Policy Details Page
A. All interscholastic activities and events shall be in compliance with the rules and regulations of the Tacoma School District, any applicable league or division to which the District is a member, and where applicable, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA). The high schools of the District shall not participate in any out of season athletics that are not sanctioned by the WIAA. The Superintendent or designee will prepare rules for the conduct of student activities including, but not limited to, use of alcoholic beverages; use of tobacco; use of vape products; use or possession of illegal chemical substances or opiates not prescribed by a physician; physical appearance; curfew; unsportsmanlike conduct; absence from practice; gambling; or any infraction of civil law. Rules and disciplinary actions related to rule violations shall be distributed to each participant and his/her parents prior to the beginning of an interscholastic activity season.
B. The District shall not be responsible or liable for non-school-sponsored programs or for programs that are organized, promoted or participated in by staff members without school approval. The District shall not be responsible for or control and incur liability for summer and/or out of season activities unless specifically sponsored by the school district. The Superintendent shall establish rules defining the circumstances under which school facilities may be used and under which announcements of summer sports leagues and/or clinics may be channeled to students.
C. An athletic/cheerleading coach or activities leader must be properly trained and qualified for an assignment as described in the job description for the position at issue.
D. For coaches, a syllabus that outlines the skills, techniques and safety measures associated with the coaching assignment at issue will be distributed to each coach. A coach must secure permission in advance if he/she wishes to deviate from the syllabus.
E. In-service training opportunities will be afforded to each coach so that he/she is trained to attend to the health care needs of participants. Prior to a sports/cheer activity season, the coach will prepare a plan for handling medical emergencies at practice sessions and games (home and away).
F. Certain risks are associated with participation in interscholastic sports and cheerleading activities. While the District will strive to prevent injuries and accidents to students, each participant and his/her parent(s)/legal guardian(s) will be required to sign a statement that indicates that the parent(s)/legal guardians(s) and the student acknowledge the risks of injuries resulting from such participation and give assurance that the student will follow the instructions of the coach. Each student participating in interscholastic athletics or cheerleading activities is required to have or obtain medical insurance for expenses incurred as a result of injuries sustained while participating in the extracurricular activity. Students shall provide evidence of coverage with a minimum limit of $25,000 in medical expenses or shall obtain such coverage through the insurance plan offered to all students participating in activities in the District. No student will be denied the ability to participate solely because the student’s family, by reason of low income, is unable to pay the entire amount of the premium for such insurance. The Superintendent or designee may approve partial or full waiver of premiums to permit all students to obtain the required medical insurance.
G. A written report shall be completed whenever a student is injured while participating in a school supervised activity. In the event of injury or serious illness subsequent to the examination, the student must secure clearance prior to resuming participation in interscholastic athletics
H. It is expected that all coaches and activities leaders will comply with the District’s Policies and Regulations on Emergency Treatment and Medications at school. Only employees who have been designated to administer prescribed or over-the-counter oral or topical medications, eye drops, or ear drops in accordance with the requirements of RCW 28A.210.260 may administer such medications and must do so in a manner that is consistent with the District’s Medication at School Regulation, 3416R. This provision does not preclude the coach and/or trainer from using approved first aid items as appropriate. A sign will be posted that warns students that eligibility to participate may be denied if anabolic steroids are used for the purpose of enhancing athletic ability.
I. Each secondary school student who wishes to participate in interscholastic athletics cheerleading activities must secure an examination by a physician prior to such participation. One such examination, when all of the results have been transmitted to the school, shall qualify the student for all interscholastic athletics or cheerleading activities for 13 months. Each participant shall be required to furnish evidence of physical fitness prior to becoming a member of a team.
J. Each student participating in interscholastic athletics or cheerleading activities is required to purchase an activity ticket (ASB card). Students who qualify for the Federal Free and Reduced Meal program will have their ASB fee waived per Regulation 3510R. Students will not be denied the opportunity to participate because of financial needs. If financial assistance is needed, students shall work with their school, specifically the Athletic Department and/or Office Coordinator. Students may be eligible for financial assistance
K. Participants will be issued equipment that has been properly maintained and fitted.
L. All facilities and equipment used in the interscholastic activity program, whether or not the property of the district, shall be inspected on a regular basis.
