Athletic Handbook

Athletic Handbook


Interscholastic athletics is based on the concept of reward competition. Rewards (playing time) are distributed unequally to athletes on the team on the basis of performance among those participating in the activity.

Interscholastic athletics is not an entitlement program where you get to play because you were selected for the team. Opportunities will be presented at practice for you to develop and acquire mature sports movement patterns and team concepts. By learning to play hard at practice, you will be given a chance to demonstrate to the coach each and every day (not just on game day) the ability to work effectively in a team setting and make a contribution to the success of the team.

Absolutes in athletics:

  • Everyone will make mistakes;
  • Only some athletes can play at a time;
  • The coach determines who plays;
  • There is always a winner and a loser;
  • Your coach will coach to win the game.

    There is a registration fee to participate in the competitive athletic program offered by Grand Ledge Public Schools. This fee is $125.00 per sport for high school and middle school students. This fee will be paid on the first day of practice or tryouts. No student will be ineligible to participate in athletic programs solely due to inability to pay. Students/parents may complete an application for fee waiver by checking below. If requesting arrangement or fee waiver, the athlete will be allowed to practice while requests are considered and processed. Your money will be refunded if your child does not make the team – LACK OF PLAYING TIME WILL NOT BE A CRITERION FOR A REFUND.

    Athletic/Academic Eligibility/Rules and Regulations

    All parts of the student code of conduct apply to members of the athletic teams at both home and way contests. Where the “Athletic Handbook” is more appropriate to the demonstrated behaviors, the code of conduct will be enforced.

  • Age – High School students become ineligible if they reach their 19th birthday September 1 of a current school year.
  • Academic Eligibility/Trimester Records – Students must have passed at least four full credit subjects in the previous trimester of enrollment and currently must be passing four full credit courses with a G.P.A. of 1.6. For freshman students, eligibility begins on the day they start ninth grade.
  • Trimester of Enrollment – Students cannot be eligible in high school for more than 12 trimesters and the eleventh and twelfth trimesters must be consecutive. Students are allowed 4 first trimesters, 4 second trimesters, and 4 third trimesters of competition and cannot compete if they have graduated from high school.
  • Transfer of Students – A student in grades 9–12 who transfers to another school is not eligible to participate in an interscholastic contest for 1 full trimester unless the student qualifies for immediate eligibility under 1 or more of thirteen published exceptions. Students and parents anticipating a change of schools should first seek advice from their high school administration.
  • Undue Influence – The use of undue influence by any person directly or indirectly associated with a school to secure or encourage attendance of a student for athletic purposes shall cause the student to become ineligible for a minimum of one trimester.
  • Limited Team Membership – After practicing with or participating with high school teams, students cannot participate in any athletic competition not sponsored by his/her school in the sport during the same season. Students in individual sports may participate in a maximum of 2 non-school individual meets or contests during the school season while not representing their school.
  • All-Star Competition – Students shall not compete at any time in any sport under MHSAA jurisdiction in all-star contests national championship regardless of the method of selection. Participation in such a contest shall cause that student to become ineligible for a maximum of 1 year school enrollment.
  • Awards and Amateurism – Students cannot receive money or other valuable consideration for participating in MHSAA sponsored sports or officiating in interscholastic athletic contests, except as allowed by the Handbook. Students may accept, for participation in MHSAA sponsored events, a symbolic or merchandise award, which does not have a value of over $25.00. Banquets, luncheons, dinners, trips and admissions to camps or events are permitted if accepted “in kind.” Awards in the form of cash, merchandise, certificate or any other negotiable documents are never allowed.
  • Loss of Extra-Curricular Privileges – Participation in an Interscholastic Athletic Program at Grand Ledge is a privilege, not a right. A student may lose this privilege for extended period of time as part of his/her consequences for a violation of the student-athletic policy and/or training rules. Inappropriate behavior or involvement in any violation of the law will be dealt with on an individual basis by the Athletic Director. This may result in suspension, termination of participation, loss of privilege to participate or a behavior contract. 
  • Athletic Policy and Training Rules – The use of alcohol, tobacco, or other harmful or illegal substances found in the NCAA Banned-Drug classification listing will constitutes a training rule violation. Consequences in the student code of conduct shall be enforced. In addition, athletic training rule penalties shall be enacted.
  • Penalties: 
    ? First Offense: The student athlete shall lose the privilege of participation in his/her sport(s) for 33% of the team’s scheduled contest dates (multiple contests on the same date will count as one contest date). While on suspension, students must attend all practices but will not dress for games. 
    ? Second Offense: The student athlete shall lose the privilege of participation in his/her sport(s) for 50% of the team’s scheduled contest dates (multiple contests on the same date will count as one date). While on suspension, students must attend all practices but will not dress for games. 
    ? Third Offense: The student athlete will not participate in athletic competition for one calendar year (365 days) from the date the suspension is applied. While on suspension, the athlete will not be on any athletic team roster. 
    ? Fourth Offense: Suspension from all athletics for the remainder of the student athlete’s high school career. 
    Discipline Guidelines: 
    1. Scrimmages will not count as a scheduled contest date.  
    2. If a suspension cannot be completed during a current sports season it will be prorated during the student athletes next sports season. For example, if an athlete participates in both football and basketball and is suspended for 50% of the football games and only one game remains (10% of the scheduled contests), he/she would miss 40% (8 games) of the boys basketball season (10% + 40% = 50%). 
    3. The athletic suspension recommended in all cases should be considered as the minimum. If circumstances warrant, more severe disciplinary action may result. 
    4. The head coach of a particular sport may also set up additional team guidelines and rules which should be given in writing to the Athletic Director and the team members. 
    5. A student may be disciplined for violations of the Student Code of Conduct in the Student/Parent Handbook and the Athletic Code arising from the same incident. 
    6. A student athlete suspended from school is not allowed to participate in any school activities. Friday school suspensions carry over to weekend athletic contests/activities. 
    7. If a student is suspended on the day of a contest he/she may not participate in any athletic contest or practice on the day he/she is suspended, even if suspension is scheduled to begin on the following day. 
    8. All percentages for missed contests round up to the nearest full contest (e.g. .5 rounds to the next number)
    • The training rules will be applied during the school year with no carry over to the next calendar school year.

