When Vancouver College was founded by Brother Lannon in 1922, it was advertised that “due attention will be paid to physical development.” From that beginning, Vancouver College has developed an athletic tradition so firm that it is most frequently referred to as “a heritage.”
Our mission as teachers and coaches at Vancouver College is to assist parents in the development “of the whole child.” We believe the Athletic Program is a significant part of the school and vital in meeting the objective stated above. The Athletic Program must reflect the Essential Elements and the Gospel values that are crucial and integral to the operation of Vancouver College. We seek to glorify God by using our talents to the fullest.
The purpose of this policy is to guide staff, students, and parents in their participation in the Vancouver College Athletic Program and to assist in the development and well-being of all participants. This policy cannot cover all the circumstances that may arise in the operation of an Athletic Program and is not intended to be a substitute for the application of Christian principles and common sense in the operation of the program.
Clearly, participation in the Athletic Program is a privilege for students, parents, and coaches and not a right. Thus along with that privilege, participants – students, coaches, and parents – must accept several responsibilities that are articulated in this policy.
Ultimately, all expectations outlined hereafter are intended to provide for all an environment in which the growth and wellness of all participants are safeguarded.
The philosophy of the Athletic Program at Vancouver College is rooted in two of the Essential Elements of an Edmund Rice Christian Brother Education at Vancouver College:
- Celebrate the Value and Dignity of Each Person and Nurture the Development of the Whole Person
- Pursue Excellence in All Its Endeavours
The Athletic Program at Vancouver College seeks to provide a wide range of athletic activities for boys between Grade 8 and 12 so that the highest possible numbers of students have an opportunity to compete and experience a quality athletic experience.
Vancouver College strives for excellence in its Athletic Programs, providing opportunities for individual and for teams to achieve at a level consistent with their God-given gifts.
An underlying philosophy of the Athletic Program is a desire that programs be developed and maintained in order to provide opportunities for all youth to develop ideals of sportsmanship, ethical conduct, and fair play. To achieve this goal, it is the expectation that these values be modeled by coaches and parents.
The ultimate objectives of the Athletic Program at Vancouver College are:
- To develop the character of the athlete by teaching sportsmanship, cooperation, responsibility, and respect for authority.
- To encourage and promote skill development, fitness, wellness, and healthy lifestyles.
- To help students develop life skills such as courage, commitment, honesty, humility, discipline, teamwork, and fair play.
- To help students develop a strong work ethic and sense of commitment.
- To help students experience the full joy of preparation and participation in athletic competition.
- To help students pursue post-secondary athletic opportunities.
- To help the student body develop a vibrant school spirit.
- To develop and enhance the sense of community and kinship at Vancouver College.
Policies and Procedures
A. Program Offerings
Prior to the commencement of each school year, the Principal in consultation with the Athletic Director, staff, and community will determine which sports will be offered at the school.
The following athletic opportunities are usually offered at Vancouver College:
Cross Country *
Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding
Track & Field *
Ultimate Frisbee *
* denotes sports that are recognized by BC School Sports.
^ denotes sports that compete as a “Club” and therefore are not eligible for Lettermen points.
Staff, students, or parents who wish to add a sport to the Program should submit a proposal in writing to the Principal. The Principal, in consultation with the Athletic Director and staff, will make the final decision on the addition or deletion of athletic teams.
B. Team Selection
1. All students participating in the program must adhere to the eligibility requirements as outlined by BC High School Sports under Section V of the “Competitive Rules and Regulations” available online at www.bcschoolsports.ca .
2. A team will be selected through a fair and impartial evaluation conducted by coaching staff. Tryout times and team selection criteria will be clearly stated and announced. In most instances, final selections for a team are not to be made before the third practice at all levels of play. Students who feel they have not been given a reasonable opportunity to make the team are to approach the Head Coach to request additional opportunity to demonstrate their strengths.
3. The number of students selected to any one team is dependent upon the availability of resources and the number of team members needed as determined by the Head Coach and the Athletic Director.
4. Students are encouraged to play at appropriate grade level teams where they exist; for example.
- Grade 8s – Grade 8 Football, Grade 8 Basketball, etc.
- Grade 9s – Grade 9 Basketball, Grade 9 Football, etc.
- Grade 10s – JV Football, JV Basketball, etc.
- Grade 11s and 12s – Varsity Football, Varsity Basketball, etc.
Decisions regarding students playing above grade level should be made by the Head Coach of the sport after consultation with the coaching staff of the sport involved, the athlete, his parents, Athletic Director, and Principal.
5. Prior membership on a team or participation in any other facet of the school program will have no bearing on the final selection process.
- Students must be considered to be “in good standing” with respect to his performance in school to earn the right to participate on a school team. The Administration, in consultation with staff and coaches, shall determine whether a student is “in good standing.” With respect to his performance as a member of a team, the coach shall determine whether the student is “in good standing” and has earned a right to represent the school.
- Students who are suspended from school are not permitted to participate in any school related activity for the duration of the suspension.
- Students absent from school are not permitted to participate in any activity, practice session, or competition on that day. If there are special circumstances surrounding the absence(s), a request to participate may be made to the Administration.
- Students are expected to attend all practice sessions unless absent due to illness or other reasons excused by the Coach. If a student will be absent from a practice prior notification from a parent is required. Practices are essential for proper conditioning, improvement of technique, and development of the whole team.
