Athletics Handbook

Athletic Training Rules | General Rules | Administration of Training Rules and the Code of Conduct | Athletic Academic Policy | Concussion Management Plan

Northville Central School District Athletic Training Rules

Participation in any of the interscholastic sports at Northville is a privilege. We encourage participation in athletics because it provides our students with important lessons for life including self-discipline, teamwork, courage and responsibility. The Northville athletic program prides itself in the school’s motto of Expectations, Effort, and Excellence. Our community, the Western Athletic Conference, and Section 2, all have high standards in regard to sportsmanship and conduct. We expect our students, coaches and fans to uphold these standards at all times. Northville has had a fine tradition, as well as a high regarded reputation in interscholastic sports. The following rules of conduct have been developed for all student-athletes. Parents are requested to do all they can to support the training rules and help their son or daughter to live up to these rules.

A. Drinking, Smoking and the Use of Non-Prescription Drugs

  1. Rule – During the season of practice, play or rehearsal, a student shall not (1) use or possess a beverage containing alcohol; (2) use or possess tobacco; (3) use or consume, have in possession, buy, sell or give away any controlled substance defined by law as a drug; (4) be at a party where others are drinking or smoking or using drugs – the student’s only choice is to leave. It is not a violation for a student to be in possession of a legally defined drug specifically prescribed for the student’s own use by his/her doctor.
  2. Penalties – Penalties shall be cumulative beginning with and throughout the student’s participation in interscholastic athletics for the current school year.
    If an athlete recognizes that he/she has an alcohol/drug problem, he/she may seek help from the coach without being removed from the team. The coach will direct the athlete to someone who can counsel or treat him/her for the problem. The relationship between the student and the counselor will be confidential. Should the coach become aware of the fact that the student continues to use/abuse alcohol/drugs/tobacco in violation of the training rules then he/she will be removed from the team and given advice as to where counseling can be obtained.

    1. First Violation – The student must agree to counseling. When the student agrees to counseling, he/she will be suspended from game play for 10% of the season or one week, whichever is greater (to be determined by the Athletic Director). The student will be required to attend all practices while on game suspension. Counseling will continue until the counselor feels that the treatment is successful. If the student does not agree to counseling, he/she will be suspended from the team.
    2. Second Violation – After confirmation of the second or subsequent violation, the student shall lose eligibility for the remainder of that season. After the second or subsequent violation, participation in subsequent seasons will depend on continuing counseling.

B. Quitting a Team

Some individuals trying out for a team may be unfamiliar with that sport and may desire to drop out before the first game or meet. Any student-athlete however, who quits a team after the first game or meet or is dismissed for disciplinary reasons, may not participate in any other sport during that season or the next season that they are interested in participating.

C. School Discipline

Athletes who are internally or externally suspended from school will not be permitted to practice, play in a game, or participate during their suspension. If the suspension carries over a weekend, the athlete may not participate in contests scheduled over the weekend. If a student is sent out of class, chooses to leave class to go to the office, or is given a lunch detention or after-school detention, they will be ineligible to participate in that day’s athletic events. If a student referral is written, the student-athlete will be ineligible to participate on the day the referral is processed by the middle school/high school office.

D. Citizenship

Any athlete in difficulty with outside authorities may be ineligible (at the discretion of the Superintendent) to participate on any team during the season the infraction occurs. Repeated offenses may result in the ineligibility for the entire school year.

E. Code of Conduct

Team Standard – In addition to the regular school policies that are in effect at all times, athletes must:

  1. Attend all practices and contests unless excused by the coach.
  2. Demonstrate respect for fellow teammates, coaches, game officials and opponents.
  3. Demonstrate control over emotions and speech.
  4. Present a clean, neat appearance in personal grooming. Team members should be dressed in suitable attire as determined by the coach.
  5. Ride the team bus to and from all away athletic contests. Alternately, the parent or guardian may personally request in writing permission to transport their son or daughter. This must be approved by the Jr./Sr. Principal and the Athletic Director prior to the contest.

