Athletic Policy

Main athletics page

“Toppers are Tops”

Revised- 8/07 & 8/09
Revisions- 8/11
Revisions- 7/12

Fort Plain Interscholastic Athletic Department

Fort Plain Central School shall provide a well-rounded educational experience for its students. Interscholastic athletics play a major part or role in the total educational framework of our school setting. The combination of our academics and athletics does much to enhance the quality of our students’ lives. Athletics can provide numerous opportunities to develop qualities of sportsmanship, citizenship, and individual/ personal discipline in addition to athletic skills and development. Our student athletes are expected to represent themselves, their school, and community in a respectful and positive manner. A student athlete at FPCS should be aware that participation in our interscholastic program is a privilege and not a right.

Fort Plain Central School (FPCS) is a member of the Western Athletic Conference. The conference is comprised of 13 schools and is the largest league in Section II. The conference’s member schools are as follows: Berne-Knox-Westerlo, Canajoharie, Duanesburg, Galway, Mayfield, Mekeel Christian Academy, Middleburgh, Northville, Saratoga Catholic, Schoharie, Sharon Springs and St. Johnsville. We are also a member of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) and New York State Coaches Association.

Academic Eligibility – Board Policy 5305

Philosophic Background: The board of education, administration and faculty of the Fort Plain Central School are committed to academic excellence. Therefore we seek to make academic achievement of students our primary concern. Although extracurricular* activities are part of the education of the total person, student participation cannot be justified at the expense of academic achievement.

*Definition of extracurricular activity – Activities which are not required of the student, are non-credit bearing and non-graded.

All athletic team members are expected to achieve acceptable academic progress while participating in the athletic program. The following policy will govern academic eligibility for athletics:

  • All coaches will submit a list of participating students to the high school principal and nurse once students are chosen to participate in a sport.
  • To be eligible, a student must not have failing or incomplete grades in one or more subjects.
  • Eligibility will be checked at five (5) week intervals. Teachers, coaches or parents may request that a student be placed on academic eligibility at any time to improve classroom performance.
  • Once a student is placed in the eligibility system, he/she must follow the procedure outlined below to remain eligible for participation:
    • The student will have seven (7) calendar days from the date the ineligibility list is published to improve deficient grades to passing for that week’s work. During this seven (7) day period, the student will remain eligible.
    • At the end of the seven (7) day period, a check of weekly progress will begin. The student must have a “pass/fail” slip reflecting work for the week signed by all of his teachers and approved by the athletic coordinator, or in his absence, the high school principal, or the superintendent of schools. If the “pass/fail” slip reflects more than one failing or incomplete grade for the week’s work, the student will not be eligible for one week until the next weekly check.
    • The “pass/fail slip” will be picked up in the Guidance office prior to school for the student’s weekly progress check.
    • The “pass/fail” slips must be signed by all of the student’s teachers and approved by the athletic coordinator no later than 3 p.m. each Monday (unless there is a holiday or no school on that Monday) until the next five week eligibility check (even if the weekly check reflects that all subjects are being passed for the week). This procedure will be followed for the remainder of the sports season or longer at the discretion of the athletic coordinator.
    • If a student is ineligible for an athletic squad, he will participate in the practice session but not in the contests held while he is ineligible.


Transfer Students – New York State Public High School Athletic Association rules and regulations will be followed as they pertain to each transfer student wishing to compete in our athletic program. These rules and regulations are continually reviewed and revised by the State Association and Section Two.
*The building principal and athletic coordinator will apply the eligibility criteria to incoming transfer students.

Merged Athletic Programs

In cases of merged programs hosted by other schools, Fort Plain students will follow the Fort Plain standards for academic eligibility and conduct. The students are also expected to follow the rules established by the host coach and host school.

Training Rules and Procedures

1. Minimum Training Rules

The minimum training rules for all interscholastic sports teams are total abstention from the purchase, use, and possession of:

  • Tobacco in any form
  • Alcohol beverages
  • Controlled substances (except under the case of a physician)

* Fort Plain Central School does not support or approve of the use of supplements (i.e. – creatine; etc.) for any performance-enhancing purpose. It should be also be noted that the use of “energy drinks” is not supported by the school.

