Athletic Code of Conduct

Preface | Education-based Athletics Program | Program Design | Objectives of the Interscholastic Athletic Program | Awareness and Knowledge Regarding Sports Risks | Responsibilities of Students Participating in Athletics | Sportsmanship and Fair Play for Athletes


All Canajoharie Central Schools students participating in athletics are required to abide by eligibility guidelines and disciplinary regulations. This handbook is a reflection of the School District’s concern for safety, well-being, and conduct of its students. The rules and regulations that are contained in this athletics handbook are in the best interests of the students, parents, and School District. Students and parents are reminded that participation in interscholastic athletics is a privilege, which is earned, by being good students and citizens. The status of interscholastic athletics as a privilege rather than a right or requirement is held by not only the Canajoharie Central School District but also the New York State Commissioner of Education who has ruled on such matters numerous times. Since interscholastic athletics are an optional activity, those who choose to participate in athletics and extracurricular activities will be held to higher standards in terms of their behavior and their performance in the classroom.

The athletic program at Canajoharie is founded on the principle that the playing field is an extension of the classroom and that the athletic experience contributes to the growth of mind and body. Dedication and desire, cooperation and compassion, and the importance of working collectively toward a common goal are just some of the ideas that permeate the Canajoharie playing fields and gymnasiums.

As a member of an athletic team, students should be mindful that they represent their team, school, family, and community. Team members are expected to and have an obligation to conduct themselves as good citizens both in and out of school and the community. Students are expected to refrain from exhibiting any behavior(s) which violate the principles of good citizenship. In other words, students should never choose a behavior that might bring embarrassment or an unfavorable view to themselves, their teammates, coaches, family, school, or community. Any violation of this code will be subject to review for disciplinary actions by the coach, Director of Athletics, and Building Principal.

Disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to, suspension or expulsion from the team dependent upon the severity of the offense and/or suspension from school.

Students who choose to participate in the Canajoharie interscholastic athletic program will be bound by the rules of the athletic code during their current sports season.

The creation of such rules necessarily carries the responsibility for enforcement. Such enforcement requires cooperation between the school and the home. Together we can work toward our mutual goals of reducing the risks and possible penalties that could occur if the provisions of this handbook are not followed.


What is our why?

  • To provide our students with the opportunity to learn, grow, achieve and fail in an environment of minimal risk

How will we accomplish that?

  • By being an extension of the classroom
    • Support and enhance the academic mission of the school
    • Provide structure and motivation for students to maintain good academic standing, attendance, and appropriate behavior in and out of school
  • By developing better citizens
    • Teachable moments through sport
      • How sport mirrors real-world situations
    • Life skills development and refinement, such as:
      • Leadership
      • Respect
      • Dedication/Perseverance
      • Work Ethic
      • Reliability
      • Time Management
      • Teamwork/Cooperation
      • Sportsmanship/Citizenship
      • Self-Control/Decision-Making
      • Stress Management/Dealing with Adversity
      • Humility
    • By promoting health and fitness
      • Importance of proper diet, hydration, and sleep
      • Strength and conditioning opportunities
    • By being a positive role model on and off the field, court, or track
      • Practice what you preach!

How do we define success?

  • Students/team showed growth throughout the season
  • Students/team competed with class night in and night out
  • Students/team maintain or increase grade point average

Wins and losses should not be the sole criteria used to determine a successful season. Winning is important, but it is also a by-product of many factors, some of which are controllable and some of which are not.


Our school district believes that a comprehensive program of activities is vital to the educational development of the students. We believe the primary objective of a well-designed program is to instill the values and work ethic that will help students be successful in their life beyond athletics. It is also important that the participants have fun. We further realize, in having fun, our students expect coaching, teaching, responsibility and discipline.

Our program is designed to allow for the individuals to participate at their level of skill and to achieve if they work hard, have self-discipline, and are willing to learn and follow the instructions of their coaches. The coaches place a strong emphasis on building skills at all levels.

The following guidelines have been developed to help students, parents, and coaches understand the objectives and guidelines of participation on athletic teams at each level.

Modified Teams

  1. Student-athletes should be able to explore and expand interests and abilities.
  2. Coaches should maximize opportunities for all students to participate.
  3. Emphasis is on building skills, attitudes, and work ethic. Major focus is on teaching basic fundamentals of the sport and physical conditioning.

