Athletics Handbook

Upper School Program and Policies

The Upper School program provides opportunities for students to develop individual fitness and sports skills through a variety of activities including team and individual sports. Our program also offers a health class and some non-traditional fitness activities such as yoga. Dance is part of both the physical education and the arts curriculum. The core of our program is the sequential lifetime fitness classes that emphasize an appreciation and desire for physical training and fitness as a lifetime goal. These classes are supported by a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and our new state of the art weight room and training center.

Graduation Requirement
In order to graduate, students must pass 11 of 12 seasons. Students in grade 9 – 11 must pass all three seasons of each year. Seniors must pass two of the three seasons, with an allowance for one season off. If a senior would like to take a season off, he or she must inform the department in advance of that season.

Team and PE Class Registration
Students sign up through the online Student Portal each spring for the upcoming school year. Students must sign up for a team or PE class for each season. Sign ups for PE classes have capped registration and spaces are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no cap for team registration – teams are determined by tryouts.

If a PE class is full, students may contact the Athletics Office to be added to the wait list. Students are added into classes as space becomes available. Students can ask to be waitlisted for multiple classes.

Students have until two weeks after the start of the season to withdraw from a team or switch PE classes without penalty. After that date, a student may not change his/her PE class and any player who quits a team will not receive credit for that season.

Please note that course offerings are subject to change based on staffing, faculty availability and student registration.

Grading
Grading will be based on attendance, attitude, improvement, and effort. Students in non-competitive activities will receive letter grades. Students on teams receive a pass/fail mark. Written comments will be provided to all students. Grades are included on a student’s official transcript. Grade reports are posted to the student and parent portal after each season.

Interims concerning student performance are posted to the student and parent portals. An email is sent to the student, advisor, and parents/guardians when it is posted.

Students who fail a season lose the privilege of taking a season off during senior year. Instead, a student must use the third season to make-up the failing grade for credit. A senior who fails the spring season must make up 24 hours of physical education before receiving their diploma.

Attendance
Students must participate in a minimum of 80 percent of all classes/practices to receive credit for a season. Daily attendance will be recorded by instructors and coaches.

Students must make up any excused absences (illness, pre-excused doctor’s appointments) to fulfill the attendance requirement. In order to be an excused absence, the student must contact his or her teacher before class. Excused absences will not be granted retroactively. Students are not allowed to make up unexcused absences.

Injuries
Students with a short-term injury should check in with his/her instructor or coach, and then report to the athletic trainer for treatment.

Any student athlete that has been seen by a physician must have a written release from the treating physician in order to resume practice. The physician’s note must be provided to both the athletic trainer and the athletic director before a student will be allowed to return to practice.

Students with a long-term injury or illness can – subject to approval of the Athletic Director – receive credit for a season by:

  • Serving as a manager for a team, as approved by the coach;
  • Establishing a rehabilitation program with the athletic trainer;
  • Applying to the athletic director for a medical exemption. Any request for an exemption must include sufficient medical documentation. Exemptions are granted by the athletic director in consultation with the athletic trainer;
  • Taking the season off without credit and making it up before graduation

Independent Study
Students interested in an independent study must demonstrate a high performance level in their requested field. In order to receive credit for an independent study, students must submit an application by the required deadline to the Independent Study Committee for its consideration. An application must be submitted for each season – deadlines are listed on the application form for each season. The applicant must agree to participate on the school’s team in that sport as a prerequisite for applying.

Independent study forms can be downloaded from the athletics webpage under “Forms”. Please refer to the form for more specifics about the application process.

Transportation
Travel time together can be an important element in forming team cohesion and players are expected to travel to games together on the team bus. Parents may take their child directly home after games but must receive positive acknowledgement from the coach before departing so that those riding back to school on the team bus do not lose time searching for a teammate who has already departed. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Athletic Director.

Medical Forms
All students must have complete medical forms on file with the school prior to participation in any pre-season athletic practices or games.

Concussion Testing
The concussion testing policy is available on the Parent Portal under the Health Services link, “Impact Concussion Testing”. Upper School athletes are tested every two years to ensure an accurate baseline profile.

