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Sports Handbook and Sports Contract

Saint Michael School

Athletic Program

Policies & Procedures







To support the athletic programs of Saint Michael School through value-based competition that reinforces the development of character, sportsmanship, and mutual respect in a Catholic environment. We believe that the athletic program at Saint Michael School complements the academic program. 


The Sports Advisory Committee vows to support the needs and goals of Saint Michael School

through the cooperation and participation of all its students, families, and parishioners. 


CYO Precedence

❖ Should any of the procedures or policies outlined in this manual conflict with the CYO mandated procedures and policies, the CYO policies will take precedence.  

❖ St. Michael School may adopt policies beyond those prescribed by CYO, but in no case will St. Michael Sports policies replace or be interpreted to supersede CYO policies. 


❖ Students may begin participating in sports when they reach the 5th grade. 

❖ Participation in St. Michael School’s sports programs is open primarily to enrolled students of St. Michael School. 

❖ Participation in St. Michael School’s sports programs to enrolled students of schools other than St. Michael School is considered when there are not enough St. Michael School students to form a team in a particular grade/sport. Those students must be enrolled in the Faith Formation program at St. Michael Parish.

❖ If a student leaves St. Michael School, they will no longer be able to participate in the Sports program unless other criteria in this section are met.

❖ Once a particular student who is not enrolled at St. Michael School is permitted to play sports for St. Michael School, they will be allowed to participate in future years assuming they are still enrolled in Faith Formation at St. Michael Parish. Should a student skip a year of competing with St. Michael School, they are no longer eligible unless the aforementioned situation applies where the Sports Program cannot form a team without their participation. 

❖ Students and families of students not enrolled at St. Michael School abide by the same rules as the St. Michael School students and families.


Sports Programs Offered 

❖ Currently, the following sports programs are offered at St. Michael School. This handbook outlines and describes the policies and procedures for administrating these programs. 

  • Basketball – 5th, 6th, 7th & 8th grade boys and girls teams 
  • Cheerleading – 5th, 6th, 7th, & 8th grade girls teams 
  • Cross Country – single team comprised of 5th through 8th grades 
  • Soccer – combination 5th/6th and 7th/8th grade co-ed teams 
  • Track – 5th, 6th, 7th, & 8th grade boys and girls teams 
  • Volleyball – 5th, 6th, 7th, & 8th grade girls teams, combination of 5th/6th and 7th/8th for boys

Administrative Structure of Athletic Program 

❖ The Athletic Director is appointed by recommendation from the Principal, by and at the discretion of the Pastor. 

❖ The Athletic Director coordinates the daily operations and administration of the St. Michael Athletics’ Program in accordance with this handbook. 

❖ The Athletic Director may appoint spot specific coordinators as deemed necessary. 

❖ The Athletic Director will perform all duties set forth in the job description attached to these Policies and Procedures. 

❖ The governing process and the establishment of the operational policies and procedures as outlined in this Handbook are the responsibility of the St. Michael Sports Advisory Committee. 

❖ The Athletic Director and committee members are accountable to the Principal and the Pastor. 

❖ The Sports Advisory Committee is comprised of those individuals who have successfully completed a process of discernment and have been appointed by the Pastor. The Pastor is an ex officio member of the Sports Advisory Committee.



❖ The sports fees will be set annually by the committee and will be due and payable at school registration. 

❖ To be eligible for practice and competition, athletes must have met all financial obligations as determined by the tuition payment contract. 


Eligibility Standards – Prohibited Conduct 

❖ Athletes must be eligible according to the rules of both St. Michael School and the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). 

❖ High standards are expected of all St. Michael School athletes. Any athlete whose conduct, habits, or character bring discredit upon St. Michael School or the CYO can be declared ineligible for athletic competition. The ineligibility determination will be made by the Principal upon recommendation of the Athletic Director. All disciplinary actions are subject to rules identified in the “St. Michael School Parent – Student Handbook”. 

❖ Athletes will not use any illegal stimulants or depressants. Our Policy is Zero Tolerance! (See the code of conduct section in the St. Michael School Parent and Student Policy Manuel). 

❖ Athletes shall not use any tobacco products or alcoholic beverages. 

❖ For coaches or administrator to act upon these offenses, the act must be observed by a professional staff member, an athletic coach, law enforcement officer, member of the Sports Advisory Committee or self-reported (by the athlete involved or parent of the athlete involved). 

❖ Athletes are bound to these regulations 365 days per year. 



❖ Student athletes are required to have a “C” average with only 1 “D” and no “F’s” in any core subject – including religion, reading, language arts, math, social studies, and science. 

