Expectations for Athletes
In cooperation with CHSAA, Estes Park Middle School requires that students have no more than 1 F during the week of eligibility and must be passing 5 classes. In addition, students must attend 100% of the regular school day to practice, travel, or compete in any team-related activity. Issues that do arise can be excused and eligibility can be reinstated by the building principal or athletic director.
All student athletes must be registered in PowerSchool and have an up-to-date sports physical in order to participate. There will be a free sports physical clinic in August. Contact coaches directly for more information.
In order to participate in athletics (practices or games) for the day, the student cannot have any unexcused absences from school.
What about attending practices? And what about absence the day of an event?
In addition, each student must have had a minimum practice period of 3 days in their sport(s) (9 days for football) before representing their school in an interscholastic contest or scrimmage.
To enhance and elevate the educational experiences students receive at Estes Park School District beyond the classroom.
The Estes Park School District R-3 supports the philosophy that a quality interscholastic athletic program is vital to the positive social, physical, and educational development of students. The interscholastic athletic program enhances and supports the academic mission of the school system. We are committed to promoting the proper ideals of sportsmanship, ethical conduct, and fair play at all athletic contests. We support high standards of good citizenship and propriety, along with regard for the rights of others.
Being a member of the interscholastic program is a privilege to be earned and maintained throughout the season. Each time participants step into a school or onto the practice field and competition, they are expected to represent themselves, their family, team and school in a responsible, sportsmanlike manner.
It is our responsibility to provide challenging opportunities for our student-athletes to compete successfully at the local, regional and state levels.
We will also encourage and promote:
The belief that athletes should participate in multiple sports and not specialize in any one specific sport.
The concept of the broadest-based participation possible by offering all of the teams which we can (varsity, sub-varsity), and extending the opportunity to participate to as many students as possible.
The premise that all teams are considered vital for our student-athletes and each is a valued part of our athletic program. No one sport is considered more important than any other.
The approach that all teams are treated as fairly as possible.
- Sportsmanship Statement
- Athletics Chain of Command
- Expressing a Concern
- Code of Conduct for Fans
- Ejection Policy
- Responsibilities of an Athlete
- Responsibilities of a Coach
- Eligibility Requirements
- Participation on an Athletic Team
- Selection Processes
- Sub-Varsity Teams
- Practices and Games
- Club Sports and Outside Competition
- Substance Use/Abuse
- Risks of Athletic Participation
- Weather Guidelines
- Uniforms and Equipment Use
- Awards and Lettering
- Overnight Trips
- Team Travel
Good Sportsmanship is the attitude and behavior that exemplifies positive support for the interscholastic athletic program, as well as for the individuals who participate in the program. EPSD Athletic Programs participants at all levels are expected to demonstrate qualities that are characterized by fair play, integrity, ethical behavior and respect. Emphasizing and improving the sportsmanship of our student-athletes, coaches, parents and staff is one of our highest priorities. Each coach, student, parent, and staff member has a role and responsibility to model and teach good sportsmanship while keeping in mind that athletic participation is a learning experience for the student and the programs are an extension of the educational system offered within our school district.
- Display pride and respect in your programs at all times.
- Maintain enthusiasm and composure.
- Positively support and respect the participants, coaches, and officials.
- Exercise good judgment in cheering for outstanding performance, not against opponents or to ridicule an error made by those on the field.
- Follow the cheerleaders in positive cheers to show support for the participants.
- Respect decisions made by contest officials.
- Understand that a ticket represents a privilege to observe and positively support amateur athletes.
- Encourage surrounding fans to display only positive sportsmanlike conduct.
- Show respect and concern for an injured player, regardless of team.
At Estes Park School District, the following chain of command in in effect:
If there are any questions or concerns involving some aspect of our athletic program, the athlete should first contact the appropriate coach. If there is no resolution, they would then go to the head coach. If there is still no resolution, the athletic director will facilitate a meeting, but only after the appropriate chain of command has been followed.
When expressing questions or concern with a coach, please refer to and use the following guidelines
Never approach a coach immediately after a contest. This is not the proper time or place for a discussion concerning your student-athlete or the team. Please wait 24-hours to communicate with the coach. This will eliminate some emotion from competition and ensure a more productive conversation.
Call or email the following day to make an appointment which is convenient for both you and the coach. In-person meetings are most productive, as intent and tone can get lost through text messages and email.
Raise your questions or concerns in a calm and civil manner.
Both parents and coaches should listen and seek to understand.