      The Head Coach may establish additional team and/or training rules and regulations, once approved by the Athletic Director, for each sport. Discipline, due to violations of these rules and regulations, will be the responsibility of the involved coach. However, the Athletic Director has the authority to intervene in any disciplinary action after discussing the matter with the involved coach.

    • If an athlete is suspended from school for any reason, he/she will not be permitted to practice or play in any game during the suspension.
    • A violation shall occur when an administrator or athletic staff member of the Grand Ledge Public School notifies the Athletic Director that such a violation took place. The Athletic Director will then investigate the allegations. The student will have a hearing with the Athletic Director and an Assistant Principal and/or his/her coach.
This policy pertains to athletes (male and female), cheerleaders, and managers who represent the Grand Ledge Public Schools via their association with the Interscholastic Athletic Programs.

It shall not be a violation of the Athletic Code for an athlete to use or possess a prescription or patent drug when taken pursuant to a legal prescription issued by a licensed physician for which permission to use in school has been granted according to Board Policy. An athlete shall notify his/her coach if he/she is taking prescription medicine which could alter behavior of the athlete or affect the ability of the athlete to participate in physical activity.

Appeal Process – Parents/Guardians have the right to appeal a suspension if they believe that the evidence does not support the allegations and consequence. The steps of the appeal process are:

First level of appeal is to the Athletic Director/Principal
Second level of appeal is to the Assistant Superintendent for Academic Services ²? Third level of appeal is the Superintendent

Bus Riding Policy – For events that GLPS provides round trip transportation athletes are expected to ride to and from the event on a GLPS bus. In order to not ride the bus home with the team, a PARENT OR GUARDIAN must sign out their child with the Coach following the athletic event. If a student wishes to ride home with another parent a request must be made in writing and turned into the athletic office. The parent the child is riding home with must sign out the student after the event. This procedure must be followed each time.

Athletic Transportation Form – This form must be filled out and turned into the athletic office prior to the start of the first game of the season.

Athletic/Club and Activity Participation Rules

The use of alcohol, tobacco, or other harmful or illegal substances constitutes a training rule violation. Consequences in the student code of conduct shall be enforced.

The Advisor/Coach may establish additional club, team and/or training rules and regulations once approved by the Principal. Discipline, due to violations of these rules and regulations, will be the responsibility of the involved Advisor/Coach. However, the Principal has the authority to intervene in any disciplinary action after discussing the matter with the involved Advisor/Coach.

If a student is suspended from school for any reason, he/she will not be permitted to practice in any club/athletic event or activity during the suspension.

