Announcements and Important Events
Message from the Athletic Director
Dear Berkshire Badger Student-Athlete,
Welcome to the Berkshire Jr/Sr High School Athletic Department! Before you begin your experience this year, it is important that we take time to review some important information. This handbook contains the missions that govern your athletic participation as a Berkshire Student-Athlete, as well as the forms that need to be read, initialed or signed, and submitted before you are allowed to participate.
Please carefully read the Student-Athlete Code of Conduct, as you will be expected to adhere to the principles it outlines. It is important to understand that being a student-athlete at Berkshire is not a right, but a privilege. It is also important to understand that as a Berkshire student-athlete you represent yourself, your family, your community, Berkshire Jr/Sr High School, and the Berkshire Local School District at all times! The Athletic Department places the highest priority on respect and integrity in all athletic activities. We expect our student-athletes to conduct themselves in a manner which reflects positively on Berkshire Jr/Sr High School and our athletic teams.
These guidelines were put in place to help guide your experience. As a student-athlete at Berkshire you are responsible for reading and abiding by the information in this handbook.
I am thrilled to start off a new academic year! Berkshire, for the longest time, has meant so much to me as a student-athlete, alumnus, and now as a coach and administrator. Berkshire has a deep and rich tradition that reflects the true Pillars of Berkshire Athletics, which are Integrity, Humility, Unity, Passion, Competitiveness, and Tradition. I am certain that each of you will reflect these Pillars during your time here.
I wish you the best of luck on your academic and athletic success this year!
Berkshire High Alma Mater
“Oh Berkshire High, oh Berkshire High,
Our Alma Mater dear.
We sing thy praises far and wide,
For Purple and Gold we’ll cheer.
Oh Berkshire High, oh Berkshire High,
May thine thy honor be,
Our sons and daughters live for thee.
All Hail! Dear Berkshire High.”
Berkshire Fight Song
“Oh Berkshire High forever,
Up on a hill.
We love you dearly,
And we always will!
(Rah! Rah! Rah!)
Berkshire High we honor,
As we sing to you.
Fight! Fight for Berkshire!
We will be true!
Ohio High School Athletic Association Mission Statement
The Ohio High School Athletic Association's mission is to regulate and administer interscholastic athletic competition in a fair and equitable manner while promoting the values of participation in interscholastic athletics as an integral part of a student's educational experience. The OHSAA represents its member schools by recognizing and promoting academics, the safety of participants, good citizenship and lifelong values as the foundation of interscholastic athletics.
Berkshire Local School District Mission Statement
The mission of the Berkshire School Community is to maximize each student’s potential as an individual and as a responsible citizen.
Berkshire Athletics Mission Statement
The mission of Berkshire Athletics is to reinforce and enhance the educational mission of Berkshire Local Schools by fostering an environment of excellence where student-athletes will learn life skills in order to become leaders and champions. The athletic department seeks to be a source of pride for the Berkshire community by being a positive influence through our actions and successes in both academics and athletics.
The Six Pillars of Berkshire Athletics
Integrity – We will act with integrity and personal accountability
Humility – Know who we are, strengths and weaknesses
Unity – Do not divide our house, team first
Passion – Do not be lukewarm, commit to excellence
Competitiveness – Have a strong desire to compete and succeed
Tradition – Be proud of who we are and the history we build upon
A.This is an area we feel extremely strong about. It is this way because our athletes not only represent themselves, they represent their families, schools, team, and coaching staffs at all times. This conduct does not only happen on the court or field, it happens seven days a week. There are no excuses for rudeness or any unfavorable conduct at any time. The Berkshire Athletic Programs are programs that we feel have unlimited potential and we do not want any inappropriate behaviors to change people’s positive attitudes about our athletes and programs. Conduct unbecoming of a Berkshire Athlete will be dealt with on a case by case basis and could result in loss of playing privileges, suspension, and/or dismissal from a team.
B.Classroom behavior is also an aspect that we observe. Teachers should be respected as much as coaches, parents and all other adults. Our student - athletes’ academic growth is of paramount importance to us, as they are students first and athletes second. All situations regarding classroom behavior will be handled on an individual basis as evaluated by the athletic director and coaching staff.
II.Emergency Medical Form, Physical Exam Form, and Concussion Information Sheet
A.All students wishing to participate in interscholastic athletics must have a completed emergency medical authorization, physical examination forms, and concussion information sheet on file prior to the first day of participation.
A.Any student-athlete who is seen by a physician or any medical personnel for an injury or illness must have a note from the medical professional to be released to resume participation.