Junior Varsity Teams

  1. This program is recognized as major transitional period.
  2. Increased focus on physical conditioning, refinement of fundamental skills and elements and strategies.
  3. The program design calls for a balance between participation and winning. Whenever possible, the program will allow an athlete the opportunity to participate in practice and scheduled events.

Varsity Teams

  1. Varsity competition lends itself to an emphasis on winning. Although winning is a point of emphasis, it should never over-ride the importance of rules governing play, good sportsmanship, or the welfare of team members.
  2. Individuals should be making maximum contributions within the limits of their abilities and are encouraged to work to be the best they are capable of being within the limits of those abilities.
  3. Athletes earn playing time according to their work ethic, attitude, and their ability to contribute to team success as demonstrated in practice.


Our goals are:

  1. To develop and maintain the highest level of sportsmanship.
  2. To develop proper attitudes toward winning and losing, success and failure.
  3. To develop respect for fellow athletes whether they are teammates, members of other Canajoharie teams, or members of opposing teams.
  4. To assure that the amount of time required for athletic participation does not interfere with academic success.
  5. To develop proper individual health habits, appearance on and off the field, and citizenship in and out of school.
  6. To encourage competition not only for the tangible rewards but also for the development of positive attitudes that make athletic competition valuable and worthwhile.
  7. To orient all athletic staff members to abide by the rules, regulations, and officials’ decisions that govern each sport.
  8. To maintain the highest standard of ethics, recognize each participant as an individual who will conduct him/herself in a manner befitting his/her responsibilities, and develop the kind of rapport with the broader school community that will improve the total educational program.


The participation in interscholastic sports, as in most of life’s activities, carries a degree of risk of injury, perhaps even death, which cannot be ignored. While these risks do exist in our athletic program the coaches, school nurses, teachers, and administrators are committed to reducing the possibilities of such occurrence through an emphasis on sound training and adherence to the procedures and guidelines contained in this Student and Parent Handbook.


Canajoharie Central Schools carries insurance coverage for student injuries that occur within its supervised activities. Please be aware that a family’s personal insurance coverage must first be used to its allowable limits before the school’s coverage makes payments toward any unpaid balance incurred due to the injury.


Students in grades 7-12 must meet the eligibility requirements for participation in interscholastic athletics as defined by the Canajoharie Central School District and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. This includes, but is not limited to: age, level of competition, residency, and amateur status.


Report to the coach immediately any injury no matter how small. Early treatment may prevent serious complications later. The coach will refer you to the school nurse who may also refer you to a physician. If you are referred to a physician, you will be able to return only after being given a written release from that physician or the school physician.

Any student who has been absent from school for five consecutive days or more due to illness must be qualified in writing for participation by the attending physician or the school physician.

Should there be any question concerning the decision about an athlete’s participation due to illness or injury, the school physician will make the final decision.


Before the start of each sports season, a sign-up meeting may be conducted. At this time, the coach of each sport will distribute important information that must be completed prior to the first practice session. The following documents will be distributed to all potential athletes prior to each season:

  1. Athletic Program Registration Card
  2. Emergency Medical Authorization

All potential athletes must have a current physical exam in order to participate. Physical exams, whether completed by your family physician or the school physician, are considered current for exactly one calendar year.


The coaches will meet with their respective candidates prior to the sports season and inform them of plans for tryouts and the season as well as to review the Student, Coach, and Parent Handbook.

If it is necessary to limit roster size, the coach will post a list of final team members prior to the first athletic contest. Players may not make a team for lack of ability, poor team spirit, poor attitude, poor conduct and/or absence from practice. The coach has the sole responsibility for choosing team members.


It is important that the student-athlete try to go out for the right sport. A student-athlete may not change from one sport to another once the team has been selected without permission of the athletic director. If he or she has been cut from one team, it is legitimate to try out for another so long as final cuts have not been made for the second sport. In the case of joining a new team, the total number of practices does count for both sports.


With the approval of the Athletic Director and each of the involved coaches, a student may participate on two athletic teams during the same season. The student-athlete must declare at the start of the season his major sport.  This will determine his participation in the event of scheduling conflicts during the regular season and post-season play.


