Athletic Handbook

New Canaan High School Parent/Student Handbook

This handbook is written for students and their parents. It is an effort to provide you with the information you need to understand about the rules which govern athletic participation and procedures which must be followed by athletes and their parents. It is our hope that the handbook will answer many questions and serve as a resource as you engage in interscholastic athletics.

Jay Egan , Director of Athletics

NCHS Athletics Core Values

Responsibility: To teammates, school and community

Accountability:  For your actions and decisions 

Motivation: Seek excellence, not perfection

Strength: Possess character to act with honor and conviction.


Code of Conduct

The dignity of a school is reflected in its athletic program. Because interscholastic athletics are voluntary and because student-athletes represent their school, we expect the behavior of those who participate to be of the highest order. This is particularly true of academic requirements, honesty, school citizenship, and sportsmanship.


All New Canaan High School students participating in the Interscholastic Athletics Program are expected to adhere to the following standards of conduct:

- Demonstrate the NCHS Core Values of Responsibility, Accountability, Motivation and Strength (R.A.M.S.).

- Avoid the use of profanity, abusive language or gestures in dealing with opponents, officials or spectators.

- Accept victory with grace and defeat with dignity.

- Do not use Tobacco, Alcohol or Other Drugs. It is considered a violation of the Athletic Code of Conduct to possess, use, distribute, alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, controlled substances or drug paraphernalia.

- Do not engage in the hazing or bullying of any students or staff members. This includes all forms of digital communication.

- All student-athletes will conduct themselves at all times in a manner, which reflects positively on our athletic teams, our school, and our community.

When a student elects to participate in a co-curricular activity, he/she is agreeing to abide by the standards of conduct established for that activity. Therefore, it is vitally important for both the student and the student's parents to carefully review the expected standards of conduct. Any student-athlete who feels that he/she cannot abide by the code of behavior should elect not to participate in our athletic program. 

Athletic Policies and Guidelines 

When a student-athlete chooses to violate the athletic code of conduct, it is the athlete who has violated his/her own oath of participation. While a student has the legal right to attend school, participation in athletics is a privilege. The school has the authority to revoke the privilege for those who do not conduct themselves in a responsible manner. This sense of responsibility extends to the activity as well as to conduct inside and outside the school.



During out-of-school or in school suspensions, the student athlete cannot participate in any practices or contests. In addition, the student athlete may not participate in a practice or a contest that conflicts with any assigned school penalty.


When the school has substantiated knowledge that a student athlete has been charged with a criminal offense, he/she will immediately be suspended from participation. The high school administration and athletic director will consider duration of the suspension and reinstatement of the student to a program based upon a review of the information.


Hazing/harassment/bullying in any athletic/activity program is unacceptable. Student athletes who are involved in hazing/harassment/bullying may be suspended from athletic/activity contest/events or removed from team.


Student athletes must be present in school for a minimum of 5 periods in order to participate in an athletic practice or game that day. If there is an extenuating circumstance the student must contact the athletic director to explain the situation. The athletic director will make the decision regarding participation. A student athlete who has an unexcused absence or is chronically tardy may not participate in an athletic practice or game that day. So it is important that parents or guardians call the attendance office in a timely fashion. Additionally, chronic tardiness or unexcused absences may result in further intervention.


Respect the Student Code of Conduct

Honor our values and traditions

Create a positive legacy


First Offense:

A student, after confirmation of a first offense, is put on probation for 10 calendar days. During this probationary time, the student:

* will not participate in games/practices/team meetings;

* may not participate in any competition/performances;

* will attend a meeting with parents, Athletic Director/Administrative Representative;

* will be required to meet with the NCHS Outreach Worker for counseling referral;

Voluntary admission of an offense can reduce the period of ineligibility by half and is applicable to the first offense. 

An alternative educational program may be offered at the discretion of the building administration.

Second Offense:

The student, after confirmation of a second offense, will be suspended for the remainder of the current sport season. In addition, the student:

* will meet with the parents, coach/extracurricular advisor, Athletic Director and Principal;

* will be required to meet with NCHS Outreach Worker for counseling referral;

* will be ineligible for club recognition or awards and any post season team functions and awards.

Tobacco Use:

The use of tobacco and/or tobacco products on school grounds or school- sponsored activities is a violation of New Canaan Board of Education policy. Tobacco use by an NCHS athlete is NOT ACCEPTABLE. This includes chewing tobacco. All coaches will establish and enforce team- specific prohibitions against tobacco use among team members. These prohibitions will be communicated at the beginning of the season.

Any additional rules and procedures may be established by the coach/advisor within the guidelines for participation listed above. Consequences for violation of additional rules and procedures shall be determined by the coach with prior verbal and written descriptions at the beginning of the season.


It is our expectation that communication will be encouraged and maintained between and among parents, athlete and coach. Parents are entitled to answers to legitimate questions regarding their child's performance and/or status. During the season, concerns may arise.

