Athletic Code of Conduct

I. Afterschool Sports Program

After-school sports are an important part of the students’ experience at Hawthorne Valley. We are proud that our athletes are public representatives of the school in league and non-league games. They are expected to be leaders both on and off the court. Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School is clear that sports are extra-curricular and are possible only for those students whose school work is up-to-date and whose behavior is top-notch. Students who fall behind in their school work or fall below their teachers’ expectations in their behavior (i.e. are sent out of class) will be removed from after-school sports until such time as their work or behavior meets the teacher’s expectations. Students must attend school on the day of a game in order to play in that game; and must participate fully in movement classes – team participation does not create an exemption. Students and parents will sign a student conduct contract to be eligible to participate in sports.


II. Philosophy

Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School believes that interscholastic athletic activities can play a significant role in the overall development of students in grades 7-12. It can be an important opportunity for social and skill development, while providing a healthy expression of school pride. We believe that middle school athletics should be a participatory experience that stresses teamwork, sportsmanship, skill development, and discipline. Competition in the high school is meant as a serious test of skills against worthy opponents. We expect dignified, focused, strong players who conduct themselves with pride and grace in competitive situations and in representing our school. We require that all students in grades 9 and 10 participate in at least one sport per year.


III. Medical Examinations and Parent/Guardian Permission

In order to join a team or participate in any practice or game, students must have a current physical examination on file in the office, and a signed parent/guardian permission slip. A student needs to be examined yearly and provide up-to-date documentation and permission paperwork every year. These must be on file at school prior to the start of the sports season in which the student is participating.


IV. Making the Team

 All students who are eligible to join the team are encouraged to do so.


V. Team Event Attendance

It is extremely important that a coach be notified in advance if a student is not going to be present at a team event (i.e. – practice or a game). Practice is where plans for upcoming contests are devised and perfected. The coaches in our program expect their athletes to be present at all team-related activities. Suspension or dismissal from the team may take place because of such absences. Students are excused from team activities for illness, injury, academic help sessions, family emergencies, religious reasons, or reasonable and necessary academic commitments as determined by the Athletic Director (i.e., planned and previously communicated college visits). Prior notification is strongly recommended and expected of the student athlete. Every team member is expected to be present for all team practices and games. Because of scheduling parameters, our teams may practice or play during scheduled school vacations. Any student who plans to be absent for an extended time during a scheduled school vacation (i.e. – for a family trip), must discuss this situation with their coach prior to the start of the affected season.


VI. Playing Times

Perhaps the most emotional part of a student athlete’s involvement in high school athletics centers around playing time. The student athlete becomes involved in interscholastic athletics for the first time and finds that practices and expectations are much more intense and demanding. Factors such as practice attendance, attitude, commitment, and athletic skill enter into the decision of the coach. There are many decisions made on a regular basis by the coaching staff. It is their responsibility to decide which athletes should start a contest, who should play what position, and how long each athlete should play. These coaching decisions, often difficult to make, are made only by the coaching staff and are approached very seriously after having observed the athletes in practice sessions, game-like situations, scrimmages and actual game competitions.


VII. Attendance

A student athlete must be present in school in order to participate in that day’s athletic events. Students must be in school on time and remain in school for the day. Special circumstances – such as medical appointments, family emergencies, school excused absences (i.e. – college visits), illness, injury, academic help sessions, religious reasons – that prevent a full day of attendance will be reviewed by the Athletic Director; in these special circumstances athletic participation may be possible. An absence or tardy on a Friday will exclude the student from any weekend sports events, unless a doctor’s note is presented or in the case of reviewed special circumstances.


VIII. Transportation

Many practices are held at a location other than Hawthorne Valley. Parents are responsible for arranging all transportation to and from practices for their children. Students must arrive at practice at the scheduled time and be picked up promptly at the end of the event. Players are transported to away games via school buses provided by Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School. Players must return back to Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School on the bus unless they leave from the game with their parent or guardian. Students must inform their coach if they are leaving with their parent or guardian. Students who plan to leave a game with another student’s parent must have written permission from their own parent and/or have made prior arrangements with the coach. Coaches will supervise their athletes on the bus and will stay at HVS until all students have been picked up. No non-team students or other spectators are permitted to ride to or from away sporting events on the team bus.


