Athletic Policies & Procedures
Bellarmine offers three levels of competition in its athletic program. The initial level, Freshman/C Squad, is designed to introduce students to the demands of interscholastic competition, the need to create a balance between academics and athletics, and the general philosophy of Bellarmine athletics.
The second level of competition is Junior Varsity. This level is designed to be more developmental for the purpose of preparing athletes for varsity competition. It is considerably more demanding with respect to practice time, off-season training, and possible specialization. Coaches encourage more dedication at this level in order to maximize the potential of the athlete. The purpose of this maximization is two-fold: First, it gives the athlete a better opportunity to participate; and, second, the athlete will be able to contribute more to the success of the team.
The developmental nature of both the freshman/C-team and junior varsity levels make the opportunities for participation in practice and games a top priority of these programs.
Varsity is the final level of competition available to Bellarmine athletes. It is highly specialized, highly competitive, and demands the greatest level of commitment and dedication by both coach and athlete. Varsity competition is designed to be the culmination of Bellarmine's athletic program both in the performance of our teams and the manner in which our athletes display and promote the philosophy and values of our athletic program.
Cut Policy and Squad Size
Bellarmine values the ideal of maximum participation, but the nature of interscholastic sports makes it necessary to limit squad size in most sports. When coaches make cuts, players are given every opportunity to discuss the outcome with the coaches involved. Bellarmine offers no-cut programs in each sport season to accommodate those athletes who wish to participate on the interscholastic level. Although Bellarmine uses WIAA state tournament regulations as a guideline for determining squad size, the actual size of the squad is left to the discretion of the coach with the approval of the Athletic Director.
Physically Unable to Compete
When a student is physically unable to compete in a WIAA sanctioned sport, the student may petition for an athletic letter for a non WIAA sanctioned sport provided the athlete is significantly involved at the varsity level of his/her sport, the sport season parallels the duration of a WIAA season, and the athlete abides by all eligibility rules outlined in the Bellarmine athletic code. The petition for an athletic letter must be made to the Athletic Director before the season begins for the petitioner and is subject to review by the Athletic Director throughout the season. Included in this review is required verification by the director of the non WIAA sport in question.
Students transferring to Bellarmine from another high school, without changing residence, are automatically eligible for non-varsity competition. In order to gain eligibility at the varsity level, the athlete may request an eligibility hearing with the West Central District III Eligibility Committee. The committee will only grant eligibility in a case where the student can demonstrate a "hardship," unique and beyond the student's control, which subsequently caused the transfer. The Athletic Director will facilitate this process by assisting the athlete and parent with the necessary paper work.
When provided, students must travel both to and from games on school transportation. Athletes may be released to their own parent(s) at the conclusion of the contest. If students are to ride home with anyone other than their own parent(s), they must have their parent(s) request permission prior to the day of the contest from the Principal or Athletic Director and their coach.
Although the SPSL makes every attempt to schedule afternoon contests late enough to ensure a full day of school for its athletes, sometimes travel and special scheduling needs necessitate early dismissal. It is the responsibility of the athlete to inform the teacher, discuss the procedure for make-up work, and obtain the evening's or weekend's homework assignment. Communication on the part of the athlete is essential to limiting the academic disruption of early dismissals.
Equipment Care and Obligations
Athletes are responsible for the proper care of all equipment they are issued for their respective sport(s). All uniforms should be washed separately in cold water and dried at a very low temperature to ensure minimal shrinkage and fading. Replacement of any equipment damaged by improper care, lost, or stolen, is the financial responsibility of the athlete. Because most team athletic apparel is custom made, replacement value can be up to twice as much as its original cost.
Process for Addressing Concerns
Because complaints can best be handled closest to the source, coaches immediately involved in the area of concern should first be contacted by the athlete or parent. This contact should not take place during or immediately after an athletic contest, but during regular school hours. If, after talking with the coach, the complainant still does not feel that the policies and procedures outlined in this document are being followed, he/she may take the matter to the Athletic Director. If the procedural dispute is still not resolved at the initial administrative level, the complainant may take the issue to the Principal.
Like teachers and activity moderators, coaches are observed and evaluated on a three-year cycle that promotes formation, reflection and personal growth. Included in this observation/evaluation cycle is input by the Athletic Director, Principal and athletes, as well as a detailed self-evaluation completed by the coach.