Athletic Handbook

The Oakridge School District recognizes that participation in extracurricular activities is a privilege. Participants conduct, in and out of school, shall not reflect negatively on our school or create a disruptive influence on the discipline, good order, moral or educational environment in the school. Student athletes are to be good sports and positive role models on or off the playing field. The following are core beliefs of Oakridge athletics:

  1. Participation is for those who potentially have the skills, attitudes, and willingness to work hard to improve their respective sports.
  2. Success is not measured by the win/loss record.
  3. The coaching staff, athletes, administration, parents, and fans should always act in a manner that would enhance the positive image of the school and community.
  4. Athletes should be encouraged to participate in more than one sport throughout the year.
  5. Playing time in scheduled contests has to be earned. Work ethic, ability, academic standing, and behavior are vital factors.
  6. The needs of the team must come before the needs of the individual.
  7. Athletic participation is intended to benefit all athletes by teaching fundamentals, strategies, and behavior that will enable our teams and athletes to be successful.

The rules and regulations found in this athletic handbook, Oakridge student handbook and all rules of the Michigan High School Athletic Association apply to all athletic competitions for all boys and girls at Oakridge High School and Oakridge Middle School. All contents within this athletic handbook,with the exception of the noted Middle School differences, apply to both high school and middle school student athletes. The following applies to the Oakridge athletic policy:

  • Middle school violations will not carry over to the high school.
  • All suspensions are to start with the next regularly scheduled contest following the violation.
  • A suspension not fulfilled during a particular season will carry over to the next sport the athlete tries out for. The suspension will continue beginning with the first regularly scheduled contest in that sport.
  • A student is considered an athlete once they try out for a sport. They are an athlete the entire calendar year.
  • While serving an athletic suspension, practices are mandatory unless excused by the coach.
  • When a percent of the season involves a decimal, that decimal will be carried to the nearest whole number. If the decimal is 0.5, that decimal will be carried to the next highest whole number.
  • If a team drops below the required number of athletes it takes to compete in that sport, new members may be added to the team.
  1. Alcohol, tobacco ,and drugs (including misuse of prescription drugs or over the counter drug/ chemical: Any athlete who is found in possession of using, distributing, selling, or enabling others to use such drugs.
    • First offense: 50% of the season. If the offense comes after 50% of the season has been completed, the suspension may carry over into the athlete’s next sport season. The suspension could also include part or the entire state tournament. A percentage of the season will be determined by game dates, not number of games. Fractions will be rounded off to the nearest whole number.
    • Second offense: Suspension from athletics for a calendar year from the date of the offense.
    • Third offense: Permanent suspension from interscholastic athletics for the remainder of the athlete’s high school career.
  2. An athlete who brings undue disgrace to the school may be subject to discipline and/or suspension. Athletes, who are present at a party or event involving minors, where alcohol, tobacco, or drugs are present, will be considered to have violated this policy and will be subject to discipline and/or suspension. In addition, upon receipt of a juvenile petition from local authorities, students will be placed on discipline and/or suspension for violation of this policy.
  3. Self-disclosure policy: If an athlete reports his or her violation of training rules to his or her coach or the athletic director within 24 hours of the violation, the athlete will serve a suspension of only 25% of the season. This opportunity applies only to first offense violations. Penalties for second offense violations remain the same.
  4. Student athletes are responsible for information contained in written or electronic transmissions (e.g. e-mail) and any information posted on a public domain (e.g. internet, online chat rooms, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace). Inappropriate or embarrassing information or pictures should not be posted in any public domain. Student-athletes are not precluded from participation in such online social network sites; however, student – athletes should be reminded that they serve as representatives of Oakridge High School. Any individual that is identified on a social networking site which depicts illegal or inappropriate behavior will be considered a violation of the athletic training rules and will be subject to athletic discipline and/or suspension.
  5. Cleanliness and Appearance: As the appearance of athletes representing a school can bring credit or discredit to the school all Oakridge athletes are encouraged to maintain personal cleanliness and to take pride in personal grooming and wearing apparel.
  6. Coaches reserve the right to discipline and/or suspend athletes for inappropriate actions or behaviors that the coach feels are necessary to maintain proper team order and unity.
  7. Athletic training rules are in effect the entire calendar year.
  8. An athlete cannot serve a suspension for a training rules violation in a new sport. The athlete can only serve the suspension in a sport they have been continuously (annually) competing in. For example, a fall sport athlete who violates a training rule in the winter months cannot go out for a spring sport to satisfy his or her suspension
  9. There is a statute of limitations of six months on all training rules violations. If school officials discover a training rules violation more than six months after the date of the incident, it will no longer be considered a violation.