Head coach: The head coach of the sport/activity involved may attend the state meet or tournament provided that there is at least one qualified participant representing the school in the meet. Tacoma School District No. 10 will provide substitute coverage during the absence of the head coach.
Assistant coach: The assistant coach may attend the state meet or tournament only if there are sufficient qualified participants representing the school in the meet according to extended season guidelines. The District will provide substitute coverage during the absence of the assistant coach.
Coaches shall not engage in, nor have a direct financial interest in, any activity which conflicts with their duties and responsibilities. Accepting personal remuneration from a third party for activities prepared for or engaged as a coach (paid or volunteer for the District) is not allowed.
In accordance with District policy and the coach’s job description, the coach has the responsibility to:
A. Instruct participants
The coach should employ the latest methods and proper instruction when working with students
to develop motor skills. If an injury occurs while using an improper instructional method, the
District and its employees may be liable for negligence.
B. Warn participants
The coach should inform all athletes and their parents/legal guardians of the inherent risks involved in participation in the particular sport, including the very small risk of infection with a blood-borne pathogen The coach must describe, using a variety of methods, the catastrophic and common non catastrophic injuries unique to the sport.
C. Supervise participants
The coach will create a daily plan, showing how the coach plans to conduct general supervision of the sport/activity, and how he/she will supervise specific drills and other components of the daily practice. Adequacy of supervision should be reviewed, considering factors including, but not limited to: the age of the students; the size of the students; the equipment involved; the maturity level of the students; the first aid equipment and training available; the appropriate certification of supervisors where required; and the safety training of the personnel involved. At no time should students participating in sports or activities be left unsupervised.
D. Provide safe equipment and facilities
Equipment should be properly fitted and maintained. Athletes should be instructed on how to conduct a daily inspection. Facilities should be free of hazards and inspected regularly.
E. Maintain records of injuries
A report should be completed for each accident and sent to the District’s Legal Department where it will be retained for the appropriate retention period. Schools are to keep a copy of the injury report for three years.
F. Evaluate fitness of participants
The coach has a duty to evaluate the physical fitness, the medical condition and the skill
level of athletes prior to participation in sporting activities
G. Provide equal protection and due process
While participation in co-curricular activities is a privilege, a participant who allegedly violates the conduct code must be afforded the opportunity of a fair hearing.
H. Transport athletes safely
A coach has a responsibility to see that athletes are safely transported to and from contests and to and from practices if practices are held at sites other than the immediate school grounds.
I. Group Participants
The coach has the duty to employ a recognized system of grouping for participants in a particular sport that will avoid unequal and unsafe participation. The system of grouping will be based upon skill level, age, maturity, sex, size and experience.
J. Foresee Danger
A coach should be able to reasonably anticipate foreseeable dangers that may occur and take precautions protecting the children in his/her custody from such dangers.
K. Protect From Loss
A participant is required to present evidence that he/she is covered by an accident policy. A blanket catastrophic (“no fault”) insurance provides coverage for serious injuries.
The duties listed above are not meant to be comprehensive. In carrying out the duties of the assignment, a staff member is expected to act as a reasonable professional would have acted under similar circumstances, while also abiding by Policy 5010, Employee Conduct Rules. A staff member who supervises a sports activity is expected to know the intricacies of the activity that he/she is leading.
Out-of-Season Sports Activities/Clinics
Rules governing out-of-school and/or out of season student sports participation are as follows:
A. A practice is defined as a teaching phase of a sport to any present, past or future squad member while a student is in grades 7-12 during the school year. The school may not sponsor, promote or direct activities which resemble out of season practices or contests during the school year A school staff member, who sponsors, promotes or directs such activities during the summer vacation shall either:
1. Clearly indicate that he/she is operating independent of the school district. As such, the school District shall be free of liability associated with the activity.
