Smithfield Public Schools recognizes that a comprehensive program of athletics is important to the educational development of students. Therefore, the interscholastic athletic program is an integral part of the educational program in the Smithfield Public Schools. Smithfield Public Schools is committed to providing athletic programs that promote and develop respect for self and others, fellowship and goodwill, sportsmanship, ethical conduct, integrity, honesty, teamwork, physical skill and constructive competition. Smithfield Public Schools supports access to athletics for all students. The objectives of the athletic program are to provide:
• A positive atmosphere of school athletics within the Smithfield Public Schools.
• Development of leadership qualities.
• Opportunities for physical, mental, social and emotional growth and development.
• Refinement of skills in sports activities of each student’s choice.
• Self-discipline, self-motivation, excellence and the ideals of good sportsmanship that make for winning and losing graciously.
• Achievement of school goals and the student’s individual goals.
Interscholastic athletic activities shall be conducted in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League and Rhode Island Principal’s Committee on Athletics Grades 6-8. Participation in interscholastic athletics is a privilege which may be revoked for failure to comply with the rules and regulations of the school or the athletic department.
Participation in interscholastic athletics is subject to satisfaction of the eligibility requirements of this policy, the Rules and Regulations of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League, and the Rhode Island Principal’s Committee on Athletics Grades 6-8, as applicable. In the event of a conflict amongst the respective eligibility requirements set forth in the preceding sentence, the stricter requirement shall apply.
In order to participate in interscholastic athletics, students must:
Smithfield High School
Smithfield High School bases eligibility status on the Rhode Island Interscholastic League Eligibility Rule (Article 3, Section 4), RIIL rules under ARTICLE 3,
The student athlete should have secured for the period from the beginning of a quarter or trimester up to the end of the regular marking period, which shall not exceed a maximum of twelve (12) weeks, a passing grade in sixty (60%) percent of his/her program (credits).” This means a student athlete must obtain a passing grade in five out of seven (5/7) courses at the end of the marking period. Eligibility is based on grades earned for each of the four quarterly marking periods. Therefore, students’ eligibility will be determined equally and fairly for each and every quarter. A student who has any “incompletes” at the end of the quarter will have two weeks to satisfy the requirements of incomplete courses. A student with three or more “incompletes” will be considered academically ineligible. The principal and the Athletic Director reserve the right to deem students ineligible due to violation of school rules. *SEE ONE-TIME CHANGE AT BOTTOM FOR THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR ONLY
Student-athletes are NOT eligible if:
● they are excused from Physical Education for medical reasons (including a nurse's note);
● their 19th birthday occurs prior to September 1 of the school year in which the student-athlete seeks participation;
● they have represented the school in any one sport for more than four seasons or have been in attendance for more than eight semesters in the 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade or grades or the equivalent of such grade or grades in any school or schools;
● they have changed schools without a change of legal residence, unless a transfer rule affidavit is approved from the Rhode Island Interscholastic League;
● they do not comply with rules outlined in the Rhode Island Interscholastic League's Rules and Regulations. This publication may be found at www.riil.org.
Additional eligibility guidelines:
● Student-athletes may have to sit 50% of the first scheduled varsity contests of that season if they played or practiced with an outside team in any sport that conflicts with the high school practice or contest
● Student-athletes who arrive after 10:30 a.m. at SHS will be deemed ineligible to participate in athletics or extracurricular activities on that day.
Gallagher Middle School
Gallagher Middle School abides by the RIPCOA regulations regarding eligibility (Article II), which can be found here: RIPCOA Rules and Regulations.
Student-athletes are NOT eligible (by RIPCOA guidelines) if:
● their 15th birthday occurs prior to September 1st of the school year in which the athlete seeks participation
● they are identified as being in a grade other than 6, 7, or 8
● at the beginning of a marking period, they received less than a passing grade (failing grade) in a class required to be promoted to the next grade (further stipulations found under Article II)
Student-athletes must abide by the following GMS regulations to be considered eligible to participate:
● For any student to be eligible to try out for or participate on any of the above named teams/organizations, the student:
○ may not fail 2 or more subjects that meet daily or fail any combination of 3 subjects (on the most recent report card).
○ may not be excused from physical education class for a physical reason and still play in any practice, game, or contest on that day.
● Student-athletes who arrive after 11:00 a.m. at GMS will be deemed ineligible to participate in athletics or extracurricular activities on that day.
Communication of Eligibility
● The principal and/or designee compiles the eligibility list.
● The eligibility list is shared with the athletic director, head coaches and school counselors via email.
● Coaches must provide an electronic acknowledgement (Coaches Acknowledgement of Eligibility Form) that they have received the eligibility list.
● The principal and/or designee will meet with each ineligible student.
● The principal and/or designee will contact the parent/guardian of each ineligible student.
● Coaches will ensure every student-athlete is scholastically eligible. Each coach must review the quarterly ineligibility list and at a minimum check players’ midterm and end of quarter grades.
B. Documentation Required Prior to Participation
1. Physical Examination and Health History Form
2. Rhode Island Interscholastic League (9-12) - Assumption of Risk Form
Rhode Island Principals’ Committee on Athletics (6-8) - Assumption of Risk Form
3. Proof of Insurance
4. Parent/Guardian Permission and Acknowledgement of Athletic Policies
5. Concussion Awareness Information Form
II. Expectations and Code of Conduct for Student-Athletes
A firm and fair policy of enforcement is necessary to uphold the regulations and standards of the athletic department. The community, school administrators, and coaching staff feel strongly that high standards of conduct and citizenship are essential in maintaining a sound athletic program. Student-athletes are expected to abide by this code of conduct, which will earn them the honor and respect that participation and competition in the interscholastic athletic program affords. Conduct which results in dishonor to the student-athlete, the team, or the school will not be tolerated. All rules apply to all student-athletes including players, managers, trainers, and all other student-athletes representing a team from Smithfield High School or Gallagher Middle School.