If a resolution is not agreed upon, the coach will inform the athletic director of the situation and the athletic director will facilitate a meeting.
Since athletics should be educational in nature, it is important that all parents demonstrate good sportsmanship and serve as role models for our athletes and students. Sportsmanship is an overt display of respect for the rules of sport and for all others – players, coaches, officials and fans. It also involves a commitment to fair play, ethical behavior and integrity. This means-
There can be no vulgar or inappropriate language from our fans or spectators.
Taunting or trash talking toward our opponents and their fans will not be tolerated.
Spectators cannot leave the bleachers or enter competition spaces during a contest.
Fans should be supportive and positive. Cheering should be done for our team and not against our opponent.
Parents should not openly question coaching decisions during contests or direct blame on specific members of the team.
Fans should not impede or interfere with our opponent’s cheerleaders from leading their cheers.
In some specific sports, such as basketball and volleyball, we should not yell while an opponent takes a foul shot or as a player attempts to serve.
We will adhere to all CHSAA ejection rules for contests and will allow coaches to make judgements on egregious violations of conduct policies.
An athlete who is ejected from a game for unsportsmanlike conduct or fight will not be allowed to participate in the next contest.
A substitute who leaves the team’s designated area and enters the contest area during a fight will be ejected.
The second time an athlete is disqualified in the same sport or any other sport during the school year, the penalty will be doubled.
The third time an athlete is disqualified in the same sport or any other sport during the school year shall result in immediate dismissal from the team for the remainder of the school season. The offending athlete shall be prohibited from any further participation in the interscholastic program for the remainder of the school year. Interscholastic participation by such individuals in subsequent school years may be jeopardized and will be judged on a case-by-case basis.
An ejection or disqualification prevents a player from attending the next regularly scheduled contest. This includes riding the bus, being in the locker room, on the sidelines, the bench, the stands, or anywhere on the contest site.
Any player who physically assaults an official, coach, player or spectator shall be immediately dismissed from the team for the remainder of the season.
Once a player has been disqualified, appeals from a coach, player, official, or other party will not be honored.
The team’s goals, welfare, and success must come before any individual.
An athlete needs to consistently attend practice sessions. This also includes weekend and holiday periods.
Players must be receptive to coaching.
Team members are responsible for all issued uniforms and equipment.
As a member of a team, an athlete must agree to and follow the team rules. Athletes need to remember that they are ambassadors and represent not only themselves, but also the coaching staff and the school.
If injured, an athlete must report all injuries to a member of the coaching staff. It is vital that treatment is received and the proper rehabilitation program is followed in all treatment of injuries. If a coach is not made aware of an injury or medical condition that can severely injure or harm an athlete, the ability for the coach to help protect that student athlete is greatly impacted.
Selection of the team
Determines style of play, including the offensive and defensive philosophy
Teaches and instructs at practice sessions
Determines who starts and how long an athlete plays in a contest
Decides who plays in what position
Establishes team rules and expectations
Selects team captains
Selects team managers
Establishes the requirements to earn a letter
Maintains records of uniform and equipment inventory
Communicates concerns and needs to the athletic director
Communicates with student athletes regarding eligibility
Communicates with athletes and parents with respect to when practice sessions will be held, and when the sessions will start and finish
In order for any student-athlete to be eligible to participate, they must meet several requirements set by CHSAA and the Estes Park School District. Estes Park Schools have the right to set different requirements as long as they are not more lenient than those set by CHSAA.
Students who represent Estes Park School District R-3 are required to meet standards of personal behavior, in addition to standards of academic performance. A student may be declared ineligible for a specific period of time if, in the judgment of the school administration, the student is not representative of the school’s ideals in matters of conduct and sportsmanship. Parents will be notified of their child’s behavioral ineligibility by the school office. To appeal a decision, the student, with parents/guardians or legal custodian, may schedule a conference with the Principal/Designee.
In order to gain and maintain eligibility, every student:
- Must be enrolled in courses which offer, in aggregate, a minimum of 2.5 Academic Units of credit. Be a full-time student and must pursue a minimum four year program as outlined in Estes Park School District policy, as well as CHSAA By-laws, which can be found in the office of the Athletic Director. Exceptions include home school students that live in the district, or students who attend another high school that does not offer a sport/activity that Estes Park offers.
Must attend at least 100% of the regular school day to travel, practice, or compete in any team related activity. Issues that do arise, such as doctor’s appointments, family functions, etc. can be excused and eligibility can be reinstated by the building principal or athletic director.
