Cross CountryTeam Rules
The cross country team here at North Allegheny is made up of individuals like you. The team depends on you for support, and in turn, you are expected to depend on the team. This commitment to the team requires certain personal sacrifices which you must be willing to make. If you are unwilling to make such sacrifices, then cross country isn’t for you, and you don’t belong here.
You also have obligations to your family, your school, and to yourself. To help you meet these obligations, certain guidelines have been set up. Violations of these could result in suspension or expulsion from the team with almost certain loss of letter.
1. Alcohol, tobacco, and drug use has never made any athlete perform at a higher level. Rather, these substances only lead down a descending spiral that never ends happily. In short, don’t mess up your life.
In practice we constantly try to build up the body. Alcohol, tobacco, and drugs only counteract what we are attempting to accomplish. Obviously then, if you are using controlled substances your goals are very different than the goals of the team, and as a team we only have room for one set of goals.
These infractions generally bring about suspension from school, which will remove your privilege of being on school grounds, attending practice, and attending home or away meets. Upon your return to a normal schedule, your position on the team will be reevaluated by the coaching staff.
2. Be on time- whenever time is involved, whether it is practice, meets, bus departure, meetings, etc). Warm-up (conducted by the seniors) will begin every day at 2:55-no excuses. Attendance will be taken every day. See number 3 below.
3. YOU CANNOT BE ABSENT FROM PRACTICE, UNLESS :
Ø you are absent from school. Bring your absent note from school to practice.
Ø you have a doctor’s note for an appointment involving an illness or injury which would prevent you from coming to practice AND you have called or emailed Coach Neff prior to 2:00 pm the day of the missed practice (that’s before practice starts!)
Ø you have a personal or family emergency AND you let your group coach know via the online form before the practice that is to be missed. This pre-notification policy goes for any missed practice.
Missing practice for routine doctor’s appointments, dentist appointments, haircuts, or just cutting is not acceptable. We realize that there are only a limited number of hours in the day to get to appointments, but we only have cross country practice for two hours a day for ten weeks. We do not have time to waste.
In case of conflict, arrangements must be worked out with the position coach in advance. In short, the coaches need to know before you miss the practice that you are going to miss practice. If not and you do not have some kind of extenuating circumstance (my judgment), you have an unexcused absence.
One unexcused absence will make you ineligible to run in the next meet. While you might be ineligible to compete, you must attend the meet with the team. If you have an unexcused absence from that meet in which you are ineligible for, you will most likely be removed from the team. Only one meet can be missed on the entire season for any reason, excused or otherwise. If you cannot make the commitment to this team then please do not waste your time or ours.
Two unexcused absences will remove you from the squad.
To be eligible for WPIAL and PIAA competitions, you must dress for 75% of meets during the regular season. You will not be considered dressed if you are ineligible, even though you will attend the meet and warm up/cool down with the team.
We cannot work with athletes who are not here everyday. You cannot improve unless you are here. Numerous studies show that an athlete will simply work harder and longer when accompanied by other athletes of a similar caliber.
Moreover, for us to become a cohesive team, we must be together. In meets, we will compete with our best lineup, not lineup the best.
4. You must be in school the day of the meet to participate. Arrange dental and other appointments around the schedule of meets. If an appointment must be made on the day of the meet, remember that you must be in school a minimum of four (4) classes of the day AND be in school by 10:45AM. Also, if you are suspended (in-school or out of school) you cannot practice or attend a meet.
Remember, you are a student first, an athlete second. The odds of obtaining an academic scholarship are far greater than those of getting an athletic scholarship. Moreover, you would not believe the number of athletes of a scholarship caliber who do not get scholarships because of poor academic performance.
5. Roll will be taken by one of the coaching staff members each day. You must check in and check out with your position coach.
6. Swearing or vulgar language will not be tolerated. This reflects your character to a great degree, as well as reflects on the school district, your family, and your team. Don’t let us down. Failure to adhere to this rule will result in suspension from the team or permanent removal from the squad.
7. We only have a limited time in practice. We have no time (or tolerance) for goofing off. If you want to goof off and disrupt practice, you should not be here.
When you are at practice or a meet, you are the responsibility of your coaches. You must check in and out with them each day at practice and at meets. A coach must know where you are at all times, and you should always be in the area where your coach has assigned you. Sneaking out of practice or meets for any reason will not be tolerated.
8. Initiations and hazing are strictly forbidden. Such unnecessary foolishness can lead to injury, discourage younger athletes, and give the team a bad name. Remember, we are trying to build a dynasty, not tear one down.
9. Do what the coaches ask-when they ask. Do every workout to the letter. Many times, the little things may not seem important, but everything is crucial, or we would not ask you to do it at all.
Failure to adhere to the behavior rules will result in a one week suspension from the team on the first offence, and removal from the team for the second offense.
In an effort to prevent injuries, participating in non-team sponsored athletic events, including USATF meets and road races, is not permitted during the mandatory part of the season, but are fine in summer and after the season. The training schedule that we adhere to assumes that the running that you do at practice is the only running that you are doing. Running that takes place in phys ed or otherwise should be talked about with coaches and training volume may be adjusted at practice.
You must ride the bus to all away meets. You must also return on the bus, unless your parent asks, in person, at the away meet site itself, and signs a waiver for you to ride with them. Rides with anyone but your parents are strictly forbidden. In EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES, coaches can make a RARE exception to this rule.
11. You are responsible for any equipment issued to you. If you lose or damage something, you will have to pay for it. You must have clothes and equipment with you everyday. You must always be prepared for working out inside or outside, rain or shine. Long sleeves and long pants must come to practice every day. Long sleeves and long pants will be required every day at the onset of the season, and they will continue to be required until further notice by the coaches.
Our school, PIAA, and the National Federation rules and regulations will be adhered to at all times.
You must be academically eligible. You must pass four (4) major subjects each week. Remember, student first, athlete second.
EARNING A LETTER
To earn a varsity letter, the North Allegheny Cross Country program requires that an athlete:
earn a qualifying time on the home course or earn an equivalent effort time an an away course OR be in the top ten North Allegheny runners in half the meets
finish the season
turn your uniform in.