2. Reporting of Violations

a. Violations of training rules will be processed when reported by one of the following who has either witnessed the actual violation, behavior or physical effects resulting from said violation.

  • A member of the instructional or school-related personnel or coaching staff of Fort Plain Central School
  • A member of the Fort Plain Central School Board of Education
  • A law enforcement officer

b. Violations should be reported directly to the building principal who will keep a cumulative record of all such violations.

Penalties for Violation of Minimum Training Rules

Penalty for Junior High School and High School

1st Offense – Suspension for the remainder of the season plus a carry-over to include the first 25% of the scheduled contests of the next season or participation. (Can practice – no scrimmages. The penalty includes 25% of the regularly scheduled league and non-league contests).

2nd Offense – Suspension for 365 days from all participation.

3rd Offense – Permanent suspension from all participation.

Note: Violations of minimum training rules will follow students from the junior high to the high school athletic program. In light of the possibility for unwise, immature decisions made by junior high students, the following standard will apply:

  • If a student commits one violation during the junior high school years, a first offense in the high school will be considered a second offense and will result in a suspension for 365 days. A subsequent offense would result in permanent suspension from the athletic program.
  • If a student commits two violations during junior high school, the second offense will result in a suspension of 365 days. A subsequent offense in the high school will result in another suspension of 365 days. Further offenses in high school will result in permanent suspension from the athletic program.

“Social Host Law”- Parental/Guardian Information

THE LIMIT OF NYS LAW Plain and simple – you may by law give your own child alcohol in your own home or on your own property but this legal parental privilege is non transferable to any other child or to the supervision of any other adult. This means you cannot give permission to any other adult to supervise your son or daughter while they illegally consume alcohol. You will be arrested and may face civil and criminal penalties.

Contract – Time Frame

Contracts are signed before the first practice of the first season of participation within the school year.  Contracts must be signed before a student may practice. Contracts are in effect until the last day of school in which report cards are distributed or mailed. Any athlete signed on to the contract who is caught with a training rule violation while not participating in a sport will be subject to the carry-over clause for the next season of participation.


Any students behaving in a manner that is deemed to degrade the team, the school or the community, will be suspended from the squad temporarily by the coach. This behavior may include, but is not limited to the following: harassment, bullying, cyber-bullying, sexting, plagiarism, cheating on schoolwork, forgery, insubordination, or any other act or type of behavior that maybe considered detrimental to the team, school, or community.

Cyber Images/ Social Media: More and more educational institutions (primary, secondary and collegiate levels) are dealing with images depicting student-athletes and other students using or in the presence of alcohol/drugs. It is our rationale for demanding that our athletes not place themselves in such unacceptable environments. This very simple clause in the FPCS Athletic Code puts the responsibility on every individual to make proper choices. If a student finds himself or herself in a situation where tobacco, alcohol, or controlled substances are being illegally used, they must immediately remove themselves from that situation.

Immediately following this suspension, the coach, athletic coordinator and principal will meet with the student and/or his/her parents/guardians to discuss the behavior, which caused the suspension by the coach. As a result of this meeting, the coach, principal and athletic coordinator will make a final disposition on the matter.

The final disposition may include but is not limited to:

  • Extension of the coach’s suspension
  • Permanent suspension from the team
  • Permanent suspension from the athletic program

If a coach has cause to suspend a player, he/she will notify the athletic coordinator and principal of the suspension. The principal will convene the meeting to discuss the suspension in the timeliest manner possible. The principal will notify the parents of the suspended athlete of any and all disciplinary action including the original suspension to be taken against the athlete.

N.Y.S.P.H.S.A.A. Ejection Policy (Effective 6/07) – Any player or Coach:

* Ejected from one (1) contest shall not participate in the next regularly scheduled contest;

* Ejected from two (2) contests in the same sport in the same season shall not participate in the next two (2) regularly scheduled contests; and

* Ejected from a third (3) contest in the same sport season in the same season will not be allowed to participate for the rest of the season

Athletic Review

All suspensions are subject to review by the superintendent of schools, board of education and Commissioner of Education upon the request of the student’s parents or his coach.