A completed athletic participation packet must be completed and on file with the athletic director (PowerSchool). This packet includes the medical evaluation form with a current physical, student eligibility form, acknowledgement form for code of conduct rules and standards handbook, Bobcat athletic warning statement, athletic injury/ emergency card and a completed concussion baseline test.
CHSAA Semester Eligibility Requirements: Must not be failing more than the equivalent of one-half (0.5) Academic Units of credit. This means a student can not fail two or more classes in the previous semester. The district has chosen Plan A of the CHSAA bylaw 1710 and this is a CHSAA requirement. A student who finishes a semester with two or more failing grades will not be able to participate until the eligibility regain date set by CHSAA, which is about half-way into the following semester and can be found in the CHSAA bylaws.
Return all equipment. Any athlete who fails to either turn in, or make good on any equipment checked out to them will not be able to participate in the next season’s practices or events until they are cleared by the previous season’s head coach.
Estes Park School District Weekly Reports: Eligibility is pulled every Monday at noon when school is in session. The eligibility report comes into effect the following day (Tuesday) and will stay in effect through Monday of that same reporting period. This is the district’s weekly academic periodic check that has been chosen under CHSAA bylaw 1710. A student must not be failing more than the equivalent of one-half (0.5) Academic Units of credit during the reporting period. Ineligible students are not allowed to travel to away games on the bus. They will be required to provide their own transportation to away games, if they choose to attend. Students are not able to regain eligibility during the weekly periodic eligibility check as stated in the CHSAA bylaws.
If applicable, complete a transfer form through CHSAA. This is for students who are new to Estes Park High School and have participated in high school athletics before at another school. Please contact the athletic director if you think you may qualify.
It is important to understand that participation on an athletic team is a privilege and not a right. Being on and maintaining one’s membership on the team means accepting all the responsibilities of an athlete. However, unlike recreation or intramural teams, equal or guaranteed playing time does not exist. In an effort to compete at the highest level possible, a coach will use players best suited to the conditions or demands of the contest at that time.
While our ultimate goal is to promote the greatest athletic participation possible, it may be necessary in some sports or activities to cut members of a team. This may occur due to limitations of our facilities, regulations specific to some sports, travel restrictions, and other factors.
Every coach has the responsibility and authority for selecting their team. The criteria for selecting the team are developed by the coach and distributed ahead of tryouts.
It is important to remember that there are no guarantees. Players from the previous year’s JV team for example, do not automatically make either the JV or varsity team the following year. Having been a member of a team during the previous year or even being a senior does not ensure that an athlete will make the team.
Parents should expect that every candidate is treated fairly and given every consideration. Coaches are sensitive to feelings of disappointment and will handle the task as positively as possible. Coaches will also be available to answer athletes’ questions.
While we understand that being cut is disappointing for many athletes and even for their parents, we unfortunately cannot always keep everyone. Anyone cut from a team is welcome to try out again next season or to try another sport. When parents and athletes understand and support the coach’s decision, this difficult process becomes a less painful experience for all.
We have some activities that may have limitations in place where cutting members of a squad may be needed. We will do our best to include every student-athlete that wants to participate in our athletic programs in their particular sport.
There may be several good reasons for having captains of a team. These athletes may serve as positive role models, links between the team and the coach, and they certainly should be leaders. A good captain can be a real asset to the team and coaching staff.
While some coaches may allow their team to select captains, the ultimate responsibility lies with the coach. It is also important to understand that serving in the capacity of a captain is not reserved solely for seniors on a team, but rather this position is for the athlete who is best suited to filling the responsibilities.
Team Managers can be very helpful to coaches and athletes. Head coaches have ultimate responsibility in selecting team managers. Teams should not exceed two team managers, unless special permission is granted by the athletic director. An application/interview process will take place if more than two students are interested in being a team manager. Coaches may elect to not have team managers at all.
V Teams exist to provide those athletes who are unable to participate on the varsity squad an opportunity to develop skills and gain experience. While the athlete’s age, size, or skill level may be the limiting factor in not making the varsity team, participation on a JV team may enhance the athlete’s potential to make the varsity squad in the future.
A caution, however, must also be given. Being a member of a JV team does not guarantee that an athlete will automatically move up the following year to the varsity squad. The athletes best suited for varsity competition will make the squad each year.
