Information for Student-Athletes
Student Athletic Handbook
The purpose of the athletic handbook is to give students and parents information on the athletic program. The topics listed are those that have been most frequently asked about over the years and have been deemed to be important by the athletic director. This handbook covers information applicable to all teams at Pingry and will be revised annually.
In addition, team coaches will provide to both students and parents at the beginning of each season their sport specific guidelines as well as the coach's general expectations, philosophies and goals. The students on each team will receive information on the varsity letter winning policy, the captain election process, the training rules and the policy prohibiting hazing policy. The parent guidelines will include: game and practice schedules, away game directions, a roster, and the coach's home phone number.
The hope of the athletic department is that this vital communication will allow everyone to have fun and enjoy success. Good Luck!
Athletic Department Mission Statement
The mission of Pingry athletics is to provide a competitive athletic environment while promoting and embodying the ideals of The Honor Code of teamwork, sportsmanship, hard work, and self-discipline.
An essential component for any team's success is good leadership. One method to teach this is by having team captains. A strong captain can help a team achieve a great deal of success by being responsible, having strong communication skills, and earning the respect of one's peers and coaches. It is more than being a good athlete that makes a good captain. It is both an honor and a privilege to be a captain and the selection process should be taken very seriously.
To maintain consistency in the athletic program, to keep tradition and to highlight the importance of the captain's role, all varsity teams are required to have no more than two captains. Teams can have assistant captains but only one or two names will be placed on the captains' boards in the gyms at the end of the year.
Varsity team captains will be created under individual team guidelines. Each head coach determines the process by which captains are selected. Middle school teams will utilize the role of captains under each coach's direction by having season and/or game day captains.
All practice and game sites, locker rooms and buses should be cleaned before any student leaves. It is the responsibility of the players, not the coach, to throw away trash, return items to the trainer's room and gather all equipment after an event.
Club Team Participation
All upper school students who wish to be excused from a Pingry athletic event in order to participate on a non-Pingry club team event (i.e. travel soccer or club ice hockey) must get prior approval from the head coach and the Athletic Director. Each situation will be handled on an individual basis.
If a student is interested in participating in college athletics, they should have early conversations with their head varsity coach. The coach will help with contacting college coaches, the sending out of the athletic resume and video tapes. The guidance department and college advisor should also know about a student's interest in playing college athletics.
Parents are encouraged to express specific concerns directly to the coach. Questions about coaching philosophy and/or expectations should be expressed during a private conference and never directly or publicly before or after a contest or practice. It is not appropriate for parents to discuss team strategy and other student athletes. If a resolution is not reached between a parent and a coach, then the athletic director will be involved in a subsequent meeting.
Students are expected to notify both parents and coaches of any schedule changes well in advance. As part of the educational experience, students are encouraged to discuss individual problems with the coach. As with parents, if these meetings do not resolve the issue, then the athletic director will intervene.
All students will be excused from conference period activities fifteen minutes before the published bus departure time for away games. Team meetings and practices may not start until 3:30pm to avoid conflict with conference period.
Cutting or limiting the number of team participants is a serious aspect of interscholastic athletics. No member of the athletic department wants to cut. However, due to facility and safety concerns, we must do so in limited cases. In these cases, all students are allowed to try out for another team and the coaches discuss all cuts with the athletic director in a professional manner. In the Middle School there are no cuts made in any sport.
Directions to Games and Contests
The directions to all games and contest will be mailed home for each team as part of the parent packet. Directions are also posted in the Athletic section of the Pingry website.
Scheduled games may be canceled due to bad weather, poor field conditions or other reasons. It is the "home" team's responsibility to make this decision by 1:00 p.m. Please call the athletic office at (908) 647-5555 ext. 1321 after 1:30 p.m. when you have a concern.
Abusive or humiliating acts against another are contradictory to the ideals of the Pingry Honor Code. Therefore, hazing in any form, either mental or physical, will not be tolerated. No one, freshmen or others, has to "earn his or her way" onto a team by submitting to ridicule from members of the team. It is the duty of each team member to discourage this behavior.
Late to School
Students who are late to school (arrival after 8:45 a.m.) or who miss a class during the day without seeking prior permission from the division head may not take part in interscholastic games or practices or in any extra-curricular activities that day. Students may be granted permission to miss a class for unavoidable conflicts such as a scheduled medical appointment.
