Athlete Handbook

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Holland Christian Mission Statement

Equipping Minds and Nurturing Hearts to Transform the World for Jesus Christ

Athletics is an extension of the educational classroom and an opportunity to put God on display.

Holland Christian Athletics Core Purposes

Compete in God Honoring Ways with Passion

Build Character with Depth

Learn Life Lessons with Humility

Develop Physically with Perseverance

Have Fun with Gratitude

Establish Positive Relationships with Social Intelligence

Perspective

Educational athletics are a gift for us to enjoy, to grow from and put God on display with.  Athletics are community activities that involve a variety of people who each play a specific role in positively impacting everyone involved… with plenty of adversity along with way.  Christians who play active roles in sports operate in the tension between the importance of sports, but knowing identity is not based on them.  Working through challenges and this tension is a positive step in learning the life lessons and building the character only taught through educational athletics.  As a community, individuals need to bring their best in their role in order for us to achieve success together.  Parents need to support their children by guiding through challenges and celebrating in successes , athletes need to compete hard and always support their team and coach, coaches need to competently teach their sport and lead their team, and officials need to enforce the rules and regulations of contests.  Athletics is emotional and it is challenging to not fill another person’s role when adversity comes along.  When everyone involved respects the roles of each person, the potential for student-athlete growth is powerful.  Holland Christian invites you to value and celebrate all roles people play in athletics no matter how big or little they may be as we seek to put God on display in the process.      

It is valuable for our athletic teams to have the goal of winning interscholastic contests, but the accomplishment of winning pales in comparison to the value of preparation, effort, and striving to win.  Competition is a positive challenge and has the ability to bring about a high level of effort from team members and coaches.  Working hard to improve skills and grow physically with good direction from coaches is God-glorifying.  The accomplishment of winning still pales in comparison to competing with character, integrity, and confidence in our role.  True success can be found in developing physically and competing in God honoring ways.  

Athletics should be a positive experience for our community...especially for the athletes!  Students typically desire to “have fun” on their athletic team.  When officials officiate, coaches coach, and parents parent, athletes tend to have the best experience participating on a team.  The relationships athletes develop on their team and with their coach can often last a lifetime and be an important piece in allowing athletes to have a positive experience.

Participation on a team is not a right for students.  It is a privilege to represent Christ, Holland Christian, your family, and yourself to our community.  Earning the privilege involves more than being talented with a particular sport.   Athletes are held to a higher standard of behavior than other students.  Athletes and families must uphold the school’s mission and help foster the school’s goals and athletic department’s purposes.    

Ultimately, we desire for students to grow in their confidence as a child of God and be better equipped to transform our world for Jesus Christ.  We believe athletics is a wonderful platform to help accomplish this huge task.  As a grace filled Christian community of believers, we are called to humbly bring our best effort and seek excellence that focuses on the “process” over “accomplishments”.  Please assist us in promoting this Christ centered focus on high school athletics this year.    

Guidelines for Parents & Communication

The standards athletes are held to also extend to parents.  Parents, as well as coaches and athletes, together represent the school community through their different roles.  The parent is expected to display Christian sportsmanship that reflects positively on the school community.  It is important that respect for opponents and officials be shown at all times.  The parent is expected to encourage loyalty and dedication to the team and to the coach.  The attitude of parents greatly impacts the attitude of athletes.  Sending mixed messages to your child about coaching does not assist in the child’s development or allow the team to function at a high level.  Coaching and parenting can be difficult, but in spite of the challenges we all want the athletic experience to be positive, educational, and competitive for each student to the greatest extent possible.  It is our desire to make this a team effort that benefits the student.  

We encourage all parents to volunteer in some way and actively pray for athletes, coaches, and the team.  Parents will be expected to assist CHAMPS in running concessions on the day of their child’s event.  

Parents and Athletes should expect communication on the following from their coach:

Coaches should expect communication on the following from parents and athletes:

If concerns arise during the season, please follow these “Matthew 18” guidelines:

Items not to discuss with the coach:

Items appropriate to discuss with the coach:

Eligibility Policies

Because participation in extracurricular activities is viewed as a privilege, participants are required to meet the standard for eligibility in academic and behavioral areas (see below). All students may participate during pre-season tryouts. Students who are behaviorally ineligible may practice but not participate in competitions or performances during the ineligibility period. Academically ineligible students are not permitted to participate in practices, competition, or performances until their eligibility is restored. Further, a suspended student is always ineligible for the duration of the suspension for both practices/rehearsals and/or games/performances.

Academic Eligibility

Academic eligibility is determined weekly and will be based on the MHSAA guidelines for all HCHS extracurricular activities (must be passing 5 classes). At the end of each semester, eligibility will be based on the final semester grade. In order to be eligible for extracurricular activities, a student must meet the MHSAA guidelines or he/she will be ineligible for the next week.