F. Attendance

Students must be in attendance all day in school and on time in order to participate in that day’s athletic activities. If a student is tardy for school without a legal excuse, they will be ineligible for that day’s athletic events. Students may miss part of the school day due to verifiable excused absences for such reasons as medical and dental appointments, college visitations and religious observances and still be allowed to participate in that day’s athletic and/or extracurricular activities. However, any absences or tardiness due to illness will result in students being prohibited from participating in that day’s athletic activity. Students must also participate in physical education class the day of a practice or contest assuming they have the class that day. Failure to participate in physical education class will result in students being prohibited from participating in that day’s athletic events.

G. Hazing

New York State law strictly forbids hazing or conduct unbecoming in any form, including initiation, which is degrading. No student shall conspire to engage in hazing, participate in hazing or commit any act that causes or is likely to cause bodily danger, physical harm, personal degradation or disgrace, resulting in physical or mental harm to any fellow student or other person. It is understood that hazing of any kind is not allowed at this school or athletics. It is further understood that we have a duty to report any acts of hazing that we see or know of to a coach or administrator. Participation in or failure to report any hazing will result in disciplinary review and possible suspension and dismissal from the athletic program.

H. Illness & Injury

If a student is absent part of the school day due to personal illness or injury, he or she will NOT be permitted to practice or play in a game scheduled that day or night (or Saturday if a Friday absence), however, he or she must sit the bench at practice or that day’s game or it will be counted as an illegal absence. Any illegal absences from a partial or a full school day shall count as ineligible to practice or play. Sitting a practice or game for the above reason shall result in loss of playing time in the next game as well. The amount of time is to be determined by the coach. Three unexcused absences from a practice or a game will result in removal from the team. Consequences for prior offenses will be determined by the head coach.

I. Family Vacations

When parents and students choose to take family vacations during the sport seasons, it must be understood that time missed by the student athlete can affect team chemistry and personal conditioning. Coaches shall make every effort to inform parents and students of the season’s schedule as far in advance as possible. Student-athletes who miss practices or competition for any reason may have their position or playing time adjusted and must practice one (1) day for every two (2) days of practices/games missed before competitive eligibility is restored. Coaches shall make every effort to inform parents and student-athletes of the season’s schedule as far in advance as possible. Please note: A student-athlete’s absence(s) during the season may have an impact on the decision to be selected for the team.

J. Leaving Practice Early

A student athlete must be at practice a minimum of 45 minutes to count as a practice. A practice is defined as an intense physical workout consisting of skills and conditioning drills with teammates of an equal or greater level.

K. Academic Policy

Students are required to follow the Northville Central School District’s Athletic Academic Policy. Please refer to that policy for academic rules and expectations. Failure to abide by the academic policy will result in ineligibility and/or removal from the team.

General Rules

A. Athletic Equipment, Facilities and Property

  1. All equipment that is issued must be returned at the end of the sport season. Each athlete will be held financially responsible for all equipment issued. He/she should not expect managers, coaches or others to assume that obligation. Students not turning in equipment will not be allowed to participate in athletics in the future until all equipment is returned or paid for.
  2. Equipment issued to a player is to be used only for that purpose for which it is intended in practice or in contests. No part of any uniform or equipment is to be used in physical education classes or in any other way unless specific permission has been granted in advance for a school-sponsored program other than a regular class.
  3. Squad members are expected to refrain from willfully or carelessly damaging equipment, facilities or property whether at home or on trips.
  4. Missing or misused equipment will be charged to the individual responsible for it, and he will be required to make restitution. No awards will be granted to anyone who has not been cleared for equipment.
  5. Any player found to be in possession of unauthorized equipment (Northville or any other school’s) will be suspended from the squad. He/she will not be permitted to retain the article, or articles, and in the case of other school’s property, he/she shall return it and make an appropriate apology. Trading of school equipment is prohibited.
  6. Unauthorized possession of property may make one subject to arrest and/or legal action.

B. Physical Examination

  1. All athletes shall pass a physical examination, conducted by the school physician, before they participate in any sport.
  2. An athlete who is absent from school for more than five (5) days because of injury or sickness must be re-examined by the school physician before resuming practice or participation in a game.