The Athletic Council

The Committee on Interscholastic Athletics, known as the Athletic Council is composed of the Athletic Committee of the Board of Education, all members of the coaching staff and the building principals.

The responsibilities of the Athletic Council are:

  • To recommend procedure regarding the participation of students in athletic activities
  • To provide opportunities for discussion of pertinent matters brought to it by students, faculty,
    principals and/or the community.
  • Submit reports to the board of education at the end of each sports season.
  • To perform certain executive functions including the approval of recommendations for awards in accord with established regulations.
  • To interpret and recommend to the building principals the enforcement of Athletic Council procedures for interscholastic competition.

Transportation Procedure

Athletes can ride home from a game with their parents as long as the parents themselves make the request in writing (sign out sheet) to the coach and sign the student out.

Other rides will be permitted only with a note from the parent signed by the superintendent or building principal. We will not allow students to ride with non-adults. Please tell your students not to ask.

All athletes will be dropped off at the school unless the coach is given a note signed by the parent and superintendent or building principal (i.e., Nelliston, Haslett Park, etc.).

Coaches will keep all permission slips on file so one note would be good for the entire season if the note states that it is for the entire season.

Athletic Department Policy on School Attendance

Since a positive attendance record is directly linked to success in academic studies, it is the position of the Fort Plain Central School Athletic Department that school attendance among athletes is of primary concern. As per this basic philosophy, the following attendance policy has been developed for the Athletic Department. All athletes are expected to be in school each day unless excused for an acceptable reason.

Daily Attendance – Athletes who are absent or tardy to school will not be allowed to participate in games or practice sessions on that day. If a student athlete is absent or tardy for an acceptable reason, the athlete will be able to participate in practice or contests on the day in question if he/she gains approval from the building principal or nurse involved. It is the athlete’s responsibility to obtain permission to practice or play on these days.

Acceptable reasons include doctor’s appointment, dentist appointments, court appearances, legal appointments, funerals and unforeseen emergencies (principal’s approval required).

Illness/Injury – A student athlete who is absent from school or tardy due to personal illness or injury will not be allowed to participate in practice or contests on the day in question unless a note from a physician (NP)/dentist is presented to the school principal or nurse clearing the athlete to participate that day. The reason for this action is not punitive. The concern of members of the Athletic Department is that students who are ill should not participate in athletic activities due to a risk to their health.

Adopted 12/16/92 and Effective 1/4/93


Each athlete is required to attend all practices and/or contests unless excused by the coach. An athlete who is injured or ill but still able to attend school is also required to attend practice even though they will not be actively participating unless excused by the coach.

Practice/Contests on Snow Days

No practice/contest shall be conducted on weather emergency days without the express permission of the Athletic Coordinator. The Athletic Coordinator is not authorized to allow such practice without the approval of the superintendent of schools, or in his/her absence, the building principal.

Physical Education Requirement

New York State Public High School Athletic Association regulations state that a student must be enrolled in physical education to participate in athletic programs. Athletics stem from an outgrowth of the physical education program. All athletes will be required to change and participate in physical education classes throughout the school year

Athletic Responsibility

When as a student athlete you make a team, you have committed yourself to an obligation for the full season. Therefore…