❖ Conduct and effort and grades must be a “3” or higher in all subjects including specials. If Conduct falls below a “3” there will be a 2 game suspension. 

❖ Any student receiving more than one “D” or an “F” on their report card will receive a game suspension and will not be eligible to practice in order to concentrate on their academics. After two weeks, a progress report will be generated for reevaluation. An athlete will have a total of 4 weeks to improve the grade before being dismissed from a team. 

❖ All challenges to determinations made pursuant to this provision shall be made to the Principal in writing. The Principal shall then make the final decision. 

❖ Students, parents, and coaches will be notified when the student is eligible. 

❖ An ineligible athlete may not dress in a St. Michael team uniform, but may at the discretion of the parent and coach, attend competitions and sit with the team. 

❖ A student absent from school for one-half day or more of the school day will not be allowed to participate in any practices or games that same day unless he or she has an excused absence, i.e., funeral, doctor, dentist, or orthodontist appointment. 

❖ Students must abide by all CYO rules, including the CYO “no-cut” policy and the “mandatory playing” rule. 


Team Formation 

❖ If multiple teams are required per grade level, athletes will be assessed through an evaluation process. The final approval of the composition of teams will be determined by the Athletic Director. 

❖ Per CYO rules, the teams will have an equitable division of talent. In order to promote consistency of teams and coaching, if multiple teams are warranted in 5th or 6th grade levels, those teams will remain intact for 5th and 6th grade years of competition. Starting in 7th grade, if multiple teams are still warranted, the teams will be re-evaluated and adjusted in 7th grade, at which time, the teams will remain the same through the 8th grade season. 

❖ If there are not enough students to form a team for a particular sport, then the Athletic Director or their representative will reach out to the Faith Formation program to try and recruit players to form a team. If that does not result in a minimum number of participants, teams may be formed by combining grade levels where appropriate and competing at the higher grade level (e.g. 5th and 6th graders are combined to form a basketball team which will compete in the 6th grade level in CYO). This will be done in an effort to minimize the number of students who may have to compete at a higher grade level. 


Playing Time Guidelines 

❖ The sports program follows the CYO mandatory playing rule. 

❖ There are specific sport guidelines for “mandatory playing rules” per sport. Ask the Athletic Director for more information on each individual sport. 

Tournament Play 

❖ The St. Michael Sports Program has adopted the following rules for tournament play: 

  • 5th and 6th grade teams can participate in 1 regular season tournaments (this includes holiday tournaments). The Sports Advisory Committee shall pay the entry fee for one (1) tournament. 
  • 7th and 8th grade teams can participate in 1 regular season tournaments (this includes holiday tournaments). The Sports Advisory Committee shall pay the entry fee for one (1) tournament. 
  • The holidays are for family togetherness; therefore, parents on a specific team may veto holiday tournaments through a majority vote. 
  • Every St. Michael team participates in the post-season CYO tournament. 
  • Teams may not interchange two teams of the same grade for tournament play. 
  • Players may not be penalized for missing a holiday tournament due to family obligations (Christmas, New Years, etc.). 

Selection Process for Coaches 

❖ Individuals interested in being a coach of any sport(s) shall; complete “Play Like A Champion”, complete “Virtus” training, pass a background check and submit to a possible interview with the Athletic Director, Pastor, Sports Advisory Committee or any combination thereof. 

❖ The Athletic Director and Sports Committee will review all applicants (to include possible interviews) until the Athletic Director and/or Principal makes a final selection. 

❖ A maximum of three (3) coaches will be permitted per team; however, only the head coach and two (2) assistants are permitted on the sidelines at all games. 


Coaching Selections will be Based Upon the Following Criteria: 

❖ Coach’s evaluation forms from previous years. 

❖ Past experience in a specific sport and an ability to work with children. 

❖ Willingness to adhere to the policy and procedures of the St. Michael’s Sports Program and CYO league rules. 

❖ Level of commitment to coach a specific grade or sport. 

❖ Christian attitude displayed during games and practices. 

❖ All selection of coaches are on an annual basis, subject to year-end evaluations and reviews. 


Responsibility of the Coaches 

❖ All coaches must be “VIRTUS” Trained and “Play Like A Champion” certified, pursuant to CYO guidelines. 

❖ Coaches are required to follow approved diocesan, CYO and St. Michael School policies; no coach may establish any requirements or policies without the approval of the Sports Advisory Committee. 

❖ Coaches must follow the CYO substitution rule for regular season and tournament games. 

❖ Coaches are required to provide all team members with the same opportunities to work and learn. 