A player may withdraw from the team without penalty providing he/she has discussed the matter with the coach, the Athletic Director, or the high school principal before leaving. Any player quitting by walking off the field, attempting to make a “statement” by his/her departure from a team, or ceasing to show up for practices or games will be ineligible for any sport during that season and for the next sport’s season OR the season where the student has previously been a participant. This includes a carryover from Spring to Fall or year to year.


All schedules will be available online via SchoolToday. The Canajoharie website address is: You can also access our scheduling website through the athletics page of the school website or through the Western Athletic Conference website, It is strongly recommended that coaches sign up for notifications of schedule changes by clicking the “NOTIFY ME” link and following the prompts. This will send you real time updates as changes are made.


All athletes must utilize school transportation for all interscholastic contests except when parents, in person, take custody of the athlete with the full knowledge and approval of the coach. Students may not ride home with other parents from interscholastic contests. Any exceptions must have prior approval of the School’s Administration.

Coaches must be the last person to leave the school facility after a school trip returns. Parents, please be sure to pick up your child on time or make other timely arrangements.


It is the policy of Canajoharie High School and the Athletic Department to schedule all athletic contests so that students miss a minimum of class time for travel to away games or home contests.

  1. Head coaches should arrange with the Athletic Director to have students excused from class when absolutely necessary because of travel or contest.
  2. It is the responsibility of the student-athlete to meet with his/her teacher the day before the class he/she is to miss because of an athletic contest.


As an athlete, you must accept full responsibility for taking care of all equipment issued to you. If any equipment is lost, you must pay the replacement costs. If you have been issued any equipment and/or uniform for any sport, you must return it to the coach at the end of the sport season. If you fail to turn in all of your equipment, you will be ineligible to compete in any sport until the equipment is turned in or paid for. No equipment is to be worn by the athlete, parent, or girlfriend/boyfriend out of season or for general use.

Athletes are prohibited from wearing uniform items for physical education class. All equipment is to be worn for practices or games only unless specifically approved by the coach.

Uniforms should be laundered according to manufacturer’s specifications. Every attempt should be made to remove stains that are present on the uniform. Uniforms should be hung to dry whenever possible. If machine drying is necessary, the dryer should be at the lowest temperature or on an “air only” setting.   Do not dry clean uniforms.


A coach or an adult assigned supervisor must ALWAYS be physically present in the fitness center. A student-athlete may never work out in the fitness center unsupervised. Remember:

  1. Absolutely NO horseplay
  2. NEVER interfere with a person who is lifting.
  3. Make sure the area is clear of equipment before lifting.
  4. Make eye contact with nearby students before lifting.
  5. Make sure collars are snug.
  6. Return weights to racks.
  7. Spot carefully. Concentrate on the lifter.
  8. Keep the center clean. Do not bring food, glass bottles, etc.
  9. Protect the lower back: head up, buttocks down when lifting; spread the chest; lock in lower back; use a belt.
  10. Help and encourage each other. Help make a friend great.


The Athletic Placement Process (APP) is a process for screening EXCEPTIONAL STUDENT- ATHLETES enrolled in 7th or 8th grade to determine their readiness to compete in an interscholastic competition at the junior varsity and varsity level by evaluating their physical maturity, fitness, and skill. The intent of this program is to provide an opportunity for student-athletes to safely participate at an appropriate level of competition based upon a student’s readiness rather than their age. This program has been designed to assess the student-athlete’s physical maturation, physical fitness, and skill so that the student-athlete may be placed at a level of competition which should result in increased opportunity, a fairer competitive environment, reduced injury, and greater personal satisfaction.

The head coach in each sport, in consultation with the student-athlete’s physical education teacher and athletic director, confidentially recommends individuals to be selectively classified. In addition to the criteria already mentioned, the social and emotional maturity of each student-athlete is carefully assessed especially in situations where students are attempting to play at an advanced level.

In the case where a selectively classified seventh or eighth grader is added to a team, no ninth, tenth, eleventh; or twelfth-grade student who played on that level team the year before may be cut from the team. A ninth, tenth, eleventh, or twelfth-grade student who was not on that specific level team the year before may be cut. A selectively classified 7th or 8th-grade student may only move up to the level at which they qualify.