A.A pre-season meeting will be held with coaches and the parents/guardians and athletes to explain the criteria used for team selection. Prior to squad selection, the coach shall provide the following information to all candidates for the team.
1.Extent of the try-out period (at least 5 practice sessions)
2.Criteria used to be selected for the team
3.Number (if any) to be selected
4.Practice commitment if they make the team
V.Drug, Alcohol, and Tobacco Training Rules
A.Training Rules are in effect twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week while the student is under the schools jurisdiction. School’s jurisdiction is defined by the following:
1.During the entire academic school year, including holidays
2.During pre-season practices (example: Fall sport August practices)
3.During any camps or clinics that are attended by students and coaches (example: Football 7 on 7, Basketball Summer Leagues, Open Gyms/Mats/Fields)
B.Abstain from drugs, alcohol, performance enhancing substances and steroids.
1.A first violating offense will result in the athlete being suspended from all team activity for twenty percent (20%) of the maximum allowable contests as allowed by the OHSAA. This 20% suspension can be reduced to ten percent (10%), provided the athlete participates in an approved intervention program at his/her own expense. A written note of participation must be given to the building administrator within seven days of the initial ruling. The athlete will need the written proof of enrollment in the program in order for the reduced suspension to be applied.
2.A second violating offense during the athlete’s athletic career will result in the athlete being suspended from all athletic activity for six (6) months from the time of ruling. This six month suspension can be reduced to thirty (30) calendar days, provided the athlete participates in an approved intervention program at his/her own expense. A written note of participation must be given to the building administrator within seven days of the initial ruling. The athlete will need written proof of enrollment in the program in order for the 30 day suspension to be applied.
3.Any violation occurring after the second violation will result in permanent denial from participation in all athletic activities until the student has completed a treatment program that is acceptable by the building administrator. The student will be denied participation for a minimum of one (1) year from the calendar date of the ruling and must apply for re-instatement into the athletic program after the treatment program is completed. Proof of completing the treatment program as well as proof of being drug/alcohol free must be provided to the building administrator in writing.
C.Abstain from the possession and use of any and all tobacco products.
1.A first violating offense will result in the offender being suspended from all athletic activity for seven (7) calendar days from initial ruling.
2.A second violating offense will result in the offender being suspended from all athletic activity for thirty (30) calendar days from initial ruling. The thirty day suspension can be reduced to seven (7) days following the completion of one of the National Federation of High Schools free online educational courses.
3.Any subsequent violations will result in the offender being suspended from all athletic activity for (30) calendar days from initial ruling. In order to return after the 30 days has been completed, the athlete will have also needed to complete ten (10) hours of community service.
D.In addition to the above, students are subject to all provisions of the School District’s Pupil Code of Conduct and Board of Education Policies pertaining to substance and tobacco abuse.
E.Coaches may develop additional, and possibly stricter, training rules that carry heavier sanctions than those of the athletic department.
1.If a participant seeks assistance from the coach, athletic director, or school administration for dealing with tobacco/alcohol/drug problems and the participant agrees to participate in tobacco education or alcohol/drug assessment and follow the recommendations, there will be no denial of participation from athletics. Refusal or failure to complete the programs will result in the denial of participation. The self-referral is still considered a violation for the purpose of accumulation of violations. Self-referral must be established by school records prior to an arrest or notification of school administration, coach, or athletic director.
A.In order to be eligible in grades 9-12, a student must be currently enrolled and must have been enrolled in the school during the immediately preceding grading period and have received passing grades in a minimum of five one-credit courses or the equivalent which count towards graduation.
1.A student enrolled in the first grading period after advancement from the eighth grade must have passed a minimum of five courses in the immediately preceding grading period.
B.A student enrolling in the 7th grade for the first time will be eligible for the first grading period regardless of previous academic achievement. Thereafter, in order to be eligible, a student in grade 7 or 8 must be currently enrolled and must have passed a minimum of five classes in the immediately preceding grading period.
C.The eligibility or ineligibility of an athlete continues until the start of the 5th school day of the next grading period, at which point the grades from the immediately preceding grading period become effective. The only exception to this rule is for fall sports which commences with the start of the fall sports season.
D.If, at any time, a student transfers after establishing eligibility as a 9th grader either by attending school for five days or by playing in a contest (scrimmage, preview, or regular season/tournament contest), that student will be ineligible for the first 50% of the maximum allowable regular season contests in those sports in which the student participated in during the 12 months immediately preceding this transfer. The commissioner’s office, in their sole discretion can reduce this 50% ineligibility if the athlete meets one of the OHSAA Transfer Bylaw Exceptions.