Fitness Testing
Starting in the 2015/16 school year, all students perform a fitness test twice each school year. Pre- and post-test results will be provided to students.

Team Parents
All interscholastic programs are encouraged to have team parents to provide support with communications to parents and team functions. Interested parents may contact the head coach to volunteer.

Inclement Weather and Lightning Policy
Cancellations due to inclement weather are posted to the Sidwell Athletics webpage. Parents and students can subscribe to iCal feeds in order to receive notifications when games are cancelled.

In addition, League policy stipulates that all outdoor activities must be suspended immediately if thunder is heard or lightning is observed. Once activities have been suspended, teams must wait a minimum of thirty minutes following the last sound of thunder or observation of lightning before resuming an activity or returning outdoors. All participants and spectators must move indoor for safety during a delay.

Team Fundraising
In accordance with guidelines for fundraising listed in the Sidwell Friends School Community Handbook under the section, “Stewardship, Donations and Fundraising,” team fundraising must be pre-approved by the Athletic Director and, if appropriate, the Administrative Council. Fundraising activities should be designed to enhance the community’s experience, such as concession sales at home games. Funds raised should be for team activities such as travel to tournaments or camps and end of season celebrations, and not for team gear.

Special Orders
While the athletic department appreciates the desire of teams and athletes to celebrate achievements and promote team unity by purchasing specialized gear or jackets, the department must also ensure parity among teams and athletes and avoid burdening individuals and families with additional costs.

Any team that wants to purchase gear must first seek approval from both the team’s coach and the Athletic Director. Once approved, all purchases must be made through the Fox Den and the cost of the item will be billed to each student’s account prior to ordering.

Expectations of Athletes
It is expected that all team athletes will make a sincere commitment to the team. Teams can neither go up against strong competition nor meet the rigors of existing schedules without a commitment and understanding from all athletes of the expectations. Each athlete should commit him/herself to his/her teammates, the sport and Sidwell Friends. Additionally, athletes should:

  • attend all games and practices, putting forth 100 percent effort
  • come prepared and on time for practices and games
  • work to improve essential skills and knowledge of the sport
  • display respectful and appropriate behavior toward teammates, coaches, opponents, officials, managers, bus drivers, athletic staff, spectators, the game and its rules at all times.
  • be responsible for the care and return of your uniforms and equipment.
  • report any injury to your coach and the athletic trainer.
  • represent the school and its commitment to Quaker values in all aspects of participation.

Expectations of Spectators
The School encourages parents, students, and other members of the school community to support student athletes at competitions. It is expected that all who attend will:

  • demonstrate positive support of the coaches, student-athletes, and the school’s athletic program including its policies, strategies, and team rules.
  • adhere to the leagues’ sportsmanship codes of conduct.
  • demonstrate and encourage good sportsmanship, including appropriate cheering and supporting all teammates at games
  • approach games in a positive manner, treating officials with courtesy and not challenging their calls
  • refrain from interfering and interacting with players, coaches, and members of the opposing teams during competition or team activities.

Parents with concerns relating to a team or their child’s athletic experience should make an appointment to speak with the coach privately and, if unresolved, contact the athletic director.

Use of Facilities The Athletic Performance Center (APC) is open for all current students daily from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Students must adhere to the department’s athletic training and athletic performance center usage policies. These policies are in place to ensure the safety of all students and the proper maintenance of the facilities.

Please see Appendices A and B for detailed policies for athletic training and usage of the Athletic Performance Center.

Use of School Name in Competition The School does not sponsor or allow athletes to engage in competition under the Sidwell Friends name except in the following circumstances:

  • Varsity, JV, or middle school teams competing in interscholastic league play
  • Existing club teams formally recognized in the school’s curriculum (currently crew and Ultimate Frisbee)

The School’s liability insurance will not assume coverage arising from competition other than in the circumstances described above. Accordingly, no sponsorship or recognition can be extended by the school to athletes in competition other than in the categories listed above.