Administration of Training Rules and the Code of Conduct

  1. The coach will have a private conference with the athlete to determine if a rule has been violated.
  2. If, in his/her opinion, a violation has occurred, the coach will make a recommendation to the Athletic Director.
  3. The Athletic Director and coach will meet with the Principal. If he/she feels a violation has occurred, he/she will assess the appropriate penalty and notify the athlete and the parents of the decision.
  4. The parents may appeal the decision of the Principal to the Superintendent.
  5. If they are unhappy with the decision of the Superintendent, they may request a hearing before the Board of Education.

Parents and supporters of the Northville athletics must realize that any interference with a game (athletes, coaches or officials) can result in disciplinary action taken by the Northville Central School District or Section 2 Athletics. Acceptable and appropriate sportsmanship is a fundamental component of our athletic program and we will help insure that our athletes and parents always exhibit such exemplary conduct. Parents are advised to direct questions and concerns about their student athlete to the following individuals in their listed order: (1) Team Coach; (2) Northville Athletic Director; (3) High School Principal.

Do not approach coaches before, during or after any practice or team competition. To meet with a coach, please schedule an appointment first by contacting the coach; if unsuccessful, contact the Athletic Director or the school.

A large number of boys and girls are participating in interscholastic sports activities at Northville Central School. Anyone who participates in any type of athletic activity in which the body is in motion or an object is in motion is exposing himself/herself to injury. The injury may be minor or severe. Most injuries are mild, but each year a few serious injuries such as paralysis or death do occur in athletics.

The school provides every possible safeguard to the health and safety of the student athlete; but even with improved equipment and new safety standards, the risk of injury is present and always will be.

Athletes and parents must realize and appreciate the fact that even though the athlete is provided the best facilities and supervision, (and supervised activities are safer than unsupervised activities), there is still a risk of injury.

By signing the permission slip, you are acknowledging the fact that you are aware that the risk of injury in athletics may be severe, including risk of fracture, brain damage/concussion, paralysis, or even death.

Northville Central School District Athletic Academic Policy

The major goals of the Academic Eligibility Policy are to increase student performance and reduce student failure while participating in extracurricular athletics. All Modified, Junior Varsity and Varsity student­-athletes must adhere to this policy in order to remain eligible to participate in interscholastic athletics at the Northville Central School District.

  • Once the failing list goes into effect (see dates on the back), the students who are failing are put on athletic/academic probation for one week. The student-athlete can participate in practice and/or games until the progress report is submitted for review by the Athletic Director (by Friday of that week by 1:00 pm).
  • Failing one class
    • The student-athlete will be suspended from all participation for the week, but MUST attend all practices and/or games. The student-athlete must complete the progress report for that week and submit it for review by the Athletic Director (by Friday of that week by 1:00 pm) to be eligible to participate the following week. The student will repeat the progress report until the next failing list is distributed.
      • Failure to complete and submit the progress report for the week by the deadline will result in an automatic suspension for the student athlete from play for an additional week. If an athlete fails to hand in the progress report for 3 consecutive weeks they will be dismissed from the team.
  • Failing two or more classes
    • The student-athlete will be suspended from all participation for the week, but MUST attend all practices and/or games. In addition to the suspension, the student athlete must complete and submit an athletic contract to the coach and athletic director by Friday. The student athlete must also complete the progress report for that week and submit it for review by the Athletic Director (by Friday of that week by 1:00 pm) to be eligible to participate the following week.
      • Failure to complete and submit the athletic contract to BOTH the coach and Athletic Director by the deadline will result in an automatic suspension for the student-athlete from play for an additional week.
  • If a student is sent out of class, chooses to leave class to go to the office, or is given a lunch detention or after-school detention, they will be ineligible to participate in that day’s athletic events. If a student referral is written, the student-athlete will be ineligible to participate on the day the referral is processed by the middle school/high school office.

Northville Central School Concussion Management Plan

The Board of Education of the Northville Central School District recognizes that concussions and head injuries are commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreational activity and can have serious consequences if not managed carefully.

Therefore the District policy will be to support the proper evaluation and management of head injuries as per the Northville Central School District Concussion Management Plan in accordance with sound medical practice and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. Concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury. Concussion occurs when normal brain functioning is disrupted by a blow or jolt to the head. Recovery from concussion will vary. Avoiding re-injury and over-exertion until fully recovered are the cornerstones of proper concussion management. While district staff will exercise reasonable care to protect students, head injuries may still occur. Physical education teachers, coaches, nurses and other appropriate staff will receive training to recognize the signs, symptoms and behaviors consistent with a concussion. Any student exhibiting those signs, symptoms or behaviors while participating in a school sponsored class, extracurricular activity or interscholastic athletic activity shall be removed from the game or activity and be evaluated as soon as possible by an appropriate health care professional.