Pingry is a member of both the New Jersey State interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) and the New Jersey Independent School Athletic Association (NJISAA).
As dual members we may participate in end-of-season tournaments in both associations. When playing in NJSIAA tournaments Pingry teams are placed in the Non-Public "A" group however some teams are placed in the "B" division.
When playing in the independent school tournaments the teams are placed in the "A" Division.
Pingry is also a member of the Skyland Conference comprised of the following 23 schools:
Bridgewater-Raritan Belvidere Bernards
Delaware Valley Bound Brook Franklin
Gill St. Bernard's Hillsborough Hunterdon Central
Immaculata Manville Montgomery
North Hunterdon North Plainfield North Warren
Phillipsburg Pingry Ridge
Somerville South Hunterdon Warren Hills
Watchung Hills Voorhees
The following sports follow a Skyland schedule:
boys and girls basketball
boys and girls cross country
boys and girls fencing
boys and girls golf
football (Skyland-Union 38)
boys ice hockey
boys and girls lacrosse
boys and girls swimming
boys and girls soccer
boys and girls tennis
boys and girls track
Pingry offers interscholastic sports that that are not Skyland Conference sponsored. Those teams which follow schedules based upon different leagues are:
Boys and Girls Ski Teams: New Jersey Interscholastic Ski Racing Association (NJSRA)
Girls Ice Hockey: Women's Ice Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic (WIHLMA)
The following sports are independent teams with no league affiliation:
Boys and girls squash
Boys and girls water polo
Locker rooms (and bath rooms) are the only locations in which students may change their clothes for athletics. These areas are to be treated like any other part of the school. Respectful behavior towards both property and other students is required. Everyone is reminded that visiting teams use our locker rooms as changing areas. All students are urged to lock their valuables in a locker rather than leave it out in the open. If you must leave possessions in a locker room at an away contest, then please use a "valuables" bag. The idea behind this "valuables" bag is to have the coach, captain or some other responsible person collect in a bag all wallets, watches, rings, walkmans, etc. and then take it to the site of the match or game. The best way to eliminate this problem is to simply not take any valuables with you to an away contest.
The purpose of the middle school athletic program is to have fun, learn the value of physical activity, improve athletic skills, prepare for future upper school competition, and learn how to win and lose gracefully. The middle school athletic program is a fully developed interscholastic program and takes the place of physical education classes. All students chosoe a sport to take each season and there are no "cuts."
For the sports that have large rosters, there are "A", "B" and intramural teams . Comprised of the more skilled players, the "A" teams are more competitive and play more interscholastic games than the "B" teams. The "B" teams will play some intramural games in addition to their interscholastic contests. In the event of a very large turnout for a particular sport, there will be an intramural team who practices every day during the athletic period and plays intramural games throughout the season but has no interscholastic contest scheduled. All athletes are expected to attend all games. It is important to note that due to the competitiveness of the "A" teams, playing time is not shared equally in the course of each game. However, over the course of a season, all players will have an opportunity to participate in the games.
Nickname and School Colors
The nickname and mascot of the school is "Big Blue." "Big Blue" is a bear and every effort should be maintained to utilize the proper five claw paw print of a bear on all sports items. Our school colors are navy blue and white. All team uniforms should have only these two colors. T-shirts and other forms of apparel can have other colors.
Playing Time In Games
Athletics is an emotional activity for players, spectators and coaches. Playing time is always a sensitive issue for everyone involved. All playing time is subject to satisfactory academic and disciplinary standing. Please familiarize yourself with the following playing time guidelines:
Varsity: determined by a student-athlete's inherent ability, commitment to team and quality of work ethic. Playing time is determined by the coaching staff and there is no guaranteed playing for any student on the varsity level.
JV & Freshman: an objective of our junior varsity teams is to prepare these student athletes, through an appropriate level of competition, for future participation in the varsity program. At the JV level playing time is determined by the coaching staff and there is no guaranteed playing time in each game. A student-athlete's inherent ability, commitment to team and quality of work ethic will be factors used in determining an appropriate amount of playing time throughout the season with different amounts of time dependent on the skill of each player and the competitive level of each game.
Middle School: every athlete will play in every game unless being disciplined for behavior problems or has missed practices due to health reasons. Football is an exception to this due to inherent safety issues. Playing time is determined by the coaching staff and it is important to note that although each athlete will play in every game, playing time is not shared equally during the course of each game. However, over the course of a season, all players will have the opportunity to participate in the games.