Additional components of this opportunity:

Implementation

Academic progress reports for eligibility purposes will be run on Monday mornings. Students who are ineligible will be notified. The school will also notify a parent and coach/sponsor. Coaches/sponsors should make sure that ineligible students do not participate in practices or competitions during the ineligibility period. Participation of an ineligible student may result in forfeiture or an extension of the ineligibility period. The period of ineligibility will begin on the Tuesday following the communication of progress reports and extend for one week.

Behavior Eligibility

Like academic eligibility, behavior eligibility is based on a higher standard of behavior for co-curricular participants and includes behavior both on and off-campus.  The following applies to all students in all co-curricular activities, including athletics:

MHSAA Eligibility

As a member school of the MHSAA, Holland Christian student-athletes must adhere to all MHSAA eligibility guidelines including:

Attendance

Practice

The athlete is expected to attend every practice and contest, and to give full effort both in practice and in competition.  The athlete, the athlete’s family, and the coach must resolve any exceptions of attendance at practices and contests prior to the absence. A suspended student is always ineligible for the duration of the suspension. Each player is expected to adhere to all rules and expectations as outlined by their coach. These expectations are articulated to students prior to the season.  All practice and event schedules are kept up to date on each team's website.  Each of these can be found at www.hollandchristian.org/athletics.  You will need to follow the links to your team's page.  

School

Athletes may not participate in a practice, game, or any athletic activity on a school day in which they were unexcused from school for one or more classes and were considered absent.  Skipping one or more classes without

permission is considered an unexcused absence.  

Events

In scheduling athletic events and other school activities, every attempt will be made to avoid conflicts.  Scheduling conflicts, however, will occur from time to time.  In the event of such a conflict, the coaches and/or sponsors affected will meet to determine what is best for both the school and the individual student.  The student will be informed of the decision in advance.  If the coaches and/or sponsors are unable to reach an agreement, the principal and the athletic director will make the decision.

Quitting

If a student must drop out of a sport, it must be done in the proper way. The reason for dropping must be made known to the coach personally and all equipment must be turned in. If the sport is dropped after the first interscholastic competition in that season; or the team has been selected, the student may not participate in another sport for 365 days unless he or she obtains a written release from the coach of the sport he or she dropped.

Awards, Uniforms, and Equipment

Awards

The varsity coach of each program will make recommendations for letter awards on the basis of the participants contribution to the varsity team and their ability to follow athletic policies.  Generally, the following awards are given to student athletes:

Uniforms & Equipment

Every effort must be made to properly launder team uniforms.  Washing cold and without bleach will assist in avoiding color fading.  The complete uniform and all equipment must be turned into the coach within 1 week of the last contest or as directed by the coach.  The team uniform is only to be worn at the events it is intended for.  Requests for uniforms for senior pictures can be made to the athletic office.  Replacement value of any missing uniforms or equipment at the end of the season will be billed directly to the athlete who was responsible for the care of them.  

Athletic Training

Nutrition

Athletes are expected to maintain proper care of their body including adequate sleep and proper diet.  Athletes must be careful to individually take in a balanced amount of nutritional calories and fluids to replace what was used during practice or competition.  Healthy foods such as whole grains, fruits & vegetables, and healthy sources of protein and fat are a better way of doing this compared with processed foods high in sugar.  Water and sports drinks can help replace fluid and electrolyte loss as opposed to high energy drinks that are not recommended.  A properly hydrated athlete may need up to 100 ounces of fluid intake per day.    

Weight Room Policy

Holland Christian’s weight room has been setup to allow students and faculty the opportunity to improve their lifestyle through strength and fitness training.  To ensure safety for all participants, the following rules will be enforced and supported by the coaching staff.    

Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC)

A licensed athletic trainer is on staff and available in the training room (fall/spring - outside weight room & winter - next to the gym) everyday from 2:30-5:00pm as well as most home events.  Athletes are encouraged to visit the athletic trainer when there is any question about a medical situation including injury prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation.  As always, parents are primarily responsible for the medical treatment of their child and will be communicated to as such.  Beyond care by our certified athletic trainer, families are financially responsible for the medical treatment of their child.        

Referrals will be made to a physician when needed.  Any athlete who sees a physician for an injury sustained while participating in a sport or activity at Holland Christian High School must present a signed physician (MD, DO, PA, NP) release form to the athletic trainer before participation can resume.  Specifically for concussions, if a player sustains signs or symptoms of a concussion, he/she must be pulled from play.  Only a physician (MD, DO, PA, NP) with the athletic trainers approval may clear the athlete to return to play.  

Concussion Testing

In order to assist licensed healthcare professionals in evaluating and treating concussions, Holland Christian utilizes ImPACT (Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) concussion testing (http://impacttest.com/).  If a student-athlete is believed to have suffered a head injury during competition, ImPACT is used to help determine the severity of head injury and when the injury has fully healed.  Student-athletes in grades 9 and 11 on every athletic team must complete a computerized preseason test administered by the athletic trainer.  The non-invasive preseason test tracks information such as memory, reaction time, speed, and concentration.  This test must be completed before participation in the first event.  If a concussion is suspected, the athlete will be required to take a post-injury test.  The preseason and post-injury test data is given to the doctor to assist in injury evaluation.  Parents will be promptly contacted if a head injury occurs and all details will be fully communicated by the athletic trainer to them.           