  • If an athlete decides to quit a team before the season concludes, the following conditions must have been met before he or she can compete on any other Fort Plain High School athletic team during the following sports season* or the remainder of the school year or the following year.
  • Following sports season is defined as the sport which is offered by Fort Plain High School immediately after the preceding sports season ends. For example, soccer is followed by basketball, basketball is followed by baseball and baseball is followed by soccer.
  • If a player quits without giving the coach a reason, he/she (may not or will not) play in the following sports season.
  • If the player quits after behaving in an unsportsmanlike manner, either in a scheduled contest, scrimmage or practice, and does not complete the ensuing disciplinary action, he/she may not play the following season, the remainder of the school year, or further.
  • If the player quits a team due to a disagreement with a coach, it is the responsibility of that coach to recommend to the Athletic Council, chaired by the Athletic Coordinator, whether the player may complete the following season or further.
  • If the player quits the team and in so doing behaves abusively or maliciously, he/she may be suspended from competing the remainder of the year or further.
  • If the player participating in two sports cannot handle both and decides to quit one of the sports after a discussion with the coach, the player should not be penalized. Decreasing grades would be a valid reason. The coach should recommend that this student not try out for two sports in any future season.
  • If a player quits one sport and then want to participate in another sport in the same season, this should not be allowed. But, he should be allowed to try out for that same sport next season.
  • If a player leaves a team because he/she didn’t like the coach, this shouldn’t be cause to keep him/her from playing the following season, providing it is done in the proper manner.
  • A player should have the opportunity to appeal any decision brought about by his/her quitting to members of the Athletic Council.

Student non-completion of season

Once a regular sports season starts, all athletes are expected to complete the season. The “season’s” start is defined as the first official practice. A student who leaves a team for other than any of the following, places him/herself at risk of ineligibility for the ensuing sports season:

  • Acceptable Reasons for Non-Completion of the Season– Academic Ineligibility, Medical, Mutual Consent of Player and Coach.
  • All other causes of athlete-initiated non-completion will result in forfeiture of eligibility the following sports season. Either a coach or athlete may appeal this ineligibility to the Athletic Council.

Discipline Information

If your daughter/son is disciplined with In-School Suspension (ISS) or Out of School Suspension (OSS), the following applies to them:

1) ISS- The student may practice, but may not play in a scrimmage or game on the day she/he is serving their “time”.

2) OSS- The student may not attend practices, scrimmages, games or be on school grounds for the duration of their suspension from school.

The above-mentioned athletic code punishments carry over from Friday to the next Monday. In other words, if the school discipline/ punishment includes Friday and the following Monday, then the student would not be able to compete in a scrimmage or a game. She /he could practice if they were assigned “ISS” during this time frame. If they were assigned “OSS”, then the student would not be able to be on school grounds as previously stated. In the case of a vacation or recess, the student would sit out contests held during the weekend (Friday to Sunday) and be able to play on Monday.

Uniforms, Equipment, Property and Facilities

All athletes are responsible for any and all equipment/uniforms issued to them by the school. Equipment is to be used only during practices and contests. Most team uniforms are school issued, that is to say provided by the school district. Some teams have purchased their own uniforms through fund-raising activities or have had funds donated for that particular team. It is the responsibility of the student to return his/her uniform immediately at the completion of his/her season. If equipment/uniforms cannot be accounted for at the end of the season, the student is financially responsible for it. The cost of replacement for that uniform or part of the uniform, i.e. short/jersey or equipment will be the responsibility of the student-athlete. Athletes are expected to refrain from willfully or carelessly damaging equipment, uniforms, property, or facilities whether at home or away contests.

Code of Ethics

IT IS THE DUTY OF ALL CONCERNED WITH HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS – Athletes, parents, spectators, and coaches:

  • To emphasize the proper ideals of sportsmanship, ethical conduct and fair play.
  • To eliminate all possibilities which tend to destroy the best values of the game.
  • To stress the values derived from playing the game fairly.
  • To show cordial courtesy to visiting teams and officials.
  • To establish a happy relationship between visitors and hosts.
  • To respect the integrity and judgment of the sports’ officials.
  • To achieve a thorough understanding and acceptance of the rules of the game and the standards of eligibility.
  • To encourage leadership, use of initiative and good judgment by the players on the team.
  • To recognize that the purpose of athletics is to promote the physical, mental, moral, social and emotional well being of the individual players.
  • To remember that an athletic contest is only a game – not a matter of life or death for player, coach, school, official, fan, community, state or nation.

Revised- 8/07 & 8/09

Revisions- 8/11

Revisions- 7/12