Suspension is handled through the Principal's Office.

  1. Athletes are not allowed to practice during their suspension.
  2. If an athlete is suspended for the entire day of an athletic contest the athlete will not be allowed to participate in the contest.
  3. If the suspension ends before the school day ends, the athlete will be allowed to participate in or attend the contest.
  4. Any practice missed for skipping school will be an unexcused absence.
  1. First Practice Day: The first official practice day for each sport shall be determined by the coach of that sport and the athletic director.
  2. First Day: An athlete must come out on the first day of organized practice for that sport. If an athlete is allowed to participate after the first day of practice, he must make up all regular practice days missed before participating in a regularly scheduled game or contest. Exceptions to this rule are students who transfer into this district after the beginning of practice sessions. All other exceptions must be cleared through the athletic director.
  3. Attendance: An athlete must attend school all day in order to practice or participate in a game. An athlete that misses school with illness will not be allowed to dress for practice or a game unless they return to school with a doctor, dentist, or court slip. Other unavoidable excuses should be cleared through the principal or athletic director. If an athlete has “0” hour, and he/she is more than 20 minutes late to school, they will be excused one time for that sport season if: a) They have less than three tardies in the six week marking period in that class and b) The excuse for being late checks out with a parent or guardian.
  4. Grace Period: An athlete has until the first game to decide whether or not he/she wishes to stay out for that sport. If an athlete quits a sport during the grace period he/she must practice two full weeks before he/she will be allowed to participate in another regular contest in a sport being held during the same season.
  5. Quitting a Sport: Any athlete quitting a sport following the grace period shall not be allowed to participate in that sport for the remainder of that season or participate in any other sport that is being played during that season. In addition, the athlete will miss 25% of his/her next sport season.
  1. All athletes will attend every practice.
  2. If an athlete is in school and cannot attend a practice after school, he/she must report to his coach to get excused from practice before the practice begins.
  3. If the athlete is not excused by his/her coach or misses practice without informing his coach even though he/she has a good reason for missing practice he will be disciplined as follows:
    • First offense: Will be given extra conditioning by the coach e.g., run laps, push-ups, etc. There will also be a playing time consequence for the next game. The athlete must meet with the athletic director for clarification of consequences before a second offense.
    • b. Second offense: The athlete will be dismissed from the squad and miss 25% of his/her next sport season. If an athlete is dismissed from a team for disciplinary reasons he/she will forfeit their right to a letter for that sport.
  4. Detentions are not excused absences. It is not considered an unexcused absence if the athlete reports to practice by 4:00 pm. The coach will still apply the consequences outlined in D-3a above.
  5. Two unexcused absences will result in the penalties outlined in D-3 above.
  6. Any athlete who has been assigned a Saturday school, but does not attend the Saturday school, which results in the student athlete being suspended from school on the following Monday, will be subject to the penalties outlined in section D-3 above.
  7. If it is judged that an athlete is purposely violating rules to get kicked off the team, the athlete will miss 25% of his/her next sport season.
  8. If an athlete misses more than 20 minutes of school, they will not be allowed to practice or participate in a game on that day. Only doctor, dentist, and court excuses will be accepted. An athlete still must attend school part of the day, even if they have a doctor, dentist, or court excuse. Exceptions may be appealed to the athletic director and principal (For example, appointments a considerable distance from the high school may be considered).
  9. An athlete will no longer be eligible for athletics for the rest of the school year when he or she reaches the point where the athlete is being suspended from school because of excessive Saturday schools (All Saturday schools for the entire school year have been assigned). The first day of suspension will mark the end of that athlete’s athletic school year.

If an athlete is dismissed from a team for what the coach feels is a serious violation, he/she must appear before the Athletic Board of Appeals before reinstatement to any athletic team.

Athletic Appeals Process

  1. If an athlete is suspended or dismissed from an athletic team he/she is entitled to a hearing before the athletic board of appeals if he/she desires. The following procedure will be followed:
    • a. Athlete must give written notice to the athletic director within three (3) days of the problem, that he/she desires a hearing before the appeals board.
    • b. Written notice of the meeting and charges against the athlete shall be supplied to the student and his/her parent or guardian.
    • c. Parent, guardian, and council may be present at the hearing.
    • d. The student shall be given an opportunity to give his/her version of the facts and their implications. They should be allowed to offer testimony of other witnesses and other evidence.
    • e. The student shall be allowed to observe all evidence offered against them and be allowed to question any witnesses.
    • f. The hearing shall be conducted by the athletic appeals board who shall make its determination solely upon the evidence presented at the hearing.
    • g. If the decision of the athletic appeals board is not satisfactory, the decision can be appealed to the Oakridge Board of Education.
  2. Athletic Appeals Board: Composed of the athletic director, principal, and the head varsity coaches in each of the following sports: football, basketball (boys and girls), track (boys and girls), cross country, baseball, soccer (boys and girls), volleyball, softball, and cheerleading (if it involves a cheerleader).