E.A summer school grade can change an overall class grade, but cannot change a quarter grade. Therefore it cannot change eligibility.
F.Any student who receives two (2) none-passing grades, or received below a 1.0 quarter GPA in the immediately preceding grading period will be ineligible.
G.A student-athlete earning a non-passing grade and/or has a quarter GPA between 1.0 and 1.5 will be placed on academic probation and will remain eligible as long as the student attends one study table per week and participates in the progress report program. The purpose of the study table is to provide for an academic learning environment and tutoring for homework assignments, school related reading, and/or project completion.
1.The study table will be made available to all students in grades 7-12.
2.Study table will be held after school on early dismissal Thursdays until the regularly scheduled school ending time of 2:41 (45 minutes).
3.A student who does not participate in the study table or is dismissed from the study table for disciplinary reasons or lack of effort will immediately become ineligible for a minimum period of one week.
4.The study table will be supervised by an adult employee(teacher/coach) of the school district.
H.Ineligible athletes shall not participate in any competition, and cannot dress on game days, but can have limited activity in practices and have different responsibilities as assigned by the head coach.
1.Any ineligible athlete that still has responsibilities with the team will be required to attend study table on Thursdays after school.
I.The athlete must complete a minimum number of practices (set by the head coach) before participation in their first event.
VII.Denial of Participation
A.Should any student-athlete be denied participation due to a student-athlete handbook violation or violation of the specific sport rules and regulations, they will be notified in writing about their offense and asked if they would like to appeal. Should a student-athlete wish to appeal, a panel of five (5) school administrators and/or coaches (not including whoever assigned the punishment) will hear the appeal and decide to uphold, reduce, or rescind the suspension. The appeal must be conducted within one week of the notice of denial of participation.
B.Any type of conduct that is determined to be detrimental to the Berkshire Athletic Program that is not covered in this handbook will be dealt with on a case by case basis with the Berkshire Athletic Director, the program’s head coach, and the athlete(s) involved. Should the athlete be denied participation, they can appeal as laid out above.
A.Participating athletes, managers, and those who assist the team are expected to ride the team bus to and from the activity. The district has assumed responsibility for transportation. Permission to not ride the bus to or from any event must be granted by the principal.
A.Berkshire places the highest priority on good sportsmanship and integrity. As a parent or student-athlete, you play a fundamental role. We ask you to take your responsibility seriously and lead by example.
B.Please attend our athletic contests with spirit and enthusiasm, but also with courtesy to our opponent and their fans.
C.Together, we hope to establish a positive image of Berkshire Jr/Sr High School.
D.Any form of unacceptable behavior by any student is subject to discipline, which may include removal from the event, suspension from athletic participation, suspension from school, and/or referral to the local authorities.
X.Multiple Sport Athletes
A.Any athlete who participates in more than one sport per season (ex: Football and Soccer) shall do the following:
1.Obtain a multisport athlete release.
2.State which athletic program is their primary program, and which is their secondary program.
a)The primary program will always take priority over the secondary program. If there are athletic contests for both programs on the same day, the athlete will attend the primary program. If there are practices on the same day, again, the primary program takes priority. The ONLY times the secondary sport will take priority is if the primary sport has practice and the secondary sport has a contest, or the secondary sport has a practice on a day that the primary sport is off.
3.Obtain written permission from both coaches.
4.If, at the middle of the 9-week grading period, the athlete is struggling to maintain balance in academics and athletics due to playing multiple sports, then they will be resigned to playing only the primary sport.
5.The athlete should not expect the same amount of participation in the secondary sport as the athletes who are participating in that sport full time. This should not be viewed as a punishment. It is at the coach’s discretion who plays and who does not.
B.Any athlete participating in a sport cannot participate in an open gym/field/mat for any other sport until their current sport season is over, unless permission has been granted by the in season coach.
C.Athletes who participate in multiple sports are allowed up to seven (7) days off after the end of their previous sport without being termed “absent” from practice for the following season’s sport (ex: fall sport to winter sport). After the week long period has passed, the student must report to practice or face the team penalty for missing.
D.Any athlete who plays for a school team cannot play for a non-school team during the same season. This follows OHSAA guidelines and general regulations sections 7.3 and 7.4 of the OHSAA handbook.