IX. Equipment/Uniforms

Students are responsible for all uniform pieces issued to them by the school and will be charged for any missing items.


X. Behavior

All students are expected to exhibit proper school behavior in all athletic activities. The school behavior code is in effect during practices, games, and on buses. Respectful student behavior at other schools and as hosts should be particularly stressed because they are representing our school, its fine athletic program, and Waldorf Education. Any violations of school rules should be reported to the administration and may result in the suspension or exclusion of that student or students from participating in the HVS athletic program or its events. This applies to spectators as well as team members.


XI. Cancelled Games and Schedule Changes

While the athletic department strives to provide accurate schedules well in advance of any event, changes to the schedule are inevitable. Coaches and players will be notified in the event of postponement or cancellation by the Athletic Director. Parents can check on the website for up-to-date changes. Rescheduling will be announced as soon as possible. Any changes in the schedule will be reflected on the website, through email, and will be verbally relayed to players. Students will also be permitted to call parents should a change occur during the day of a scheduled event.


XII. Rules for Games and Contests

Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School is a member of the Central Hudson Valley League, which has the following rules and guidelines for spectator behavior at events:

Spectators are an important part of the games and are encouraged to conform to accepted standards of good sportsmanship and behavior.

  1. Spectators should at all times respect officials, visiting coaches, players, and cheerleaders as guests in the community and extend all courtesies to them.
  2. Enthusiastic cheering for one’s own team is encouraged.
  3. Booing, whistling, stamping of the feet, and disrespectful remarks shall be avoided.
  4. There will be no ringing of bells, sounding of horns, or other noise makers at indoor contests during play. Anyone who does not abide by this rule will be asked to leave the premises.
  5. Pep bands or school bands, under the supervision of school personnel, may play during time outs, between periods, or at half-time. Bands must coordinate their play so as not to interfere with a cheerleading squad on the floor or field.
  6. The throwing of debris, confetti, or other objects from the stands is prohibited. Offending individuals will be asked to leave the premises.
  7. During a free throw in basketball, all courtesies should be extended.
  8. Spectators should encourage each other to observe courteous behavior. Improper behavior should be reported to the school.
  9. Spectators will observe the rules of the local school concerning smoking, food and drink consumption, littering, and parking procedures.
  10. Spectators will respect and obey all school officials and supervisors at athletic contests.

Basically, let the players play, the coaches coach, and the officials officiate. Spectators should spectate. Please refrain from yelling at the students, issuing directives and/or loudly editorializing while they are playing the game. As any player can tell you, instructions are all but impossible to decipher in game situations. Teams and coaches work together on game plans and this relationship should be respected. Please ask questions of your coach or Athletic Director at times other than during the game.

Fans are prohibited from talking to officials, coaches or other athletic personnel from other schools before, during or after the games. Parents are encouraged to be supportive of our athletic teams as well as visiting teams. Any questions about athletic contests should be directed to our athletic director, and will be taken up with the appropriate authority in the respective athletic league or associatio

During games/contests, our coaches will supervise their players, but parents must supervise their other children including keeping them off all gym equipment. No one should be on the court, field or course, before, during, or at half time of games. Only approved scorekeepers are allowed to sit at the scorer’s table; and while there, they are to be focused on the game and not on personal electronic devices.


 XIII. Opportunities for Involvement

Volunteers are helpful and appreciated. We often need volunteer assistance communicating schedule changes, working the scoring table, supervising spectators at events, and hosting visiting schools. If you would like to volunteer to help, fundraise, or apply for a paid coaching position, contact the Athletic Director. Paid positions require an interview process, references, and a background check.