College Recruitment of Student Athletes
The athletic department works collaboratively with the college counseling staff and plays an active role in supporting and promoting students who aspire to play in college. Coaches serve as the primary point of contact for college coaches and will assist any student with the recruiting process. This includes writing recommendations, communicating with schools, developing game tapes, and encouraging students to attend camps in the summer at colleges of interest. The athletic director has an open-door policy and will meet with any student and/or parents/guardians to discuss the recruitment process.

Additionally, each January, the Athletics and College Counseling departments jointly host a breakfast for parents focused on college recruitment of student athletes. The departments convene a panel of college coaches to discuss the recruitment process and field questions from the audience.

Upper School Athletic Awards

Criteria for Varsity Letters

Varsity letters are awarded at the discretion of a team’s head coach based on the following criteria:

  • Amount of participation in interscholastic contests
  • Attitude
  • Effort
  • Skill
  • Seniors who have been a part of the program more than one year
  • Team manager
  • Overall contribution to the team

Note: No athlete will be presented with the actual letter more than once. Varsity athletes will also receive the pin for their sport in the first year and a bar in successive years.

Team Awards

The Athletic Department recognizes outstanding athletic achievement at its annual, end-of-the-year awards ceremony. The athletes that have had exceptional experiences are eligible for the following awards:

The Sidwell Friends School Athletic Award is the highest honor presented to one member of each team. The winner is determined by the team’s head coach and recognizes outstanding achievement, sportsmanship, and total contribution to the success of the team.

The Coach’s Award recognizes an athlete of the coach’s choosing, whether it be for most valuable, most improved, greatest effort, etc.

These awards are given for each Varsity and JV team and the boys freshman basketball team.


Individual Awards for Seniors

In addition to the team awards, individual awards are presented at the annual, end-of-the-year ceremony to recognize career achievements:

Career awards are presented to seniors who have earned six or more varsity letters in their athletic careers at Sidwell.

The Unsung Hero Award is presented annually to a senior male and female athlete for contributions that might otherwise go unrecognized. The recipients of the award – by virtue of their presence, participation, dedication and enthusiasm – have significantly enriched the Sidwell Friends Athletic Program.

The Tyler Rusch Award is presented to a senior male and female athlete that have significantly enriched the Sidwell Friends Athletic Program through motivational leadership, steadfast participation, dedication to teamwork, enthusiasm and an all-out effort in athletic competition. This award is given in memory of former student Tyler Rusch ’04.

The Wannan and Fine Awards are presented to a senior male and female athlete who, by consensus of the PE and Athletic Department, deserve recognition for their athletic talent, leadership, dedication, sportsmanship, broad participation and interest and involvement in all aspects of school life.

League Awards

In addition, both the MAC and ISL select all-league teams in every varsity sport. After each season, a list of recipients is posted to the Sidwell athletics webpage. Recipients also are honored at the spring awards evening with a league certificate.

Upper School Athletic Leagues

Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAC)

Sidwell’s boys teams participate in the MAC, which is composed of a group of schools in the Washington metropolitan area that maintain athletic relationships with one another and subscribe to the following philosophy and objectives:

“The members of this League have joined together to mutually support the highest standards of athletic competition and student interaction. We believe that the primary purpose of our institutions is to support the academic and personal growth of our students. Therefore, our League places the highest emphasis on sportsmanship, mutual respect and adherence to fair play. Each school is pledged to support the others in their efforts to sustain these goals. Each school also commits itself to an admissions process that does not give undue emphasis to athletic skills or provide athletic scholarships. Thus, athletic achievement is put in its proper role in the overall academic focus of the school and this League, as a whole, expects that each school will avoid any recruiting that would undermine these standards.”

League Sportsmanship Expectations: The MAC embraces a common core of values and cooperates in a collective attempt to achieve them: We emphasize the value of respect for self and for others. We realize that an athletic contest is only a game and we expect positive encouragement from all participants and spectators. MAC members are gracious in victory as well as defeat.