"Roster Change" Policy
Commitment and hard work are two of the valued aspects of playing on a team. It is vital that these are not compromised in the course of a season as team play will be adversely affected. The athletic department strongly urges all student-athletes and coaches to work together to find a solution, other than quitting or dismissal, when faced with a difficult situation. In order to have consistency, any student may leave any team by notifying the coach prior to the start of interscholastic competition but once the interscholastic playing season has begun, coaches and players must follow the following "roster change" guidelines:
- A meeting between the coach and student to discuss the unhappy situation. This should be an "office" meeting that is taken very seriously, not just a chance encounter in the hallway. The coach should then meet with the student's advisor to further investigate the decision.
- Communication between the athletic director, the athlete and the coach to further discuss the situation.
- Communication between the athletic department and the parents.
If a change is the desired outcome after completing the three steps, then it will be permitted to occur and the physical education department will be notified so that the student can make arrangements to meet the physical education department requirements.
This term is difficult to define but easy to understand if it is seen as an extension of the Pingry Honor Code. Athletics is an arena where we represent our school in a very public light, so both participants and spectators are reminded to behave correctly. This includes, but is not limited to, treating opponents, officials and spectators with respect, never using improper or foul language, cheering for our team and not against our opponents, and abiding by all rules and regulations.
As a simple but important act of sportsmanship, all teams are asked to treat the post-game handshake with opponents in a respectful manner. This is an opportunity to congratulate, thank, or wish good luck to your opponents. This act should become a meaningful act and not overlooked regardless of the outcome of the contest.
Team parties should be held on Friday, Saturday or Sunday nights in order to minimize the conflict with homework. There are to be no alcoholic beverages at these functions.
Any student involved in or participating in any co-curricular activity (sports, music, drama, clubs, publications, school trips, etc.) or holding a leadership position is representing the school. All students will conduct themselves to further the best interests of Pingry, their club, team, or group. All will take into consideration the rights of others and conduct themselves in such a manner that clearly demonstrates The Pingry Honor Code.
During the sports season and any time a student is involved in or participating in a co-curricular activity, he or she should not, regardless of quantity:
- Use, or be in possession of a beverage containing alcohol
- Use, or be in possession of tobacco in any form
- Use or consume, have in his or her possession, buy, sell, or give away any other controlled substance or performance-altering chemicals
Coaches, faculty, and advisors shall be required to report known violations of the stated rules to the Dean of Student Life and/or Director of Athletics immediately.
For all teams, activities, clubs, etc., the season shall be from the first day of participation until the final performance or team-related event.
Consequences for Violations of Rules
- Meeting of the student (and parent, if required), student's advisor, Dean of Student Life, Director of Athletics, director, or club advisor as appropriate
- Suspension from involvement in all co-curricular activities for the next game, contest, event, or performance
- Referral for counseling as outlined in the Student Handbook under Guidance and Counseling
- Private meeting with team captains
Second And Subsequent Offenses
- Meeting of student, parents, student's advisor, Division Director, or Director of Athletics, where appropriate
- Possible dismissal from team and all co-curricular activities for the remainder of season, trimester, or school year and loss of post-season Pingry awards
- Referral for counseling as outlined in the Student Handbook under Guidance and Counseling
This statement reinforces, and in no way substitutes or overrides, the school's policy on the use and possession of dangerous, illegal, or controlled substance(s) and performance-altering chemicals or the State or Federal Laws on the use or possession of drugs.
No student is allowed to drive or be driven by another student to a practice or game. All students are expected to ride school provided transportation to and from all games and practices. Students are allowed to leave a game or practice with their parent or guardian. With written permission from a parent or guardian and the approval of the Athletic Director, there are individual situations that will result in an exception to this rule. If you have any questions concerning this policy please call the athletic director.
Every effort is made to keep uniform costs as low as possible. Coaches must receive approval from the athletic director for assorted "team items" before a purchase is made. Players must ask permission of the coach to investigate team apparel purchases. Middle School teams will limit the extra "team spirit" apparel to a simple T-shirt or sweatshirt if so desired. Any student who loses a school issued uniform will be billed for the cost of its replacement.
As each sport is unique, there is no single policy. The head coach, after consultation with the athletic director, will explain to all players at the start of the season the criteria for winning a varsity letter. A copy of the varsity lettering policy for each team will also be included in the parent packet which is sent home at the start of each season.