  1. Discuss and rule on disciplinary problems as they relate to high school athletics.
  2. A majority vote of the appeals board would constitute a decision.
  3. If a coach is a member of the appeals board he/she will not be allowed to vote if they are directly involved in the problem.

Each athlete, male or female, must have a physical once a school year before practicing or participating in sports. It is the responsibility of the student-athlete and/or the parent/guardian to have the physical completed by the first practice date. Only physicals completed after April 15 will be accepted. This is in accordance with MHSAA guidelines.

  1. MHSAA) Previous academic record – No student shall compete in any athletic contest that does not have, to his or her credit, in the official records of the school, to be represented at least 66 percent of full load potential for a full-time student for the semester/trimester during which he or she shall have been enrolled in grades 9 to 12. For example:
    • Passing 3 of 4 classes
    • Passing 4 of 5 classes
    • Passing 4 of 6 classes
    • Passing 5 of 7 classes
    • Passing 6 of 8 classes
  2. Eligibility shall be determined each two weeks on a cumulative basis for the marking period. An athlete will be eligible if he/she isn’t failing in more than one subject. This includes transfer students as well (trimester or semester).
  3. A student athlete failing two or more classes is automatically ineligible for two weeks.
  4. f an athlete is declared academically ineligible two times during a sport season, he/she will be dropped from the squad.
  5. No more than one credit may be made up in summer school to counts towards eligibility for athletics.

The Athletic Department will not accept the responsibility when students are driving to/from games. No coach has the authority to allow the students to drive to/from athletic events, but in special circumstances, the Athletic Director can authorize students to drive to/from events as long as no school transportation (bussing, van, etc.) is provided. Athletes must ride to the contest and back home on the transportation provided. If parents want to take an athlete home, the coach must give the parent permission to do so. Written permission must be granted ahead of time by the parent or guardian by completing the Athletic Transportation Permission Form which is available in the Athletic Director’s Office.

All athletes are responsible for all equipment issued to them. All lost, stolen or damaged items will be paid for by the athlete. All awards will be withheld until equipment is turned in or paid for. Athletes will also not be allowed to try out for their next sport.

  1. Only injuries incurred while participating in Oakridge athletics will be covered.
  2. Insurance claims: The school carries athletic insurance that is designed to pay any bills the parent’s insurance does not cover. In order to file a claim:
    • Pick up a form in the office, fill out the form completely, and return it to the athletic director.
    • It is the responsibility of the parents and the students to make insurance claims. The school is not responsible for paying of medical bills. The insurance is offered as a service, but no claims bill will be paid unless proper procedures are followed. All claims should be filed in a reasonable time.
  1. One athletic award will be given at the conclusion of each season. (Letter, numeral, pin or certificate)
  2. Varsity Award: An 8″ chenille letter may be earned by participating in a varsity sport. An athlete may receive one chenille varsity letter. If he or she receives another varsity award they will be given pins for that sport.
  3. Junior Varsity Award: A 6″ chenille letter may be earned by participating in a junior varsity sport. An athlete may receive only one chenille J.V. letter.
  4. Numerals: Athletes who go out for a sport for the first time and who remain with the squad the entire season may receive two numerals for their year of graduation.
  5. Senior athletes will be awarded a Senior Athletic Plaque.
  6. Earning Awards: An athlete may earn a varsity or JV letter when he/she is on that specific roster for 25% of the regular season.
    • No award will be given a player who drops from the squad or is dismissed for disciplinary reasons.
    • In case of injury the coach and athletic director should determine the award to be received.
  7. Special Awards: Special recognition for athletic achievement may be given at the end of the season. Selection of the award will be left up to the coach.
  8. The Senior Athlete Award: a. The High School Athletic Council will nominate and select the outstanding male and female athletes. Coaches will vote for only one male and one female candidate according to the following requirements:
  9. (1) must be a senior, (2) High Scholastic Achievement, (3) Leadership, (4) Citizenship, and (5) Number of sports participated in during the high school career.
  10. The Henry Warren Athlete of the Year Award:
    • The High School Athletic Council will nominate and select the athlete. (1) Each coach can vote for three athletes. (2) Voting: 1st choice = 5 points; 2nd choice = 3 points; 3rd choice = 1 point. The athlete with the most points will win the award.
    • Requirements: (1) All high school athletes are eligible, (2) Show superior athletic ability and performance in one or more sports, (3) Emphasis will be on the total number of sports participated in during the year, (4) Adherence to the Athletic Code, and (5) The winner cannot receive the Senior Athlete Award.