The Northville Central School District School Nurse or the Head Coach will notify the student’s parents or guardians and recommend appropriate monitoring to parents or guardians. If a student sustains a concussion at a time other than when engaged in a school-sponsored activity, the district expects the parent/legal guardian to report the condition to the Athletic Director and School Nurse so that the district can support the appropriate management of the condition. The student shall not return to school or the physical activity until authorized to do so by an appropriate health care professional. The school’s chief medical officer will make the final decision on return to activity, including physical education class and after-school sports. Any student who continues to have or has a reoccurrence of signs or symptoms upon return to the activity must be removed from play and reevaluated by their health care provider. If previously cleared, the athlete must be dropped back to the previous step in the return to play protocol. The return to activity/play will be allowed according to the protocol or at the advisement of the chief school medical officer.


Concussion education will be provided for all physical education teachers, coaches, school nurses and athletic trainers. Education of parents will be accomplished through preseason meetings for sports and/or information sheets provided to parents. Education will include, but not be limited to the definition of concussion, signs and symptoms of concussion, how concussions may occur, why concussions are not detected with CT Scans or MRI’s, management of the injury and the protocol for return to school and return to activity or interscholastic athletics. The protocols will cover all students returning to school after suffering a concussion regardless if the accident occurred outside of school or while participating in a school activity.

Concussion Management Team

The District has assembled a concussion management team (CMT). The CMT will consist of John Karbowski, Charlotte Kalkbrenner, Samuel Ratti, Jon Goodemote and Karen Izzo. The District’s CMT will coordinate training for all administrators, teachers, coaches and parents. Training will be mandatory for all coaches, assistant coaches and volunteer coaches that work with these student athletes regularly. In addition, information related to concussions will also be included at parent meetings or in information provided to parents at the beginning of sports seasons. Parents need to be aware of the school district’s policy and how these injuries will ultimately be managed by school officials and will sign acknowledgement to verify that it has been read and understood.

Training will include: signs and symptoms of concussions, post concussion and second impact syndromes, return to play and school protocols, and available area resources for concussion management and treatment. Particular emphasis should be placed on the fact that no athlete will be allowed to return to play the day of injury and also that all athletes should obtain appropriate medical clearance prior to returning to play or school.

The CMT will act as a liaison for any student returning to school and/or play following a concussion. The CMT will review and/or design an appropriate plan for the student while the student is recovering.

Concussion Management Protocol

Return to play

Return to play following a concussion involves a stepwise progression once the individual is symptom free. There are many risks to premature return to play including: a greater risk for a second concussion because of a lower concussion threshold, second impact syndrome (abnormal brain blood flow that can result in death), exacerbation of any current symptoms, and possibly increased risk for additional injury due to alteration in balance. These NYSPHAA current return to play recommendations are based on the most recent international expert opinion. No student athlete should return to play while symptomatic. Students are prohibited from returning to play the day the concussion is sustained. If there is any doubt as to whether a student has sustained a concussion, it should be treated as a concussion. Once the student athlete is symptom free at rest for 24 hours and has a signed release by the treating clinician, she/he may begin the return to play progression below (provided there are no other mitigating circumstances).

Day 1: Light aerobic activity

Day 2: Sport-specific activity

Day 3: Non-contact training drills

Day 4: Full contact practice

Day 5: Return to play

Each step should take 24 hours so that an athlete would take approximately one week to proceed through the full rehabilitation protocol once they are asymptomatic at rest and with provocative exercise. If any post concussion symptoms occur while in the stepwise program, then the student should drop back to the previous asymptomatic level and try to progress again after a further 24-hour period of rest has passed.

If you have any questions or concerns about the Northville Central School’s Concussion Management Plan, please contact Athletic Director John Karbowski at or (518) 863-7000 ext. 4111 or the School Nurse, Charlotte Kalkbrenner at or (518) 863-7000 ext. 4126.