As an athlete, you represent the school in a special way. Therefore, you must maintain a high standard of conduct, both in and out of school, on or off the playing field, as a host or guest of an opponent, and in all of your activities in the community. Cooperation and self-discipline are essential ingredients for a successful group effort.


When parents of student-athletes choose to take their family vacations during sports seasons, it must be understood that the time missed by the student-athlete can affect team chemistry and personal conditioning. Student-athletes who miss practices or competition for any reason may have their position or playing time adjusted. Coaches shall make every effort to inform parents and student-athletes of the seasons practice schedule as far in advance as possible. If a student-athlete cannot attend a practice session or competition during a vacation, they must notify the coach in advance.

Student-athletes must report to every practice session, unless absent from school for a legal reason, or unless excused in advance by his or her coach. Any planned absence during a school vacation period should be brought to the attention of the coach through personal contact.

Penalty – For the first violation of this provision, the athlete will be suspended from participation in some or all of the NEXT SCHEDULED CONTEST but will be expected to attend all practice sessions and that contest.  For the second violation, the athlete may be dismissed from the team.


Practices and games are permitted on Saturdays, certain holidays and regular vacation periods. The Western Athletic Conference does schedule league games on Saturdays and during vacations at ALL LEVELS. Student-athletes and families should plan accordingly, especially for the spring break vacation where weather has a significant impact on spring schedules.

Sunday practices and games are not allowed, but under specific circumstances, they may be permitted. The Athletic Director must secure approval prior to scheduling Sunday practice. FAMILY OBLIGATIONS COME FIRST. NO EXCEPTIONS.


When school is canceled because of inclement weather, practices or games will not be scheduled unless the Superintendent grants permission.

If school is canceled for reasons that are not weather related, the status of practices or games will be determined by the Athletic Director, Principal and/or Superintendent.


An athlete must be in school the day of the contest and must also be in school the day before participation in any special tournament or out of state contest. An athlete is expected to report on time for school each day.

  1. An athlete may not participate in a practice or game that day when he or she has been absent unexcused or late to school more than 15 minutes or excused from any part of the school day for illness or injury.
  2. Each athlete must make every effort to be in school the day following athletic events. If a pattern of absences develops following athletic events, the coach will take appropriate disciplinary action, which may range from a warning to a suspension from participation for a period of time.
  3. If a player becomes ill during the day and cannot practice, it is his or her responsibility to notify the coach involved.
  4. A student who is absent or tardy due to a doctor/dentist appointment may receive permission from the school’s main office to participate that day, provided they bring a note stating that the student is capable of participating in the sports activity that day.


Students should leave all valuables at home, not in the lockers or the locker room. Students are responsible for providing their own locks for the lockers in the locker room. All lockers must be locked properly.


Hazing, bullying, harassment, fighting, use of profanity or obscene behavior, conduct unbecoming an athlete, or insubordination to the coach could result in one or more of the following penalties:

  • Removal from the team
  • Suspension for one or more contests, at the discretion of the coach or principal
  • In-school suspension or out-of-school suspension

The coach or athletic director may temporarily suspend from the team or group, any team member whenever the coach, athletic director, or principal determines the student is not contributing to good inter-squad or group discipline and decorum.

The district is committed to safeguarding the right of all students within the school district to learn in an environment that is free from all forms of discrimination and harassment.

Conduct is deemed to be sexual harassment when the student perceives such behavior as unwelcome, such as inappropriate touching, verbal comments, sexual name-calling, spreading sexual rumors, gestures, jokes or pictures.

Conduct is considered discrimination when such behavior is based on race, creed, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, family background, or physical/mental disability. These can take the form of name-calling; physical, verbal or written threats; hate literature, or any other act intended to hurt, scare or put down another based on who they are. These words and acts are unacceptable even when used as jokes.

Whether the act is deliberate, intentional, or unintentional, discrimination and harassment are unacceptable.

Hazing of any form will not be tolerated among athlete team members. Hazing has no place in the school/athletic setting and is defined as any harassment, abuse, or humiliation that any team member exacts on another with or without the agreement of the person being hazed. Hazing (whether physical or verbal) is punishable by dismissal from the team.