XI.Social Media Policy
A.The Berkshire Athletic Department recognizes and supports its student-athletes’ rights to freedom of speech, expression, and association, including the use of online social networks. In this context, however, each student-athlete must remember that playing and competing for Berkshire is a privilege, not a right. As leaders you have the responsibility to portray your team, your school, and yourselves in a positive manner at all times. Inappropriate material found by third parties affects the perception of the student-athlete, the athletic department, and the school district. This social media policy establishes guidelines for the use of social media accounts created by Berkshire student-athletes in order to further the mission of the Athletic Department, by fostering an environment of excellence where student-athletes will learn life skills in order to become leaders and champions. Berkshire believes that posting negative comments about teammates or coaches undermines this culture and can have a very negative effect on team chemistry and/or coach/student-athlete relationships. Berkshire students should assume that anything they post on their accounts is public and could be read by staff, opposing teams, alumni, college admissions officers, future employers, and coaches.
B.If you participate on social networking sites or use social media, you must keep the following guidance in mind:
1.Everything you post is public information. Any text or photo placed online is completely out of your control the moment it is posted online, even if you limit access to your site. Information may be accessible even after you remove it.
2.Athletes will not run team accounts.
3.Similar to comments made in person, the Athletic Department will not tolerate disrespectful comments and behavior online such as derogatory or defamatory language, comments that create a serious danger to the safety of another person or constitute a credible threat of serious physical or emotional injury to another person, or comments or photos that describe or depict unlawful actions.
4.Similar to seeing in person, the Athletic Department will not tolerate photos, videos, or comments showing the use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco (this includes holding cups, cans, bottles, shot glasses, e-cigarettes, and drug paraphernalia).
C.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:
2.A meeting with the Athletic Director and Head Coach,
3.Penalties as determined by the athletic department, including but not limited to possible suspension from his/her athletic team.
D.If you are ever in doubt of the appropriateness of your online public material, consider whether it upholds and positively reflects your own values and ethics as well as your family’s values and ethics and the Berkshire Athletic Department’s values and ethics. Remember, always present a positive image of yourself and don’t do anything to embarrass yourself, your team, your family, and the school. Manage your brand!
A.Student Vacation Policy – Athletes who go on vacation during any athletic season should not expect to come back and be at the same level of participation as they were before they left. It is at the coach’s discretion who plays and who does not.
B.Prior to each season there will be a parent informational meeting to discuss the OHSAA and the Berkshire High School Athletic Policy.
C.Any student who quits a team or is dismissed from a team for disciplinary purposes during a sports season will not be allowed to join another team halfway through that season.
D.Any student who is cut from a team will be allowed to try out for another team during that sport season, provided the student wasn’t cut for disciplinary reasons.
E.The participant must return all school issued equipment and uniforms in the condition it was received within three (3) school days of the last contest. Participants must reimburse the Berkshire Board of Education or the Berkshire Athletic Boosters for lost or damaged equipment prior to receiving any athletic awards. A participant must fulfill obligations from the previous season before he/she will be permitted to begin participation in any other athletic activities.
F.The student-athlete must be in school by 11:00 am to be able to practice or participate in the contest that day. The principal must approve any exception to this rule.
XIII.There is no set standard from an athletic department standpoint on who receives a varsity letter. The requirements for lettering are to be outlined by each individual coach in their teams’ training manual. The participant must finish the season in good standing to receive any award.
XIV.Athletic Department Award System
A.1st Varsity Award – Certificate, sport insignia, varsity letter
B.2nd Varsity Award – Certificate, service bar
C.3rd Varsity Award – Certificate, service bar
D.4th Varsity Award – Certificate, service bar
E.Captain Award – Captain’s bar
F.Manager Award – Varsity Letter, manager bar, manager insignia
G.Junior Varsity Award – Certificate
H.Participation Award – For those who do not meet JV or Varsity letter requirements
I.Badger Honor Award – Award of Distinction for any senior who earned a varsity letter in his/her senior year and who has earned eight or more varsity letters in his/her career at Berkshire
J.Mr. & Ms. Badger Award – An Award of Highest Honor, given to the top male and female athletes in the graduating class. The award will be given to the athletes who truly show what it means to be a Badger student-athlete. The prospective recipients will be nominated by their coaches and then be voted on by the coaches, Berkshire booster club officers, Berkshire Hall of Fame officers and school administration. Not just the senior year, but the entire athletic career of the athlete will be evaluated. Requirements to be nominated are at least four varsity letters, a minimum grade point average of 3.0, and display of the Six Pillars of Berkshire Athletics.
K.Wall of Fame – To receive a picture on the Berkshire “Wall of Fame” you must either be a State Champion in a sport where you can qualify as an individual (wrestling, track, cross country, golf), or be First Team All-Ohio in a non-individual sport (volleyball, soccer, football, basketball, baseball, softball).
L.Individual coaches for their individual teams may give other awards for performance or participation.