The district encourages students to participate in interscholastic athletics for which they are suited, appropriate to their physiological maturity, physical fitness, and skills in relationship to other members on those teams, as well as their psychological and emotional maturity. In the vast majority of circumstances, a high school student-athlete shall be placed on a high school team (varsity, junior varsity or freshman) and a middle school student-athlete shall be placed on a middle school (modified) interscholastic team.
In exceptional circumstances, a middle school student-athlete may be so physically, athletically, socially and emotionally advanced that he or she would most appropriately be placed on a high school interscholastic team. Only in such circumstances shall a middle school student-athlete be permitted to "play up" to a high school interscholastic team. Each student-athlete shall be considered individually for this option, and a student-athlete shall not be considered for "playing up" for the purpose of ensuring a sufficient number of members of a high school team or because of the desires of a member of the coaching staff that the student be added to a high school team.
Seventh and eighth grade students may be considered for "playing up" in any sport, subject to the rules of the New York State Education Department, the NYSPHSAA or the governing body of the respective sport, and subject to the provisions of Board Policy 5281 and 5281-R. Seventh and eighth grade students who are permitted to "play up" may be advanced only to the next level of competition (i.e. to a freshman team, if one exists; to a junior varsity team, if there is no freshman team in the sport; or to a varsity team, if there is no freshman or junior varsity team in the sport).
* A student who has advanced to the next level of competition at the commencement of a sport’s season in accordance with the Athletic Placement Process for Interschool Athletic Programs (“APP”) established by the New York State Education Department provisions and Policy 5281-R may not be advanced another level during the season for that sport.
The following stages layout the process of the APP. Students must pass each stage of the APP before proceeding to the next stage, and pass all stages in order to meet the requirements of the APP.
Once permission has been received, the APP evaluations begin with a comprehensive evaluation of your child’s social/emotional readiness. This stage of the process utilizes a social/emotional evaluation screener followed by an interview by the Athletic Placement Process Committee [APPC]. All decisions made by the APPC are final and may not be appealed.
Students deemed socially/emotionally ready by the APPC will then be evaluated for physically maturity, including height and weight, in relationship to other student-athletes at that level. Physical maturity is determined by the district medical doctor during a physical exam, using the Tanner Scale. The Tanner Scale requires the inspection of the entire body, including the breasts and genitals. The district does not accept Tanner ratings from private medical providers or accept a history of menarche for girls in place of a physical examination.
A student who has been found to attain the appropriate physical maturity level and comparable physical size for the desired sport and level shall complete;
(a) a sport skill evaluation conducted by the coach of the team for which the student desires to try out.; the evaluation will include, as appropriate, consideration of past observations of the student engaging in that sport, input from the student’s former coaches, and/or observation of the student in physical education class, and
(b) a completion of a physical fitness test administered by a certified physical education teacher who is not a coach of the sport for which the student will be trying out. The student’s physical fitness must meet or exceed the requirements set forth in the APP. Upon successful completion of all components of these tests, the student-athlete shall be eligible to participate as a member of the high school interscholastic team for which the student-athlete has been approved, at the level for which he/she has been approved, in accordance with Policy 5281, and may tryout for such team.
A student-athlete who tries out for a high school team and is not selected may play on the modified team in that sport.
It is important for you and your child to understand that, once the requirements are met and if he/she is accepted as a member of the team, he/she cannot return to a lower-level team (modified) in that sport in that season. Remember, at the higher level of play your child will be exposed to the social atmosphere that is common among older students in a high school environment. Therefore, it is important to take into account your child’s ability to handle the additional demands.
In order for your child to be eligible to participate in the sport selected outside of his or her normal grade level, we must have your permission to begin the APP. If you agree to allow your child’s participation in this program, please sign and submit the parental permission form under the agreements tab.
Director of Health, Wellness, Physical Education & Athletics