMT members pertinent to the individual student’s academic needs will be contacted and notified of their medical status and any restrictions. The CMT will continue to assist in a student’s academic recovery until fully medically released by a physician.
The amount of time needed to accomplish each step will vary between individuals and will be directed by the physician.
- Step 1: Removal from school or modification of the school day per physician recommendations. This could include, but is not limited to, home tutoring and/or homework requests, 504 plans and IEP’s.
- Step 2: Return to school partial days with CMT assistance, modification of academic workload.
- Step 3: Return to school full days with CMT assistance, modification of academic workload.
- Step 4: Return to school full days without restriction per physician release.