Member Schools

Flint Hill School

Potomac School

Georgetown Day School

St. Andrew’s School

Maret School

St. James School

Sidwell Friends School

Independent School League (ISL)

Twelve metropolitan area independent schools announced on April 17, 1985, the formation of a new athletic league for competition in girls sports. The league was formed by Gary Blackman, former athletic director at Sidwell Friends School, with the aid of then-assistant athletic director Anne Renninger, who wrote the by-laws. The purpose of the League is to:

  • Provide female students at the member schools a quality athletic experience through structured league play;
  • Provide for recognition of individual and team accomplishments;
  • Promote sportsmanship, good will, and healthy rivalries among member schools and their athletes.

Competition takes places in ten sports: soccer, field hockey, volleyball, tennis, cross country, basketball, swimming, softball, lacrosse, and track and field.

League divisions. The league is split into two sports divisions – “AA” and “A” – when there are thirteen or more teams competing. The prior year’s results will determine in which division a school will be placed. For sports where fewer than twelve teams compete, there will be only one division.

Sportsmanship. The ISL embraces a common core of values and cooperates in a collective attempt to achieve them. The value of respect for self and others is emphasized. Athletic contests are only games. The expectation is that only positive encouragement is asserted from all participants and spectators. ISL members are gracious in victory as well as defeat.

Awards. The ISL annually presents the James W. Lewis Trophy to the ISL overall champion and the Evelyn Fine (former Sidwell Friends Girls Athletic Director) and Virginia Peddle Trophy to the ISL school finishing second in overall competition. In 1996, the Blackman Sportsmanship Award was established in honor of Gary Blackman (former Sidwell Friends Athletic Director). This award is presented to the league school and its entire community in recognition of school sportsmanship.


Member Schools

Bullis

Georgetown Visitation

Maret

Sidwell Friends

Episcopal

Holton Arms

National Cathedral

Stone Ridge

Flint Hill

Holy Child

Potomac School

St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes

Georgetown Day

Madeira

Sandy Spring

St. Andrew’s

Middle School Program

5/6 Physical Education

The fifth and sixth grade program provides an overview of our seventh and eighth grade interscholastic sports offerings, fitness assessments and a health unit. Each student participates in twelve different three-to-four week sport units. The classes of sixteen students are divided by grade level and are taught by full-time physical education faculty. Our program offers a variety of sports experiences with an emphasis on skill development, discipline, sportsmanship and a healthy respect for physical activity. The fifth and sixth grade PE program meets daily from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm.

5/6 Curriculum by Season

Fall

Winter

Spring

Boys
Coed Fitness
Flag Football
Soccer
Tennis

Boys
Basketball
Health
Swimming
Wrestling

Boys
Baseball
Boys Fitness
Lacrosse
Track

Girls
Coed Fitness
Field Hockey
Soccer
Volleyball

Girls
Basketball
Girls Fitness
Health
Swimming

Girls
Lacrosse
Softball
Track

7/8 Physical Education

Interscholastic athletic competition begins in the 7th and 8th grades. The program focuses on skill development, game strategies, teamwork, discipline, commitment and sportsmanship. For each season (fall, winter, spring), the students may participate on one team or take a dance class that culminates in a performance. Overall, the physical education opportunities emphasize the improvement of physical fitness levels while improving specific sports skills in practice and game settings. To maximize team participation we have multiple levels for several sports, but some students end up in their second choice.

7/8 PE meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 2 – 3:15 pm and Tuesdays from 1 – 2 pm. There are no 7/8 PE classes or games on Fridays. When games are scheduled, students can expect to be in PE beyond the regular class hours. For example, for a 2:45 pm away game, students will typically be back to campus by 4:45 pm. Coaches will communicate if it will be longer than that. Students ride on school-provided transportation to games. Parents may take their child directly home after games but must receive positive acknowledgement from the coach before departing so that those riding back to school on the team bus do not lose time searching for a teammate who has already departed.