❖ Parents are required to convey pertinent medical information to the coach prior to the season, and further, shall provide access to the coaches of any and all necessary medications. The information is strictly confidential and shall not be disclosed to others. 


Responsibilities of the Athlete 

❖ Students will be notified of registration dates conducted by the St. Michael Sports Advisory Committee. Completed registration forms, physical forms, and fees must be submitted to the Athletic Director or sport specific coordinator before a player can participate in practice or games. 

❖ All team members are required to be at every practice and game in their entirely, unless the parent(s) notify the coach beforehand. Failure to notify the coach will be an unexcused absence. Two unexcused absences will result in the suspension from the next league game (not practice games). 

❖ St. Michael School games must take precedence over any other games. If an athlete is involved in another program (AAU, travel or club ball, Biddy-ball, football, etc.) he/she must attend the St. Michael’s School game. Failure to do will be considered an unexcused absence. Habitual absences will result in the removal of the player from the St. Michael’s School Team. 

❖ Athletes many never leave the school property during practice. 

❖ At practices and games, athletes must always abide by the St. Michaels School & CYO conduct guidelines. 

❖ Before, during, and after practices and games, athletes will adhere to the highest standards of courtesy, respect, sportsmanship, and self-discipline. At practice athletes will be equally supportive and cooperative with all teammates. 

❖ If the athlete’s behavior is judged to be unsportsmanlike, he/she risks suspension from the sport in which the infraction occurred. The Sports Advisory Committee will resolve disputes over behavior and its consequences. 

❖ It is a privilege to represent St. Michael’s School through athletic program, where the athletes’ conduct reflects on their school and team at all times. 

❖ It is important for athletes to know how to balance the responsibilities of extracurricular activities with primary responsibilities to God, family and school. 

❖ Learning good sportsmanship and how to be a good team player are the two most important reasons athletes participate in the St. Michael School Athletic Program. 


Responsibilities of the Parent 

❖ Transportation to and from games, practices, and other team obligations is the responsibility of the athlete’s family. Parents are expected to arrive at a time designated by the coach. 

❖ NEW Parents will be assessed a concession fee of $50 per child per team at the beginning of a sports season (excluding cross country, cheerleading, and track). Parents have a mandatory obligation to assist with the concession stand, gate operations, field and gym operations or forfeit their volunteer fee. The number of hours required will be determined when the schedule of games is released by CYO, but is expected to be around 6-7 hours per season. It could be more or less depending on the number of contests scheduled at our facilities as well as the numbers of St. Michael School teams for a particular sport.

❖ NEW Volunteer fees will either be refunded at the end of the season upon review of the number of hours worked or it can be rolled over to the next sports season (e.g. volleyball into basketball season). The entire obligation of hours must be met. There will not be a pro-ration of hours worked. 

❖ NEW Volunteers will schedule their own hours via an online/mobile portal (such as SignUp Genius). Coaches will no longer schedule concession/gate/supervisor duties. Administrators will keep track of the number of hours worked through the online/mobile portal. 

❖ One parent must be Virtus trained in order for your child to be part of the St. Michael School Sports Program. This parent will be the ONLY one permitted to fulfill the mandatory obligation. It is beneficial for both parents to be Virtus trained. 

❖ Parents will support the team and the coach by attending games and by assuring that their son or daughter is punctual and faithful in attendance. 

❖ Any time the athlete cannot meet the expectations for punctuality and attendance, it is the parents’ responsibility to inform the coach. 

❖ Parents understand that St. Michael School Sports Athletic Program exists to teach teamwork within the context of a Christian values and that they are part of teamwork. 



Injury or Extended Absence 

❖ Athletes that have not participated in practice/games due to injury, illness or other reason will be required to attend a minimum of two (2) practices prior to participating in the next scheduled game. 


Chain of Command 

❖ Parents should escalate complaints through a chain of command. A Coach should always be the first contact to resolve a complaint. If complaint cannot be resolved between a Parent and Coach the Athletic Director can be made aware of the situation by making a formal complaint in writing. The complaint can then be addressed at the next Sports Board meeting. A Parent or Coach WILL NOT contact CYO or Parish Principle on sports related issues and/or complaints. Sports Board reserves the right at their discretion to suspend a Coach or remove an Athlete from a team for non-compliance. 


Sports Banquet and Awards

❖ An annual Sports Banquet will be held in May for the 7th and 8th grade teams. 

❖ The sports banquet will consist of an awards ceremony and honorary dinner. 

❖ Parents and athletes in the 7th grade will host the event. They will be involved in planning, set-up and clean-up, and serving of the banquet. 