Oakridge Public Schools requires all athletes to pay $50 to compete in their first sport, and $25 for each additional sports season they participate in. Oakridge expects the athlete, not the parents, to be responsible for participation fees. An athlete will not compete in an event until his or her money is paid.

  • Athletes interested in participating in two sports during the same season shall adhere to the following stipulations: The athlete must complete a Declaration Form identifying which sport is primary and secondary for participation purposes. Generally this means which sport will take priority in practice and competitions when conflicts arise.
  • Approval may be denied or rescinded because of academic concerns at any time during the season. In such cases, the athlete will participate only in the primary sport.
  • The head coaches of each sport must mutually agree to the participation of the athlete in two sports. Approval is also required from administration and parents/guardians.
  • Any penalties issued as a result of a violation of the athletic code of conduct will apply to BOTH sports.
  • Once a primary sport is declared, the decision cannot be changed without the completion of a new Declaration Form (all signatures required). If coaches do not agree with the changes, the original form remains in effect.
  • Practice requirements and game/meet expectations for both sports shall be established prior to the start of the sport seasons.

Training Rules

Cleanliness and Appearance: As the appearance of cheerleaders representing a school can bring credit or discredit to the school, all Oakridge cheerleaders are encouraged to maintain personal cleanliness and to take pride in personal grooming and wearing apparel.

  1. Neatness and cleanliness is a necessity at all times.
  2. Hair should be clean and not be unruly. Hair must be pulled back and out of the eyes for all games.
  3. Uniforms should be cleaned and pressed.
  4. Shoes and socks should be clean.
  5. No part of one’s cheerleading uniform should be worn outside of cheerleading activities.
  6. No personal pins or jewelry are to be worn on uniforms. Full uniforms are to be worn to school all day during the day of a game, just as they are to be worn at the games – no exceptions.
  7. The body liner is considered part of the full uniform.
  8. h. Full uniforms are to be worn during the entire game. Junior varsity and varsity cheerleaders must be in full uniform for both JV and varsity games at all basketball games.
  9. Personal jewelry is not allowed.
  10. Violation of the above dress code will result in not cheering until the offense is corrected, or possible athletic department suspension.

Game Attendance

  1. Game attendance is expected. An unexcused absence will result in expulsion from the squad.


  1. Cheerleaders must conduct themselves properly at all times. A cheerleader must display good sportsmanship and lead in school spirit.
  2. Cheerleaders are expected to promote school spirit where possible. This would include: in school, on spectator buses, and before, during, and after games.
  3. Cheerleaders are expected to actively support other cheerleading groups.

Practice Attendance Policy

  1. First Offense: The cheerleader will not be allowed to cheer in the next game during football season.
  2. All cheerleaders will practice during their suspension unless properly excused.


  1. All cheerleaders are responsible for all equipment issued to them. All lost, stolen, or damaged items will be paid for by the cheerleader. Shoes, socks, and lollies are provided by the cheerleaders.


  1. Mounts are permitted to the level of two high only if supervised by certified cheerleading personnel


  1. Football cheerleading tryouts will be held in the spring for the fall football season.
  2. Before a candidate tries out, they must fill out an application which informs them of their responsibilities and has a parent permission statement. Both the student and parent must sign this application. This must be turned in before a student may try out.
  3. A candidate must attend all pre-tryout clinics to be eligible to try out.
  4. A candidate must be found to be physically fit to maintain the position should the candidate be placed on the squad.
  5. The varsity football squad consists of: ten 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students.
  6. The varsity basketball squad consists of: ten 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students.
  7. The junior varsity football squad consists of ten 9th and 10th grade students.
  8. The junior varsity basketball squad consists of ten 9th and 10th grade students.
  9. Tryouts will include Teacher Character Evaluations that will make up 25% of their final score. We will strive for 100% teacher participation.
  10. If a squad drops below eight members for any reason, new members may be added to any number up to the original number.
  11. Tryout procedure is left up to the discretion of the coach.
  12.  General qualifications needed to become a cheerleader include: a) spirit projection, b) appearance, neatness, and grooming, c) good voice control, d) creativity, e) coordination – jump, f) poise, g) teacher evaluations of student citizenship, cooperation, classroom conduct, punctuality, and attentiveness may be solicited.

Game Conduct

  1. When at games, cheerleaders should not use cheers of derogatory nature. Foul language is not acceptable. Cheerleaders should discourage students from organizing mass cheers directed at opposing players who have fouled, left the game, or are preparing for a free throw.