7/8 Interscholastic Sports


Fall Season
Girls’ Soccer (2 teams) 
Boys’ Soccer (2 teams)
Football (Lightweight & Heavyweight)
Girls’ Tennis
Girls’ Volleyball
Girls’ Field Hockey
Boys' & Girls' Cross Country
Movement Performance*

Winter Season
Girls’ Basketball (3 teams) 
Boys’ Basketball (3 teams)
Wrestling
Boys' & Girls' Swimming
Indoor Track
Movement Performance*

Spring Season
Boys’ Lacrosse (2 teams) 
Girls’ Lacrosse (2 teams)
Softball
Baseball
Boys’ Tennis
Boys' & Girls' Track and Field
Movement Performance*

* Students may participate in two out of three seasons of Movement Performance per academic year.

Registration for 7/8 Sports

Rising 7th and 8th graders register for their PE selections at the end of May. All students have equal opportunity to sign up for their first choice PE team for each season. Although signups are open, tryouts will be held for teams with large enrollment numbers. To maximize team participation we have multiple levels for several sports. However, some students have to go to their second choice.

Uniforms and Equipment

Middle school uniforms are purchased through the Fox Den. 5/6 students wear a gray Sidwell t-shirt and maroon mesh shorts. 7/8 students wear maroon Sidwell jerseys and black shorts for practices and games. When the weather gets cooler, students should plan to keep a sweatshirt and sweatpants in their gym locker, but these do not have to be Sidwell Friends School items.

In addition, the following items will be used by all 5/6 students over the course of the year in PE:

Combination Lock
Water Bottle
Running Shoes
Cleats
Shin Guards and Socks
Mouth Guard
Bathing Suit (cap optional)

5/6 students are welcome to bring their own tennis rackets, lacrosse sticks, etc., but families do not need to purchase these – the athletic department has items to lend for the 5/6 sessions.

Grading

5/6 grade reports are similar to the Lower School grade reports, providing a checklist of skills and abilities and written comments for each session. 7/8 grade reports provide a narrative of each student’s performance for that season. Grade reports are posted to the parent portal at the end of each season.

Locker Assignments

All middle school students are assigned a locker for the entire school year. Students must buy a lock for their locker and provide the combination to Megan Miller (girls) or Chan Cho (boys). The department maintains the list in case students forget their combination so locks do not need to be cut off. If a student changes his/her lock during the school year, please remember to provide the updated combination.

Fitness Testing

5/6 students currently receive fitness testing twice a year. Starting in the 2015/16 school year, 7/8 students perform a fitness test twice each school year. Biannual fitness testing continues through the twelfth grade. Pre- and post-test results will be provided to students.

Concussion Testing

The concussion testing policy is available on the Parent Portal under the Health Services link, “Impact Concussion Testing”. Concussion testing begins in 7th grade and occurs every two years thereafter to ensure an accurate baseline profile.

Lost and Found

Lost and found items are stored beneath the upper level and two lower level staircases in the Athletic Center. Before winter and summer breaks, the any unclaimed lost and found items are donated to area charities. The department will set out remaining items and remind students to check the lost and found prior to donating items.

Middle School Awards

At the end of each season, there will be an awards assembly to recognize the efforts of all the middle school athletes and teams. The following awards will be presented to members of each team (recipients selected by the team’s head coach):

The Sidwell Friends Athletic Award is the highest honor presented to one member of each team and recognizes outstanding achievement, sportsmanship, and total contribution to the success of the team.

The Coach’s Award recognizes an athlete of the coach’s choosing, whether it be for most valuable, most improved, greatest effort, etc.

Appendix A: Athletic Training Room Policies & Procedures

Athletic training is practiced by Athletic Trainers, healthcare professionals who collaborate with physicians to optimize activity and participation of patients and clients. Athletic training encompasses the prevention, diagnosis and intervention of emergency, acute and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations and disabilities. – National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA)

About Our Trainers

Shannon Fooks joined the faculty as a full-time Head Athletic Trainer in the fall of 2007. Shannon graduated from University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology in 2000 and Shenandoah University with a Master of Science in Athletic Training in 2004. After graduation, she worked at NRH Regional Rehab as an exercise technician. She worked as Assistant Athletic Trainer at Holy Cross High School and as Head Athletic Trainer at Montgomery College with the basketball and baseball programs. During the summers of 2004 and 2005, Shannon worked with the Washington Freedom, DC’s semi-professional women’s soccer team. While at NRH, she also obtained her certification as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in 2006.