The principal shall enforce the regulations of the “Code of Conduct.” Violations of school rules, inappropriate behavior, and unlawful behavior (whether on or off school grounds) may result in suspension or determination of ineligibility to participate in athletics as well as possible suspension from school.


Student-athletes are prohibited from using, possessing, or selling tobacco products, alcohol, or illegal drugs. In addition, any identifiable cyber image, photo, or video that implicates a student-athlete to have in possession or in the presence of drugs/alcohol/tobacco, or portrays actual use, shall be confirmation of a violation of this prohibition. If no determination can be established for the time frame or location of such action, the code will be enforced. The first confirmed violation of the code of conduct in relation to the use, possession, or sale of tobacco products, alcohol, or illegal drugs will result in the following:

  1. The athlete in violation of this provision will be suspended from participation for at least 20% of the season, but must attend all practice sessions. For the second violation, the athlete will be dismissed from the team.
  2. The athlete is required to attend all practices with the team but cannot participate in any contests or scrimmages. Participation in regular team practices will be at the coach’s discretion. Travel to away games during the suspension period will be at the discretion of the coach and the Athletic Director.
  3. In the case of egregious use, sale, or distribution of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs, an athlete may be summarily dismissed from the team by the high school principal.


Playing and competing for the Canajoharie Central School District is a privilege. Student‐athletes are held in the highest regard and are seen as role models in the community. As leaders, you have the responsibility to portray your team, our school and yourselves in a positive manner at all times. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and other social media sites have increased in popularity are used by the majority of student‐athletes in one form or another. Student‐athletes should be aware that third parties -including school personnel, opponents, and referees – could easily access your profiles and view all personal information, including all pictures, videos, and comments. Inappropriate material affects the perception of the student-athlete, the athletic department and Canajoharie Central School District.

Examples of inappropriate and offensive behaviors concerning participation in social media may include, but are not limited to depictions or presentations of the following:

  • Photos, videos, posts and/or comments showing the personal use of alcohol, drugs or tobacco.
  • Photos, videos, posts and/or comments that are of a sexual nature. This includes links to websites of a pornographic nature and other inappropriate material.
  • Pictures, videos or comments that condone drug-related activity. This includes, but is not limited to images that portray the personal use of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
  • Content online that is unsportsmanlike, derogatory, demeaning or threatening toward any other individual or entity (examples: derogatory comments regarding another school, taunting comments aimed at an opposing student-athlete, coach or team, and derogatory comments against race and/or gender). No posts should depict or encourage unacceptable, violent or illegal activities (examples: hazing, sexual harassment/assault, gambling, discrimination, fighting, vandalism, academic dishonesty, underage drinking, illegal drug use). In addition, derogatory comments regarding a Canajoharie student-athlete’s own coach, teammates or the school in general, will not be tolerated.

If a student-athlete’s profile and its contents are found to be inappropriate in accordance with the above behaviors, he/she will be subject to the following penalties:

  1. A meeting (including a parent of the offending student-athlete) with Director of Athletics, Head Coach and Principal;
  2. Penalties as determined by the district’s code of conduct, including, but not limited to possible suspension from his/her athletic team


The goal of the Canajoharie Central School Academic Policy is to encourage all students to maintain an acceptable level of academic achievement.

  • Any middle school student who participates in the interscholastic athletic program must maintain a passing average (70%) in all subjects.

Penalty – The middle school athlete who does not maintain a passing average shall attend the assistance period to receive additional help. If the student is still in academic difficulty, limitations will be made in his or her participation in the athletic program based on the recommendation of his or her academic team.

  • Athletes failing more than one subject at the high school level must correct all failures following the issuance of report cards or five-week progress reports. (An incomplete for other than medical reasons will be considered a failure.)

Penalty – Athletes will be required to attend Tenth Period each day with a teacher of one of the subjects failed in order to participate in sports practice or competition.

The student-athlete is expected to be in regular school and class attendance at all times, except for legitimate and legal reasons for absence. All high school student-athletes must attend school no later than the start of period 2 in order to participate in sports practice or competition unless approval is given by the high school principal.


