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Athletics play an important part in the lives of Pickens County secondary schools. Young people learn a great deal from their participation in interscholastic athletics. Lessons in sportsmanship, teamwork, competition, and winning and losing gracefully are integral parts of each team in our athletic programs. Athletics play an important part in helping the individual student develop a healthy self-concept, as well as a healthy body. Athletic competition adds to school spirit and helps students who are participants as well as spectators develop pride in their schools.
Middle and high school students throughout the district can choose to participate in many sports. While not all sports are available in all schools, each school does offer a variety of athletic activities for each student to consider. Participation in athletics is a privilege, not a right.
The ultimate goals of our athletic programs are to realize the value of participation without overemphasizing the importance of winning or excelling and to develop and improve positive citizenship traits among the program’s participants.
All students are invited to participate in athletics as long as they meet the eligibility requirements of the South Carolina High School League. These are posted on the SCHSL’s website at www.schsl.org. All participants must have a physical before being allowed to practice. In addition, participants must have an approved birth certificate before being allowed to participate in any interscholastic competition.
Head varsity coaches are responsible for the entire program including C-team, junior varsity, and varsity teams for their sports. This duty both requires and allows their involvement in the selection of students for all teams in the designated sport. Because of the nature of athletics and the necessary training, certain rules and regulations are necessary which do not apply to other students. The sport coach should be contacted for more information.
If a student is approved for assignment outside of his or her designated attendance zone or county for any reason, eligibility requirements for interscholastic activities may be affected as specified by the rules of the South Carolina High School League. This matter should be discussed with a high school athletic director.
The School District of Pickens County provides a supplemental accidental insurance policy for student athletes. This is an excess policy. The parent/guardian must first file the claim with their insurance company. After the primary company has completed the claim, the parent or guardian must then file with the school policy. If the parent/guardian does not have primary insurance, then the excess policy becomes the primary policy. This excess policy is a schedule policy which means it does not pay 100% of all charges.
Additionally, each school provides a catastrophic insurance policy through the South Carolina High School League. If your total expense exceeds $25,000.00, contact your school athletic director about filing with the catastrophic insurance carrier.
Insurance companies have guidelines that must be adhered to. The completion and filing of the insurance form must be submitted within 90 days from the date of the accident. Treatment must commence within 30 days from the date of the accident. The address will appear on the claim form.
When an injury occurs, follow these steps:
- Secure an insurance form from the athletic department or school designee. The school portion of the claim should be completed and signed by the school designee upon receipt.
- Parent/guardian must complete and sign the Parent’s Statement and Medical Authorization. Instructions for filing a claim appear on the back of the claim form.
- The parent/guardian must forward the completed form directly to the insurance administrator. The address will appear on the claim form.
- Provide necessary information to the physician, hospital, etc. to file the claim as secondary coverage.
Recommendation: Keep copies of all correspondence.
Federal HIPAA regulations do not allow the School District of Pickens County or any of its agents to act on behalf of the student athlete. Therefore, only the parent or student athlete can be responsible for the process of filing insurance and any questions that need to be answered concerning the student athlete’s well-being. A toll-free number for assistance with a claim appears on the back of the accident claim form.
Although the South Carolina High School League allows participation on outside teams in all sports except football during the sports traditional season, the coach of a specific high school team should be consulted prior to participation for permission and to avoid any misunderstandings. College or professional try-outs during the season in all sports are prohibited by the South Carolina High School League. Violation of this policy renders a student ineligible to return to his or her team.
The South Carolina High School League allows participation on outside teams when a sport is out of season within specific guidelines. Individual athletes should contact their coach or the school athletic director to be sure that their participation does not jeopardize their eligibility for the upcoming season.
Both parenting and coaching are extremely difficult vocations. By establishing an understanding of each position, parents and coaches are better able to accept the actions of others and provide greater benefit to children. As parents, when your children become involved in a program, you have a right to understand what expectations are placed on your child as a result of participation. This begins with clear communication from the coach of your child’s program to you as the parent or guardian.
Communication you should expect from your child’s coach
- Philosophy of the coach
- Expectations the coach has for your child as well as all the players on the squad
- Locations and times of all practices and contests
- Team requirements (i.e. fees, special equipment, off-season conditioning, etc.)
- Procedure to follow should your child be injured during participation
- Discipline that results in the denial of your child’s participation (refer to Coaches’ Rules & the Athletic Handbook)
Communication coaches expect from parents
- Concerns expressed directly to the coach
- Notification of any schedule conflicts well in advance of the student athlete’s possible absence
- Specific concern in regard to a coach’s philosophy and/or expectations
As your child becomes involved in the programs sponsored by the School District of Pickens County, he or she will experience some of the most rewarding moments of his or her life. It is important to understand that there also may be times when things do not go the way your child wishes. At these times, discussion with the coach is encouraged.
Appropriate concerns to discuss with coaches
- The mental and/or physical treatment of your child
- Strategies to help your child improve in the target sport
- Concerns about your child’s behavior
It is very difficult to accept your child’s not playing as much as you may hope. Coaches are professionals. They make judgment decisions based on what they believe to be best for all students involved. As you have seen from the list above, certain things can be and should be discussed with your child’s coach. Other things, like those listed below, must be left to the discretion of the coach.
Issues NOT appropriate to discuss with coaches
- Playing time
- Team strategy
- Play calling
- Other student athletes
There are situations that may require a conference between the coach and the parent. These are to be encouraged. However, please do not attempt to confront a coach before or after a contest or practice. These can be emotional times for both the parent and the coach, and it is important that both parties involved have a clear understanding of the other’s position. Meetings of this nature do not promote positive resolution.
When a conference is necessary, the following procedure should be followed to help promote a resolution to the issue of concern:
- Call the coach to arrange an appointment. He or she will set up a meeting with you.
- If the situation is not resolved, you should schedule a meeting with the athletic director to discuss the situation.
- If the situation cannot be resolved in this meeting, the athletic director will provide information on the School District of Pickens County’s Athletic Grievance Policy.
The athletic programs in the School District of Pickens County are integral parts of our overall education process. We look forward to working with students in a progressive, professional, and proactive manner to continue their success and growth.