Tiffany Kenworthy joins us in 2016 as a part-time Athletic Trainer. She graduated from Charleston Southern University with a Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training in 2001 and Clemson University with a Masters of Education in Guidance and Counseling in 2003. She has worked as a medical assistant for Med Star doctors and served as an Assistant Athletic Trainer at Towson University, Georgetown University and University of Maryland covering swimming, basketball, softball and men’s and women’s soccer teams.

Injuries

Any student athlete that has been seen by a physician must have a written release from the treating physician in order to resume practice. The physician’s note must be provided to both the athletic trainer and the athletic director before a student will be allowed to return to practice.

Training Room Guidelines

These guidelines have been established to ensure the safety of student athletes in the training room. Generally, students will be seen on a first come, first served basis, but students may need to wait if emergencies arise.

  • Students sign in at the laptop at the training room entrance in order to be seen by the trainer. This allows the trainer to track individual student visits and the care provided to them.
  • Student athletes should always be respectful to the athletic training staff and all other athletes in the training room at all times.
  • Cell phones and earphones may be used while icing or heating. However, student athletes are prohibited from using cell phones or earphones while the athletic trainer is evaluating them.
  • Student athletes are allowed to fill coolers for games but should be courteous to other students receiving treatments in the training room. Other than water and ice, students are prohibited from using any equipment in the training room without permission from the athletic trainer. Student athletes must treat all equipment in the training room with care.
  • Student-athletes are not only responsible for cleaning up after themselves in the training room, but also must return all heat packs and discard used ice bags in trash receptacles.

Appendix B: Athletic Performance Center Policies

Use of Facilities

Usage of the Athletic Performance Center (APC) is limited to:

  • Current student athletes
  • Regularly scheduled physical education classes
  • Students with permission from the athletic director and coaches
  • Faculty and staff

All APC use must be directly supervised.

Responsible use and supervision is critical. Before anyone can use the machines and equipment in the APC, he/she must be trained by the school’s certified strength and conditioning specialist.

Teams will be provided with assigned lift times. All others must consult with coaches in order to use the APC.

All coaches are responsible for assisting in the area of risk management related to usage of the facility.

Proper Attire

Proper attire is required to exercise at all times. This includes t-shirts, sneakers, shorts, and sweats. Cleats, sandals, flip-flops and bare feet are not allowed in the Athletic Performance Center.

Locker Rooms

All belongings must be stored in the locker room. No gym bags, book bags, notebooks, or other extraneous items are allowed in the APC.

Food and Drink Prohibited

Drinks in closed bottles are permitted and must be stored near the water fountain during work outs. No food, open drinks or supplements are allowed in the APC.

APC Safety

All athletes must put safety first and must work with a partner for spotting and lift-offs. Please consult Chan Cho for assistance with specific techniques or to modify lift techniques.

Standing on equipment is not permitted anywhere except for designated areas for spotting. This includes standing on any upholstery or leaning on bars, pulley cables, pads or other areas that are not meant for external stresses.

Proper Care and Storage of Equipment

All cardio equipment must be wiped down after use. Sanitary wipes are available next to each machine.

No weights may be left on the bars or floor and must be returned the rack after use. Weight stacks on the machines should not be dropped or banged around. They should be eased back to a resting position when in use.

FAQ

How do I sign up for Upper School sports and PE classes?

Upper school students sign up for sports and PE through the online student portal. Rising ninth graders register first – a portion of the slots in classes are opened during their registration window. There is no cap on team registration – tryouts will determine final teams. However, PE classes are filled on a first come, first served basis and registration is capped. After rising ninth grade students sign up, registration is opened up for all other students. If a class is full, please contact the Athletics Office to be placed on the wait list.

What if I want to switch classes or teams?