❖ All sports - soccer, volleyball, cheerleading, basketball, cross country, and track - nominate athletes for the five awards: Father Connelly Award, Most improved, Pride/hustle/desire, Sportsmanship and the optional award of MVP (most valuable player)

❖ Awards are presented to 8th grade athletes per sport at the end of year sports banquet. Each team has up to four awards. The Father Connelly award is presented to only two athletes, one boy and one girl athlete from the 8th grade class.

❖ The following guidelines are to be delivered to coaches at the end of each sports season. There had been some confusion on the criteria used for selecting award winners in past years, so the Sports board has enacted the following award selection process for all sports and coaches to follow, for fairness and consistency.


❖ Individual awards and the criteria to be followed. 

Pride/Hustle and Desire Award

1.      athlete must have played at least 2-seasons

2.     must have had near perfect attendance at practices and games

3.     always gave maximum (100 %) effort at games, practice and in losing contests

4.     thru attitude and actions, shows willingness to listen/learn from coaches and peers.

Most Improved Player

1.      must have played multiple seasons or years

2.     athlete has shown marked improvement in skills, attitude and leadership throughout athletic career at St Michaels

3.     improvement not limited to “stat” sheet, must be evident to coaches, other players and fans.


                               1) no restriction on years or seasons played.

                          2) shown team leadership skills through words and actions.

                          3) always displays a professional, courteous and Christian    

                                          attitude toward players, coaches, officials and fans.

4.     has consistently shown unselfish actions toward teammates.

MVP “most valuable player”

1.      Optional award, not mandatory that a selection is made, It is up to the individual sport and coaches to decide whether or not to include this award.

2.     No restriction on years or seasons played.

3.     Individual athlete who has the most impact on a team

4.     Considerations are: Leading scorer or stopper/defender, and player who leads in assists, rebounding etc.

5.     Shows strong leadership on court or field.      

6.     At St Michael’s, we promote the “team” and team sports, but occasionally we do acknowledge the individual and the individual’s efforts, such as track/cross country athletes who compete in an individual event. 

                   Father Connelly award:

1) Awarded to the athlete who best exemplifies all the values                             of St Michael athletics, St Michael School and St Michael Parish. In honor of the late Father Patrick Connelly

        2) The athlete must meet or exceed all the criteria for the other four

             Awards, Sportsmanship, Pride/Hustle and Desire, Most 

              Improved and MVP combined.

        3)  Each sport/team may nominate up to 2 male or 2 female candidates.  

        4) Must have participated in the athletic program all (4) four years

        5) Have high academics and overall good character.

❖ Team awards (most valuable player, pride, hustle and desire award, sportsmanship award and most improved player) will be decided by the coaches of the respective team. 


Athletic Director 

St. Michael School 

16 West Wilhelm Street 

Schererville, Indiana 46375 

St. Michael is a K-8, Catholic, co-educational, school of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Schererville, Indiana, and contracts with an individual to serve as Athletic Director for its interscholastic sports programs, subject to the following duties and qualifications, which are made part of the Employment Agreement. 



The Athletic Director must exhibit a loyal, consistent and public adherence to the Mission of St. Michael Parish and School. 

❖ While knowledge of coaching dynamics and student/athletic development and relations are desirable, the ideal candidate will most importantly possess extraordinary management and interpersonal skills. 

❖ The Director is expected to be dynamic, self-motivated, organized and a leader that demonstrates and reinforces the ideals of team building throughout the program. 

❖ The Director is expected to be role-model that exemplifies good sportsmanship within a competitive atmosphere and is capable of identifying and correcting behaviors from athletes, coaches and fans that contradict the Mission of St. Michael’s. 

❖ The Director will be adept at recruiting and training all levels of volunteers including coaches and support staff. 

❖ The Director will be expected to be a strong and effective communicator. 

❖ The Director will administer all policy, strategic and tactical decisions based upon the true best interests of St. Michael’s regardless of race, age and gender. 


Organizational Relations 

As a Catholic grade school the ultimate responsibility for all concerns lies with the Pastor of St. Michael’s Parish. The Director will enjoy immediate supervision through the authority of the Principal of St. Michael’s School. 



The Director will articulate the athletic program via the educational objectives of the school, in concert with the Mission of the school and cognizant of the procedures and regulations established by the parish, the school and any event sanctioning organization(s). 


Hiring of Coaches 

Recommends to the principal, via optional selection committee the selection of all coaches including levels and related responsibilities. 



Will be solely responsible for the post-season evaluation of each coach and their respective adherence to the duties assigned to them. 