General Policies

Sportsmanship / Hazing Policy

In its commitment to building character for life, Holland Christian High School stresses the values of fair competition and good sportsmanship.  We expect all of our student athletes to follow the rules of fair play, to respect the decisions of  judges/officials and to treat their opponents with appropriate Christian regard.  The guidelines of the OK Conference will be followed at all school sponsored events, at home and away.  Cheers and signs are to be positive and respectful, fans should be considerate and courteous, noisemakers of any kind are not allowed, and the throwing of objects is not allowed.  No behavior will be tolerated that is immoral, disrespectful or vulgar in nature from anyone in attendance at a Holland Christian function.  Michigan’s Anti-Hazing Law (750.411t) will be fully adhered to by the letter and spirit of the law.  Administration and event management will determine if these guidelines are being followed.  Failure to adhere to behavior expectations may result in a warning, an ejection from that contest, and/or a suspension of privileges to attend school activities for a specified period of time.  Disciplinary action will be determined based on prior occurrences and/or the severity of the offense.

Steroid / Supplement Policy

Holland Christian recognizes that the use of androgenic/anabolic steroids presents a serious health and safety hazard.  Students participating in athletics at Holland Christian are prohibited from possessing or using androgenic/anabolic steroids not prescribed by a physician.  A student who is found to have violated this agreement shall be restricted from participating in athletics and may be subject to disciplinary procedures including, but not limited to, suspension or expulsion in accordance with law, board policy, and administrative regulation.

Sunday Play Policy

There will not be any competition or practice on Sundays for any Holland Christian Sports.  This includes practice plans, mental workouts, stretching, warming up, etc. If Holland Christian is hosting an MHSAA tournament, no facilities will be used for hosting the tournament on Sunday.  Any request or deviation from this policy must be submitted to the Athletic Director and the Principal for prior approval.  

Transportation Policy

All athletes must use school organized transportation when it is provided to travel to events.  This includes parent drivers, coach drivers, and bus transportation.  Students can be released to another teammates parent to provide transportation home if the parent signs permission to do so.  Students are always permitted to travel home with their own parents unless the coach requires team transportation home.  Typically, there is no transportation provided to or from Holland, West Ottawa, Zeeland East, and Zeeland West.  Often, transportation for events at schools only ½ hour away (including Hamilton, Unity Christian, and Grand Haven) involves a drop off only requiring students to travel home with their parent, a teammate’s parent, or the coach.  Students are required to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the values of Holland Christian.  Per MHSAA policy, Holland Christian does not provide transportation for student-athlete athletic events during the summer.  

Social Media Policy

Social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, internet forums, blogs, and texting serve as powerful tools to communicate, develop community and positively impact our world, but they can be equally destructive.  Student-athletes must portray themselves, every member of their team, their coaches, and Holland Christian at large in a positive uplifting manner at all times and in ways that meet both the letter and spirit of the guidelines in this Athletic Handbook.  Profanity, drug references, indecent photos, and comments designed to harass/bully are examples of prohibited behavior using social media.  Participation in athletics is a privilege, not a right, and although the use of social media needs to follow government laws, student-athletes are held to an even higher standard.  Consequences for not adhering to this policy will be at the discretion of the athletic director and administration.  Social media posts also cannot be taken back and can be considered “public record” in many ways even though they were intended for a small audience.  Student-athletes should consider their parents, college admissions directors, future employers and putting God on display with their posts.    

Photo and Likeness Policy

Holland Christian student-athlete likenesses may appear on promotional material or through www.hollandchristian.org .  Please contact the athletic office if you would like to avoid this specifically for your son or daughter.  Holland Christian has a photographer who will be taking photos and uploading them to our school and athletics photo site: hollandchristian.smugmug.com.  

Weather Policy

Evening events are not automatically cancelled when school is cancelled.  Event cancellations are updated on the website as soon as possible.  Some specific situations are detailed below:

Lighting

Tornado Watch

Tornado Warning

Snow Storm

Heat & Humidity Policy (adapted from the MHSAA 2013 model policy)

30 minutes prior to the start of an activity and 60 minutes into the activity, the athletic trainer will take a reading of the heat index at the site of the activity (indoor or outdoor) using a digital sling psychrometer.  The athletic trainer will record the heat index readings and communicate specific action to coaches if needed.  If the athletic trainer is unable to perform the reading, a designee (either the head coach or athletic director) will complete the measurement.  The temperature must be at least 80 degrees for the heat index to be problematic.  Coaches are responsible for following through with the following precautions based on the heat index reading.    

Heat Index < 95 degrees

Heat Index > 95 - 99 degrees (in addition to above action)

Heat Index > 99 - 104 degrees (in addition to the above action)

Heat Index > 104 degrees

*Upon completion of reading this handbook, please complete the Physical Participation Form*