Upper School students can, subject to availability, switch sports or classes during the first two weeks of class. Before dropping a sport, please speak directly to the coach about the switch. For PE classes, please come to the Athletics Office to find out if there is space available in the class to which you want to switch. After two weeks, class changes will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

When does concussion testing occur?

Concussion testing starts in the seventh grade and continues every two years thereafter. It is administered by the athletic trainer at the beginning of each school year. The concussion policy is available on the Parent Portal under the Health Services link, “Impact Concussion Testing”.

I have a free period during the day – can I stop by the APC and workout any time?

The Athletic Performance Center is open daily from 6 am to 6 pm for current students and students are welcome to come by during free periods. If you are interested in specific instruction, please arrange a time in advance to meet with the strength and conditioning coach.
Please avoid planning workouts during middle school PE (11:30 – 12:30 daily; Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 2:00 – 3:15 pm and 1 – 2 pm Tuesdays) as there will not be any faculty to monitor the APC. For your safety, students are not permitted to work out without supervision.

What are the options if my child does not make his/her first choice athletic team after tryouts?

If a student is not placed on a team roster after tryouts, the student should consider playing on another sport that does not limit participation. We welcome students to work to improve their skills and try out the following season if they remain interested in a particular athletic team.

In Upper School, most of our teams do not limit participation. However, a few sports, such as boys and girls soccer, boys and girls tennis, and golf, generally limit participation through tryouts. These teams are limited due to facilities limitations, popularity of some sports and playing time considerations.

In Middle School, similar teams are popular. In the winter, there are three basketball teams for boys and girls, a track team, and an additional swimming team to provide more opportunities for participation.

What is the current school policy for use and rentals of the athletic facilities beyond regularly scheduled curricular programs?

The athletic facilities are provided for the use of current students, and school-sponsored activities are given priority.

Per the Community Handbook, rental agreements for facilities are arranged through Auxiliary Programs. More information about renting athletic spaces can be found on their web pages. Interested persons may also email the office directly at rentals@sidwell.edu or calling 202-537-8170.

The school allows rental of gymnasiums and the turf fields only after normally scheduled school programs/events. Grass fields are not rented or available for use except for regular school programs.

The turf fields may be used on a casual and spontaneous basis by members of the Sidwell Friends community if they are not already in use by a team or renters. Spontaneous and casual use is open to interpretation. The School assumes that a two students playing catch is spontaneous and casual. A group of 6 students playing together begins to look less spontaneous and casual, particularly if they arrive at the same time each week. A rec-team of players using SFS space because they want an extra practice does not meet the definition of spontaneous and casual. Using these fields for lessons with private coaches is not consistent with the desire to support spontaneous and casual use.

Members of the Sidwell Friends community stopping by in this fashion must check in with the security office prior to using the field and students in Middle and Upper School should be prepared to show their school ID. Casual users are expected to follow the rules posted for use of these fields and should not seek to squeeze into an open area if a team is practicing or a rental group has paid for use of the entire space.

The tennis courts may be used by members of the School community when they are not being used by school teams and when if they are not in use by members. Private lessons with outside instructors are not permitted. Please check in with campus security before taking the court.

The track may be used by members of the School community during the school year on weekdays before 10:30 a.m. and after 6:00 p.m. if no teams are using the track or the turf field inside the track. During the summer and pre-season in August campers and students use these facilities earlier in the morning and later in the evening. Members of the community should not run on the track when campers are present. Please check in with security before starting your run.

Can my student drive him/herself to an athletic competition?

Students must travel together on school-provided transportation. Students may be picked up by a parent at the conclusion of an event, after receiving positive acknowledgment of this from the coach. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Athletic Director.

I am excited to cheer on the Quakers at their next game. Can fans use drums, whistles, vuvuzelas, or other artificial noisemakers at games?

The MAC league bylaws prohibit the use of artificial noisemakers at games. While not prohibited in the ISL bylaws, for parity among teams we follow this rule for all games. However, loud cheering is always welcome!

Where can I look for lost and found items?