Any student convicted of a misdemeanor or felony during the season will be subject to a disciplinary response, including possible:

  • Removal from the team
  • Suspension for one or more contests, at the discretion of the coach or principal
  • In-school suspension or out-of-school suspension


Spectators, student-athletes and coaches must recognize that their conduct plays an important role in establishing the reputation of their school and that their positive actions can relate directly to the success of their teams. Parents are required to sign a code of conduct. Following are the guidelines of that contract:


One of the goals of the interscholastic athletic department at Canajoharie is to make the athletic experience a positive one for the athletes, the parents, and those who choose to watch our teams perform. To achieve that goal we must all work together and support each other.

In an effort to facilitate this we ask that each parent or guardian to recognize that it is vital to support the efforts and decisions of the coaching staff.


  1. Expectations the coach has for your child as well as all players on the team.
  2. Team requirements, i.e. team rules, equipment needs, off-season conditioning, etc.
  3. Discipline procedures that may result in the denial of your child’s participation.
  4. Location and times of practices and contests.


  1. Notification of any schedule conflicts well in advance
  2. Specific medical problems that could adversely impact your child’s safety or performance.
  3. Concerns expressed directly to the coach.


  1. The treatment of your child mentally and physically.
  2. Ways to help your child improve.
  3. Concerns about your child’s behavior.
  4. Family concerns that may have an emotional impact upon your child and his or her athletic participation.


  1. Playing time
  2. Line-ups and/or substitutions
  3. Team strategy and/or play calling
  4. Other student-athletes on the team


  1. Prior to or during practice.
  2. Prior to, during, or after a contest.

These are typically either very busy times or, in the case of a contest, emotional times for all parties involved. Things can and will be said that are not meant and meetings of this nature do not promote resolution.


There are situations that may require a conference between the coach and parent. These are encouraged as it is important that both parties have a clear understanding of the other’s position. When these conferences are necessary, the following should be followed to promote resolution:

  1. Contact the coach directly to set up a meeting to discuss concerns.
  2. If the meeting with the coach did not provide a satisfactory resolution, contact the Athletic Director to discuss the situation.
  3. If the meeting with the Athletic Director did not provide a satisfactory resolution, contact the Building Principal to discuss the situation.
  4. If the meeting with the building principal did not provide a satisfactory resolution, contact the Superintendent of Schools to discuss the situation.


  1. Pledge to provide positive support, care, and encouragement to my student-athlete and his or her team, coaches and school.
  2. Pledge to provide positive support and encouragement to the visiting team, their coaches and school.
  3. Pledge to serve as a positive role model by demonstrating positive behavior and attitude at all athletic contests, both at Canajoharie and opposing school sites.
  4. Respect the position and professionalism of the game official.
  5. Refrain from the use of foul language.
  6. Refrain from yelling criticism at my student-athlete and his or her coach or team.
  7. Refrain from making derogatory comments to players, other parents, game officials or school administrators.
  8. Refrain from interfering with the coach.
  9. Be willing to let the coach be responsible for my son or daughter during practice, games, and team-related activities.
  10. Will assist in providing for student safety and welfare.
  11. Will sign and submit, with accurate information, all required student-athlete handbook forms to the Athletic Director.
  12. Will not attempt to circumvent any rules or guidelines of Canajoharie Central School or NYSPHSAA.

It is important for a parent to serve as a positive role model. A parent can be that good role model by conducting himself/herself in a manner consistent with the dictates of good sportsmanship at all contests, both at Canajoharie as well as at opposing school sites. Parents and spectators should cheer in a positive fashion for outstanding play and refrain from criticizing the efforts of the officials, the players (both teams), and the decisions made by the coaches.



The New York State Public High School Athletic Association supports and encourages spectators to enjoy the competition between our student-athletes and cheer for their teams in a positive manner.

Negative comments and behavior will be addressed by the appropriate site personnel. Spectators should “Be Loud, Be Proud, Be Positive” toward all players, coaches, officials and spectators. Thank you for your support and enjoy the game.

In the event a spectator acts inappropriately at any interscholastic athletic event, regardless of venue, the school-designated supervisor will caution them about their behavior and request that it stop. If the behavior continues, the spectator will be asked to leave the premises. Depending on the severity of the behavior and/or repeated violations, a spectator may be immediately ejected and banned from future athletic contests.

Canajoharie Central School takes good decorum at sporting events very seriously. It is our goal to provide an enjoyable athletic experience for everyone. We hope both parents and students will embrace that initiative and support our efforts in that direction.