D. Playing Time
- At all levels it is the coach’s responsibility to determine who will play and how much they play in game competition. Students and parents should fully understand that by joining a team, they are accepting the pleasures and benefits of participating as well as the responsibility and commitment to fill a meaningful role on the team.
- Grade 8, Grade 9, and Junior Varsity are more developmental in nature. An athlete who attends practice regularly, works consistently, and displays a positive attitude, can expect to play an appropriate amount of time over the course of the season, dependent upon a variety of circumstances including skill level, commitment, attitude, and the best interest of the team. The amount of playing time is to be determined by the coach as the season progresses and it would be expected that in year-end tournaments or championship games, coaches may choose to substitute more sparingly.
- Coaches of team sports will communicate with parents to discuss their practices regarding playing time. It is expected that each coach would develop a meaningful role for each team member that provides an opportunity for each student athlete to learn and grow.
- Varsity athletic activities have a higher focus on competition. It is expected that each student athlete will play in game situations as much as is practical depending upon ability, game situation, relative importance of the competition, grade level, and other factors determined by the coaches. It is expected that each coach would develop a meaningful role for each team member that provides an opportunity for each student athlete to learn and grow.
E. Multi-Sport Athlete/Out-of-Season Training
Consistent with the Essential Elements and the “development of the whole person”, student-athletes should be encouraged to participate in a variety of school athletic activities, wherever possible. Normally it is not possible to participate in more than one activity in each sport season (i.e. Fall, Winter, Spring).
To ensure excellence, some sports, particularly at the school Varsity level, have vigorous out-of-season training schedules. In the case of multi-sport athletes, in-season sports have priority over athletes who are also involved in out-of-season training in another sport. Coaches should communicate with each other and with parents and athletes to ensure that conflicts are kept to a minimum. In season coaches shall receive priority consideration for utilization of facilities.
Out-of-season coaches need to be mindful of balance (God, family, and academics) for student-athletes as well as their full commitment to in-season sports while scheduling out-of-season training.
F. Program Appraisal
All Athletic Programs will be appraised regularly by the Administration and the Athletic Director to provide direct, systematic feedback to coaches, affirming the good work and providing opportunities to improve programs.
As part of the appraisal, information will be gathered from student-athletes and parents.
BC High School Sports defines recruiting as follows:
“B1.14.1 Definition: Recruiting is defined as a representative of a school, either directly or through another party, encouraging a student to attend a school other than that in whose catchment area he or she resides, for the purpose of being involved in extracurricular sport. The school representative could be a teacher, administrator, school district employee, school employee, student, parent, alumnus or any person representing themselves as a school contact.”
Any coach or representatives as defined above should not approach any parent or student regarding athletic opportunities for student-athletes at Vancouver College except if the student is currently in Grade 7 at a neighbourhood Catholic Elementary School. If an athlete or parent approaches a coach regarding athletic opportunities at Vancouver College, the parent or athlete should be directed immediately to an Administrator, Registrar, or Student Service regarding application and admission procedures.
H. Code of Conduct
- To conduct themselves within Catholic Christian values.
- To be punctual and prepared for all practices and games.
- To achieve to their potential academic standards and to be responsible for class work missed for game or tournament participation.
- To represent Vancouver College at all times in a dignified and positive fashion.
- To be dedicated to their team and team mates. Athletes choosing to play an additional sport outside of the school during the same season are expected to honour the school’s practice and game schedule. Students who are not able to make a solid commitment to attend school practices and games regularly should not try out for a team. Students need to communicate particular situations to the coach as the situations arise.
- To initiate dialogue with the coach if concerns regarding one’s role on the team arise. This dialogue should be initiated during the school day, away from the practice venue.
- To take pride in striving to improve skills and knowledge every day.
- To place primary commitments to God, family, and academics.
- To treat officials and opponents with honour and respect.
- Although membership on a team is voluntary, the athlete should make every effort to fulfill his commitment to the team and finish the season.
- To model Christ-like leadership.
- To convey personal expectations, within the scope of this policy, to parents and student-athletes regarding schedule of practices, try-outs, and playing time.
- To establish effective communication between coach and parents.
- To take appropriate action on concerns brought forth by student-athletes or parents by reporting to the Athletic Director and the Principal.
- To ensure all student-athletes are nurtured into a role where they have the opportunity to learn and grow.
- To understand and to effectively teach the fundamental skills and fitness requirements of the sport.
- To use positive coaching techniques and respectful language when giving feedback to an athlete.
- To display confidence in the honesty and integrity of opponents and officials.
- To instil a desire in all student-athletes to compete honestly and exercise fair play.
- Respect and encourage an athlete’s commitment to God, family, and academics.
- To exhibit Christ-like behaviour by positively supporting and encouraging teams.
- To respect decisions made by officials and coaches.
- To refrain from attempting to coach student-athletes from the stands.
- To utilize the following protocol to address concerns or issues with a coach:
i. Encourage your son to approach the coach.
ii. If the issue remains unresolved approach the coach yourself during the school day, away from the practice or game sites.
iii. If still unresolved, the issue should be referred to the Athletic Director.
iv. If still unresolved, the issue should be referred to the Principal, who will make the final decision on any parental concern.
- To assist students in achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle by promoting a balance among academic, athletic, spiritual, and personal goals.