Lost and found items are stored beneath the upper level and two lower level staircases in the Athletic Center. Before winter and summer breaks, the lost and found is donated to area charities. The department will remind students to check lost and found prior to donations being made.

Where are grade reports posted?

Grade reports are posted to the parent and student portals at the end of each season. If you need assistance finding them in the portal, please contact the Athletics Office at 202-537-8190.

How can I find out if a game is cancelled due to inclement weather?

Check the Sidwell athletics page for any cancellations due to inclement weather, including rain and thunder and lightning.

When do students begin interscholastic competition?

Our program incorporates interscholastic competition beginning in the 7th grade, at which time each student has the opportunity to play on a team. Over the years we have seen that our young athletes build a broad range of athletic skills and discover new talents during 5th and 6th grades (some that they have never attempted before) by being exposed to twelve different sports over the course of the year. The 5/6 curriculum also enables us to have all students participate is swimming and have a comprehensive two-week fitness assessment.

How do I sign up to be a team parent?

Please speak to the coach about being a team parent. Coaches appreciate the support team parents provide in facilitating communication and assisting with other team activities.

Our team wants to order sweatshirts. What is the process for purchasing these?

Any team that wants to purchase gear must first seek approval from the team’s coach and the Athletic Director. Once approved, all purchases must be made through the Fox Den and the cost of the item will be billed to each student’s account prior to ordering.

I am interested in playing sports in college. What support does the athletic department offer students during the college admissions process?

The Athletic Director will meet with any student interested in playing college sports to assist him/her in navigating the process. Students are also encouraged to meet with their coaches who can provide recommendations, sports camp information, and talk with college coaches. The Athletic Department also collaborates with the College Counseling Office on convening annual breakfast panel of college coaches to provide parents with the on-the-ground perspective of college coaches and athlete recruitment.

How do I earn a varsity letter?

Any student athlete that makes a varsity team and completes all of the requirements as a member of the team set by the coach will receive a letter. A student receives only one letter, regardless of how many varsity sports he/she participates in during their career. Pins and bars are provided to indicate the number of teams and years of varsity-level participation. Coaches are responsible for distributing letters. Students should speak to their coaches directly if they have questions.

Can I get PE credit for being a team manager?

Yes. If you are interested in being a team manager, please speak directly with the coach of that team. Once the coach has confirmed the availability of a manger position, please stop by the Athletics Office so you can be registered for the season and receive credit. Like athletes, team managers receive pass/fail grades.

I am in middle school and I forgot my locker combination – is there someone who can give it to me?

Yes. At the beginning of the school year, the department collects the locker combinations for all middle school students. If you forget your combination, please see the coach on locker room duty that day for assistance. If you change your lock during the school year, please remember to update your locker combination with the Athletics Office.

My doctor told me I am cleared but I do not have a written note. How come I cannot participate in my practice today?

Any student athlete that has been seen by a physician must have a written release from the treating physician in order to resume practice. The physician’s note must be provided to both the athletic trainer and the athletic director. The written note is important because provides the trainer and athletic director with any restrictions or accommodations that might be needed for the student to resume physical activity.

It stopped thunder storming, but the game is still delayed. When will play resume?

League policy stipulates that all outdoor activities must be suspended immediately if thunder is heard or lightning is observed. Once activities have been suspended, teams must wait a minimum of thirty minutes following the last sound of thunder or observation of lightning before resuming an activity or returning outdoors. All participants and spectators must move indoor for safety during a delay. The department appreciates everyone’s cooperation with this policy.

How do I get an independent study?

There is a formal application process with set criteria and application deadlines. An application must be submitted for each season a student would like to do an independent study. Approval one season does not guarantee approval in the next. You can download the application from the Sidwell athletic webpage under “forms.”

Key Contacts

Anne Renninger, Athletic Director
E-mail
202-537-8189

Jorgen Kjaer, Assistant Athletic Director
E-mail
202-537-2468

Shannon Fooks, Athletic Trainer
E-mail
202-537-2464

Susannah Parker '04, Administrative Assistant
E-mail
202-537-8190