Good sportsmanship, ethical behavior, honesty, integrity, and the respect for others are the guiding principles that permeate all interscholastic activities in our schools. In perception and practice, sportsmanship is defined as those qualities, which are characterized by generosity and genuine concern for others. All individuals, regardless of their role, are expected to model sportsmanship because of their influence on the behavior of others.
B. Chemical Health, Alcohol, Drugs, Tobacco and Steroids
Medical research substantiates that the use of alcohol and mood-modifying substances produces harmful effects on the human body and will affect athletic performance. Student-athletes who experiment with such substances jeopardize program morale, reputation and success, do physical harm and risk injury to themselves and others during their activity. Student-athletes who wish to participate in the Smithfield Public Schools athletic program must make the commitment to refrain from the use of alcohol, drugs (non-prescription and/or illicit), tobacco (including but not limited to, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars or smokeless tobacco), performance-enhancing supplements, and steroids. Student-athletes are considered in violation of these expectations if they are “in the presence of”, “possess”, “consume” (including being under the influence of), and/or “distribute”, other than as prescribed by a physician for personal use, any tobacco product, controlled drug and/or intoxicant, or steroid at any time whether during school, at any school activity, on school property, or at locations off school property.
a. Any student-athlete found in violation of the expectations found in the Smithfield Athletic Handbook may face the following sanctions:
1. Suspension from practices and interscholastic competitions (per the discretion of administration and/or coaches).
2. Student-athlete and parent/guardian meeting with the Athletic Director, coach, school nurse, and/or Student Assistance Counselor.
3. Forfeiture of captaincy (when applicable).
4. For any additional violations in the same year or subsequent year, a student-athlete may be suspended from all interscholastic athletic competitions and extracurricular activities
C. Hazing / Harassment / Bullying
Under no circumstances will any type of hazing and/or initiation be tolerated. The term “hazing”, as defined by Rhode Island State Law, means any conduct or method of initiation which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student-athlete or other person (abbreviated from State of Rhode Island Hazing Law, section 11-21-1(b)). Violation of this policy will result in strong disciplinary action, including suspension from the athletic team and loss of captaincy (when applicable).
Smithfield Public Schools recognizes the importance of keeping lines of communication open among coaches, players, and families. Most communication can take place effectively between the coach and the student-athlete. However, there are appropriate concerns a parent/guardian may wish to discuss with the coach. If the parent/guardian has concerns about the treatment of a student-athlete, academic concerns, or concerns about the student-athlete’s behavior, the parent should contact the coach or the Athletic Director. The coach or the Athletic Director should be contacted via means provided at the beginning of the season, and a return call will be made promptly. Concerns about athletics are most productive if addressed during the applicable sport season
It is not appropriate to discuss with the coach playing time, team strategy, play calling or other student-athletes. It is also not appropriate to confront a coach before, during or after a game or practice. The coach’s responsibility at those times is to supervise his/her student-athletes.
The coach must schedule a pre-season meeting with parents/guardians and all parents/guardians must attend this meeting. Pertinent information concerning expectations, practice time, and policies and procedures will be communicated and coaches will answer questions concerning the rules and regulations.
Student-athletes must travel to and from athletic contests in transportation provided by the Smithfield Public Schools unless previous arrangements are made by the student-athlete’s parent/guardian for exceptional situations. The Athletic Director and coach must approve permission for exceptions. In addition:
● Student-athletes will remain with their team under the supervision of the coach when attending away contests.
● Student-athletes may return from an away contest only with their parent/guardian and only for exceptional reasons. In that event, the parent must request permission from the coach prior to the contest. The student-athletes will be released only to parent/guardian upon the personal recognizance of the parent/guardian by the coach.
● Student-athletes are not permitted to drive their own vehicles to away contests.
● Student-athletes who miss the bus departure will not be allowed to participate in the contest unless there are extenuating circumstances.
● The expectation is that parents/guardians will be punctual when arriving to pick up student-athletes at the completion of a contest (home and away) or a practice session.
● All regular school bus rules will be followed.
V. Equipment and Uniforms
Student-athletes are responsible for the proper care and security of all issued/loaned equipment. School-furnished equipment is to be worn only for contests and practice or when authorized by the coach. All equipment must be returned immediately after the season. It is the student-athlete’s responsibility to make sure any issued and personal belongings are properly secured at all times.
Student-athletes who do not return equipment in good condition or who lose equipment will be assessed the replacement cost of the equipment. Additionally, student-athletes may not participate in another sport until this obligation has been fulfilled. Equipment cannot be issued to student-athletes out of season, per Rhode Island Interscholastic League Rules.
ONE-TIME ONLY - REVISION FOR THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR ONLY*
Fall eligibility will be determined by the final grade for each course from the 2019-2020 school year. Any student-athlete with 3 or more failing final grades from the 2019-2020 school year will not be eligible for 2020 -2021 fall athletics. The remainder of the 2020-2021 athletic seasons will use the quarter grade as outlined in this policy.
ADOPTED: April 3, 1999
REVISED: May 15, 2000; August 15, 2016, August 17, 2020*