The following communication process should be followed:  

*Parents coaching players on ways to have conversations with their coaches is a great way to build resiliency in young people.


In order to participate on an interscholastic athletic team, a student must satisfy the following minimum eligibility rules. These standards are established by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Association Athletic Association.

Bona Fide Students: Students who have completed graduation requirements are not permitted to participate in an interscholastic athletic program.

Age: The student shall not have reached his or her twentieth (20th ) birthday. A student-athlete will not be allowed to start a season or compete during a season in which his/her twentieth (20th) birthday falls.

Duration of Competition: No student-athlete shall participate in the same branch of athletics more than four (4) seasons in grades 9-12 at any school. Date of entry is defined as the first date of enrollment as a grade 9 student taking four (4) or more high school subjects. A student has eight (8) consecutive semesters or four (4) consecutive years of eligibility from the date of entry into the ninth grade to be eligible for interscholastic competition.

Health Examination: a student who engages in interscholastic competition must submit completed parental permission forms with their medical history signed by the student and parent and a physical examination screening form completed by a physician. The forms are available in the Health Office. Misrepresentation or falsifying data on medical forms will result in immediate suspension from participation pending a hearing with the Athletic Director and the Principal.


Athletic participation in Interscholastic Athletics requires a greater commitment and is more competitive than the club or youth sport programs. The freshman, Junior Varsity programs function as a transition to Varsity competition. Participation is based on ability and requires a significant commitment of time as well as adherence to more stringent team and Athletic Department rules. Parents and athletes are advised to take this into consideration when deciding whether or not to participate.

In order to understand fully a family's commitment to athletics at New Canaan High School and to avoid miscommunication and unrealistic expectations, parents and students must realize that:



Team Selection: will be held in a closed environment with only the coaches and the athletes permitted. In accordance with our philosophy of athletics and our desire to see as many students as possible participate in the athletic program while at New Canaan, we encourage coaches to keep as many students as possible on each team. Time, space, facilities, equipment and other factors may place limitations on team size for any particular sport. Choosing the members and captains of athletic teams is the sole responsibility of the coaches. Selections are made according to the skill level and attitude of the athletes. All positions are open for any athlete to fill on an annual basis. At the pre-season orientation meeting, the coach shall provide the following information to all candidates:



When a squad cut becomes necessary, the coach will discuss alternative possibilities for participation in the sport or participation in other areas of the athletic program.


All required practice sessions shall be organized and planned for a reasonable length of time and shall include activities specific to the sport. Depending on the sport and level of play, each team member is required to participate in a minimum number of practice sessions prior to the first team scrimmage and/or contest. In order to meet the "minimum practice" requirement, the athlete must be engaged in rigorous activity.


Each coach shall be responsible for planning and conducting practices on a regularly scheduled basis. Practices will be limited to a reasonable amount of time (generally 1 ½ -2 hours). Athletes must be excused from practice with no penalty for religious reasons or for "extra help" sessions with classroom teachers. As a general rule, there will be no team practices on Sundays. However, in instances where a practice can be justified, it can be scheduled with the Athletic Director's prior approval. When a Sunday practice is held, another team practice must be canceled so that athletes are not practicing on more than six consecutive days.

On days when ACT, SAT and PSAT tests are administered, consideration will be given to scheduling practices and contests so that conflicts do not arise with the test times. The Athletic Director will be responsible for the scheduling of all interscholastic athletic contests. All league contests will be scheduled by the FCIAC and scrimmages may be scheduled by each individual coach with the approval of the Athletic Director.


Vacations by athletic team members during a sport season are discouraged. Parents and athletes wishing to go away during a particular season may want to defer participation so as not to create conflicts.

In the event that a family vacation is unavoidable, an athlete must:

1. Contact the coach at the start of the season.

2. Every two days of practices or games that are missed will result in sitting out one game when the athlete returns. The consequence may not necessarily occur on the first game after the vacation. The coach will determine the date so as not to forfeit a game.


The New Canaan Athletic Department recognizes the right of all students to practice the teachings of their religion and observe religious holidays. All requests to be excused from practice and/or games to attend religious services or religious education programs will be honored without penalty. Although practices may be conducted on religious or school holidays, athletic practices are not mandatory on religious holidays. There will be no penalty for missing practice on these days. Coaches should be notified in advance if a student will not be at a practice. Practices on Rosh Hashanah and Good Friday will be conducted between 8:00am and 12:00pm.

The scheduling of scrimmages or games shall be prohibited on the following religious holidays: Rosh Hashanah (2 days, beginning at sunset of the previous day), Yom Kippur (1 day, beginning at sundown the night before), Christmas Day, Passover (1st and 2nd day, beginning at sunset of the previous day), Holy Thursday (evening), Good Friday and Easter Sunday.