Training of Coaches 

Will ensure that all coaches meet or exceed minimal training and sanctioning criteria as outlined by the Diocese, Parish, School and related event organizations. 


Cooperative Relations 

Will encourage and monitor the cooperation and communication among all coaches at all levels. 



Is ultimately responsible for scheduling of athletic events and practices and the equitable allocation of all resources, as allowed. Prepares all contracts and maintains a clear and accessible calendar of events that is in concern with the objectives and priorities of the Parish and School. Facility allocation is expected to be a fair process based upon all variables and concerns. The Athletic Director shall coordinate the scheduling of all athletic events and practices held at St. Michaels Gym with the Parish Coordinator of events and schedules, the said person currently being Patti Mendoza. 



Will hire and schedule competent and duly licensed officials for all athletic contests. Will communicate any and all logistical information to all parties concerning times, dates and location; including visitors from other schools. 


Event Coordination 

Will work in cooperation with the Sports Advisory Board to ensure all events are adequately staffed regarding ticket sales, concessions and event support staff and clean up. 


Facilities and Equipment 

Accounts for the care of facilities, equipment and supplies. 



Works in concert with Sports Advisory Board to purchase and present awards via suitable means and historical context. 



Files reports as requested including annual reports of each sport including participation, records, awards, etc. 


Ticket Sales 

Is ultimately responsible for coordinating accounting and depositing of all ticket revenues as per directives of Pastoral Finance Director. 



Serves as director for any and all events hosted at St. Michael’s. 


Public Relations 

Works in concert with Administration and Development Office regarding promotions and support of programs. 



Attends all meetings required by Parish, School and sanctioning organizations. 


Pre-Season Meetings 

Will conduct, in concert with coaching staffs, mandatory meetings of parents of participating student/athletes, prior to each season, where general and specific rules, guidelines, procedures and points of emphasis will be publicly stated and discussed. 



Maintains all financial accounts, prepares purchase orders, and facilitates planning of annual budget. 


Sports Advisory Board 

The Athletic Director will serve as an ex-officio member of the Sports Advisory Board. 














St. Michael School

Saint Michael School Sports Contract – School Year 2019-20

Students of Saint Michael School who are in the 5th-8th grade are eligible to participate in the Sports Program for the 2017-2018 school year. 

There are several requirements that need to be met as a family participating in the Sports Program. 

  1. A sports fee is required to be paid in advance. There is NO Refund after the rosters have been submitted to CYO. 
  2. All team members are required to be at every practice and every game in their entirety, unless the parent(s) notify the coach beforehand. Failure to notify the coach will be an unexcused absence. Two unexcused absences will result in a suspension from the next game.
  3. St. Michael School games take precedence over any other games and any other sport (AAU, travel or club ball, etc.) and the student athlete must attend the St. Michael School game. Failure to do so will be considered an unexcused absence. Habitual absences will result in removal from a St. Michael School team.
  4. Athletes are required to have a “C” average with only 1 “D” and NO “F’s” in any core subject. Conduct grades must be a “3” are higher in all subjects including specials. If the athlete does not comply with the above, a two game suspension will go into effect. 
  5. If the athlete receives one of the above grades during the fourth quarter of the previous school year, the athlete will have a two game suspension at the beginning of the current school year. (This applies to boys and girls volleyball, soccer, and boys and girls basketball) Ex: If you have an “F” or a “2” in conduct in June of your 4th grade year, you will be suspended for the FIRST 2 games at the beginning of your 5th grade year.
  6. Parents have a mandatory obligation to assist with the concession stand, field and gym operations or forfeit their volunteer fee.
  7. Students working in any duty must be approved by the concession manager in advance.
  8. Parents volunteering must be VIRTUS trained and in compliance with the Diocese of Gary Virtus Program. 
  9. To ensure the safety of our student athletes, St. Michael School prohibits the posting of our students’ pictures to a personal Facebook page of either the parents or the student. Parents are welcome to share pictures and stories of their own children from SMS athletic events by contacting the faculty member responsible for the school’s Facebook page.
  10. Students athletes’ cell phones will be collected by the coach(es) before each practice and returned after practice. 
  11. Each athlete is given a uniform at the beginning of each sport. The uniform is required to be returned to the coach promptly after the last game. Coaches are to return the uniforms to the uniform coordinator on designated date. If a uniform is not returned, a fee of $100 will be charged. If damaged, the “cost to replace” will be charged. 

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St. Michael School

Pat Cusick - Athletic Director, 16 W. Wilhelm St.
Schererville, Indiana 46375

Phone : 219-713-5472
Email : [email protected]
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