2. Complete the Summer Athletic Activity Approval Form, indicating events, schedule and insuring all TPS policies and regulations are followed regarding transportation of students, student eligibility and facility use guidelines.
B. Participation in summer activities organized by the participant’s coach, shall not begin until the conclusion of the final WIAA state tournament of the school year and must conclude by July 31st. Participation in summer activities is limited to students entering the grades 9-12 in the preceding school year. Middle school students’ participation in a high school commercial summer camp, clinic or other similar type of activity, organized by the participant’s coach, shall not begin until the conclusion of the last middle school athletic activity of the school year and must also conclude by July 31st
C. Coaches may not sponsor, promote, coach or direct activities which resemble out of season practices or contests in the sport they coach to any of their squad members or future squad members (grades 7 12) until after the school year’s final spring WIAA state tournament is completed (high school) or until after the completion of the final spring sports season (middle school).
D. The use of the school bulletin board, public address system or school newspaper for promotional purposes to announce sports clinics/camps shall be permitted for approved summer activities.
E. School facilities to be used at no cost for approved summer activities. Any use for events or tournaments outside of regular hours of operations will be subject to additional costs related to maintenance and custodial fees.
Middle School Athletic Eligibility Requirements
Middle School students must maintain a 2.0 GPA (Grade Point Average) with no failing marks. to be eligible to participate in interscholastic competition. This eligibility will be determined by progress reports. Progress reports will be done at a minimum of every other week during each season, monitored by the school’s athletic director. If a student is ineligible to play, he/she will be placed on probation. During this time, the student will be allowed to practice but will not be allowed to play in a game until the student meets the academic standard stated above.
The grade requirement may be waived by the building administration upon written request by the teacher and/or athletic director.
High School Athletic Eligibility Requirements
Washington Interscholastic Activity Association (WIAA) eligibility rules will apply to ninth graders in their first semester only. Students in second semester of grade nine who receive more than one failing mark and/or less than a 2.0 GPA (Grade Point Average) at the school’s regular grading cycle of formal progress reports and/or midterm grade reports will be placed on probation.
All other students must meet the following requirements or exceptions in addition to the WIAA eligibility standards.
A. Maintain a 2.0 GPA.
B. Receive no more than one failing mark in the preceding semester.
All students must be enrolled in a minimum of 5 classes each semester to be eligible for athletic activities. Seniors who are on track to graduate are permitted to enroll in one less class than the minimum number of classes required to be passed for other students. (i.e. at Silas a student would be required to pass 5 of 6 classes, therefore an on track senior would be permitted to enroll in 4 classes. Running Start students must be enrolled in the equivalent of a minimum of five (5) full time classes each semester to be eligible for athletic activities.
The eligibility requirements for grading are defined as follows:
A. A “C” average is defined as GPA of 2.0 or better using the scale below. Only letter grades are used in computing GPA. Grade marks of pass, no pass, credit, no credit, satisfactory, unsatisfactory or withdraw are disregarded.
• A – 4.0
• A- - 3.7
• B+ - 3.3
• B – 3.0
• B- - 2.7
• C+ - 2.3
• C – 2.0
• C- - 1.7
• D+ - 1.3
• D – 1.0
• E - 0
In computing a student’s GPA, for purposes of this regulation, all subjects taken by the student in which a final grade mark is recorded are to be considered unless the class is retaken. In that case, the highest-grade mark received for a repeated class is used for GPA calculation.
Fall Season Academic Eligibility
Transcript grade marks from the previous semester will determine a student’s initial eligibility. Grade marks earned at summer school will be included in the previous semester’s transcript grade marks.
Fall Academic Probation: (WIAA 18.7.6)
A student will be placed on academic probation at the start of the fall sport season if they failed to meet the grade requirements in the second semester of the previous school year. The probationary period for a fall athlete will end on the fourth Saturday in September. A student shall be eligible for competition during the academic probation. If, at the end of the probation, the student is passing in the minimum number of classes required above, the student would remain eligible for interscholastic competition.
