Policy Details Page
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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 his/her designee may approve a partial or full waiver of premiums to permit all students to obtain the required medical insurance.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Each student participating in interscholastic athletics or cheerleading activities is required to purchase an activity ticket (ASB card). 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
- Participants will be issued equipment that has been properly maintained and fitted.
- 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:
- Instruct participants
The coach should employ the current methods or proper instruction using sound progression in presenting motor skills.
- Warn participants
The coach should inform all athletes and their parents/legal guardians of the inherent risks involved in participation in the particular sport. The coach must describe, using a variety of methods, the catastrophic and common noncatastrophic injuries unique to the sport.
- Supervise participants
The daily plan should show 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.
- 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.
- Maintain records of injuries
A report should be completed for each accident. Injury reports should be maintained for a period of one year after the student’s 21st birthday.
- Evaluate the fitness of participants
The coach has a duty to evaluate the physical fitness, the medical condition and the skill level of athletes.
- 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.
- 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.
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 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 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.
- Participation in a high school commercial summer camp, clinic or other similar types of activity, 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. Middle school students’ participation in a high school commercial summer camp, clinic or other similar types 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. The school should announce by the school bulletin that summer sports camp/clinic is neither endorsed nor sponsored by the district.
- 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).
- The use of the school bulletin board, public address system or school newspaper for promotional purposes to announce sports clinics/camps shall fall within the same guidelines as applied to other commercial endeavors.
- School facilities to be used for summer activity and/or sports camps may be rented consistently with the rates, rules, and regulations applicable for other commercial uses.
- A user shall hold the district free from and without harm from any loss or damage, liability or expense that may arise during, or be caused in any way by, such use of school facilities. Authorization for use of school facilities shall not be considered as endorsement or approval of the activity group or organization nor for the purposes it represents.
Middle School Athletic Eligibility Requirements
Students must be passing all classes with a C grade or higher in each class throughout the season to be eligible to participate in inter-school 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/trimester only. Students in the second semester/trimester of grade nine who receive more than one failing mark 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.
- Maintain a 2.0 GPA.
- Receive no more than one failing mark in the preceding semester/trimester.
- A student with a cumulative 2.5 GPA or better (prior to falling below a 2.0 in any one semester/trimester) is eligible to participate in activities even though the student earned less than a 2.0 in that previous semester/trimester. If subsequent grade checks during the activity show the student to have fallen below a 2.0 GPA, he/she will be ineligible.
All students must be enrolled in a minimum of 5 classes each semester/trimester to be eligible for athletic activities. Running Start students must be enrolled in the equivalent of a minimum of five (5) full-time classes each semester/quarter to be eligible for athletic activities.
The eligibility requirements for grading are defined as follows:
- 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.
Transcript grade marks from the previous semester/trimester will determine a student’s initial eligibility. Grade marks earned at summer school will be included in the previous semester’s transcript grade marks.
The ineligibility of the student not meeting the requirements will be in effect from the end of the previous semester/trimester through the last Saturday of September for fall activities and the first five (5) weeks of the athletic season for winter and spring activities. If, at the end of the academic suspension period, a formal progress report for the student reflects that he/she is meeting the requirements, he/she may then be reinstated for interscholastic competition. If the student does not meet the requirements by the end of the academic suspension period, the student will remain ineligible for the remainder of the sports season.
Students ineligible based upon the school’s regular grading cycle of formal progress reports and/or midterm grade reports will be placed on probation. Students will remain on probation until they are able to meet the requirements via a formal progress report. If upon presentation of the formal progress report the student-athlete is found to meet the requirements, he/she may then be reinstated for interscholastic competition. Only one progress report will be allowed per week. If the student does not meet the requirements, he/she will remain ineligible and on probation. If the student has not met the requirements by the end of his/her third (3) week of probation, the student will remain ineligible for the remainder of the sports season. Students placed on academic suspension or probation will be allowed to practice but not to compete.
Fall Athletic Eligibility
- The transcript grade marks from the previous spring semester/trimester will determine a student’s initial eligibility.
- Each school’s regular grading cycle of formal progress reports and/or midterm grade reports will be used to determine eligibility for the remainder of the fall sports season.
Winter Athletic Eligibility
- The transcript grade marks from the previous spring semester/trimester will determine a student’s initial eligibility.
- Each school’s regular grading cycle of formal progress reports and/or midterm grade reports will also be used to determine eligibility during the winter sports season.
- Grades will be checked for all students still active in a sport at the end of the first semester/trimester using the first semester's / trimester’s transcript grade marks.
Spring Athletic Eligibility
- Transcript grade marks from the previous fall semester/trimester will determine a student’s initial eligibility.
- Each school’s regular grading cycle of formal progress reports and/or midterm grade reports will be used to determine eligibility for the remainder of 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 a written notification to the Director of Athletics and Activities.
The following rules govern the athletic eligibility of students transferring:
- 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. Requests for a transfer of athletic eligibility only (from his/her 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 in which the resident school is involved be first addressed according to district policy.
This process includes students entering their 9th-grade year. If a transfer of athletic eligibility is granted by the District, the student will still be subject to the WIAA transfer eligibility process in order to participate in varsity competition or will be limited to junior varsity competition for one calendar year.
- 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:
- Have and maintain a 2.5 GPA in all formal progress reports and/or midterm, semester or trimester grade reports.
- Receive no failing grades;
- 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 or trimester 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:
- 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.
- Use, sale and/or possession of tobacco
A student who is found to use, sell and/or be in possession of tobacco 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.
- 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 a school eligibility board 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.
- 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 offenses: removal from the activity for five (5) school days.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Absence from practice
A student is expected to be in attendance at all team/activity practices unless excused for illness or by prior approval.
- 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 a 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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 activities 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.
- The aggrieved party may appeal to the superintendent of schools or his/her 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.
- 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.
Revised: 6/10/08, 5/15/15
- interscholastic activities
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