NORWICH FREE ACADEMY
INTERSCHOLASTIC SPORT VS. CLUB DETERMINATION POLICY
The Norwich Free Academy believes a comprehensive athletic program is an essential complement to the basic program of instruction. The purpose of an athletic program is to encourage the acceptance of responsibility to self, to team, and to school and to encourage good physical health, good personal habits, and good sportsmanship leading to the balanced growth of the individual. The Norwich Free Academy’s athletic program shall be operated to meet the evolving athletic needs and interests of high school students and provide a safe, competitive, and appropriate level of student participation. Participation in cocurricular programs is a privilege, not a right.
The purpose of this policy is to provide a formal means by which students, parents, faculty, and administration may:
a. request the formation of an athletic club or;
b. request that an athletic club become an interscholastic sport or;
c. request that an interscholastic sport be changed to club status or be eliminated.
1. The administration shall consider, but not be limited to, the following criteria in the formation of an athletic club:
a. The formation of the club responds to the athletic interests of the students.
b. The proponents demonstrate an ability to substantially fund its operating expenses including the salary of coaches, officials, transportation costs, and any other expenses.
c. A plan has been developed for the use of practice facilities.
d. A plan has been developed to provide a level of competition that is safe and equitable for the student participants.
2. If a new sports program is approved as an athletic club:
a. The proponents of the club accept responsibility to substantially fund its operating expenses including the salary of coaches, officials, transportation costs, and any other expenses.
b. The administration will be responsible for selecting and evaluating the coach/advisor.
c. The coach/advisor must be approved in advance by the school in accordance with state statutes, established school policies and practices, and hold all relevant certifications.
d. Transportation to school-sponsored club activities must be executed in a safe manner in accordance with established school policies and practices.
e. The school will be responsible for collecting and depositing and otherwise managing the club revenues and approving any expenditures.
f. The club will cease operation if it does not have sufficient funds to cover its expenses or there are not enough participants to provide fair and safe competition.
3. In order to change an athletic club to an interscholastic sport, it shall be demonstrated to the administration that:
a. The club has and will continue to have an adequate place to practice and teams against which it could fairly and safely compete.
b. The proponents have demonstrated an ability to substantially fund the operating expenses of the club.
c. In the judgment of the athletic department and administration, the club has maintained a level of participation and has acquired the skill level necessary for fair and safe interscholastic competition.
d. The Norwich Free Academy is prepared to fund the interscholastic sport.
4. An existing interscholastic sport may be changed to club status or eliminated under any of the following conditions:
a. The sport was not able to maintain a level of student participation that allowed for fair and safe competition.
b. The sport does not have facilities in which to practice and/or teams against which it can safely compete.
c. The Norwich Free Academy is not prepared to fund the interscholastic sport.
d. Other due and sufficient cause as determined by The Norwich Free Academy.
In all deliberations appropriate consideration shall be given to gender equity issues in high school sports and Title IX guidelines.
The recommendation for the formation of athletic clubs or interscholastic sports shall be made to the Board of Trustees by the Superintendent/Head of School or designee. The Superintendent/ Head of School may recommend the elimination of any interscholastic sport or athletic club to the Board of Trustees for budgetary, safety, or any other reason. The Board of Trustees reserves the right to accept, reject, or eliminate an activity as a club or interscholastic sport.
Policy Adopted: June 6, 2001
Policy Revised: April 22, 2008