In the fall, an incoming ninth grade student is not required to meet the previous semester scholarship rule in 18.7.4 provided they have met all other eligibility requirements. The student’s grades will be monitored during the first designated monitoring period established by the school and every week thereafter.
If the athlete fails to meet the academic standards at the end of probation period, the athlete will be placed on academic suspension for three (3) weeks and will be ineligible for contests. If a student meets the academic standards at the end of the three (3) week suspension, the athlete will no longer be on suspension and will remain eligible for contests as long as they remain in compliance with a school’s regular monitoring of academic progress.
Fall athletes that do not meet the WIAA regular attendance standard of rule 18.8 and 18.9 (below) are not eligible for a probationary period at the beginning of the fall and must be placed on a five (5) week academic suspension. Their eligibility can be reinstated after the fourth Saturday in September if at that time they are meeting the academic standard of rule 18.7.4.
18.8.0 PREVIOUS SEMESTER The student shall have been in regular attendance as a full‐time student as defined in 18.9.0 in an elementary, intermediate, middle level, or high school during the semester immediately preceding the semester in which the contest is held.
18.9.0 REGULAR ATTENDANCE ‐ The student shall be enrolled and in regular attendance within the first 15 school days in a semester in order to participate in interscholastic contests during the current semester. An enrolled student who receives semester grades will be considered to have been in attendance for that semester unless they are withdrawn from school.
Winter/Spring Academic Suspension: (WIAA 126.96.36.199)
A student who failed to meet the grade requirements shall be placed on suspension because the grading period ended during the same school year. (i.e. second semester for a winter or spring athlete.)
The suspension period for high school students shall be from the end of the previous semester for the first five (5) weeks of the succeeding semester. If the suspension period falls during a non-school week (as defined in WIAA 17.14.1) and the athlete is missing scheduled competition, the week may count toward the five (5) week suspension.
If the athlete fails to meet the academic standards at the end of the suspension period, the athlete will be placed on academic suspension for three (3) weeks and will be ineligible for contests. If a student meets the academic standards at the end of the three (3) week suspension, the athlete will no longer be on academic probation and will remain eligible for contests as long as they remain in compliance with a school’s regular monitoring of academic progress.
Students placed on academic suspension will be allowed to practice but not to compete.
Fall Athletic Eligibility
A. The transcript grade marks from the previous spring semester will determine a student’s initial eligibility.
B. Schools will check grades at minimum of every other week to determine eligibility during the fall sports season.
Winter Athletic Eligibility
A. The transcript grade marks from the previous spring semester will determine a student’s initial eligibility.
B. Schools will check grades at minimum of every other week to determine eligibility during the winter sports season.
C. Grades will be checked for all students still active in a sport at the end of the first semester using the first semester’s transcript grade marks.
Spring Athletic Eligibility
A. Transcript grade marks from the previous fall semester will determine a student’s initial eligibility.
B. Schools will check grades at minimum of every other week to determine eligibility during the spring sports season.
Eligibility criteria defined in this regulation are considered to be minimum requirements.
Individual schools must meet or exceed these requirements. Requirements exceeding the minimum must
have prior written approval of the Assistant Superintendent, K-12 Support, as well as written notification
to the Director of Athletics and Activities.
The following rules govern athletic eligibility of students transferring:
A. A student who has first opted or enrolled and/or turned out for an interscholastic sports activity at a school, in his/her 9th grade year, has established his/her athletic eligibility in that school.
Pursuant to WIAA regulation, a full-time high school student in a private school or public alternative school without athletics shall participate at the resident public school that the student would normally attend.
Out-of-district students optionally enrolled in a Tacoma Public Schools alternative school without athletics, during the window of transfer (8th-9th grade), may apply to participate at a Tacoma Public Schools comprehensive high school. Placement will be determined based on an earnest analysis of several factors, including but not limited to, team roster, coaching, facility, budget, location, and other pertinent considerations.