Hazing/Initiation is Illegal

Hazing is a form of harassment. Hazing is about abuse of power and violation of human dignity. Hazing is a form of abuse and victimization. Soliciting, encouraging, aiding, or engaging in hazing on school property at any time, or in connection with any activity supported or sponsored by the district, whether on or off school property, is strictly prohibited. Grand Ledge Public Schools defines “hazing” as: “Any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off district premises, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Any intentional, knowing, or reckless act meant to induce physical pain, embarrassment, humiliation, deprivation of right or that creates physical or mental discomfort, and is directed against a student for the purpose of being part of tradition, initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization, club or athletic team sponsored or supported by the district and whose membership is totally or predominantly other students from the district.” See “CODE of Student Conduct” for further description.

Overview of the Interscholastic Athletic Program

At all levels of play –
The student will learn that in order to make the team he/she must out perform their peers. After the student has been selected as a team member he/she will not only have to out perform his/hers peers at daily practice but also work to mesh their individual skills into the cooperative team concept. The needs of the team will always outweigh the needs of the individual. The student will attend practices, scrimmages and games that will provide him/her with opportunities to display and enhance his/her athletic related skills and also cooperative/team abilities in order to earn the playing time he/she seek.

There is an accepted risk of injury in participating in the interscholastic athletic programs.

Varsity – The varsity teams are comprised of the most talented and highly skilled athletes. Athletic administration and coaches involved will determine the appropriate level of play for all athletes. These teams are competitive in nature and their primary goal is to defeat both their league and non- league rivals. Sportsmanship and an appreciation of skilled performance are also goals of the Athletic Department programs. Players will earn their playing time through their performance at practice, scrimmages and games.

Junior Varsity – Acquisition of fundamental motor skills, traditional motor skills, and sport specific skills describe the goal of JV level of play. Here, athletes must acquire the necessary skills and strategies needed at the varsity level of play. A Learn to Play/Learn by Playing/Play to Win philosophy is in place. By the mid-point of the season, athletes will be earning their playing time via their daily performance at practice and their performances during seasonal games.

Freshman – Development of fundamental and transitional skills for each sport is the key to freshman sports. A Learn to Play/Learn by Playing/Play to Win atmosphere exists at this level. While playing time is usually found for each player, by the second half of the season, players will be earning their playing time through their performances at daily practices and during their seasonal contests. A WE FIRST attitude with emphasis that there is no ME in team is promoted. Only freshman can play on freshman teams. However, freshman can play on either the JV or the Varsity level, the ability to demonstrate the necessary skills to play at that level will be the deciding factor for placement on any team.

Protocol for Problem Solving Within the Grand Ledge Athletic Department

The Athletic programs offered in the high school will provide some of the most rewarding moments in your life. Knowledge of the problem resolution protocol will be beneficial. There may be times to problem solve issues and knowing the procedure is important. When problems arise with a coach, the first step is to discuss and resolve the problem with a player-to-coach discussion. With this self-advocacy approach, step #1 is for the player to approach the coach and ask to discuss the issue with the coach. To do this a parent will call the Athletic Department to set up an appointment. Once there is confirmation that the student completed step #1, a meeting will be set up with the parent. It is not acceptable to confront a coach or administrator before, during or immediately after a contest. These are emotional times and meetings of this nature do not promote resolution. If the meeting with the coach does not provide a satisfactory resolution, step #3 is to call the Athletic Director to discuss the situation or set up a meeting. During this conversation a resolution will be made about the appropriate next step (if any) will be.

College Sports

The student’s responsibility as a prospective student athlete is to make sure the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Eligibility Center has the documents it needs to clarify them. Many college athletic programs are regulated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, as organization founded in 1906 that has established rules and eligibility, recruiting, and financial aid. The NCAA has three membership divisions – Division I, Division II, and Division III. Institutions are members of one or another division according to the size and scope of their programs and whether they provide athletic scholarships.

In order to participate in Division I or Division II college athletics, he/she must be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center. The Eligibility Center was established as a separate organization by the NCAA member institutions in January 1993. The Eligibility Center ensures consistent interpretation of NCAA initial- eligibility requirements for all prospective student athletes at all member institutions.

Responsibilities for the prospective college student athlete are to be sure that the Clearinghouse has the following documents:

  1. The student’s completed and assigned “Student Release Form” and fee.
  2. The student’s official transcript from every high school you have attended.
  3. The student’s ACT or SAT scores sent as early as possible; if they tested more than once, the student should have all of their scores sent to the Eligibility Center.

When does a student start this process?

If a student wants to participate in Division I or Division II athletics, he/she should start the process early, not later than the end of the junior year.

What does a student have to do to become certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center?