The Board of Education recognizes the value of a program of athletic competition for both boys and girls as an integral part of the total school experience. Game activities and practice sessions provide opportunities to learn the values of competition and good sportsmanship. Programs of athletic competition, both intrascholastic and interscholastic, offer pupils the opportunity to exercise and test their athletic abilities in a context greater and more varied than that offered by the class or school or school district alone, and an opportunity for career and educational development.

For purposes of this policy, the programs of athletic competition includes all activities relating to competitive sports contests, games, events, or sports exhibitions involving individual pupils or teams of pupils when such events occur within or between schools within this district or with any schools outside this district. The programs athletic competition shall include, but are not limited to, high school interscholastic athletic programs, middle school interscholastic athletic programs where school teams or squads play teams or squads from other school districts, and/or intramural athletic programs within a school or among schools in the district and any cheerleading program or activity in the school district.

Eligibility Standards

A pupil who wishes to participate in a program of athletic competition must submit, on a form provided by the district, the signed consent of his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s). The consent of the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of a pupil who wishes to participate in a program of athletic competition athletics must include an acknowledgment of the physical hazards that may be encountered in the activity.

Pupil participation in a program of athletic competition shall be governed by the following eligibility standards:

To be eligible for participation in the interscholastic athletic program of a New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) member school, all high school pupils must meet, at a minimum, all the eligibility requirements of the Constitution, Bylaws, and Rules and Regulations of the NJSIAA. Home schooled children are eligible to participate in the high school interscholastic athletic program of this district only if the school district, the parent/guardian, and the home schooled child comply with the Guidelines, Constitution, Bylaws, Rules and Regulations of NJSIAA, and the policies and regulations of the Board of Education.

A pupil in grades five through eight is eligible for participation in school district sponsored programs or athletic competition if he/she passed all courses required for promotion in the preceding marking period.

A pupil who has been absent for a school day may not participate in school district sponsored programs of athletic competition scheduled for the afternoon or evening of that school day.

A pupil in any grade who fails to observe school rules for pupil conduct may forfeit his/her eligibility for participation in school district sponsored athletic competition.

Notice of the school district’s eligibility requirements shall be available to pupils.

Health requirements

Good physical condition, freedom from injury, and full recovery from illness are the prerequisites for participation in school district sponsored programs of athletic competition. Information concerning a pupil’s HIV/AIDS status shall not be required as part of the medical examination or health history pursuant to N.J.S.A. 26:5C-1 et seq. Pupils enrolled in grades six to twelve must receive a medical examination prior to participation in school-sponsored interscholastic or intramural programs of athletic competition and any cheerleading program or activity.

A medical examination is the assessment of an individual’s health status. The examination shall be conducted within 365 days prior to the first practice session with examinations being conducted at the medical home of the pupil. The “medical” home is defined as a health care provider and that provider’s practice site chosen by the pupil’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) for the provision of health care. If a pupil does not have a medical home, the school district shall provide this examination at the school physician’s office or comparably equipped facility.

The parent(s) or legal guardian(s) may choose either the school physician or their own private physician to provide this medical examination.

The findings of this examination shall be documented on a form that is approved by the Commissioner of Education and shall include: immunizations pursuant to N.J.A.C. 8:57-4.1 through 4.16; medical history including allergies, past serious illnesses, injuries, operations, medications, and current health problems; health screenings including height, weight, hearing, blood pressure, and vision; and physical examinations. A physical examination is the examination of the body by a professional licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy or an advanced practice nurse.

The medical examination shall also include a health history questionnaire completed and signed by the parent or legal guardian. A health history is a record of a person’s past health events provided by the individual, a parent or legal guardian, or health care provider.

The report of health findings of the medical examination for participation shall be documented on the Athletic Preparticipation Physical Examination Form approved by the Commissioner of Education to determine whether the pupil had or currently has any of the health conditions outlined in N.J.A.C. 6A:16-2.2(h)1.ii(1) since their last physical.

The medical examination shall be conducted in accordance with N.J.S.A. 6A:16-2.2. The medical report shall include, at a minimum, normalities as outlined in N.J.C.C. 6A:16-2.2(h)1.ii(2). The medical report shall be provided to the school physician if the school physician did not conduct the medical examination.

This medical report shall indicate whether the pupil is allowed or disallowed to participate in a program of athletic competition and must be completed and signed by the original examining physician, advanced practice nurse, or physician’s assistant. A form that is incomplete shall be returned to the pupil’s medical home for completion. A pupil that does not have a completed Athletic Preparticipation Physical Examination Form shall not be permitted to participate.

If the pupil’s medical examination was completed more than sixty days prior to the first practice session, the pupil must provide a health history update of medical problems experienced since the last medical examination in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:16-2.2(h)41.iii. This health history update must be completed and signed by the parent(s) or legal guardian(s).

The school district will provide written notification to the parent(s) or legal guardian(s), signed by the school physician, stating approval of the pupil’s participation in the athletics, based solely on the medical report, or the written reasons for the school physician’s disapproval of the pupil’s participation. The school physician’s signature on the notification indicates the medical report complies with the requirements of N.J.A.C. 6A:16-2.2(h) iv.

The health findings of this medical examination shall be maintained as part of the pupil’s health record.

Emergency Procedures

Athletic coaches shall be trained in first aid, CPR/AED, to include sports-related concussion and head injuries, the use of defibrillator, the identification of pupil athletes who are injured or disabled in the course of any athletic program or activity, and any other first aid procedures or other health related trainings required by law or the Superintendent.

The Superintendent shall prepare and present to the Board for its approval procedures for the emergency treatment of injuries and disabilities that occur in the course of any athletic program or activity (see Policy 8441 – Care of Injured and Ill Persons). Emergency procedures shall be reviewed not less than once in each school year and shall be disseminated to appropriate staff members.

Interscholastic Standards

The Board shall approve annually a program of interscholastic athletics and shall require that all facilities utilized in that program, whether or not the property of this Board, properly safeguard both players and spectators and are kept free from hazardous conditions.

The Board adopts as Board policy the rules and regulations of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association and shall review such rules annually to ascertain that they continue to be in conformity with the objectives of this Board.

The Superintendent shall annually prepare, approve, and present to the Board for its consideration a program of interscholastic athletics that includes a complete schedule of athletic events and practices and shall inform the Board of changes in that schedule as they occur.

N.J.S.A. 2C:21-11;

N.J.S.A. 18A:11-3 et seq.

N.J.A.C. 6A:7-1.7; 6A:16-1.4; 6A:16-2 et seq.

Revised: November 2008

Revised: September 2012

Revised: October 2013