Requests for an intra-District transfer of athletic eligibility only (from a student’s resident school) will be evaluated by the Director of Athletics and Activities through an intra-District appeal process. For any transfer of athletic eligibility, it must be determined that:
• The transfer is not for athletic reasons;
• Any claim of hardship (WIAA 18.27.0) in which the resident school is involved be first addressed according to District policy.
Requests for intra-District transfer must be submitted in writing to the district director of athletics.
If a transfer of athletic eligibility is granted by the District, the student will be subject to the WIAA transfer eligibility process in order to participate in varsity competition, or may be limited to sub-varsity competition for one calendar year.
B. After registering with and/or attending a high school, a student changing enrollment to/from one school District to another school District or from one Tacoma School District high school to another Tacoma School District high school shall be considered a transferring student. Students transferring to/from another school District or another Tacoma School District high school from/to a Tacoma School District high school will be allowed to participate at the “C” team or Junior Varsity level for one calendar year from the date of enrollment. If, however, a student has established eligibility in his/her primary attendance area school and moves with his/her parent(s)/legal guardian(s) to another attendance area, the student is eligible for varsity competition in his/her new primary attendance area school, if all other eligibility requirements are met.
Appeal Procedures for Transfer Ineligibility
In order to be eligible for varsity competition, transferring students must meet the transferring student requirements as set forth in the WIAA regulation or be granted a waiver under the WIAA regulation. Information can be found with the high school athletic director or by visiting http://www.wiaa.com.
High School ASB Officers/Class Officers/Cheerleaders Eligibility
All ASB officers, class officers and cheerleaders must meet the following requirements:
A. Have and maintain a 2.5 GPA in all formal progress reports and/or midterm or semester grade reports.
B. Receive no failing grades;
C. Be enrolled as a full-time student (minimum 4 classes).
Students ineligible based upon the school’s regular grading cycle of formal progress reports, midterm, semester grade reports will be placed on probation. Probationary periods for ASB officers and class officers will be consistent with each school’s ASB Constitution and/or Bylaws. Probationary periods for cheerleaders will be consistent with each team’s rules and regulations. While on probation, ASB officers and class officers may participate in the class but may not vote and cheerleaders may participate in practice, but may not cheer in games and/or events.
All ASB and class officers are required to take student government class. All officers are encouraged to attend a leadership conference.
The Director of Athletics and Activities may require cheerleaders to participate in cheerleading camp.
Athletic and Activity Code
The opportunity to participate in the interscholastic athletic programs and activities is a privilege. Participants in this voluntary program are expected to conform to specific conduct standards established by the principals, athletic coaches and activity advisors. These conduct codes require compliance with all Tacoma School District and school Policies, Regulations, and rules, including the Tacoma School District Student Code of Conduct. Because participation in interscholastic athletic programs and activities is a privilege, the Athletic and Activity Code may also be broader than the rules and expectations that apply to students during the school day. A student who is found by a staff member of the student's school to be in violation of any rules is subject to removal from the team/activity. Provision is made for a student who has allegedly violated one or more of the conduct rules to appeal a disciplinary action as specified in this code.
The following rules shall be applicable for a sports/activity season:
A. Illegal use, sale and/or possession of alcoholic beverages
A student who is found to use, sell and/or be in possession of alcoholic beverages shall immediately be removed from the activity for 10 school days (first offense). In addition, he/she must agree to attend an alcohol assessment program and abide by the assessment team’s recommendation. If the student violates the rule twice during the sports/activity season, he/she will be removed from the team/activity for the season.
B. Use, sale and/or possession of tobacco, including vape products
A student who is found to use, sell and/or be in possession of tobacco or vape products shall become ineligible to participate in the next contest/activity (first offense). If the student violates the rule twice during the sports/activity season, he/she will be removed from the team/activity for the season.