Striving to win is important in athletics. However, compiling a great record or winning a championship should not be the primary objective of a JV team. The development of athletes should be the ultimate purpose of a JV squad, while at the same time acknowledging the value of winning, learning, and enjoying being a member of a team.
Practice sessions are open to spectators as long as there will be no interruptions or interference.
May last two hours or more
May start and end at different times due to the schedule of the coach or of our facilities. Check with the coach for the specific times.
Will not be held when school is dismissed early due to inclement weather
Will not be held when school is not in session due to inclement weather
May be held on Saturdays and over holiday periods
Spectators at games are very much encouraged. Positive and nurturing support of teams and athletes can be very helpful to performance in athletic contests.
Many student athletes participate in club sports and outside competition. This is permitted during the season as long as grades and attendance are not negatively affected. Students should get written permission from the principal in order to participate in club sports or outside competition during the season. Students should make school sports a priority during the season and should attend more school practices than club in a given week (Ex. If there are five practices, they should attend three.) School competition should always be given priority over club if the two conflict. Special arrangements may also be made between the coach and student that fall outside what is outlined above.
In athletic settings, some may view hazing as a harmless rite of initiation or an important activity for team bonding. However, it is actually a form of harassment and goes against school policy. A more complete explanation of harassment can be found in the student handbook.
Hazing, therefore, cannot and will not be condoned or permitted in the athletic program. This means on the field or courts, in the locker rooms, on the bus, or at any other activity in which athletes represent Estes Park School District.
It is expected that our student athletes refrain from smoking or using chewing tobacco products, using illegal drugs, drinking alcoholic beverages, or abusing prescription and non-prescription drugs and/or performance-enhancing substances. These substances would include over-the-counter diet pills, caffeine pills, Creatine, steroids, inhalants and human growth hormones. Failure to follow these guidelines can result in being suspended or removed from the team.
In spite of protective equipment, and the supervision and sound instruction by our coaches, there are some risks associated when someone participates in athletics. Injuries in our activities can and do occur. In extremely rare cases, serious, life altering injuries and death could also result. All athletes and parents need to be aware and understand this possibility. We will do all that we can to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our athletes. It is equally important that all participants (parents and athletes) understand that there is no way that we can avoid all injuries that can occur throughout a sports season.
Practices and competition will be canceled if school is closed for the day or after-school activities are canceled due to inclement weather.
Lightning delays of 30-minutes will occur after each lightning strike within 10-miles. Any subsequent thunder or lightning after the beginning of the 30-minute count will reset the clock and another 30-minute count should begin.
Coaches are responsible for issuing uniforms and equipment at the beginning of each season. All uniforms and equipment must be returned to the coach no later than the team’s end-of-season celebration or banquet. Unreturned uniforms and equipment will result in a student fine in the value of the missing items. It could also result in suspension from future seasons. Teams generally receive new uniforms on a 3 year rotation, or as needed.
Overnight trips are rare, but sometimes necessary. Teams traveling over two hours for competition and/or competing within a quick turnaround time may be eligible for overnight travel. Funding will generally come from the team’s fundraising account. Students may be asked to share the cost If sufficient funds are unavailable. Teams that qualify for postseason competition will be covered at 50% from district funds. This does not include non-qualifier postseason competition.
We are currently the only school district in our league that does not charge a registration fee for participating in sports. Therefore, there may be times when coaches may ask families to help cover specific costs. Certain sports require custom, non-returnable uniforms and equipment (Ex. swimming and cheerleading). Coaches will communicate any such fees at the beginning of each season. Financial assistance is available as needed.
Teams will be transported to away contests by either district buses, small vehicles or approved, private, bonded carriers. Athletes are expected to travel to and from these contests with their team, unless otherwise communicated by the head coach.
If there is a special reason to travel with parents, an athlete must present a signed note to their coach and the athletic director detailing this situation prior to travel.
Before an athlete leaves an away contest with parents, the parent should make contact with a coach to indicate that they are leaving and sign the district approved sign-out waiver. A waiver must be signed each time a student rides home with their parents. For safety and legal reasons, athletes may only leave with their parents and not with other relatives or friends. If, in the rare case, a student-athlete needs to ride home with another family, a prearranged form must be filled out one day prior to departure on the trip that is verified with the Athletics Director and Principal.
Whether to supplement the budget or to purchase additional discretionary items, fundraising in athletics has become increasingly important and in many cases necessary. All fundraising by all organizations, including athletics, is organized and approved by the administration. All athletics fundraising efforts should first go through the district’s request and approval process with the athletic director.