C. Illegal use, sale and/or possession legend drugs (RCW 69.41.020-050) and controlled substances (RCW 69.50)
A student who is found to use, sell and/or be in possession of one or more of the above shall immediately become ineligible for competition/activity in the current sports/activity program for the remainder of the season. Ineligibility shall continue until the next sports/activity season in which the student wishes to turn out. To be eligible to participate in the next interscholastic sports season or activity, the student shall meet the school’s Building Eligibility Committee per WIAA regulation. If the student violates the rule a second time, he/she shall be ineligible and prohibited from participating in any WIAA member school sports program or activity for a period of one calendar year from the date of the second violation. If the student violates the rule a third time, he/she shall be permanently ineligible from participating in any WIAA member school athletic program or activity.
D. Physical appearance
A student shall wear and maintain the school and District team uniform during athletic/activity contests or as directed by the coach/advisor, except where special permission is given in extenuating circumstances. First offense: verbal warning. Repeated offen¬ses: removal from the activity for five (5) school days.
E. Unsportsmanlike conduct
In the case of unsportsmanlike conduct, which includes, but is not limited to, negative attitude, obscene language/gestures, act of vulgarity, improper use of social media, etc., the head coach or activity advisor may place a student on probation or suspend him/her from activity participation, including practice and games.
F. Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying
A student shall refrain from all forms of Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying (HIB) pursuant to District Policy 3207. This includes all forms of hazing. Students, staff or other school visitors who engage in harassment, intimidation or bullying will receive appropriate discipline, sanctions or other appropriate interventions.
F. Attendance at school
A student must be in school on the day of the activity and attend all classes to participate in the activity. This rule can be waived only by the principal or designee for reasons including, but not limited to, verified medical appointment or verified family emergency.
G. Absence from practice
A student is expected to be in attendance at all team/activity practices unless excused for illness or by prior approval.
H. Suspension/emergency expulsion
When a student is suspended or emergency expelled, he/she will be immediately suspended from the activity, including practice and games. Further corrective action will depend upon the nature of the violation.
A student who has forged any signature, made false entry or altered any document on any required athletic/activity forms to gain athletic/activity eligibility shall become ineligible in the current sports/activity program for the remainder of that sports/activity season. In such cases, the participant may be declared ineligible for interscholastic competition for a period of one (1) year.
J. Repeated Offenses
If a student repeatedly violates one of the above rules, he/she may be removed from the team for the remainder of the sports/activity season.
Appeal Process for Disciplinary Action
When disciplinary actions are taken consistent with the above, the following appeal process is available to students and their parents/legal guardians:
A. Upon the imposition of a penalty for an infraction(s) of WIAA, District and/or team rules or regulations, any aggrieved student/parent/legal guardian of said student shall have the right to an informal conference with the building principal and/or designee, athletic/activities director and coach/advisor (Building Hearing Committee) to request that they refrain from enforcing the decision of the coach/advisor or ask the coach/advisor to reconsider. If the student/parent/legal guardian do not make a written request for this informal conference within five (5) school days of the action grieved, they will have waived their right to the conference and appeal procedure. The informal conference is to be held within three (3) school days of the request.
B. If the parties are unable to agree at the informal conference, the aggrieved party may appeal to the Building Eligibility Committee. The Building Eligibility Committee consists of the school’s Athletic Director, assistant principal and the District’s Director of Athletics and Activities. The Building Eligibility Committee must meet within three (3) school days of the appeals request. The aggrieved party and the coach/advisor shall be available as a resource. The Building Eligibility Committee will hear the case in detail and will render a written decision within three (3) school days after hearing the case.
C. The aggrieved party may appeal to the Superintendent of schools or designee within three (3) school days of the appeals decision. The Superintendent of schools, after hearing the case in detail, shall render a written decision within ten (10) school days of the hearing.
D. The aggrieved party may appeal the Superintendent’s decision to the Board of Directors within three (3) school days. The Board of Directors after hearing the case, shall render a written decision on the case within ten (10) school days of the hearing. This decision shall be final.
Approval Date: 6/15/04
Revised Date: 6/10/08, 5/15/15, 2/14/2023
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